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Guide to setting up Folding@home

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#1
matt77

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The first thing u need to do is choose which type of client you want to use (one that runs in the background (console) or a graphical client that u can see whats happening) but this could also depend on your cpu as if u have a P4 with Hyperthreading you can run 2 non graphical (console) clients simultaneous.

So now you have decided which client you would like to us then go here and download the client.

Installing the chosen client

Standard Installation - Graphical Client

1. Download the graphical client from here - http://folding.stanf...u/download.html

2. Once downloaded double click the installer

3. Follow the steps through. It is similar to the installation of any other program so I won’t walk you through it. The only question that is different is that it asks you for a username, this is your F@H username (which you choose), you can enter this now or later on during the configuration steps, which this guide will cover

4. Enter your username and your team number. Your team number for WCUK is 44831.

5. That’s it!! Click ok, and you are off and folding! You should see a red cog in the taskbar, that is the F@H taskbar icon. If you double click that a window should open that displays the protein you are working on, the time to finish folding that protein etc.

Standard Installation - Console Client

1. Download the console client from here - http://folding.stanf...u/download.html

2. Make a directory where you want to store your folding data (such as C:\Program Files\F@H)

3. Copy the downloaded client to that directory.

4. OPTIONAL: This is extremely useful if you want to change any parameters later on, and is how I do all of my installs. Create a shortcut to the F@H executable in the same directory and rename it to FAH502-Console –configonly.

5. OPTIONAL: Following on from point 4. Right click the shortcut, choose properties, in the target field you should have “…(FAH Directory)\FAH502-console.exe” Change this to “…(FAH Directory)\FAH502-console.exe” –configonly. Ensure that there is a space between the …console.exe” and the – of –configonly. Click apply, then Ok or close.

6. Double click FAH502-Console.exe. If you created the –configonly shortcut click that instead. A screen should open

7. Enter your username and press enter.

8. Next thing it asks you for is your team number. Enter 44831 and press enter.

9. It then asks you if you want to run it as a service. I personally feel that running it as a service is better – it means that F@H will be running if no one is logged into the computer. If you want to run it as a service type in yes and press enter, otherwise just press enter.

10. The next three questions (Ask before sending/receiving work units, Use Internet Explorer settings, Use Proxy) are personal preferences, I usually just press enter for these. If you are folding through a proxy you will have to answer yes to this question, it will ask you for your proxy server, username and password.

11. The next question is “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]?” Press enter for this for the moment. This question relates to receive work units worth a lot of points, I will explain how to configure this in a later section.

12. Press enter for the final question “Change advanced options”

13. You’re done!! If you decided to run F@H as a service firstly press Ctrl+C to close the console then reboot your computer. If you aren’t running it as a service you don’t need to do this, you may find it a good idea to create a shortcut to the F@H client and place it in your startup directory so that F@H starts every time you log in.




Installation of the graphical and console versions to permit you to receive big work units, which are worth more points, and the installation of multiple console clients on a P4 HyperThreading machine to take advantage of HyperThreading. To perform these installations you need to use switches, so this is the first thing I’ll cover.

To receive big work units you need to use the –advmethods switch and enable receipt of big work units in the client.

Graphical Client

1. Follow steps 1-5 of Standard Installation – Graphical Client if you haven’t already. If you have already installed the graphical client follow on from the next step.

2. Open the F@H configuration, click on the connections tab

3. Check the line that says “Allow receipt of work assignments and return of results greater than 5 MB in size”, so that there is a tick next to it. Click ok.

4. Close the F@H client.

5. Find the shortcut that opens F@H client for you. If you have performed a default install this will be in your Startup folder (Start->Programs->Startup). Right click the shortcut and open the properties.

6. In the target line change “C:\Program Files\Folding@Home\WinF@H” to “C:\Program Files\Folding@Home\WinF@H” –advmethods

7. Click apply, then OK

8. Open the F@H client again, using the shortcut that you just added –advmethods to. You are now ready to receive big work units!!!

Switches, what are they, which ones do I use, and how do I use them

Switches are extra commands of F@H that aren’t covered in the normal installation procedure. There are 4 main ones that people use, I will only cover these.

1. –advmethods

-advmethods tells the Stanford servers that you are prepared to run beta work units. These work units are worth more points than the standard ones, but they may fail as they are beta. This is the reason that they are worth more points

2. –forceasm

-forceasm forces the client to use SSE/3DNow! instructions. After an improper shut down the client will turn off the special instructions and process the work unit with "standard loops" this switch over rides this.

3. –verbosity 9

This increases the amount of information that F@H writes to the log file. Not required but is a useful diagnostic switch, if you are having a problem with F@H you may be able to pin point it faster.

4. –local

This switch is required if you are going to run multiple instances of F@H on your computer. It ensures that the multiple instances do not conflict with each other this is done by the client reading the config file from the local folder..

5. –svcstart

This switch tells the client to start as a service. As far as I know it can only be used on the console client. It is added by the client when you answer Yes to “Install as a service”. It is not usually added by the user, but is listed later on in the guide which is why I have added it here.

Stanford console user guide: contains information about the complete list of switches.

To install the switches you add them to the end of the client startup instructions. For instance, for the graphical client there is a shortcut to F@H in your startup directory. If you have a look at the properties of this shortcut the target is “C:\Program Files\Folding@Home\WinFAH.exe”. You shutdown the client, and then add the switches to the end of this, ensuring that there is a space before the – of each switch. For instance, if you wanted to add the forceasm switch to the graphical client, you would change “C:\Program Files\Folding@Home\WinFAH.exe” to “C:\Program Files\Folding@Home\WinF@H.exe” –forceasm, then click Apply, then Ok or close.

You can also use multiple switches, but you must have to have a space between them. For instance, if you wanted to use the forceasm and advmethods switches, you would enter the switches like this: …Console.exe –forceasm –advmethods. You just have to make sure that there is a space between each switch. All of my installs use all of the switches listed above.

Installing for big work units, which equals big points!!!

Ok, so now that you know what the different switches do, you can install for big work units, which gives you big points!!! If you use your computer on a regular basis it is recommended that you don’t allow big work units unless you have 512 mb of RAM or more. If you are setting up dedicated folding boxes you can get away with 256 mb.

Installing for big work units, which equals big points!!!

To receive big work units you need to use the –advmethods switch and enable receipt of big work units in the client.

Graphical Client

1. Follow steps 1-5 of Standard Installation – Graphical Client if you haven’t already. If you have already installed the graphical client follow on from the next step.

2. Open the F@H configuration, click on the connections tab.

3. Check the line that says “Allow receipt of work assignments and return of results greater than 5 MB in size”, so that there is a tick next to it. Click ok.

4. Close the F@H client.

5. Find the shortcut that opens F@H client for you. If you have performed a default install this will be in your Startup folder (Start->Programs->Startup). Right click the shortcut and open the properties.

6. In the target line change “C:\Program Files\Folding@Home\WinF@H” to “C:\Program Files\Folding@Home\WinF@H” –advmethods

7. Click apply, then OK

8. Open the F@H client again, using the shortcut that you just added –advmethods to. You are now ready to receive big work units!!!

Console Version

If you have installed the Console version as a service and have installed the optional shortcut:

1. Follow steps 1-10 of Standard Installation – Console Client.

2. The next question is “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]?” Type yes, and press enter.

3. Just press enter for the final question “Change advanced options” Close the client by pressing Ctrl+C if you are not using the shortcut.

4. Now you need to do some editing it the registry. You can use regedit (which I have outlined below) or use pk’s F@H service tool, which can be d/l’d here: http://devel.blueten...kfsct/index.htm.All the instructions are there on how to use it.

5. Steps 5-7: EDITING THE REGISTRY USING REGEDIT: Open up regedit (Start->Run->Type in regedit, press OK. Navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Service\FAH@C:+F@H+FAH502-Console.exe. It will not be exactly the same if you have installed to a different drive, but will be close.

6. Double click the imagepath key. A box will open

7. After …Console.exe –svcstart add –advmethods. Ensure that there is a space between –svcstart and –advmethods.

8. Click ok, close regedit, reboot your computer, and you’re done!!!


If you have installed the console version as a service, but not installed the optional shortcut:

1. You need to stop the F@H service. Right click My Computer, click Manage, double click Services and Applications, double click Services, and find the F@H service (titled FAH@C:+F@H+FAH502-Console.exe).

2. Double click the service, click stop, click apply then click ok on the F@H service properties page.

3. Go to the directory that you installed F@H into. Open up the client.cfg file only use Notepad, Wordpad as a tendency to alter the formatting of the file resulting in a lost of information. Locate bigpackets=no, and change it to bigpackets=yes. Save and close the file. If bigpackets already =yes then leave it. If you have yet to install the client but want to install it as outlined above (service without shortcut) then answer yes to “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]?”

4. Follow steps 4-8 in the Advanced Options>Console Version> If you have installed the Console version as a service and have installed the optional shortcut: section.



If you have not installed the console version as a service and not installed the optional shortcut

1. Close the console by pressing Ctrl+C.

2. Go to the directory that you installed F@H into. Open up the client.cfg file using Notepad or Wordpad. Locate bigpackets=no, and change it to bigpackets=yes. Save and close the file. If bigpackets already =yes then leave it. If you have yet to install the client but want to install it as outlined above (service without shortcut) then answer yes to “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]?”

3. Right click the F@H executable that you use to start up F@H, click properties, in the target line you will have “…\FAH502-Console.exe”. Change this to “…\FAH502-Console.exe” –advmethods then click apply and OK.

4. Restart the client.

Installing multiple instances of the client (useful for P4 HyperThreading machines)

If you have a P4 machine with HyperThreading enabled you can obtain more points per week by installing 2 instances of the client. This can only be done with the console client. It is easy to setup, there are just a couple of things that are required. Installation is essentially the same.



1. You have to install the different console clients in different directories. You may want to name them something like FAH1 and FAH2.

2. You need to give each instance different Machine ID’s. This is done during the initial configuration of the client. When installing the client the final question asked during configuration is “Change advanced options” Answer yes and press enter until you see “Machine ID”.

3. Change the machine ID by entering a number and pressing enter. You will want to do this in some systematic way, for instance you could give a Machine ID of 1 to the client in FAH1 and a Machine ID of 2 to the client in FAH2.

4. You need to add the –local switch to each install. This is done as for the addition of the –advmethods switch for big work units and is outlined in that section. It will vary depending on if you are running the console as a service and if you are using the optional shortcuts, so make sure you read the correct section!!

And finally!!

If you use the console version you might like to know what is going on with it so you may want to download and install EMIII which is available from here which you can also set to startup on boot. It has many useful features that retrieve your score and the protein drawing can be disabled to give F@H all available cpu loops. This site also has an excellent setup guide so i don't really need to cover it here.

Good Luck!!!
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#2
Rob*

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Jesus matt :D

I think i'll get back to reading this when i get the vapo all installed and setup.. then we can get the team together and i'll add a link on the front of the shop to our team :P

#3
matt77

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muhahaha!!!
Could make this a sticky!!
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#4
Rob*

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Sticky it is then <thumb>

#5
denis6902

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Here is my contribution after hours of mistakes and less hairs. Should be easier to follow this guides, if you have a problem seeing the pictures of the guide on the Folding@home website like i had.

It will need to be dived onto three posts though, as it is too longer then 10000 characters


Windows SMP client installation (MPICH version)

Note: Due to the way the Windows SMP client is setup, it's a complicated process to install it properly. For this reason, it's essential to read the whole guide first before attempting the installation. There is a lot of things to be careful like the -smp flag requirement or it won't work properly.

In addition to the instructions below, we also suggest you check out instructions on the FAH wiki.

Requirements for installation

Before you start the installation process of the SMP console client, there are a few requirements you must check to make sure the client will work correctly :

  • You have a computer with at least a recent dual core or better to run the SMP client. This means than the older single core processors won't be able to run it. Since it's a high performance client, if you notice that after installation, it doesn't always meet the deadlines, please use the uniprocessor client instead.
  • If you are installing this under Windows XP, you are required to install the Microsoft .NET framework v2.0. You can download the package from Microsoft. Windows Vista already includes the necessary package by default so it's not necessary to do it if you install the client under Vista.
  • The Windows user account you are using to install the client must have a password and have enough administrator rights. Blank passwords will not work and you must have a password only with those valid characters : A-Z, a-z and 0-9. Special characters should not be used to avoid any potential issues. If you change the password of the Windows user account, you need to rerun install.bat. The password being used to install is encrypted in the registry and not transmitted to the Stanford servers.

Installation

Note: Under Windows, antivirus software can interfere with the Folding@Home client files and cause errors. We suggest that you configure the antivirus software to exclude the F@H client directory and especially the work directory inside of it from the antivirus scanning list. This can be done by going into the exclusion list panel that every antivirus should have. The work subdirectory contains semi-random binary data and can confuse overly aggressive heuristic virus scanning.

First, create a new folder on C:\Users\[username]\ or on the root of C:\ (what matters here is to not put it in C:\Program Files\ to avoid issues with permissions, especially under Vista) with a simple name without spaces or special characters. A good suggestion is to name it FAH. The reason for this suggestion is because Vista has some strict restrictions when a program is run from the Program Files folder. Doing this will avoid lots of issues.

Go to the High performance Windows clients download page. There will be a DEINO or MPICH package available for download. Pick the MPICH version in this case.

After you downloaded it, you will see a executable installer package so run it. You will be presented with this window :

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Click on Next to bring the next window, which is a Readme with the client notes. Click on Next again to bring the following window:

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It's up to you to pick which option. I recommend picking the first option for All Users to make things simpler but if you don't want others users to see this, leave the default option as is. After this, click on Next to bring the next window:

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If you followed the recommendation to make a new folder, pick this one by clicking on the Browse button to get the following window :

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After you picked the desired folder where you will install the client, click on Ok then on Next on the previous window. At this point, the installer knows everything required to proceed with the installation so click on Next to run it. When it's done, click on Finish to close the installer.

With Windows Explorer, browse to the folder you just installed the client and you will see a bunch of files like this :

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To make the following steps easier to do, it's suggested to rename the executable to something easy to remember and to type like fah6.exe (right-click on the executable file, select Rename and change to a new name).

MPICH Configuration

Open the Command Prompt window by clicking on the Start menu then type cmd.exe on the Run box and click on Ok. If you are under Vista, you must run it with the Run as administrator option or you will not have sufficient rights to complete the following steps (to get this, right-click on Command Prompt icon then select Run as administrator). With Windows XP, it's sufficient to run cmd.exe as is.

Here is what it should look under Vista (typed cmd.exe then right-click on it) :

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Edited by denis6902, 22 December 2008 - 11:55 AM.


#6
denis6902

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You can use CD to change the directory and type D:\ (or any other letter) to change the drive if the client is not installed on C:\ by default. With those commands, move to the folder you created earlier (C:\FAH in our example). When you are here, type install.bat and you will see a message like this :

Code:
MPICH2 Process Manager, Argonne National Lab installed.
account (domain\user) [FAH\Username]:
Note: When you execute install.bat, you may get a firewall popup asking to allow or block twice, once for mpiexec.exe and once for smpd.exe. You should make sure both are allowed or the program won't work.

If the domain and user account is correct, just click on Enter but if you want to use a different account, enter the proper information (If you are on Active Directory, enter the Domain name but if it's not the case, it's the computer name you need to enter). After you press enter, you will see a password prompt :

Code:
password:
Enter the Windows user password (you will see nothing on screen but type away). It will ask for a confirmation so enter the password again. If you did this correctly, you will see the following messages :

Code:
password:
confirm password:
Password encrypted into the Registry.
If you see this twice, MPI is working
If you see this twice, MPI is working
Press a key to continue...
The important thing is to see that the If you see this twice, MPI is working is displayed twice. If you don't see this or you see a different error, check why and fix this before retrying. When MPICH is working correctly, it's time to configure the client below.

Client configuration

The next step is to configure it by typing the following command (if you used a different one, use the correct name) :

Code:
fah6 -configonly
You will see a list of configuration options. Here is an sample with an explanation about each option :

Code:
Launch directory: C:\FAH
Executable: fah6
Arguments: -configonly

[16:25:22] Configuring Folding@Home...

User name [Anonymous]?
Team Number [0]?
Passkey []?
Enter your user name (not the Windows user name but your folding name), team number and passkey here

Code:
Ask before fetching/sending work (no/yes) [no]?
If you are not on a permanent connection, select this to yes to wait for your permission to upload/download work units. Because of the short deadlines on SMP work assignments, persistent connections are strongly recommended so this option should not be set to yes.

Code:
Use proxy (yes/no) [no]?
If you are connected to a proxy, enter yes and configure the proxy options.

Code:
Acceptable size of work assignment and work result packets (bigger units
may have large memory demands) -- 'small' is <5MB, 'normal' is <10MB, and
'big' is >10MB (small/normal/big) [normal]?
This is related to the size of downloaded and uploaded work units. Bigger units will also have bigger memory requirement. If you run on a slow broadband or dialup internet connection, it's suggested to pick small to ease the bandwidth usage. However, all SMP WUs are big, so setting it to small or normal will often lead to long periods where no assignments are available.

Code:
Change advanced options (yes/no) [no]? yes
If you want to change the advanced options, enter yes but it's not mandatory.

Code:
Launch automatically, install as a service in this directory (yes/no) [no]?
You can install the client as a service but currently, it's not recommended. If you still insist to do this, there are special steps to do after installing the service but before running it for the first time. See below for detailed instructions.

Code:
Core Priority (idle/low) [idle]?
This adjusts the priority level. Any priority higher than idle can cause some slowdown during general computer usage.

Code:
CPU usage requested (5-100) [100]?
This will adjust the percentage of CPU usage. If you want to limit temperature issue or to keep some CPU cycles for more intensive computer tasks, enter a number below 100.

Code:
Disable highly optimized assembly code (no/yes) [no]?
If you are having issues running the client, disable this. For 99% of the users, leave this alone since this could reduce the client performance a lot.

Code:
Pause if battery power is being used (useful for laptops) (no/yes) [no]?
If you run a laptop, set this to yes to pause if the laptop is not plugged on the wall. This will avoid the client draining the battery.

Code:
Interval, in minutes, between checkpoints (3-30) [15]?
Number of minutes between each checkpoint where the client is writing the client progress on disk in case of unexpected interruption.

Code:
Memory, in MB, to indicate (1013 available) [1013]?
Set the amount of memory available to the client. By default, it show the full memory amount but if you have programs which require lots of memory, it's suggested to reduce this.

Code:
Set -advmethods flag always, requesting new advanced scientific cores and/or work units if available (no/yes) [no]?
This is the same as using the -advmethods flag. This will allow you to grab workunits with bigger requirements (often with more points value) than the normal units. Keep in mind this will often have a higher risk of failure so use this flag only if you are ready to accept the risks.

Code:
Ignore any deadline information (mainly useful if system clock frequently has errors) (no/yes) [no]?
Set this to yes if your local computer clock is having issues keeping the correct date and time. For 99% of the users, leave this to no.

Code:
Machine ID (1-16) [1]?
This is the ID of the client. If you are running more than one client under the same OS, you need to have a different machine ID for each client. If you are installing on multiple computers, you don't need to change this since this is only for installing multiple clients on the same computer.

Code:
The following options require you to restart the client before they take effect Disable CPU affinity lock (no/yes) [no]?
Not useful for SMP since it use all cores.

Code:
Additional client parameters []?
You can enter the client flags here so you don't have to type the flag each time. I strongly suggest you enter the -smp -verbosity 9 flag here to make things easier. Don't enter -config or -configonly or any single-use flag to avoid issues.

Code:
IP address to bind core to (for viewer) []?
For future use

When you are done, the configuration will end and you will be back to the command prompt. You have successfully configured the client so the next step is to start the client. Here are 2 ways :

  • By clicking on the executable icon (this assumes you entered the proper flags during configuration).
  • By typing fah6 on the same command prompt window. Enter the necessary flags (including the mandatory -smp flag) if you didn't enter during configuration.

Normally, if everything is done correctly, it will be chugging fine. To check this, open the task manager and make sure there is 4 instances of FahCore_Ax.exe in the list.

Configuring the SMP client as a service

Warning: If you want to run the SMP client as a service, be aware this is currently unsupported by the developers. A bad configuration can cause the client to have issues and lose work units.

Note: The guide is validated with Windows Vista. A lot of people have a problem starting the service under XP so follow the steps at your own risks.

In addition to this guide, there is also a very detailed guide available on the Folding Forum which is a bit outdated but still valid.

The first step is to start the client in configuration mode with the -configonly flag. When you are in the Advanced options section, find this entry :

Code:
Launch automatically, install as a service in this directory (yes/no) [no]?
Enter yes to confirm the service installation. Continue (edit the options if needed) until you reach this line :

Code:
Additional client parameters []?
Since the client will be running as a service, the additional flags must be entered here to make it work in SMP mode. In our case, enter -smp -verbosity 9 -d "C:\FAH" then finish the configuration. The essential piece is the -d "[client path]" where [client path] is the folder where you installed the client (don't forget the quotes). This tell Windows to use the specific path since by default, it will use C:\Windows\System32 as the working folder which cause the client to stop with a 1067 error.

At this stade, don't start the service yet because it must be edited to run with the proper parameters and permissions. For this, open the Services MMC by clicking on the start menu then type services.msc in the Run... box (XP) or the search field (Vista). When the Services console is started, find the newly added F@H service, which should be called Folding@Home-CPU-[1] :

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If you didn't see, restart the client in configuration mode again and double-check that the service is being installed. Now, double-click on it and it will bring the Properties window. Click on the Log On tab to get this :

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Select the This Account button then enter the same account you used to configure the MPICH client above. To make sure the account name is correct, it's suggested to click on the Browse button and find the account. Even if the password fields seems populated, delete them and enter the corresponding password.




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