Mozilla’s Mac Mini array is making Firefox better


What does it take to build an open source browser used by over 170 million people? Apparently it’s not quite as gargantuan as you might have guessed.

I would have thought that from a build framework point of view it would take some massive super cluster array with ridiculous amounts of processing power and RAM- but it turns out that’s not the case.

Mozilla’s Mike Beltzner explained to me that Mozilla is using ‘regular’ Windows, Mac and Linux machines as part of their build environment, with Linux (CentOS/Red Hat Enterprise Linux) serving up their Tinderbox build reporting environment.

From a testing framework point of view (since Mozilla is constantly building and testing) they are using an array of about 80 Apple Mac Minis. According to Beltzner the reason why they’re using Macs is easy –  they handle  virtualization easily.

If you want to see for yourself – check out the little video below – shot at Mozilla’s Toronto office – where staffers dispel my illusions of Mozilla super cluster grandeur(though 80 Mac Minis that are virtualizing another umpteen machines is quite impressive..).

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