Joined: 14 Oct 99
This is wierd. I had been running seti@home i686 linux on this K6-III-450, 290MB RAM linux box, (no problems, no errors, ran for weeks at a time with no crashes) and then decided with the public announcement of the BOINC launch to switch it to BOINC. All kinds of error messages in the Konsole window after launching BOINC, not enough disk space allocated to download any work, etc., so I copied the BOINC executable to my 80GB-disk-space linux machine and launched BOINC on the K6-III machine, CD'd to the big storage machine, using the executable on that box, over the network. I chmod'ed that directory to open access to avoid across-the-network permission problems, and chmod'ed the executable likewise. I then changed my prefs at seti to allow more disk space usage. That worked ok - didn't get the insufficient disk space allocation error, but it didn't successfully do any work, either, some sort of wierd error that occurred periodically, wasn't very informative, and did not indicate a permission problem like can't create or write to a file, etc. (I closed and then opened a new Konsole window so those errors aren't there now). I then noticed that BOINC then downloaded seti@home for linux and apparently has started running that as a client of BOINC!! But seti@home was already installed, so what's the deal here? If all it's going to do on this machine is run seti@home anyway, what's the point of BOINC? In fact it was more efficient the way I ran it before BOINC, because I had set@home running all the time whereas I set up BOINC to only run when a user was NOT using the computer. I have 10,700+ WUs completed, using several computers, mostly Athlons, both Windows and Linux, and I would like to keep being useful, but right now I'm mostly just frustrated. And I haven't been able to find any docs that would help me understand how this is supposed to work, or how best to optimize settings, and criteria like minimum disk space and minimum ram recommended or required. So far BOINC seems to just be thrashing gobs of status message in the Konsole window and not accomplishing anything much. Seti@home just quietly worked, crunched WUs, no muss no fuss. Was this maybe public-released a bit early? I gather there are also currently some hardware issues at the server level that y'all are rushing to address.
Joined: 2 Jul 99
"I then noticed that BOINC then downloaded seti@home for linux and apparently has started running that as a client of BOINC!! But seti@home was already installed, so what's the deal here?"
That is what boinc is supposed to do. Boinc is an overseer program that manages the core clients is has been configured to manage. The only boinc program currently running in public release is seti. At this point there are some alpha and beta programs you can also join. If you do this, boinc will then manage all the programs you join, according to your preferences.
"If all it's going to do on this machine is run seti@home anyway, what's the point of BOINC?"
The new computations that seti will be implementing will only be runable through boinc. Boinc will automatically upgrade seti for you, and will automatically download and install any future additional cores you need to handle different computation methods. It will also ensure that you are only given future methods that your particular machine can handle.
"In fact it was more efficient the way I ran it before BOINC, because I had set@home running all the time whereas I set up BOINC to only run when a user was NOT using the computer."
If you set your computer to run boinc all the time, it will work the same as you had it set with seti classic. Boinc always runs regardless (it runs at nice 0), but it really does nothing that is resource intensive. If you tell it not to run when you are using the computer, it stops the seti process when it detects other computer activity. By default, it runs the seti process at nice 19 anyway, so seti will give up the cpu to anything else that wants it already. Unless you are having computer specific problems, there really is no need to tell it to stop seti when you use the computer. If seti classic running all the time caused you no problems (it runs at nice 1), seti boinc running at nice 19 will be even less intrusive.
As far as the space allocation, if you have systems with a very small amount of space, be sure that your online account general preference settings aren't set to more space than you have. If the "leave at least" setting is more space than you have available locally, there is no space for it to use. Lowering this number should correct that, provided there is actually enough space for it to put the core and a work unit.
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