How do I get BOINC 7.2.33 or 7.2.39 to honor exclusive_app preference?


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Questions and Answers : Windows : How do I get BOINC 7.2.33 or 7.2.39 to honor exclusive_app preference?

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Darrell Wilcox
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Message 1476934 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014, 6:39:34 UTC

My wife complained that her video game (Dynomite) was jerky when BOINC runs, so I installed an "exclusive_app" to turn off computing and GPU when it was running (and turn it on when she finished). BOINC continued to run. I used the GUI and when that failed, added "<exclusive_app>" and "<exclusive_gpu_app>" to the cc_config.xml. After commanding BOINC to reread both config and local preferences files, it still did not honor those commands even though messages were generated to the event log showing successful reading ("...Config: don't compute while dynomite.exe is running").

I reproduced this failure on my main cruncher (using GPU-Z as a test case) under both 7.2.(33 and 39) of BOINC manager (for computer details see http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/show_host_detail.php?hostid=5111135). The screen shot at the bottom shows it all - BOINC, event log, GPU-Z - at the same time.

I am open to constructive suggestions and/or debug actions, so please reply if you have some ideas.

Her cc_config.xml file:

<cc_config>
<options>
<start_delay>60</start_delay>
<use_all_gpus>1</use_all_gpus>
<exclusive_app>dynomite.exe</exclusive_app>
<exclusive_gpu_app>dynomite.exe</exclusive_gpu_app>
</options>
</cc_config>

Screen shot: http://imageshack.com/a/img208/2512/357j.png
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Message 1477090 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014, 12:30:58 UTC - in response to Message 1476934.

It's possible that the dynomite.exe is only a launcher and that the actual game executable is called differently. Minecraft for instance doesn't run with Minecraft.exe, but with Java.exe as it's essentially a Java script that runs. Minecraft.exe is only a launcher program that starts Java.exe and the Minecraft script, and then it stops running.

You'll need to double check that, when running the game do CTRL+ALT+DEL, choose "Show task manager" and see in the list of processes what's running. Or try to ALT+TAB towards the task manager, if the game takes focus again. (Not all programs allow this, though).

I know that it works, as last night I ran Skyrim:
13/02/2014 23:51:29 | | Suspending GPU computation - an exclusive app is running
13/02/2014 23:51:29 | SETI@home | [cpu_sched] Preempting 11ap13ae.13446.18063.438086664207.12.60_0 (removed from memory)
13/02/2014 23:51:29 | SETI@home | [task] task_state=QUIT_PENDING for 11ap13ae.13446.18063.438086664207.12.60_0 from request_exit()
13/02/2014 23:51:37 | SETI@home | [task] Process for 11ap13ae.13446.18063.438086664207.12.60_0 exited, exit code 0, task state 8
13/02/2014 23:51:37 | SETI@home | [task] task_state=UNINITIALIZED for 11ap13ae.13446.18063.438086664207.12.60_0 from handle_exited_app
14/02/2014 00:47:10 | | Resuming GPU computation

And I have a lot of games and programs that'll stop BOINC. My list?
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Re-reading cc_config.xml
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Not using a proxy
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: use all coprocessors
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: event log limit disabled
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while BioShockInfinite.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while BurnoutParadise.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while Crysis.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while Crysis2.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while Crysis3.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while DarkAthena.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while DarkAthena_Launcher.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while DOOM3.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while DOOM3DED.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while dxhr.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while DXHRDC.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while dxhrml.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while EFLC.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while FarCry2.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while fc3_blooddragon.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while fc3_blooddragon_d3d11.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while fc3bd.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while FUEL.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while hl2.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while iw3sp.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while iw4sp.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while iw5sp.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while iw6sp64_ship.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while LaunchEFLC.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while Launcher.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while nexus.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while nexus_DX9.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while NFS11.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while NFS13.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while oblivion.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while OFDR.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while OperationFlashpoint.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while Rage.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while RedRiver.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while RedRiverLauncher.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while skyrim4gb.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while SkyrimLauncher.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while SpecOpsTheLine.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while t6sp.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't compute while TombRaider.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while TESV.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while FEAR.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while farcry3.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while FarCry.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while Bioshock.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while Bioshock2.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while DX2Main.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while dx2.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while GTAIV.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while MOHDW.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while HitmanBloodMoney.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while Hunted.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while Fallout3.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while HitmanContracts.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while hitman2.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while S2DNG.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while S2DNGEditor.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while HMA.exe is running
13/02/2014 21:36:22 | | Config: don't use GPUs while DXHRDC.exe is running

Now, unless you renamed GPU-Z explicitly to GPU-Z.0.7.6.exe, its actual name is just GPU-Z.exe

You can also add programs via BOINC Manager->Tools->Computing preferences->exclusive applications. You then have to point out the path, and the application, but at least that way you know it's spelled correctly and that you put the cc_config.xml file in the correct directory (the BOINC Data directory).
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Message 1477103 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014, 12:53:10 UTC - in response to Message 1476934.

Ageless is correct. When I searched the Internet for a video game named Dynomite, it revealed itself to be a Flash based game that runs within your web browser. So you're not going to be looking for a executable named "dynomite.exe". You basically would have to have the GPU stop crunching whenever Flash is running - which can be overbroad because if you have any web browser window with Flash advertisements open, you won't be crunching on the GPU.


My girlfriend complained about the same problem when playing Facebook games. My solution was to put in an exclude for the entire web browser and I told her to always close it when she's done.

Darrell Wilcox
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Message 1477111 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014, 13:22:57 UTC - in response to Message 1477090.

Yes, I DID rename GPU-Z to GPU-Z.0.7.6.exe. I like to know the versions of what I have without having to fire them up to check their "About".

I double checked the name of the game EXE, and it is Dynomite.exe as shown in the screen snip here:

I initially used the BOINC Manager->Tools->Computing preferences->exclusive applications as a means to stop BOINC, but when it failed, then I put entries in the cc_config.xml. Neither one worked for me.

Thanks for the ideas.
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Message 1477113 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014, 13:26:41 UTC - in response to Message 1477103.

I know what you are saying, and I know there is a version of Dynomite online. The version she has is loaded from a disc and is an EXE.

Right now I have her just "suspend" BOINC when she wants to play the game, and "resume" when she is done. This works OK except when she is tired and forgets to "resume" again.

Thanks for taking a look at it.
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Message 1477150 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014, 16:06:05 UTC - in response to Message 1477113.

Ah, I see. So after you added the exclusion into cc_config.xml, did you have BOINC restart or re-read cc_config so the changes would take effect?

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Message 1477219 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014, 18:06:18 UTC

Also do you have the "Activity" menu set to "Run based on preferences"?
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Message 1477223 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014, 18:09:21 UTC - in response to Message 1477219.

Also do you have the "Activity" menu set to "Run based on preferences"?

Yes, that's what I wanted to ask as well. Both for CPU and GPU preferences, for if they're set to Run Always, they'll ignore any <exclusive_app/> and <exclusive_gpu_app/> settings. (Just tested that with Notepad)
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Darrell Wilcox
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Message 1477402 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014, 1:03:30 UTC - in response to Message 1477219.
Last modified: 15 Feb 2014, 1:07:16 UTC

Ahhh! (gob smacks forehead). I have run SETI and BOINC for so many years non-stop I completely forgot about that! Yes! That was exactly what was needed.

Thanks so much to both you and Ageless for the help (and my wife will be happy, and SETI will get more science done, too).

Perhaps a small improvement suggestion for a developer: when the cc_config is (re)loaded, a single line that those parameters will not be honored because "Run always" is selected would help. Something simple in the log would have pointed me to the answer immediately.

Happy crunching y'all!

Edit: Also, when using the GUI, a message to the same effect when I added the "exclusive application" would have allowed me to correct the "Run always", too.
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Message 1477409 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014, 1:21:38 UTC - in response to Message 1477402.

But then us volunteer helpers are out of work. ;-)
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Questions and Answers : Windows : How do I get BOINC 7.2.33 or 7.2.39 to honor exclusive_app preference?

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