Folding@Home's installation procedure is lightning fast. You can download the right client for your computer directly from Folding@Home's home page. Once downloaded, fire up the installer, accept the license agreement, and note this stage:
Always choose a custom install on any program you download, just so you have more control over initial settings, and simply because it's always a good idea to know what's going on. Of course, if you want to go the no-nonsense route, by all means go for the express install, and you will have the program installed within a few seconds. For the sake of this guide, it is assumed you will go the "custom" route, so click next.
For the best results, select the first option, though if you are the only user on your computer, it won't matter.
Even if you only wish to fold at certain times, select the first option, as you can choose in the settings how the program should behave. You may choose to run Folding@Home as a service, which is more tolerant to software issues, but prevents the use of your video card for folding. Running it as a service is not a big issue, and as far as usage is concerned, there is no difference, so stick with "Automatically start at login time". You may also enable the screensaver, but this will only make a difference if you were using a screensaver to begin with. Anyone without a screensaver should leave this off, unless they want to actually use a screensaver.
After this, the program should complete its installation and offer the option for you to run the program once you click finish. This will both start up the program, which you will see in your system tray (next to your clock), and it will open up your browser with a web application for the program. You can exit the browser and ignore anything in it. Instead, right click on the Folding@Home icon in the system tray, and click "Advanced Control". It will open up this interface:
This is the program's control center. Here, you can set the usage and behavour of the program with the slider. Note that the slider options are identical to the options when you right-clicked the system tray icon. Note that the difference between the two is that the slider sets the default behaviour of the program when starting up (either when starting up the computer, or, when starting up the application at a later stage), while the system tray menu overrides the default behaviour until the program closes, or the computer is shut down.
Now for your details! Type any name you want into the "Name" field, and then the Brony@Home team number "212997" into the "Team number" field. You do not need to register for either of these. However, if you want a passkey, you need to enter your email, and your chosen name into the form provided in the link under "Passkey". Once you have your passkey in your inbox, you can enter them into the fields. Having a passkey is highly recommended if you wish to earn bonus points, as mentioned in the configuration.
And that's all there is to it! From here on out, your computer should be downloading and running work units. However, if you want to fine-tune your settings, you can continue to play around with the settings, or follow our recommendations on this page, or in our Folding@Home forums.
Getting the most out of Folding@Home:
For many people, once Folding@Home is installed, there's really nothing else you need to do, except let it run in the background. Sometimes, users might find it necessary to adjust some of the options, either to get more points, or to adjust the usage of the program. Below, you'll find some helpful information, as well as some recomendations on different settings:
Folding power settings explained:
Whether you are using the power slider in the Advanced Control to set the default behaviour, or the power settings via the right-click menu in the system tray, you may be wondering what it is that these settings do. The six settings are explained here:
- Off: Self-explanatory. No folding of any kind will occur under this setting.
- Idle Light: Only light GPU folding takes place, provided the computer is idle, and not running on batteries.
- Idle: Full power folding takes place when idle.
- Light: When system is not idle, only the CPU folds, and only on half of your cores. When idle, the CPU remains the same, but the GPU also joins in. Will not fold at all if on battery power.
- Medium: All but one core of your CPU is used, while you are using your computer. When idle, the GPU joins in.
- Full: All available CPU and GPU resources are used.
Keep in mind that by default, Folding@Home runs on idle CPU priority, so it will never take any CPU power from things you need to use. However, this does not apply to the video card. When the video card runs, it runs at full capacity, which will likely interfere with gaming and anything running hardware acceleration. With this in mind, if you want to maximise output without interference, run the program on "Full" by default, and use the right-click menu to switch to "Medium" when you need to game or run hardware accelerated applications.
To expand on hardware acceleration, this is when programs use the GPU to speed up their processing. The most common uses for hardware acceleration are in internet browsers, and Flash applications. If you want to maximise GPU output in Folding@Home, disable hardware acceleration in your browser's advanced settings, as well as in Flash (right-click a flash element, go to settings, and uncheck the hardware acceleration box in the first tab), since it runs separately to the browser it is in.
Enabling the advanced client for late-beta units:
By default, users will only receive work units deemed to be stable. That is, units deemed to be completable and won't crash your video card drivers. However, there are also beta, and late-beta units that users can choose to run. Late-beta work units are generally higher valued, and rarely unstable. If you like to rack up points for yourself or the team, you can enable it in your advanced settings:
Double-click the hardware you wish to edit (you can do this on any, and as many as you wish).
Click the "Add" button under "Extra slot options(expert only)".
Type "client-type" into the "Name" field, and "advanced" into the "Value" field. To disable this at a later stage, simply remove the setting from the previous screen.
As BOINC's installation and setup is quite straightforward, setting up the client and your desired projects should take no more than a few minutes. To download BOINC, you may select the appropriate client from the BOINC download page. Download the client that corresponds with your operating system. Make sure to select the right bit variant as well. If you don't know whether your operating system is a 32 bit or a 64 bit, feel free to ask us on our BOINC forum.
If you are running a Windows or a Mac computer, the installation procedures would be quite similar. Those running Linux may find the procedure to be a little more complicated, but this guide should allow Linux users to manage quite easily.
After opening up the installer, you will be greeted with the welcome to the installer and the license agreement. Once you've gone past these two, you will see a few more options, including the installation directory, and three checkboxes:
Select installation directories as you see fit, but note the three checkboxes, particularly the one about installing BOINC as a service. You may choose whatever options you want over here, but keep in mind that by installing BOINC as a service, you will be unable to use your video card to run BOINC, meaning that only your CPU will work. For best performance leave "Service Install" off.
After the installation is complete and you have BOINC opened up, do not add any projects just yet. Switch BOINC Manager over to "Advanced View" first, and then start adding projects:
To start adding projects, select the "Add project" option and click next. A list of projects will appear, providing details about the selected project beside it:
At the bottom is a text field for the project URL. You can use this if you wish to run a certain project that does not appear in the list. Once you have selected a project or entered a URL, click next. You will be prompted to select whether you are a new user, or an existing one. Enter your email and password into the appropriate fields and click next. As a new user, you will then have your internet browser opened to a page where you can choose a nickname, country, and a team:
Typing our tean name into the search box will result in a list of teams. Brony@Home should be at the top of this list, like so:
Clicking on the team name will take you to the team page, where you can then click "Join this team".
That's it! From here, you can repeat the process and add more projects as you see fit. Whether you choose to focus only on one or two projects, or to spread yourself out over many projects is completely up to you. Running many projects will not mean that you are running many tasks at the same time. BOINC will always limit itself to only a few tasks at a time, to keep your resource usage in check, and to complete tasks in a timely manner.
Getting the most out of BOINC:
The possibilities with BOINC can seem rather mind-boglging at times, and given the sheer number of projects one can choose from, there's no surprise there. Here are the best bits of advice and information to maximise the effectiveness of your client:
Add WUProp to your list of projects:
WUProp is a non-intensive monitoring project which looks at your hardware, usage, and completion times on each project you are running, and displays them anonymously and publicly, so that other users can use the information to make sure their systems are running as they should be. Since WUProp uses next to no resources and gives you points for running it, there's no reason not to include it in your list of projects.
However, WUProp is not among the list of projects that you see when you wish to add a new project to your list. Instead, you need to add the WUProp URL manually into the field at the bottom of the project chooser page:
You simply have to add "http://wuprop.boinc-af.org/" to the URL field, click next, and proceed normally as with other projects.
Enable the onboard GPU in your CPU alongside your video card:
Modern CPUs now come integrated with GPUs, which eliminate the need for a dedicated video card. Such hardware has come to be known as APUs. Compatible APUs include those made by AMD which have a Radeon HD 6000 or higher generation GPU, or an Intel processor with a HD 2500, HD 4xx0, or newer. Generally, a computer that has no other graphics processing capabilities beyond an APU should work fine. Many projects support Radeon graphics of any kind, be it on an APU, or a dedicated graphics card. Fewer projects support Intel graphics technology, but there are a few that can be chosen from.
However, when a dedicated video card is present, BOINC might ignore the APU, using it only as if it were a standard CPU. This can be solved using any combination of the following two methods. As users report mixed results, it's best to try both methods:
The first method is to connect something to your motherboard's display port. This may be impossible for some, either because only one monitor is available (and must be connected to the video card's display port, not the motherboard's), or because the motherboard has no display ports at all. If the latter is the case, this method is impossible for obvious reasons. If the former is the issue, you can fool the computer into thinking a monitor is connected by connecting a Dummy Plug.
The second method is to edit or create a file in BOINC's data directory (emphasis on 'data' directory, and not the program directory. You should know where this is when you installed BOINC). Once in the data directory, look for the cc_config.xml file, and open it with a text editor like notepad. If it doesn't exist, you can open up notepad, and save the file as "cc_config.xml", making sure to select the "All Files" option from the drop down list near the file name field. In the file, you should type the following:
Once saved, restart BOINC.
If your APU's GPU still doesn't work, you may need to check your BIOS settings. Since there are too many different BIOS layouts and setting names to list here, should you find yourself stuck, you can always ask in our IRC channel at the bottom of this page, or in our BOINC Forum.
- 1: Download the program
- 2: Install the program. This step is self-explanatory
- 3: Upon opening Majestic-12 for the first time, you will be promted to register. Fill in the relevant fields, click Register, and then test your login (image guide).
- 4: Done! From here, you can either leave the program alone and never give it another moment's thought, or you can read through our guide on getting the most out of your bandwidth
Those who are running Linux, or have Windows systems with 4 or more GB of RAM may want to read through the in-depth installation guide. This guide will get the most out of your crawling potential, compared to Windows on a single node.
For Windows users, this guide will require the use of a virtual machine, which allows you to install Linux inside Windows, without the two ever affecting each other. Linux users may simply skip the virtual machine installation stage, and move straight to the Linux and/or Majestic-12 installation stages.