bit-tech.net

How to set up Folding@home

How to set up the SMP CPU client for Windows

Currently, there are two different version of the SMP CPU console client for Windows, known as Deino and MPICH. Both perform a similar function, but use a different implementation of MPI (Message Passing Interface). Although the Deino version is reputedly more stable than MPICH, it isn’t compatible with 64-bit Windows, so we recommend using the MPICH version.

The first step is to create a password on your Windows user account. MPICH will use this password to allow the threads that the folding client spawns to communicate with one another.

The password is stored locally in the Windows Registry – Stanford can’t use it to log into your computer. In our example, we used the password ‘cpctest’. If you’re running Windows XP, you’ll also need to download and install Microsoft .NET framework v2.0 from www.microsoft.com. Vista users can skip this stage, as it’s included in the operating system as standard.

Once you’ve installed the SMP folding client, you need to install and configure MPICH before you run it. Run the ‘install.bat’ file in the directory in which you installed the client.

This should display a message reading ‘MPICH2 Process Manager, Argonne National Lab installed’ and then on the second line ‘account (domain\user) [FAH\Username]:’ followed by a prompt. At the prompt, type in your Windows user account name and hit Enter. It should then prompt you to enter your Windows user account password (in our case ‘test’).

You’ll then be prompted to enter it again. The password won’t appear on-screen when you’re typing it in. If you follow these instructions correctly, you should see the following ‘Password encrypted into the Registry. If you see this twice, MPI is working. Press a key to continue...’ If this message doesn’t appear then the most likely culprit is a typo in your Windows user account and/or password, so run ‘install.bat’ and try again. During this process, the Windows firewall may ask if it should block or allow ‘mpiexe.exe’ and ‘smpd.exe’ – you should allow both.

Once you’ve configured MPICH, you need to create a shortcut to the folding client ‘folding@home-win32-x86.exe’ with the ‘-smp’ flag added to the end of the shortcut. The first time the client is run it will ask you the following questions:

User name Add your username, which should be unique and not already being used by another folder - check the list of current folders.
Team number Custom PC and bit-tech run a joint team, number 35947, so type that in if you’d like your points to contribute to the team.
Passkey? Ignore this; you can configure a passkey but it doesn’t do anything useful.
Ask before fetching/sending work? If you choose ‘yes’ then the client will bug you every time in completes a WU, which could be every few hours. Unless you’re using a dial-up modem, it’s best to select ‘no’.
Use proxy? Most people should select ‘no’ unless your PC sits behind a proxy. If this is the case, select ‘yes’ and enter the details of your proxy server.
Acceptable size of work assignment and work result packets? Unless you have a truly ancient PC with a slow CPU and barely any RAM, you should choose ‘big’, as these larger WUs will be the most rewarding to run.
Change advanced options? If your PC will only run a single CPU SMP client then you can select ‘no’, which will finish configuring the client. If your PC will run multiple clients then you should select ‘yes’ and read the section ‘Configuring multiple clients’.

At this point, you should see the client attempting to download a new core (the latest version of the folding program) from Stanford and its first WU. If it’s working correctly, after a few minutes you should see a percentage counting up, indicating the progress of the WU being folded. To check the status of your folding client, you can either look at the log file or download a third-party application (see ‘Monitoring folding’).

Congratulations! Once your first WU has been completed and sent back to Stanford, you can consider yourself a contributor to advancing medical science. If you want to change the settings in the client, run the client as follows: ‘folding@home-win32-x86.exe -smp -config’.

Windows XP users who connect their PCs to the Internet via a wireless LAN should steer well clear of the CPU SMP client. This is because MPICH uses the network for each folding thread to talk to each other, so if the wireless LAN drops, the folding client crashes. The only way to deal with this problem is to switch from a wireless to a wired Internet connection, or upgrade to Vista or Linux.

How to set up the CPU console client for Linux

Unlike Windows, the Linux CPU client supports both single and multicore CPUs from one executable. For single-core CPUs, all you need
to do is run ‘fah6’ and configure it using the instructions below. If you want to run the client across multiple CPU cores then all you need to
do is run the client using the following syntax: ‘fah6 -smp’. The first time the client runs it will ask you the following questions:

User name Add your username, which should be unique and not already being used by another folder - check the list of current folders.
Team number Custom PC and bit-tech run a joint team, number 35947, so type that in if you’d like your points to contribute to the team.
Passkey? Ignore this; you can configure a passkey but it doesn’t do anything useful.
Ask before fetching/sending work? If you choose ‘yes’ then the client will bug you every time it completes a WU, which could be every few hours. Unless you’re using a dial-up modem its best to select ‘no’.
Use proxy? Most users should select ‘no’ unless your PC is behind a proxy. If so, select ‘yes’ and enter the details of your proxy server.
Acceptable size of work assignment and work result packets? Unless you have a truly ancient PC with a slow CPU and barely any RAM, you should choose ‘big’, as these WUs will be the most rewarding to run.
Change advanced options? If your PC will only run a single client then you can select ‘no’, which will finish configuring the client.

At this point, you should see the client attempting to download a new core (the latest version of the folding program) from Stanford and its first WU. If it’s working correctly, after a few minutes you should see a percentage counting up, indicating the progress of the first WU. To check the status of your folding client, you can either look at the log file or download a third-party application (see ‘Monitoring folding’).

Congratulations! Once your first WU has been completed and sent back to Stanford, you can consider yourself a contributor to advancing medical science. If you want to change the settings in the client, simply run the client as follows: ‘fah6 -config’.