Run BOINC as root?

Questions and Answers : Macintosh : Run BOINC as root?
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Message 2023300 - Posted: 16 Dec 2019, 4:55:58 UTC
Last modified: 16 Dec 2019, 4:56:53 UTC

I recently passed 20 years as a SETI @ Home contributor. For the past several years, i had an old iMac which I was using as a second display to my primary iMac using target display mode. I was able to have BOINC running on the “target display” machine, and so 100% of the machine’s processing power got to go toward processing BOINC jobs.

Recently, a power surge zapped the logic board on the “display” machine, and I decided to buy a new machine and relegate my 2012 iMac to becoming the new “target display.” As before, I’d like to have that “display” machine running BOINC. But something has changed: the 2012 iMac won’t enter “target display mode” unless all users are logged out. Once I’ve logged out, it “target displays” just fine, but there are no applications running, including BOINC. So my computer is sitting there just acting as a dumb monitor when I’d like it to be making a contribution and using its computing power. (With my now-dead 2010 iMac as the target display, I was able to enter target display mode while logged in, but when I try that on the 2012 iMac, I just get a black screen, unless I log out first.)

Which brings me to my question... is there a way to install BOINC as a root process, so that it runs even when no user is logged in? If so, how would I do that? How would it work? I am not a Unix expert but can use terminal if I know what to type. Is this something easy or difficult?

I thought I remembered, in the past, that it was possible to install BOINC for “all users” and that perhaps that meant it would run even when logged out, but I don’t remember where I saw that.
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Questions and Answers : Macintosh : Run BOINC as root?

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