Setting up Linux to crunch CUDA90 and above for Windows users

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Stephen "Heretic" Crowdfunding Project Donor*Special Project $75 donorSpecial Project $250 donor
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Message 1872368 - Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 3:30:56 UTC - in response to Message 1860293.  
Last modified: 11 Jun 2017, 3:35:48 UTC

. . This is a repost

. . 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

(Edit) This was an omission in the first posting-

. . You will need this library for BOINC to work

. . libwxgtk2.8-0 which you can install with Synaptic Package manager



. . 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 1872383 - Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 6:20:35 UTC
Last modified: 11 Jun 2017, 6:23:52 UTC

Why pick the most complicated way of doing it?

You could do a bog-standard Debian install and get everything from the repos apart from the CUDA app. You get a more up to date BOINC client (7.6.33) which has improved CUDA detection and a more up to date CUDA driver (375.66). The only complex bit would be doing the app_info and apps into the project folder.
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Message 1872386 - Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 6:46:53 UTC - in response to Message 1872383.  

You could do a bog-standard Debian install and get everything from the repos apart from the CUDA app. You get a more up to date BOINC client (7.6.33) which has improved CUDA detection and a more up to date CUDA driver (375.66). The only complex bit would be doing the app_info and apps into the project folder.

Post the step by step guide here.
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Message 1872415 - Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 14:30:35 UTC - in response to Message 1872386.  
Last modified: 11 Jun 2017, 14:39:16 UTC

Post the step by step guide here.

Its on the second page of this thread. It can also be found here

It doesn't cover the copying app_info and apps to the project folder but if you need that part I sure I can knock up something. I normally use a USB thumb drive and just drag and drop the files using the gui.
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Message 1872419 - Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 14:45:37 UTC - in response to Message 1872383.  

Why pick the most complicated way of doing it?

You could do a bog-standard Debian install and get everything from the repos apart from the CUDA app. You get a more up to date BOINC client (7.6.33) which has improved CUDA detection and a more up to date CUDA driver (375.66). The only complex bit would be doing the app_info and apps into the project folder.


. . Which is precisely one of the reasons why TBar recommends using the Seti release of BOINC rather than the repository version. It allows you more control of the folder location/structure and easier access to the files. And that then necessitates the use of 14.04 rather a later release of Ubuntu. If you feel this is not correct then maybe you should discuss that with TBar. But since both he and Petri who wrote this app are using 14.04 I see no reason to question them. And for what it is worth, I still have access to the later nvidia drivers ... I am happily running with 375.39.

. . If it works don't fix it ... but whatever floats your boat.

Stephen

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Message 1872443 - Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 16:47:01 UTC

The reason for the using an older version is that they already had it available - newer versions, and other distributions are easier to install and manage - I can get a completely bare machine from cold to processing SETI@Home using Linux Mint 18 inside 30 minutes, with no fancy worries about how the disk is partitioned or anything like that. Just stick the USB stick in, boot, install, set a "sensible" computer name, user name, use the built in tools to select the nVidia driver rather than the default driver, (reboot, but this may not really be necessary) get BOINC from the repository and then select SETI and a backup project. The computer is now running "stock" applications.

Now for the Petri/TBar special application. Suspend all BOINC processing, copy the special application and the configuration files from another USB stick - do not forget to set the "execute" bit. Do a reboot (Linux boots so fast...). Resume processing, up and running with the Petri/TBar special app.

One command line that is useful for a Mint 18 installation:
sudo chmod -R 777 \var\lib\boinc-client
Sometimes this has to be done before you can copy the files from the second USB stick, sometime not - I do it just to make sure!
It is essential after copying the files from the second USB stick as the execute bit is unset as a security measure.

As I said, 30 minutes from a "virgin" hard disk to a functioning cruncher. Longest time with a brand new disk is the automatic partitioning and formatting - but Linux appears to do much of that as other things are happening.
I suppose I do cheat a little, I have a USB stick with the required files on it ready, and with "auto-tune" on the latest version of the special app there is very, very little to do in terms of the configuration and tuning files. My second USB stick has:
The two CUDA 8 files - the download location has been posted earlier in this thread.
The application - again the download location has been posted earlier in this thread.
The configuration files - yet again working examples have been shown by TBar in this thread.
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Message 1872447 - Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 17:25:51 UTC - in response to Message 1872443.  

...newer versions, and other distributions are easier to install and manage..
I'd like someone to explain to me how using a newer version of Linux is easier to install and manage than the 14.04.5 version. To me there isn't any difference, I dunno, maybe I'm missing something.
The main advantage to using 14.04.5 is you can run BOINC from your User folder, everything related to BOINC is in that ONE folder, and DOESN'T require any special permissions to access. The Repository version scatters parts of BOINC throughout the System folder, Requires Root permissions to change any files or even access folders, and is generally a Nightmare to a first time User. Any of you want to recite the first time you used Linux and tried to Find the setiathome.berkeley.edu folder, let alone change the files in it.
Another advantage to using BOINC in your Home folder is you can install a fresh copy of your system and the BOINC folder is untouched. That makes it real easily to just copy the BOINC folder to some other disk, wipe whatever you wish, then copy the untouched BOINC folder back. If you use a separate partition for your Home folder it's even easier, you don't have to change a thing as you can wipe and reinstall the System partition without touching the Home partition. Try that with the Repository version of BOINC.
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Message 1872449 - Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 18:04:24 UTC

Already tried - and it reinstalled without any problems (Mint 18).
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Message 1872454 - Posted: 11 Jun 2017, 18:31:21 UTC - in response to Message 1872449.  

Would you care to explain what you did to get BOINC working again on a fresh reinstall?
All I did was boot to the USB stick, select the Home partition without formatting, select the System partition to be reformatted, and the Swap partition. After the clean install the Home partition with the BOINC folder was exactly the way it was before the Clean install. I did have to install the One BOINC dependency back in the new System folder, and the Repository GPU driver.
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Message 1872517 - Posted: 12 Jun 2017, 0:19:14 UTC

We don't tend to reinstall very often. For what Tbar, Petri and Jason do it would make sense but for the average to slightly advanced users we want to install it and have it run. There is the occasional app update to take care of but that is pretty much it. I take the KISS principle, if I can get most of the bits from a repo then that's one less thing for me to stuff up.

I've switched my entire farm from Windows to Linux apart from a daily driver laptop. A process that is repeatable and reliable is the way to go. If I got a new machine today I could have it up and running in say an hour with exactly the same setup as all the others apart from hardware differences.
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Message 1872519 - Posted: 12 Jun 2017, 0:39:42 UTC - in response to Message 1872443.  

The reason for the using an older version is that they already had it available - newer versions, and other distributions are easier to install and manage - I can get a completely bare machine from cold to processing SETI@Home using Linux Mint 18 inside 30 minutes, with no fancy worries about how the disk is partitioned or anything like that.
One command line that is useful for a Mint 18 installation:
sudo chmod -R 777 \var\lib\boinc-client


. . Nope the reason for using the older version is to be able to run the Seti version of BOINC, while your method necessitates using the repository version. The Seti version lets you install the BOINC projects files where you want, the repository version will not. But your little tweak can probably overcome the shortcomings of that to some degree. So like I said, whatever floats your boat.

Stephen

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Message 1872522 - Posted: 12 Jun 2017, 0:53:18 UTC - in response to Message 1872517.  
Last modified: 12 Jun 2017, 0:55:15 UTC

We don't tend to reinstall very often.

. .Hopefully not. :)

For what Tbar, Petri and Jason do it would make sense but for the average to slightly advanced users we want to install it and have it run.

. . But the purpose of this thread is not for the "slightly advanced" or average Linux user, it is for people who are Windows users and like me find Linux befuddling, but who want to do as you have done and convert one or more rigs to Linux to be able to access CUDA80 with Petri's app.

. . For that reason it is a high priority to keep the BOINC/Seti files together in an easily accessible place because that is what we Windows users are accustomed to. Hence the Home folder where we can see and have control of them, WITHOUT having to become Linux gurus who can negotiate the minefield of linux folder structures and ownership/permission issues.

. . This was not started for people who are already comfortable working in a Linux environment. And as TBar said, there would be very little increase in ease of installation by going to your process.

Stephen

??
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Message 1872524 - Posted: 12 Jun 2017, 1:10:06 UTC - in response to Message 1872517.  

So, what's the difference if the USB stick has 14.04.5 or 17.04 on it? The install is the same. The only difference is with one you can effortlessly open the BOINC folder, make any changes you wish and have it work without jumping thru any additional hoops. It certainly falls into the KISS category in my book. Downloading BOINC from Berkeley is kinda hard to stuff up...for most people, https://boinc.berkeley.edu/dl/boinc_7.2.42_x86_64-pc-linux-gnu.sh
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Message 1873278 - Posted: 16 Jun 2017, 8:08:46 UTC

thoughts

Trying a dual boot...got secure boot error: goto UEFI to advanced BOOT Secure Boot choose other OS...yes ms insidious

Get GPM general purpose mouse, allows copy lm highlight, copy mm klik...even across app windows, and......on command line yes like real UNIX

Last: know all UNIX read all SOLARIS HPUX IRIX Darwin/BSD Chuckles
has a manual for all command line ditties. Even a manual for ...man man

for all those cl and their arguments: ls cd mkdir chown chmod

and even rm

noted in another thread, not too far away, rm in context with recursive and Recursive along with wild card.......um

Optimization maybe, certainly regarding minimalizing power draw.

UNIX is black and white, like a magpie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acR9cz8ZOKw&index=11&list=RDrFZc4ax4tJs

listen
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Message 1874622 - Posted: 23 Jun 2017, 11:12:11 UTC

. . Hi people,

. . OK, I make really rubbish notes. On the new box I have set up Linux as per my notes, including now the library I had originally missed.
After adding that I actually got BOINC to work but I put it aside because I had some other things to do (one being some testing in Beta). Now when I have come back to it to complete the conversion it no longer works. I can get the manager to run but it does not see the client which is apparently not running. So what might I have done wrong this time?? :(

Stephen

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Message 1874625 - Posted: 23 Jun 2017, 11:37:52 UTC - in response to Message 1874622.  

Well then, throw your notes in the trash, erase the disk and start over.

You can't make instructions if what your doing doesn't work, can you?
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Message 1874658 - Posted: 23 Jun 2017, 15:07:16 UTC - in response to Message 1874625.  

Well then, throw your notes in the trash, erase the disk and start over.

You can't make instructions if what your doing doesn't work, can you?


. . Hi Brent,

. . If you find out why it didn't work and correct it you can ...

. . With Linux everytime there is something different, some problem I didn't have on the previous effort. :(

Stephen

:(
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Message 1874689 - Posted: 23 Jun 2017, 17:46:09 UTC - in response to Message 1874658.  
Last modified: 23 Jun 2017, 17:48:21 UTC

When something doesn't run it's usually caused by a missing dependency or permission setting. Is this machine the one that had the BOINC folder in Downloads?
Move the downloaded boinc_7.2.42....sh file to your Home folder next to your Current BOINC folder and run the .sh file again so it updates your BOINC folder.
Check the following files for Execute bits and Dependencies;
boinc
boinccmd
boincmgr
boincscr
Install any missing Dependencies using the Package Manager.
That's All it should take to get it running. Double click boincmgr to run it.
If it doesn't work, open a Terminal, cd to the BOINC folder, and run each App from the Terminal and note the remarks.
./boincmgr
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Message 1874690 - Posted: 23 Jun 2017, 17:46:28 UTC - in response to Message 1874658.  

. . With Linux everytime there is something different, some problem I didn't have on the previous effort. :(

Stephen

:(
Ain't that the truth. After having fewer than usual PITA moments setting up my first two Linux boxes this time around (this being my 5th foray into the funhouse that is Linux World), I thought I was well prepared for the third box. Wrong!

The install, whether from CD or USB, keep hanging and, figuring it might have to do with which of the 4 GPUs (two GTX 750Tis, a GTX 960, and a GTX 660) the monitor was connected to, tried repeatedly switching BIOS settings and cable connections. Finally got it to boot with, I think, the GTX 660 with the USB stick). Thinking all was finally good, I installed most of the other stuff (including the NVIDIA driver), swapped out the 660 for another 750 Ti, applied the Coolbits tweak..........and then got hosed by Linux.

My screen resolution got switched to, and locked into, 640 x 480, with most windows needing more real estate than that and no way to move them around once the title bar was off the screen. (I eventually learned that holding down the Alt key while pressing the left mouse button allowed me to move windows from anywhere in the window.) Swapping monitors didn't help.

I then found a fix for the resolution problem, involving adding some lines to the xconfig.conf file, but that was only for a single GPU and applying Coolbits again threw away that fix. I tried manually editing the xconfig.conf to apply the fix for all 4 GPUs and keep Coolbits, but then I couldn't get into Linux anymore on the reboot. Trying to boot to a command line to fix whatever I broke in xconfig.conf was useless, because it kept telling me that the file system was read-only.

Deciding to start over and reinstall Linux, I kept running into the same issues as the first go-round, with the screen hanging when it got to the "UBUNTU" logo with the 5 little dots under it. It didn't matter which GPU I was using for the boot, whether I had all the other GPUs disabled in the BIOS, or whether I was using the Live CD or the USB stick. EVENTUALLY (there's that word, again), I found a tip about a hidden menu that could be accessed when the Live CD didn't seem to like your GPU, allowing a "nomodeset" option to be selected.

It took several more attempts at editing the xconfig.conf file, and a couple more "from scratch" installs, before I finally got Coolbits to play nice with an acceptable screen resolution. Since I was unwilling to spend more than about an hour a day enduring the frustration of Linux gotchas, it took me over a week and a half to finally get it functioning on that box.

Of course, when I then got around to taking the final step last evening, installing BOINC and S@h, the only tasks I could get in the hour before I went to bed, were a couple APs and a half dozen Arecibo VLARs. No MBs for the latest Special App! So, I switched back to Windows and hit the sack. Now, I'm about to go switch back and see if the scheduler has nice things to send this morning.
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Message 1874692 - Posted: 23 Jun 2017, 17:59:25 UTC - in response to Message 1874690.  

When you start swapping GPUs you may have problems. On a First Install it's best to only have One GPU in the main slot where you intend to keep it. After you get it installed and running then you can start adding GPUs. That's the best way, other ways may work, but you might have problems.
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Message boards : Number crunching : Setting up Linux to crunch CUDA90 and above for Windows users


 
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