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SZTAKI-BOINC Installation

1.Operating System

A desktopgrid server requires a low cost server hardware and a configured operating system (Debian®) with BOINC installed. To make the install procedure a snap, we provide BOINC in a fine-tuned Debian® package.

The recommended hardware configuration up to 1000 connected PCs:

  • Processor: 1000 Mhz Intel® Pentium®
  • Hard disk: 60GB
  • Internet: 100Mbit/sec

Up to 100 PCs a virtual machine is also suitable.

The recommended hardware configuration over 1000 connected PCs:

  • Processor: 2000 Mhz Intel® Pentium®
  • Hard disk: 100GB
  • Internet: 100Mbit/sec

If you have the hardware prepared and it is connected to the internet, install the latest release of Debian. Assuming the server has a high-speed uplink to the internet, we recommend to install Debian® via the internet. Download the minimal CD set of Debian. Choose the i386 version from the official netinst images for the “stable” release. Burn the downloaded image on a CD and boot it up. Install the Debian® operating system by following the on screen instructions. If you may need any help with the install, please use this online manual or contact our laboratory. After the operating system has been installed it has to be set up for network usage. Also, please note that for most of the configuration tasks you will need root privileges. First insert the following in the /etc/hosts file. Change the IP address and the domain name of the second line in the example to the values of your own.        localhost.localdomain   localhost    boinc

The first line is the localhost address. It is same for everyone. The second line is the IP address and the domain of the server where the BOINC server package will be installed.

2.Install a mailing system

This is necessary for a public project, so users can recieve their registration details via email, but can be skipped for a local install. In the example below we demonstrate the installation of exim. Naturally, you can exchange this to any other mailing system available for the Debian® operating system.

$ apt-get install postfix

To configure the Postfix MTA (Mail Transfer Agent) please refer to the postfix man page.

3.Install the BOINC server

The BOINC server package can be installed using apt. Add the following line to the /etc/apt/sources.list file:

deb squeeze szdg


$ apt-get update

In case you receive a PGP error, run

$ apt-key advanced --keyserver --recv-keys 6A2165907B1AAC6F

Installing the BOINC server will require mysql. In case, you are using freshly installed os and no mysql has been deployed previously, please prepare yourself to have a mysql admin password. For this purpose, you can generate several (from which you can pick one) with the following command:

$ pwgen -s 10

Install the BOINC server:

$ apt-get install boinc-server

This will also install all of the dependencies of boinc (about 96 if using a freshly installed os), including the Apache web server and the MySQL database engine. Some 171 MB of data will be downloaded.

Create the file /root/.my.cnf with the following content:

user = root
password = <password>
user = root
password = <password>

4.Create a BOINC project

Now that you have a fully configured operating system, it is time to install the BOINC project on it. In the upcoming examples, we will use example names. Please, do not forget to change them to your own selection.

The project to be created will be named 'My Desktop Grid', so the short name of the project is 'mytestdg' and the full name of the project is 'My Test Desktop Grid'.

<WRAP important>

  • The project name cannot contain any special characters only English letters and numbers.
  • The project short name cannot be longer than 10 characters, since the generated database name for the project (“boinc_<shortname>”) must be no longer than 16 characters.


To ease installation, let us put them into environment variables:

$ myproject="mytestdg"
$ myprojectlong="My Test Desktop Grid"

A BOINC project can be created with the boinc_create_project command as root user. The files of the project will be hosted in the /var/lib/boinc directory.

$ boinc_create_project --name=$myproject --long-name="$myprojectlong"

The names of the project components will be automatically added based on the name you gave to your project:

  • The administrator user of the project will be named: “boinc-$myproject”
  • The database of the project will be named: “boinc_$myproject”
  • The password for the database will be located in: config.xml

As root user, you should grant project administrator permission to one or more local users. They will be able to switch to the main BOINC administrator user account and to access the project internals. Moreover, these local users will be able to access the project website's administrator interface with their username and a password which will be queried during the execution of the following command:

$ boinc_admin --NAME=$myproject --add <any local user>

Now, at this point the boinc project is successfully created and local users are associated to it as admins. From now on, these local users (boinc admins) can access to the boinc project in two ways:

1st possibility: Login to the “boinc-$myproject” user from their own account to access the files and database. For this purpose they can use the sudo command (do not forget to update the $myproject variable in the next command):

$ sudo su - boinc-$myproject

<WRAP important> Never edit the files of the project with the root user account! Whenever you must perform modifications on the project, please use the boinc-$myproject user for doing that! Login to that user from your own local user account by using sudo! </WRAP>

2nd possibility: Open the administrator web page of the project that is located at (do not forget to update the <hostname> and $myproject variables in the next url):

http://<host name>/$myproject_ops

From this point the project is installed and ready to run.

For starting your server use the command “start”, for stopping it use the “stop” command.

However, at this point your project is empty, there is no application registered. If you want to add a new application proceed with the following sections.

5.Deploying applications on a BOINC server

Deploying applications on the server are described in the relevant sections of application porting: Visit the following pages for a description of deployment:

manual/szdg.txt · Last modified: 2013/03/20 13:24 (external edit)