Hmmm. A fairly obvious problem emerges. True, I can type like the wind itself, fingers dancing on the keys with a life of their own, my interior monologue spewing out with surprisingly little editorial revision to appear, as fully marked up prose on the screen. True, my experience in Unix, cluster computing, linux is great, my expertise is vast and almost boundless11.19. Amazing as it may be, and to my great sorrow, I'm not an expert in everything - yet - and given that (however fast) my typing in new stuff that I learn proceeds linearly with time, while the amount of new stuff I need to learn and eventually type in increases exponentially, I will almost certainly Never Catch Up. This is especially true given that you who are reading these words almost certainly are doing so for free, leaving me to manage mundane matters like feeding my children and paying for beer on my own. All God's chilluns gotta eat, and we gotta work at paying enterprises to buy food.
Consequently, I am in perpetual need of help. Not just psychiatric help, either. Material help, in the form of material that can easily be included in this book without my having to learn all about it and type it up. The following little snippet is one of many such contributions, concerning tools that can be used in other distributions to automate beowulf installation along the lines of kickstart in Red Hat. To prove that I'm not a Red Hat bigot (or being paid off by their board of directors, however attractive that would be and bribeable I might be) please note: (from Thomas Lange <lange@informatik.Uni-Koeln.DE>)
The other and more important note is on how to build a beowulf. You only mention kickstart. Have a look at fai (http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/). It's the fully automatic installation tool for Debian. There's also a chapter on how to build a beowulf using fai at http://www.informatik.uni-koeln.de/fai/fai-guide.html/ch-beowulf.html
I'm trying to keep track of the many references like this that have been mentioned on the beowulf list or in private communications like this, but given the busyness of my life (and the aforementioned fact that I basically make no money from this book:-) it may be a while before I ever catch up on them all. Like an infinite while...
In the meantime, fee free to fire stuff off to me that you think should be in here somewhere, or to point out (as Thomas also did) that nobody uses ssh 1.x any more and it is a security bugfarm so I should probably fix the text (written years ago) where I advocate its use, or the equivalent. This field is a moving target at best and this book perpetually obsolete here and there, and I need all the help I can get adding new relevant material or targeting the old obsolete material for stat revision.