05 November 2017

5th of November

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Three running Asteroids, the rest off

Nvidia GPUs
All four running Asteroids CPU work

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP work


Asteroids work
Why asteroids? They have the lowest credits of the projects I crunch so I am trying to get them up to 50M. Currently I have 44M credits for Asteroids.

They ran out of work during the week so I had a couple of the Nvidia GPU machines doing Einstein work. Asteroids then put up 800,000 work units so I had to finish off the Einstein work and 12 hours later they started on Asteroids. I had the other two Ryzen’s going as soon as the work units showed up. Unfortunately the Asteroids CUDA 5.5 app isn’t compatible with the CUDA 9 driver under Debian so I can’t use the GPUs.

With just the Ryzen’s going thats 64 work units in flight, but wait there are also three i7’s doing their bit as well so another 24 work units being computed. What about the other i7’s I hear you ask. Well two have been detached from Asteroids in an attempt to get the server to give them the avx app. The other three are off so I don’t overload the power circuit.


Rpi Case
I did visit the 3D printing studio during the week with my design for a Raspberry Pi case. I should get the CAD drawings this week. I expect I will need to adjust things before asking them to print the case. Hopefully it won’t take too long to finalise and I will be able to share some images of the prototype. I am already considering some design changes.

29 October 2017

29th of October

Farm status
Intel GPUs
Have been running Asteroids and Einstein work overnight.

Nvidia GPUs
Had a burst of Einstein work overnight for 2 nights.

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work.


Other news
As you can see from the Farm status I am running overnight as its too hot during the day. I was running Asteroids work until they ran out of work units. No GPU work running due to the heat. The Pi’s seem largely immune to overheating provided there is airflow over their heatsink.

I found my hand drawn Pi case plans so will take some time off work this week to see if I can get them drawn up to enable 3D printing.

22 October 2017

Rpi Bramble

Farm Status
Intel GPUs
Running Einstein gravity wave work overnight

Nvidia GPUs
Running Seti work overnight

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work


Rpi Bramble
The Pi farm or bramble as the Pi users call them, consists of 11 Raspberry Pi 3B’s. One acts as a support node for the others and has a PiDrive connected. The other 10 are compute nodes. The support node runs a proxy server and as a time server.

Five of the compute nodes have had my fan modification done to them where I cut a hole in the top of the official Pi case and mount a 40mm fan. The GPIO pins provide the power for the fan. The other five sit in front of a desk fan with their top off in order to get air flow. All have copper heatsinks on the SoC. For details see “Mod my Pi Case” http://markjatboinc.blogspot.com.au/2016/04/mod-my-pi-case.html

I have two 5 port USB chargers providing power. I only use 4 ports as the charger reduces the current when all 5 ports are used at the same time. They are Astrotek USB smart charger model AT-UPS-008 or 008B. I had to buy the USB cables so I got the sort with an on/off switch from eBay. The remainder use the official Raspberry Pi foundation power brick.

Networking is provided by a Netgear 24 port switch plugged into a domestic ADSL WiFi router. I use the 100Mbit ethernet and disable WiFi and Bluetooth on the Pi’s.

RAC (recent average credit) is around 5100 for them running Einstein BRP4 work, so a bit over 500 for each compute node. I use BOINCtasks on a windows PC to monitor the farm and control the BOINC client on the compute nodes.


21 October 2017

Copying BOINC data folder on Debian

After the question arose on the Seti message boards I thought I would post the process I used to upgrade all my Intel iGPU machines from Debian Jessie to Debian Stretch. For each one of them I did the following process to copy the BOINC data folder and put it back when done.

I'm running Debian so it should work for other distributions that are based on Debian (such as Ubuntu). This assumes you've used the repo version of BOINC. If there is also a BOINC version upgrade happening then you should be careful about point 12 below.

1. Set BOINC to no new tasks. I usually let it complete any tasks in progress.

2. Login as root

3. Stop BOINC - in a terminal window type "service boinc-client stop" without the quotes

4. Insert empty thumb drive into a USB port. This brings up a window on the desktop showing the contents.

5. Using the GUI copy the contents of /var/lib/boinc-client to the thumb drive. I click on the computer icon, navigate to the folder, click on a single file, Ctrl-A to select all files and drag it over to the thumb drive window. Just like Windows.

6. It complains about can’t copy sym linked files so navigate to /etc/boinc-client select all the files (there are usually four) and drag and drop them on the thumb drive window as well.

7. Install new OS

8. Login as root and install repo version of BOINC.

9. Stop BOINC.

10. Insert thumb drive again

11. Using the GUI copy the files back to /var/lib/boinc-client

12. Copy the /etc/boinc-client files back separately using the GUI. They are sym linked from /var/lib/boinc-client. They get put there by the repo install so overwrite them with your version from the thumb drive. I just drag and drop them one at a time.

13. In a terminal window cd to /var/lib/boinc-client and change permissions back to user boinc (type "chown boinc:boinc * -R").

14. Start it up (in a terminal window type “service boinc-client start”) and it resumes from where it left off.

For a new version of BOINC all I do is install it by login as root, start a terminal session and type "apt update" followed by "apt upgrade". It will stop BOINC, install the new version and start it up again. You can even do it via ssh (remote login) if you want.