Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Cluster Two Machines for Double Processing Power

Ubuntu 7

In today’s digital era, processing power is a crucial factor for many businesses and individuals. Whether you’re running complex computations, processing large amounts of data, or hosting a high-traffic website, having enough processing power is essential. One effective way to increase your processing power is by clustering two machines. In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of clustering two machines to effectively double your processing power.

Quick Answer

Clustering two machines can effectively double your processing power by distributing the workload across multiple nodes. This allows for increased processing capabilities and improved performance.

What is Clustering?

Clustering involves linking two or more computers together so they can share resources and operate like a single system. The primary advantage of clustering is that it allows you to distribute the workload across multiple nodes, effectively increasing your processing power and improving performance.

Setting Up a Cluster

For this guide, we’ll be focusing on setting up a cluster using Ubuntu Server, a popular choice due to its stability, security, and ease of use.

Step 1: Install Ubuntu Server

First, you’ll need to install Ubuntu Server on both machines that you want to cluster. You can download the latest version of Ubuntu Server from the official Ubuntu website.

Step 2: Install Necessary Packages

Once you have Ubuntu Server installed on both machines, you’ll need to install some additional packages. These include the openssh-server package, which allows you to connect to your machines remotely, and the NFS-kernel-server package, which allows your machines to share files. You can install these packages using the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install openssh-server nfs-kernel-server

The sudo command allows you to run commands with administrative privileges, while apt-get update updates your package lists, and apt-get install installs the specified packages.

Step 3: Configure NFS

Next, you’ll need to configure NFS (Network File System) to allow your machines to share files. This involves editing the /etc/exports file on both machines to specify which directories you want to share. You can edit this file using the nano text editor with the following command:

sudo nano /etc/exports

In the /etc/exports file, you’ll need to add a line for each directory you want to share. The format for these lines is as follows:

/directory/to/share *(rw,sync,no_root_squash)

This line specifies that the directory /directory/to/share should be shared with all machines (*), allowing read and write access (rw), ensuring that changes are written to disk immediately (sync), and allowing root access (no_root_squash).

Step 4: Set Up SSH Keys

To allow your machines to communicate securely, you’ll need to set up SSH keys. This involves generating a key pair on one machine, and then copying the public key to the other machine. You can generate a key pair using the following command:

ssh-keygen -t rsa

This command generates a RSA key pair, which includes a public key and a private key. The -t option specifies the type of key to create.

You can then copy the public key to the other machine using the ssh-copy-id command:

ssh-copy-id user@other.machine

This command copies the public key to the specified user’s home directory on the other machine.

Step 5: Test Your Cluster

Once you’ve set up NFS and SSH keys, you should test your cluster to make sure everything is working correctly. You can do this by running a command on one machine and checking that the results are reflected on the other machine.


Clustering two machines can effectively double your processing power, allowing you to handle larger workloads and improve performance. While setting up a cluster can be a complex process, the benefits in terms of increased processing power and improved performance can be well worth the effort.

What are the benefits of clustering two machines for processing power?

Clustering two machines allows you to distribute the workload across multiple nodes, effectively increasing your processing power and improving performance. It enables you to handle larger workloads and achieve better overall performance.

Can I cluster machines running on different operating systems?

Yes, it is possible to cluster machines running on different operating systems. However, it can be more complex to set up and may require additional configuration and compatibility considerations.

Is Ubuntu Server the only option for setting up a cluster?

No, Ubuntu Server is just one popular choice for setting up a cluster. There are other operating systems and distributions available that can be used for clustering, such as CentOS, Debian, or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Do I need to have the same hardware specifications for both machines in a cluster?

While having similar hardware specifications for both machines is ideal, it is not strictly necessary. However, having different hardware specifications may affect the overall performance and efficiency of the cluster.

Can I add more than two machines to a cluster?

Yes, you can add more than two machines to a cluster. In fact, clustering multiple machines can further enhance processing power and scalability, allowing you to handle even larger workloads.

Can I use a cluster to improve gaming performance?

Clustering is primarily used for distributed computing and improving processing power for tasks such as data processing, scientific simulations, or web hosting. It is not commonly used to improve gaming performance, as gaming typically relies on single-machine performance and graphics processing capabilities.

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