Supported Configurations

Syzygy uses the following combination of technologies, influencing the platforms on which it can compile and run. As of 2004, this requirement set has become mainstream, and, because a development goal is not to expand it further, building and running Syzygy should require only trailing edge features of the one's development environment in the future, a desirable characteristic.

Syzygy is portable across a range of modern operating systems, Linux, Win32, Mac OS X, and Irix. It is stable on these systems, with the stability subjected to rigorous testing, as noted below. Furthermore, it is stable and tested across heterogenous combinations of these systems: your clusters need not be comprised of one type of machine.

Any new (as of summer 2004) system should compile and run Syzygy. Some specific information about a wider range of systems follows.

Special Notes for Windows 98

The problem with Windows 98 derives from the way in which Syzygy components automatically determine their names for connecting to the Syzygy distributed OS. On Windows 98, it is impossible for an executable to get its own name (other than in all capital letters) from argv[0] when run from cmd.exe (the default Windows shell). Since Syzygy uses the command line argv[0] (in most cases) to set the component name, this causes problems with automated operation of the distributed system, for instance when running an application on a "virtual computer", one of whose nodes is Win98. As a work-around, three components (szgd, DeviceServer, and SoundRender) manually set their component names. Thus, Win98 nodes in a virtual computer can host input devices (via DeviceServer) and can also emit sounds (via SoundRender). Finally, components can retrieve the correct name from the argv[0] when launched via the cygwin shell. Consequently, normal operation of the distributed system is assured if you only launch components from the cygwin shell when on Win98. Running a syzygy program from an incorrectly configured Win98 DOS shell can fail. If this happens, try unchecking "Prevent MS-DOS-based programs from detecting Windows".

Testing Procedures

Syzygy is stable enough that it can now be used to reliably detect bugs and misconfigurations in the hardware/OS upon which it is being run. The following tests thoroughly exercise the system, though they have yet to be automated.