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Folding@Home Configuration Guide

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April 3, 2007 5:32:00 AM

Several people have asked how to set up their computer to run Folding@Home (FAH) for THG, team 40051. This post is meant as a beginner's guide.

1. First, you need to get a FAH client. Download one from Stanford.

When choosing the particular client, of course you must get one for the operating system you are running, but there are more choices. If you have a dual-core machine that you generally leave running 24/7, you should be able to run the SMP version of the client and see a nice boost in your productivity (and generation of points). Those with advanced ATi graphics cards can take advantage of the GPU client as well. For those choosing a standard Windows client, I generally recommend the console "No nonsense" version, since the visual display of the graphical client is not all that great for watching in the first place.

2. Follow the instructions for installing the client. Links to installation instructions are on the download page from in Step 1. For the GPU and SMP clients, installation instructions are inside the respective FAQ page. Examples from my experience follow.

Windows 5.04 - Create a directory where the FAH work will take place. Save the download .exe file into this directory.

Linux SMP - Create a directory where the work will take place. Download the .tgz file into this directory and unpack it with the command:
[code:1:e6044c45e0]tar xzvf FAH_SMP_Linux.tgz[/code:1:e6044c45e0]

3. Configure the client and start running. The first time you run the client, you must do some configuration. The good news is that this is very simple. The client will prompt you for all the necessary inputs. I will go through an example of my own configuration.

[code:1:e6044c45e0]C:\Folding@Home>FAH504-Console.exe -config[/code:1:e6044c45e0]
Use the -config flag to bring up the configurations options

[code:1:e6044c45e0]Note: Please read the license agreement (FAH504-Console.exe -license). Further
use of this software requires that you have read and accepted this agreement.

Folding@Home User Configuration

No directory settings found in registry. Using current directory...


--- Opening Log file [April 3 05:06:06]


# Windows Console Edition #####################################################
###############################################################################

Folding@Home Client Version 5.04beta

http://folding.stanford.edu

###############################################################################
###############################################################################

Launch directory: C:\Folding@Home
Executable: FAH504-Console.exe
Arguments: -config

[05:06:06] - Ask before connecting: No
[05:06:06] - User name: HotFoot (Team 40051)
[05:06:06] - User ID: 1F246BBF1D6613F0
[05:06:06] - Machine ID: 1
[05:06:06]
[05:06:06] Configuring Folding@Home...

User name [anonymous]? HotFoot[/code:1:e6044c45e0]
Of course, insert your own user name here.
[code:1:e6044c45e0]Team Number [0]? 40051[/code:1:e6044c45e0]
40051 is the number for THG Community.
[code:1:e6044c45e0]Launch automatically at machine startup, installing this as a
service (yes/no) [no]? yes[/code:1:e6044c45e0]
Enter "yes" if you don't want to have to manually start FAH after every reboot.
[code:1:e6044c45e0]Ask before fetching/sending work (no/yes) [no]?
Use Internet Explorer Settings (no/yes) [no]?
Use proxy (yes/no) [no]?
Allow receipt of work assignments and return of work results greater than
5MB in size (such work units may have large memory demands) (no/yes) [no]? yes[/code:1:e6044c45e0]
If you have a system with > 512 MB of RAM, I strongly suggest you enter "yes" here. Big work units (WUs) bring points bonuses.
[code:1:e6044c45e0]Change advanced options (yes/no) [no]? yes
Core Priority (idle/low) [idle]?
CPU usage requested (5-100) [40]?[/code:1:e6044c45e0]
I have mine set relatively low to 40 since this is a laptop that gets too hot running at a higher usage. My desktop runs at 100.
[code:1:e6044c45e0]Disable highly optimized assembly code (no/yes) [no]?
Pause if battery power is being used (useful for laptops) (no/yes) [no]? yes[/code:1:e6044c45e0]
This feature is very useful for laptops or computers hooked up to a UPS.
[code:1:e6044c45e0]Interval, in minutes, between checkpoints (3-30) [15]?
Memory, in MB, to indicate (1014 available) [1014]?
Request work units without deadlines (no/yes) [no]?
Set -advmethods flag always, requesting new advanced
scientific cores and/or work units if available (no/yes) [no]? yes[/code:1:e6044c45e0]
Just as for accepting big WUs, the -advmethods flag allows receipt of bonus work units. These two settings together make your client a candidate to receive WUs with a 50% bonus on points.
[code:1:e6044c45e0]Ignore any deadline information (mainly useful if
system clock frequently has errors) (no/yes) [no]?
Machine ID (1-8) [1]?

[05:08:24] - Ask before connecting: No
[05:08:24] - User name: HotFoot (Team 40051)
[05:08:24] - User ID: 1F246BBF1D6613F0
[05:08:24] - Machine ID: 1
[05:08:24]
[05:08:25] Loaded queue successfully.
[05:08:25] + Benchmarking ...[/code:1:e6044c45e0]

To maximise points production, it's very improtant to configure your client to accept big WUs and -advmethods. Doing this is outlined above.

4. Watch your progress. You can check your stats by finding your user name at the FAH user stats page. A more informative view of yours and your teammates' progres can be found at ExtremeOverclocking.com. You can add a progress banner to your signature by following Mr Sloth's guide.

Note: If you are using a multi-core machine but do not plan to use the SMP client, you can run one 5.04 client for each core. To do this you must save a copy of the .exe file into separate folders for each instance. Make sure to use the -local flag as well, and specify a different Machine ID for each instance. Know that running multiple single-threaded FAH clients will not be as effective for producing results and points as using the SMP client.

Let me know how I can make this guide better. I hope it encourages the curious to give folding a try.
December 8, 2008 2:34:35 PM

will selecting the "allow receipt of workloads greater than 10mb in size" option increase my PPD?
!