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Old 2010-01-23, 03:22   #1
EdH
 
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Has anyone thought of (Or, is anyone working on) a Knoppix style bootable CD made specifically to run aliquot sequences?

I'm thinking of toying with the idea (as though I have the time).

My thoughts are a CD that could be used to boot any compatible machine into a linux OS with aliqueit, msieve, yafu, ggnfs, wget and any other necessary applications all included.

Basically, you would boot a machine that's connected to the Internet using the Knoppix/Aliqueit CD. Then, choose to run aliqueit with the particular number. From there, wget would capture the current lines from the db, run aliqueit against the number, update the elf file and wget the new lines back to the db.

This should all be able to be accomplished without even involving the host computer's hard drive, although there may be a need for a sizeable amount of RAM. Granted, the machine would not be able to be used for its normal purpose, unless that purpose could also be accomplished through the included applications of the Knoppix CD.

An alternative to Knoppix could be Damn Small Linux, but last I knew DSL was still using a pretty old kernel that might not support some of the current applications.

Comments/thoughts/already dones?

Take Care,
Ed
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Old 2010-01-23, 05:40   #2
mdettweiler
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Cool idea! Though, what might make it even cooler is if it could be programmed to automatically, upon bootup, fetch a sequence from one of the subproject threads, post a reservation to the forum, run it to completion, then report it back. Rinse, later, and repeat.

Seriously, it might be possible--as long as the person running it entered their forum login credentials, as well as their choice of subproject number, during bootup, a script could probably be programmed to make a post with the requisite information. The tricky part would be programming it to verify first that nobody else is working on the sequence by parsing through the rest of the subproject thread.

Something to think about, anyway. Even for use as a standalone program running on an existing OS, it could be quite useful for putting out-of-regular-contact machines to work.

BTW, I think DSL could actually work all right; I don't see why any of aliqueit's applications would need a 2.6 kernel. And at any rate, you could use DSL-N, which is a "super" version of DSL that uses a 2.6 kernel, among other things, at the expense of being a tad bigger (though still pretty darn small).
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Old 2010-01-23, 05:48   #3
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The only problem I see with this is that normally aliqueit (and all the other apps) need to write to the drive they're on, which isn't possible with a CD-R. Still, the idea might work with CD-RW's and/or USB flash drives. (a CD-RW would have to be a SUPER small Linux to have any chance of fitting a GNFS run on the disc, so it might have to stick to SIQS only) Unless they've come up with some way to make the apps think they're writing to the hard drive (/CD/flash drive) when really they just "write" to memory?
Max, no offense, but your idea of making it automatically read the pages, post to reserve a sequence, run it to the specified depth, (remember that aliqueit has no such option...) etc. seems...problematic (to say the least). It might be more realistic to get some sort of server set up that's made to hand out aliquot sequences, and an automated client that goes with it.

Last fiddled with by Mini-Geek on 2010-01-23 at 05:57
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Old 2010-01-23, 05:55   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mini-Geek View Post
The only problem I see with this is that normally aliqueit (and all the other apps) need to write to the drive they're on, which isn't possible with a CD-R. Still, the idea might work with CD-RW's and/or USB flash drives. (a CD-RW would have to be a SUPER small Linux to have any chance of fitting a GNFS run on the disc, so it might have to stick to SIQS only) Unless they've come up with some way to make the apps think they're writing to the hard drive (/CD/flash drive) when really they just "write" to memory?
Usually, a bootable Linux distro will create an entire filesystem in memory; everything in the /home/ directory, for example, is in RAM.

I hadn't thought of the problems a GNFS run could cause; writing that to RAM would indeed be rather tricky, as even small jobs take up a lot of disk space for relations and whatnot. As long as you don't go above 100 digits, though, doing QS only might be feasible, if a tad inefficient.
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Old 2010-01-23, 11:14   #5
henryzz
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an operating system that would run aliquot sequnces on a 4Gb flash disk would be of more interest than a cd version i think
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Old 2010-01-23, 16:11   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by henryzz View Post
an operating system that would run aliquot sequnces on a 4Gb flash disk would be of more interest than a cd version i think
This method might even be easier to accomplish with DSL (or DSL-N), as well. Unfortunately, after creating a USB version of DSL recently, I discovered that none of the machines I was playing with would boot from the USB.

I'll have to check on a couple others...

I probably wouldn't even try to go so far as to be fully automated. I really hate any of my machines doing anything on the Internet without me initiating it. But, I can see a script to check availability and retrieve a sequence as possibly doable.

I might look further into this, but then sometimes I drift away from a project like this, once started, especially when my other projects steal my time...

Take Care,
Ed

Last fiddled with by EdH on 2010-01-23 at 16:12
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Old 2010-01-23, 16:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdH View Post
This method might even be easier to accomplish with DSL (or DSL-N), as well. Unfortunately, after creating a USB version of DSL recently, I discovered that none of the machines I was playing with would boot from the USB.
Yeah, in my experience I have never had USB booting work right despite having a couple motherboards in my house that claim to support it.

Quote:
I'll have to check on a couple others...

I probably wouldn't even try to go so far as to be fully automated. I really hate any of my machines doing anything on the Internet without me initiating it. But, I can see a script to check availability and retrieve a sequence as possibly doable.
Actually, if you want, don't worry about the automated script...I'm thinking of coming up with something along those lines myself. It should be doable with Perl, if I can figure out the whole POST login thing needed to authenticate to the forum.

Since most Linux distros come with Perl preinstalled, as long as your bootable setup has it, it should be pretty simple to pop this on as one option for running it once it's all set.

Last fiddled with by mdettweiler on 2010-01-23 at 16:20
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Old 2010-01-23, 19:51   #8
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I've started to look at the feasibility and think out the LCD for the machines. It would probably be impossible to find a best case scenario for all CPUs, unless I included the source and had the Makefile build it at startup, but that would be too time and space consuming. I might be able to add something in factMsieve.pl or factmsieve.py to check for number of cores. Otherwise, I would need to limit it to one.

Lots of things to think about. But I will probably do some playing with DSL, even though I should be "playing" elsewhere today.
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Old 2010-01-29, 15:50   #9
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I finally have a USB drive version of KNOPPIX running on my machine, but it has Python 2.5. The new script needs 2.6 or greater, per documentation. It also won't install g++ due to some conflict of gcc bases. I'm going to be trying to import all the files that were compiled and running on one of my linux machines and see what turns up.

I know you can use the -s option to have aliqueit send updates to the db, but is there an option to have it download an elf? I've not seen that. Is it necessary to manually run wget for retrieval? What is the format? Also, if -s is added, is that all aliqueit does for that invocation?

My current thought process is:

-all necessary files in one directory called MathWork and located directly under the user directory that loads by default

-a file that holds the base number for the chosen sequence

-a bash script that can be initiated either by a simple command or at startup

--the script reads the base number

--the script checks for the existence of the elf

--the script then acquires the file from the db, if necessary

--the script trims the last line from the db, if necessary to remove an incomplete iteration

--the script then invokes aliqueit

potential roadblocks:

-I see no way to tell aliqueit to finish, other than working with only one factor at a time (-q) which would seem somewhat wasteful

-some of the sequences have an iteration with a different notation from the normal decimal format - aliqueit complains about these


I plan to "play" some more with this concept, but it will be slow going, since I also have lots of other things I "should" be doing...

Take Care,
Ed
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Old 2010-01-29, 16:17   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EdH View Post
I know you can use the -s option to have aliqueit send updates to the db, but is there an option to have it download an elf? I've not seen that.
No.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdH View Post
Is it necessary to manually run wget for retrieval? What is the format?
Something like this:
Code:
wget "http://factordb.com/search.php?se=1&aq=%1&action=last&text=Text&raw=1" -O alq_%1.elf
"action=last" can be changed to "=all" or "=last20" to change it from the last line only, to all lines, to the last 20 lines (respectively).
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdH View Post
Also, if -s is added, is that all aliqueit does for that invocation?
Yes.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdH View Post
-I see no way to tell aliqueit to finish, other than working with only one factor at a time (-q) which would seem somewhat wasteful
Yeah, this is the major problem with using aliqueit in a fully-automated scenario. I suppose another script could watch the elf file for when it gets above x digits.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EdH View Post
-some of the sequences have an iteration with a different notation from the normal decimal format - aliqueit complains about these
This is practically eliminated if you only retrieve the last 1 or 20 lines, as those usually occur when the size of the sequence is small.

Last fiddled with by Mini-Geek on 2010-01-29 at 16:19
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Old 2010-01-29, 18:04   #11
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Thanks Mini-Geek,

How much extra overhead do you think would occur if the script did run aliqueit one factor at a time? That would allow for keeping track of where it is, either in digit or iteration count.

Aliqueit also has an option to start later in the sequence (index). I haven't played with it yet, but I wonder if it skips the earlier indices completely. This might also be a manner to bypass the smaller numbers where a different notation might occur. Maybe starting at line 100 would work. Or, I suppose, just picking up the last 20 from the db and then setting the index to the first of those 20 would be even better.

Anyway, I have had aliqueit running today in the new system, but I've got to iron out gmp-ecm, which doesn't seem to exist in the repositories for debian (which KNOPPIX is based on). I had just expected it to be there, since it was for my other distributions.

Take Care,
Ed
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