PVM 3.3

PVM 3.0, or Parallel Virtual Machine Version 3.3, is a software package from Oak Ridge National Labs. PVM sets up a standard by which programs written under the Unix operating system can be executed in parallel on several machines linked via a network. The network of machines makes a new "virtual" machine. To the program, this machine appears to be one large, distributed-memory multiprocessor computer; hence the name Parallel Virtual Machine.

The machines on the network can be of different architectures; for example, a program can have half of its computations done on an Origin 2000, and the other half done on a Sun Sparc-station.

PVM is a two-part system which includes a daemon process and a set of library routines that are used to communicate with the daemon. The daemon process handles both the starting of the program on different computers on the network, and message passing between the machines. This two-part approach to PVM ensures that little work need be done on a program to benefit from executing under PVM.

The benefits are manifest. A sample program provided with the distribution of PVM 3.3 generates the classic Mandelbrot set. The program has a simple and intuitive X Window System interface.

For further information, please see the pvm man page.

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