Chapter 2. Quick Installation Guide

This chapter gives an overview of the steps necessary for a default installation of Dolphin eXpressWare for Linux using the self-installing archive format (SIA).

Please consult the detailed installation guide for more details, Chapter 4, Initial Installation .

For a typical interconnect topology consisting of some Cluster Nodes, a network administrator can have the machines fully functional in a matter of minutes: 1) power off the machines 2) plug in the adapters 3) plug in the cables 4) power on the PCI Express switch 5) power on the machines and finally 6) install and configure the eXpressWare software using the SIA installer.

  1. Installation requirements: The SIA supports Linux kernels and distributions that support the RPM/DEB packages format. Please consult the release note for details.

    For details, see Chapter 3, Requirements and Planning for general platform requirements of the Dolphin PCI Express software stack and Chapter 4, Initial Installation, , Section 1, “Installation Overview” for specific requirements for this installation procedure.

  2. Adapter installation: Install the Dolphin PCI Express cable adapters in the Cluster Nodes.

    For details, see Chapter 4, Initial Installation, .

  3. Cable connection: It is recommended to plug the PCI Express cables before powering up the system and installing the software.

  4. MX Software download: Download the Linux SIA that matches your required architecture (ARCH) ( Dolphin_eXpressWare_Linux_<ARCH>_MX_<version>.sh from and store it in a directory on the machine that serves as the Cluster Management Node. Make sure root has write access to this directory.


    Please make sure to download the installer for your cluster hardware, operating system and system architecture. There are separate downloads for MX, PX, IX and INX and for each supported operating system and separate downloads for each supported architecture (x86, x64, ARM32, ARM64, PowerPC etc).

  5. Start software installation: Become root and start the software installation by invoking the SIA as a shell script:

    # sh ./Dolphin_eXpressWare_<version>.sh

    In order to install the Cluster Nodes and the Cluster Management Node, the installation procedure will ask a number of questions including the acceptance of the software licensing terms.

    For details on this part of the installation, please see Chapter 4, Initial Installation,Section 2, “Software Installation”. For general information on the different ways to use the SIA, please see Appendix A, Self-Installing Archive (SIA) Reference.

  6. Interconnect configuration: After the software has been installed, you need to set up the configuration files for the interconnect. The installer does this automatically, but for advanced options the GUI tool dis_netconfig can be started. In such a case the installation pauses until you quit dis_netconfig.

    For details on how to perform this task, see Chapter 4, Initial Installation,Section 2.4, “Working with the Dolphin Network Configurator, dis_netconfig”.

  7. Finish software installation: Confirm the final questions of the installation script. The script will then finish the installation and perform some basic tests of the interconnect.

    For details on this part of the installation, see Chapter 4, Initial Installation,Section 2.6, “Finalising the Software Installation”.

  8. Verify the installation: After the installation completes, start dis_admin and use the cabling test and the fabric test to verify the interconnect installation.


    Please carefully perform the installation test. If you enable your application to use PCI Express without completing this step, you may be required to stop or restart your application to overcome possible installation issues at a later stage. All tests should pass before using the PCI Express cluster for production purposes. At this point, you can safely execute your tests without affecting the system.

    For details on how to run these tests and handle the results, see Chapter 4, Initial Installation, Section 2.8, “Interconnect Validation using the management GUI”, Section 2.9, “Interconnect Validation using the command line”.

  9. Reboot the system: It is recommended to reboot the system to verify the automatic restart of the drivers and to ensure optimal memory allocation for the PCI Express drivers.

  10. Run you application: Enable your applications to make use of SuperSockets by using the dis_ssocks_run wrapper or just run your SISCI based application.

    The eXpressWare installation comes with several example, demo and benchmark programs that can be executed to determine the actual PCI Express PIO, DMA and Interrupt performance.

    For details on this step, please see Chapter 4, Initial Installation,Section 2.10, “Making Cluster Application use PCI Express”