Customer testimonial

"By the way, I probably have said this before, but Billy is awesome. RMA's can be such a pain with some companies, but he makes it painless." -- Damon G. at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Find out even more reasons to purchase from us





altBreakin is Advanced Clustering's stress-test and hardware diagnostics tool. Advanced Clustering engineers developed breakin because no other available product — commercial or open source — could pinpoint hardware issues and component failures as well as they wanted.

The breakin application proved to be so powerful at finding hardware issues that it is now used by several major component manufacturers in their validation and factory testing procedures.

Installation and Running

No installation required: To start testing, you can boot from the breakin image. Breakin currently supports booting from network via PXE, CD/DVD-ROM drive, or USB key.

Click and run: After starting up breakin, you will not need to answer any prompts or press any keys. Breakin will continue to stress-test your machine for as long as you like. (Advanced Clustering recommends testing for at least 24 hours.)


Breakin is available for free from our downloads section.

Open Source

All the software included in breakin images downloaded from our site — including utilities written by Advanced Clustering engineers to build the breakin environment — are open source, with two exceptions: the Intel MKL library (used to load Intel CPUs) and the AMD Core Math Library (ACML, used to load AMD CPUs). You can even build your own breakin environment. We have successfully built breakin from source on Red Hat/CentOS, Debian and Ubuntu.


To try building breakin, check out the build control scripts from:

git clone bootimage

Hardware Supported

Breakin should support any hardware supported by the Linux kernel. The main tests are optimized for both the AMD and Intel processor architectures using math libraries created by the processor manufacturer. Advanced Clustering uses breakin every day on a variety of systems and architectures:

  • Breakin has been fully tested and works on:
  • Should also work on:
    • AMD Opteron systems
      • Socket 940 single- and dual-core (200 and 800 series)
      • Socket F dual-core (2200 and 8200 series) and quad-core (2300 and 8300 series)
      • Socket G34 8 or 12 core (6100 series)
    • Intel Xeon systems
      • Intel Xeon 5XXX processors (including 5400, 5500, and 5600)
      • Intel Xeon 3XXX processors (including 3000, 3200, 3400, 3500, and E3-XXXX)
    • Intel Core series systems
      • 2nd Generation Core i3/i5/i7 series
      • 1st Generation Core i3/i5/i7 series
      • Core 2 Duo or Quad
    • Many older platforms should also work. (Please let us know if you use breakin on older systems and we will update this list.)

Impressed by the features and thorough testing breakin offers? You can buy your next ServerWorkstation or Cluster already stress-tested with breakin from Advanced Clustering.

Testing Features

Advanced Clustering's breakin application was built around an extensible testing framework. The main application can be extended as new tests are developed, and because breakin is open source, anyone can extend it to add new tests. The current tests performed are:

  • Full processor and memory test: Using HPL, the supercomputing industry standard performance benchmark, the tests fully utilize all processor cores and physical memory installed in the system. HPL is built with optimized BLAS libraries from both AMD and Intel, and the correct version is selected automatically based on the hardware on which the test is run. Activating all cores and hardware at 100% utilization has uncovered power- and thermal-related design issues that were previously unknown.
  • Hard drive stress testing: During breakin's operation, all of the hard drives in the system are fully exercised and checked to find any faults.
  • Temperature sensor reporting: With the support of the Linux hardware health monitoring package lm_sensors, any supported temperature sensor is reported.
  • ECC error reporting: Using the EDAC Linux kernel patches, breakin reports ECC errors on the following architectures and chipsets —
    • Any Opteron system
    • Any recent Intel Xeon processor (5500, 5600)
    • Older Intel systems with e752x, 82975x, s3000, s3100, or s5000 series chipsets
  • MCE reporting: Any MCE (Machine Check Exception) events generated by the system, which often can point to serious hardware issues.

Remote Access to Machines While Running Breakin

You might not be in the same room, building or even country as the machines on which you are stress testing with breakin, which is why Advanced Clustering developed full remote-access ability within breakin.

  • Remote access via SSH: When booting up the breakin image, you can specify the password for the remote SSH user. Then, anywhere with network access, you can log into the system running breakin and see the system's current status. The information you collect from the SSH session is exactly the same as if you were looking at the monitor attached to the stress-testing machine.

Full Logging Support

Because breakin is designed to run unattended, full logging support is necessary so that if the system were to crash or fail during testing, users have output that was already collected. Breakin is designed with three logging systems:

  • Logging via serial console: If you have a console infrastructure in place, all test output, errors and temperature data is logged via serial at regular user-defined intervals (default is 30 seconds).
  • Full-time logging via USB key: If a USB storage key or device has been plugged into the system, users can access a log file written and continuously updated to the USB device (breakin.log on the root of the USB device's filesystem — DOS FAT/FAT32, ext2- or ext3-formatted devices).
  • One-time dump via USB key: If no USB key is in place at startup, but you need to output the current state of breakin (for example, errors detected that you want to send to our support department), you can do so. Simply insert the USB device and press the function key highlighted on the screen to dump the log to the USB device.

Rescue Environment

The breakin environment contains a number of the latest disk, networking and filesystem-related utilities. By passing startup=rescue as a boot-time parameter, you can start the image at a shell from which rescue utilities can be run.

Download Breakin Now

Breakin is available for free and can be downloaded directly from this website. Click here to access the downloads section of our site to get your copy of breakin today.

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Software Downloads

You can download a copy of our free software from our download manager.

Click here to access the downloads.

Software Support

If you have questions, need assistance, or would like to suggest a feature to any of our software products, please submit a ticket with the details.

Contact Info
Toll-free: 866-802-8222 International: 913-643-0300 Email: info, sales, support