FreeBSD: more BOINC notes

Well, I’ve managed to setup the BOINC port (version 5.10.32) to run on FreeBSD7.0-RC1.

1) Hang on start due to benchmark

boinc_client seems to hang when running benchmarks. Instead of 60-120 seconds of benchmarking that one should get (as noted in the source), boinc_client creates a fork of itself, and the latter runs indefinitely. Moreover, neither of the two processes respond to killall or kill (!).

It is probably the Whetstone benchmark that hangs the system, since there’s a do_fp file in the home directory.

The solution I’ve come up with is a crude hack (which makes me a true haxor, of course). The point: comment out the bechmarking functions in the source code, and place benchmarking results obtained from the Windows client. Here’s the diff file that I applied to /usr/ports/net/boinc-client/work/boinc-client-5.10.32/client/cs_benchmark.C:

%cat cs_benchmark.C.diff
153c153,155
<>
---
> // hacked: cy
> // whetstone(host_info.p_fpops);
> // hacked ends
162c164,168
<>
---
> // hacked: cy
> // dhrystone(vax_mips, int_loops, int_time);
> host_info.p_fpops = 920330578.512397;
> vax_mips = 1913.436132480485;
> // hacked ends

My processor is a Pentium 4 (T1300, 1.66 GHz).

If you want to use this, be warned that your computer gets jobs according to how powerful it is. Setting to high a benchmark might give you a WU that your computer won’t be able finish. More still, such “hacking” might be considered cheating. (I am no authority to ensure you about this one, though.)

If Windows is unavailable, use these charts:

Whetstone (host_info.p_fpops),
Dhrystone (vax_mips).

Note that the first is set in units (fpops), and the second is in megaunits (mips).

2) Getting WCG and others to work: alt_platform

To get WCG (and, coincidentally, many other projects) to work, you’ll need to set an alternative platform. To do that, put a cc_config.xml in your boinc’s user home directory (/var/db/boinc/ by default):

%cat cc_config.xml
<cc_config>
<options>
<alt_platform>i686-pc-linux-gnu</alt_platform>
</options>
</cc_config>

Now, this is a minimal configuration, that will only let you receive Linux software and run it (if you have Linux emulation enabled, of course). The file can have other options, see BOINC’s Wiki page.

I’ve found out about it here.

Currently, Rosetta@Home is running on my PC. I’ll report if the WU results validate im/properly.

3) boinc_gui hangs

Finally, I have to note that, indeed, the GUI hangs up every time I start it. Solution: don’t start it.

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