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I am new to raspberry pi and I am keen to play with its capabilities. I am a keen gamer as well and would like to see if I could link the two. I have been reading up on raspberry clusters and I would like to make a cluster of my own and run some gaming servers on it for example modded minecraft (heavily modded) and a team fortress 2 server (just a dream). I have a rough idea of what is required to cluster pi's I would just like some advice and guidance on whether it is possible and what I should look out for.

  • You should look out for a board with lots of RAM and a fast CPU. Not an RPi. – Dmitry Grigoryev Nov 15 '16 at 14:11
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I was thinking about something similiar but being done with spare motherboards in my house.

Clusters don't work like normal PCs. A cluster of slow computers is not the same as one fast. Clusters are designed to run cluster-targeted software. This software is coded to divide similiar parts of work to be done onto smaller pieces ready to be executed paralelly (at the same time). I am not sure if there is any cluster-targeted minecraft of TF2 server software.

Most of the software available for Minecraft servers isn't low-RAM optimized

I don't know about TF2 servers because im a Minecraft server specialist.

Let's say you have a cluster of Pi's (or any other computers). Now, if you run a Minecraft server (= a process) which is not designed to run on cluster, Linux will execute this process on the core ( = raspi) it likes and the rest of pi's would be idle or doing something else. Also, a modded Minecraft server hardly goes on 2GB RAM, and one B+ pi has only 512MB. I have a pc with 2GB ram and the Bukkit server eats it all up.

TL-DR/Conclusion:

16 x 512MHz PC cluster is not the same as 8GHz PC

You can make yourself a cluster, but it would be useless without software to run on a cluster (I don't mean the software controlling the cluster).

Note: The hosting companies for Minecraft servers use clusters, but their clusters are made of fast PCs and they run multiple server instances.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Computer_cluster

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_cluster_software

Similiar, but vague question: Minecraft server on raspberry pi cluster

  • what if i were to use a load balancer to ensure all the pi's were being used instead of one?? i know that it wouldn't be as powerful as a normal pc but it would be damn cheaper – Daniel Prinsloo Dec 21 '14 at 20:48
  • @DanielPrinsloo no point. You can't break a process onto multiple cores of a CPU if it's code isn't cluster-targeted. Of course all the pi's will be used. Let's say one for server, and rest for other linux's processes and tasks, like cron, ssh daemon etc. – thekiwi5000 Dec 21 '14 at 20:52
  • I can see you are new here. If I helped please approve this answer so other users will see it's solved. – thekiwi5000 Dec 21 '14 at 20:54
  • some looking around found this. Does this mean it is just possible for minecraft pi or is it possible for other versions aswell minecraftforum.net/forums/other-platforms/minecraft-pi-edition/… – Daniel Prinsloo Dec 21 '14 at 20:57
  • @DanielPrinsloo This thread doesn't cover the fact that the Minecraft Pi's server is still not made to be run on a cluster. Parallel computing is very "exotic" branch therefore there's small amount of people who do this. As is said, any process ran on the Pi (or any other PC) which is not designed for clusters would use one core. But if you want to run multiple servers on Pi cluster, the way's open. Linux will manage the process-core assignments and the cluster would be balanced. – thekiwi5000 Dec 21 '14 at 21:01
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You could run a SMALL team fortress server on a raspberry pi, like for your friends. A public server will not work work because it will lag.

  • If a server works fine locally but lags on public access, I'd be inclined to blame the Internet connection. – Dmitry Grigoryev Nov 15 '16 at 14:00
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A TF2 server / any source game / most game servers won't work, as they haven't been compiled for ARM CPU's.

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