Setting up a Linux machine to crunch CUDA80 for Windows users

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Stephen "Heretic"Project Donor
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Message 1860055 - Posted: 7 Apr 2017, 13:37:59 UTC

                                                          H E L L O!

                          As a Linux novice it has been kind of a painful journey and I have strained some friendships
                         but I now have two crunchers running Linux and working OK with Petri and TBar's CUDA80 
                         Special Sauce.  The results speak for themselves.  So I thought it might be helpful for other 
                         Windows users who are inexperienced with Linux to have a discussion thread about crossing 
                         the OS barriers.

                         I will try to condense some of the good oil provided by the gurus into a quicky guide to
                         getting set up.

                        Hopefully this will avoid future flooding of the Linux app thread with "dumb" questions as I 
                        have done up till now.  Maybe that will alleviate some of the aggravation I have caused during 
                        the process.

                         Any questions are welcome, though I will probably not know the answers to most of them, 
                        but we can try and find out together.

                         Stephen   :)
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Profile Keith Myers
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Message 1860131 - Posted: 7 Apr 2017, 16:56:48 UTC - in response to Message 1860055.  

A very good idea Stephen to dedicate the topic to its own thread. I will be a subscriber.
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Message 1860137 - Posted: 7 Apr 2017, 17:06:07 UTC

OK, first Question : how much does the use of an linux cruncher under windows speed up the WU´s vs. the normal Windows Client ?
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Profile Brent Norman
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Message 1860159 - Posted: 7 Apr 2017, 18:04:16 UTC - in response to Message 1860137.  

For my 750Ti's I see 35-40% increase over the SoG app (even more vs cuda5), but I only see 2 cards you have that would see that, the 750 and 780Ti. The cuda8 code requires (I believe) compute capacity 3.2 or greater.

For other apps (i.e. CPU) it would be very similar.
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Stephen "Heretic"Project Donor
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Message 1860183 - Posted: 7 Apr 2017, 21:10:19 UTC - in response to Message 1860137.  
Last modified: 7 Apr 2017, 21:26:59 UTC

OK, first Question : how much does the use of an linux cruncher under windows speed up the WU´s vs. the normal Windows Client ?


. . It isn't the use of Linux itself but the access to the CUDA80 Special app developed by Petri and TBar.

. . I would feel confident to almost guarantee a 50% increase in your crunching output as long as you have a suitable GPU/s.

. . Using SoG under windows my Core2 Duo with a GTX1050ti GPU was achieving a RAC of approx 13,000. So far with Linux and CUDA80 it is now over 20,000 and still climbing {despite several prolonged and severe outages during this period}. Though RAC is at best a bit of a guessing stick, over time when it stabilises it can give a rough basis for comparison.

. . But your question has just made me realise I have made a blunder in the title of this thread, it is misleading. It should say for those willing to change to Linux. By trying to keep it short I failed to make that clear. I wonder if I can change the title???

. . In the spirit of trying to help you I can point out that you can maintain your Windows machine as a windows machine and simply do a dual boot, or as I have done, simply set up Linux to run from a Flashdrive as an independent system, allowing me to return to Windows by simply powering down, removing the Linux flashdrive and rebooting.

. . And as Brent has pointed out, the CUDA 80 app is only for nVidia GPUs and only for those which have a Compute Capability of 3.2 or higher. CPU crunching still uses older CPU based apps. But an unexpected bonus I found was that by using Linux there is an SSSE3.0 app for the CPU which, on this Core2 Duo, is achieving approximately a 20% improvement over the SSE3.0 app currently available in Lunatics for Windows. That is, WUs previously taking 2.5 hours are now only taking 2.0 hours.

Stephen

:)
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Message 1860205 - Posted: 7 Apr 2017, 23:38:24 UTC - in response to Message 1860183.  

I would love to see a guide for Linux. I've been thinking about converting one of my boxes to Linux and this would be extremely helpful!

Cheers
Mark
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Message 1860293 - Posted: 8 Apr 2017, 8:29:08 UTC - in response to Message 1860205.  
Last modified: 8 Apr 2017, 8:33:20 UTC

I would love to see a guide for Linux. I've been thinking about converting one of my boxes to Linux and this would be extremely helpful!

Cheers
Mark


. . I am far from an expert but I can pass on the recommendations I received and that are working for me.

. . TBar recommends this build of Linux for running BOINC -

Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS. The image file is ubuntu -14.04.5-desktop-amd64.iso. It is readily available for download from many sources and a 32 bit version is also freely available if you need to go that way.

. . For BOINC he recommends this version as opposed to the one in the Linux Software repository. Having accidentally used the other one I have to agree with his recommendation. This one allows you to install BOINC into /home/<username>/BOINC where you can work with it freely while the other version installs under identity ROOT in /var/lib/boinc-client and creates hassles with access and permissions. That is best avoided.

boinc_7.2.42_x86_64-pc-linux-gnu.sh

. . He has a link to the BOINC version in his thread, I will see if I can copy it to here.


. . Here is his link to the CUDA60/80 Special app:-

http://www.arkayn.us/forum/index.php?topic=197.msg4499#msg4499

. . Petri posted this message about setting Linux up using a flashdrive

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=80636&postid=1843484

. . Or this reference. I used Rufus and it worked fine for me with the 14.10.5 .iso file. It runs under Windows and the flashdrive booted and installed AOK on my Core2 Duo and even on my Pentium-D, despite it not having a 'boot from USB' option in its BIOS setup. And it installs perfectly to another flash drive which boots AOK if you want to test the waters as I did, keeping Linux at arms length so to speak.

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/forum_thread.php?id=80636&postid=1853407

. . Once Linux is running there are some 'must haves' you should install as well.

1) The right nVidia drivers e.g NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-375.39.run
2) Two libraries, libcudart.so.8.0 and libcufft.so.8.0

also, from the Linux repository

3) Synaptic Package manager (would probably be best to install this as a top priority, it will help you get the above library files installed and things get easier after that).
4) 7Zip archiver
5) Ubuntu restricted extras

and you might also find these useful

6) GParted - a partition editor.
7) VLC media player
8) gkrellm
9) psensors

. . Linux install looks for all sorts of partitions when installing and that confused me a bit, but you really only need two (2). One main partition mounted as ROOT (/) and a smaller partition mounted as Swap Space. You can then point the Boot partition to the ROOT main partition. Linux will then create all the file structure it needs under the root directory. As I said, I did this on a second flashdrive and it is working quite well. When creating your partitions the default format is EXT4 and that will probably serve you best, certainly as a cruncher.

. . Updating the video drivers is a bit of a rigmarole but it was spelled out for me nicely as follows :-

i) Make sure the execute permission is set for the video driver install file. Open the file utility, find the file and right click on it, select properties and then the second tab. Down the bottom is a tick box to make the file executable.
ii) Use Ctrl-Alt-F1 to enter terminal mode. This will open a full screen terminal window and you will need to log in with your pasword. Linux does this for just about everything :)
iii) Stop the video server - 'sudo stop lightdm'
iv) Purge the existing drivers - 'sudo apt-get purge nvidia *'
v) Run cleanup - 'sudo apt-get autoremove'
vi) Run the new installer - 'sudo ./NVIDIA-Linux-x86_64-375.39.run'
. . . './' is command line syntax that tells Linux to look for the file in the current directory so you will need to start from the folder where the video driver file is located. This will take quite a while so sit back and wait for it to give a completed response.
vii) Reboot - a reboot is required to complete the process and return to Linux 'sudo reboot'

. . If there is anything more you need to know I am sure the question will come up :)

Stephen

:)
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Message 1860336 - Posted: 8 Apr 2017, 14:36:49 UTC - in response to Message 1860293.  

I can’t thank you enough Stephen. Your information is going to save me many hours!

Cheers
Mark
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Stephen "Heretic"Project Donor
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Message 1860366 - Posted: 8 Apr 2017, 15:56:59 UTC - in response to Message 1860336.  
Last modified: 8 Apr 2017, 16:06:31 UTC

I can’t thank you enough Stephen. Your information is going to save me many hours!

Cheers
Mark


. . I hope it all comes together smoothly for you, happy crunching. If you are going to install onto a Flashdrive I suggest you would need at least 16GB or bigger and either a fairly fast USB2.0 unit or a decent USB3.0 drive. I am using 16GB Sandisk USB3.0 drives for my two rigs.

Stephen

:)
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Message 1860367 - Posted: 8 Apr 2017, 15:57:35 UTC
Last modified: 8 Apr 2017, 16:10:11 UTC

. . I have changed the thread title to hopefully avoid further misunderstandings about the purpose of this thread. It is about setting up a Linux box, not running a virtual Linux box under windows.

. . Many thanks to Siran for the tip.

Stephen

<shrug>
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Message 1860508 - Posted: 9 Apr 2017, 8:14:15 UTC

thank you Stephen ! My Linux project is on standby for now but I will come back here for sure. Cheers
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Message 1860515 - Posted: 9 Apr 2017, 8:59:47 UTC

A couple of things to add to Stephens list:
First, don't try to be too clever - most modern Linux distros come with the tools needed to set up a working Linux computer from a CD, some (e.g. Mint) will allow you to build a bootable USB stick directly from the download site from which the installation can be performed. Using these tools with their default options there is no need to worry about how the disk is partitioned, only are you going to "dual boot", or "single boot" - the former allows you to keep all you windows stuff, and the latter you loose the lot and start again fresh. Obviously think about this before you start!
Linux is much less resource intense than Windows, and will install and run from a 8GB USB stick! (It might even work from a smaller one, but I didn't have one to hand). I tried this before doing a "real" installation on the hard disk of one of my computers "just to see".
Installation time is very rapid - I can do one in about 30 minutes from a cold PC to one that is running BOINC & SETI with only a couple of decisions and attacks on the keyboard needed.
Big warning - Linux is very capable of giving you a serious bite if you try to be too clever without enough understanding of how it works, simple is best! Partitions can be left at default to start with as the installers generally have a good working set in their scripts.
Bob Smith
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Stephen "Heretic"Project Donor
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Message 1860545 - Posted: 9 Apr 2017, 13:19:13 UTC - in response to Message 1860515.  
Last modified: 9 Apr 2017, 13:41:20 UTC

A couple of things to add to Stephens list:
First, don't try to be too clever - most modern Linux distros come with the tools needed to set up a working Linux computer from a CD, some (e.g. Mint) will allow you to build a bootable USB stick directly from the download site from which the installation can be performed. Using these tools with their default options there is no need to worry about how the disk is partitioned, only are you going to "dual boot", or "single boot" - the former allows you to keep all you windows stuff, and the latter you loose the lot and start again fresh. Obviously think about this before you start!
Linux is much less resource intense than Windows, and will install and run from a 8GB USB stick! (It might even work from a smaller one, but I didn't have one to hand). I tried this before doing a "real" installation on the hard disk of one of my computers "just to see".
Installation time is very rapid - I can do one in about 30 minutes from a cold PC to one that is running BOINC & SETI with only a couple of decisions and attacks on the keyboard needed.
Big warning - Linux is very capable of giving you a serious bite if you try to be too clever without enough understanding of how it works, simple is best! Partitions can be left at default to start with as the installers generally have a good working set in their scripts.


. . The boot/install "disk" will work just fine with a flashdrive as small as 2GB with the right distro, I have done that. Even Ubuntu 14.04.5, the poison I was recommended, installed from one that size. Later distros would probably need a 4GB, that was what I used with Mint 18 because the distros are bigger than 2GB (or very close to it). But if performing the install to another flashdrive as I also did, even 14.04 spat the dummy at 8GB, but its working AOK on both of the 16GB units running my two (2) rigs. So with the relatively low costs for 16/32GB flashdrives why be stingy? :)

. . The distros I listed were those recommended by TBar and others for use with CUDA80. I didn't question their reasons though I am curious as to why. But I was advised there might be problems getting CUDA80 working with later revisions, so I took their advice and went along.

. . If you are looking for the Linux BOINC distro it is available on the Seti site, and I think that was the link that TBar posted. I have unfortunately not been able to find that post in the very many messages now in that thread. So here is fresh one.

http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download_all.php

Stephen
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Message 1860547 - Posted: 9 Apr 2017, 13:43:17 UTC

After a break I'm back to the project for a week or so and I have a question: I'm currently running the Cuda 6 app on my GTX 750. Is it worth upgrading to to the CUDA 8 one for this card?
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Message 1860560 - Posted: 9 Apr 2017, 14:24:08 UTC - in response to Message 1860547.  

After a break I'm back to the project for a week or so and I have a question: I'm currently running the Cuda 6 app on my GTX 750. Is it worth upgrading to to the CUDA 8 one for this card?


. . You are very, very sneaky (see the movie Mr Deeds). I would have said yes definiely for that card, but since you are already running the special sauce there is nothing to upgrade, except maybe change your unroll value from 2 to 4 as the GT 750 has 4 compute units. I am not sure how much difference it might make but I believe it will be big enough that you will notice it.

Stephen

.
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Message 1860568 - Posted: 9 Apr 2017, 14:44:28 UTC

Stephen, unfortunately I can't run unroll 4, I guess it's because my card has just 1 Gig VRAM.
But I don't really get why you say there's nothing to upgrade? Isn't there any difference between the Cuda 6 and Cuda 8 apps?
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Message 1860573 - Posted: 9 Apr 2017, 15:10:54 UTC

Hi,
there are some changes in the code and pulse finding may run faster with cuda80. There may be problems with some kind of tasks (guppi vlar immediate overflow etc.).
All you have to do is test. Be prepared to revert back to the version you use now.

executable in zip format : https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9PYeBxtfMjaT2hVMEQwbGJieG8
Libraries : https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9PYeBxtfMjaWC14YTNxRThCUWc and https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B9PYeBxtfMjaZXlXNjcydU05eW8

Test first off line with Lunatics Linux benchmark.

Settings:
exename -pfb 8 -pfp N -unroll M
For 1 Mb VRAM you could use N 4 or 8 and M 2

I use exename -pfb 64 -unroll autotune
To overcome Heisenbergs:
"You can't always get what you want / but if you try sometimes you just might find / you get what you need." -- Rolling Stones
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Message 1860583 - Posted: 9 Apr 2017, 15:34:18 UTC
Last modified: 9 Apr 2017, 15:35:48 UTC

Thank you petri!
I will test it as soon as I find time for this.
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Message 1860653 - Posted: 9 Apr 2017, 23:51:53 UTC - in response to Message 1860568.  
Last modified: 10 Apr 2017, 0:00:58 UTC

Stephen, unfortunately I can't run unroll 4, I guess it's because my card has just 1 Gig VRAM.
But I don't really get why you say there's nothing to upgrade? Isn't there any difference between the Cuda 6 and Cuda 8 apps?


. . Sorry, I hadn't considered that a GTX750 might only have 1Gb ram, bummer about that.

. . I was going to say there is only a variance in terminology. But Petri has pointed out there is a later version than you are running, or I for that matter.

Stephen

<shrug>
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Message 1860771 - Posted: 10 Apr 2017, 17:40:24 UTC - in response to Message 1860653.  

No problem Stephen, thx for your help!
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Message boards : Number crunching : Setting up a Linux machine to crunch CUDA80 for Windows users


 
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