Nevis Linux Cluster Node Names

These are the names of the computers in the Nevis Linux Cluster.

Some machines that are not listed:

  • the systems on the Nevis condor batch farm;
  • machines that are not part of the cluster (e.g., electronics testing boxes).
Most Linux machines at Nevis are typically used by a particular working group, though there are many virtual machines for administrative purposes.

Each group has an informal naming convention for its machines. The list below includes the different groups with machines in the cluster, the basis for the names, and description of each Linux machine normally used by that group.


Mostly named after members of the Romanov dynasty

Name Function Derived from
kolya ATLAS workgroup server Tsar Nikolai II Alexandrovich (1868-1918)
xenia ATLAS Tier3 server Grand Duchess Xenia Alexandrovna (1875-1960)
tanya ATLAS client Grand Duchess Tatiana Nicolaievna (1897-1918)

DOE / Heavy-ion

Named for Chinese imperial dynasties ( pronunciation guide)

Name Function Derived from
shang DOE workgroup server Shang Dynasty, 16th century B.C. - 1066 B.C.


Named after streets in the area of Columbia University

Name Function Derived from
houston Neutrino home directories  
riverside Neutrino file server
westside Neutrino file server
amsterdam Neutrino file server
bleeker Neutrino file server typo when naming; missing a 'c'


Named after characters in the Earthsea books by Ursula K. LeGuin

Name Function Derived from
tehanu VERITAS workgroup server Tehanu is the fourth book in the series
vetch VERITAS file server A friend of Ged
ged VERITAS file server Ged is the main protagonist of the first book
serret VERITAS file server Daughter of the Lord of Re Albi
ekumen VERITAS workstation A galactic federation in Leguin's Hainish Cycle

Electronics design

These systems have functional names, because it is rumored that electrical engineers have no sense of humor.

Name Function
elecsim, elecsim3, elecsim4 Electronics chip design and simulations
license Electronics software license server

Shared between workgroups

A mixture of names from times when these systems were dedicated to specific workgroups or functions. The functions shifted, but the names remained.

Name Function Derived from
hogwarts General shared server Xen virtual machine Hogwarts, a school where wizards are trained
milne student file server A. A. Milne, creator of characters in the Hundred-Acre Wood
notebook Jupyter server A somewhat-practical name. Let us not forget that the name derives from Jupiter, the king of the gods in Roman mythology.

Administrative machines

Virtual-machine hosts

These are the hosts that run the virtual systems listed below. They are named after moon-related goddesses in Greek mythology.

Name Function Derived from
hecate library server Hecate (or Hekate) is the goddess of magic, the night, and the moon. She is also associated with necromancy, which may be important if we have to resurrect your system from the dead.
artemis administrative server Artemis is the goddess of the hunt and the moon.
selene file server Selene is the goddess of the moon incarnate.

Virtual-machine guests

These are virtual machines that run on the hosts above. They are (mostly) named for historical figures who made important contributions to Western thought

NameSorted ascending Function Derived from
ada web server Ada Byron, Countess of Lovelace (1815-1852), the founder of scientific computing.
cups print server CUPS is the standardized printing protocol for UNIX systems.
elecdesign Electronics software license server As noted above, some of the EEs have no sense of humor.
franklin mail server Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who was (among many other things) the first Postmaster General of the United Sates.
hermes DNS server Hermes was the messenger of the gods; a god of intellect, invention, travelers, communication, and many other attributes.
hypatia central admin server Hypatia of Alexandria (d. 415), a teacher and philosopher who was killed for advocating experimental science and other heresies.
lincoln log server Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), lawyer, statesman, and 16th American President; said to have been born in a log cabin.
shelley backup server Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley (1797-1851), writer and philosopher, best known as the author of Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus.
sullivan mailing-list server Take your pick:
twiki wiki server Twiki is one of the popular formats for wiki pages. The name originally comes from a small robot in the 1979 TV series Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
vulture Condor A vulture is a bird of prey, one of whose species is the condor.

Why the funny names?

Well, there's the sheer intellectual over-indulgence of it all, but there's also a serious reason: the function of a given computer can change over time; for example, a computer that used to be Jones' Linux desktop client may become an FTP server in the future. If the computer's name was jonespc or d0pc3, we'd want to change it to ftpserver or something like that. If the computer's name was, there'd be no reason to change it, nor any need to update the various databases of names (/etc/hosts, NIS, DNS, etc.).

Obviously, we have this luxury because there are relatively few computers at Nevis. We can configure them individually and know each one by name. If we had a hundred boxes, this would be impossible.

This topic: Main > Computing > LinuxCluster > ListOfMachines
Topic revision: r30 - 2022-09-16 - WilliamSeligman
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