Use the idle time on your computer to cure diseases, study global warming, discover pulsars, and do many other types of scientific research. As a "quasi-supercomputing" platform, BOINC has about 570,000 active computers (hosts) worldwide processing on average 2 petaFLOPS as of July 2009, which tops the processing power of the current fastest supercomputer system (IBM Roadrunner, with a sustained processing rate of 1.026 PFLOPS). It's safe, secure, and easy:

Installing BOINC

You can install BOINC from the Terminal by issuing the following commands.

The instructions below have been tried successfully with Ubuntu 9.04 (Jaunty Jackelope), 8.10 (Intrepid Ibex), and 8.04 (Hardy Heron). They should work also work with Ubuntu 7.10 (Gutsy Gibbon).

sudo apt-get install boinc-client boinc-manager

Note: On my machine, running 9.04, this command also installed libwxbase2.8-0 and libwxgtk2.8-0

After the installation is finished, the daemon is started automatically. You can then start the BOINC Manager from the pull-down menu Applications -> System Tools -> BOINC Manager. The first time you do this you will be prompted to attach to one or more BOINC projects (see Attach to a BOINC Manager).

After the installation is finished the daemon is configured to start up automatically every time the computer is turned on. You can temporarily disable or re-enable this by modifying a setting in the file /etc/default/boinc-client:

# Set this to 1 to enable and to 0 to disable the init script.

Attach To A Boinc Project

When you run BOINC Manager for the first time you will be greeted by the Attach to Project dialogue.

Click NEXT button

Note: On some Ubuntu 10.10 systems, notably 64-bit ones, clicking NEXT causes the BOINC Manager script to crash ---it shuts down without even an error message.

The Choose a Project dialog will come up. This has a list of some of the projects you can participate in as well as a Project URL field where you will put the address of the project you want to participate in.

To join a project in the list, click on the project name and the projects URL will appear in the Project URL Field. To join a project not on the list you will need the projects URL. Here is a more comprehensive list of projects.

After entering the URL click ENTER

Next is the User Information dialog. Before connecting to a project you must register with that project. If you have already registered with the project you selected in the previous dialog select 'Yes, existing user'. If you have not registered a Username and Password with the project select 'No, new user'.

If you selected 'Yes, existing user', you will be prompted for the Username and Password you have attached to that project. If you selected 'No, new user' you will need to enter your Email and a password.

Click the NEXT button.

If everything is successful, you will be presented with the successful project attach screen. Click the FINISH button.

Installing boinc-client on ubuntu server (no GUI)

This procedure has been tested on ubuntu 10.10 server 64 bit, after a long series of failed attempts.

If you are running 64 bit Linux and 64 bit BOINC then you might have a problem with projects that issue 32 bit applications rather than 64 bit applications. To allow 32 bit applications to run on 64 bit Linux you must install 32 bit versions of certain shared libraries (as explained here)

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs libstdc++6 freeglut3

Then install main client:

sudo apt-get install boinc-client

Preferably reboot, otherwise restart boinc-client

sudo /etc/init.d/boinc-client restart

Then add your project(s) using

boinccmd --project_attach URL auth

Test if boinc is running with

boinccmd --get_state

More info on boinccmd here

Editing BOINC-Client Config File - BOINC 6.2.12 in Ubuntu 8.10

You can make some changes to the BOINC-Client config file. The file that needs to be changed is cc_config.xml which is at /etc/boinc-client/cc_config.xml

First, back up the original cc_config.xml

$ sudo cp /etc/boinc-client/cc_config.xml /etc/boinc-client/cc_config.xml.orig

Then edit the /etc/boinc-client/cc_config.xml file

sudo nano /etc/boinc-client/cc_config.xml

The default BOINC 6.2.12 /etc/boinc-client/cc_config.xml file is below

This is the configuration file cc_config.xml of the BOINC core client.
For a complete list of all available options and logging flags and their
meaning see:


Changing the CPU sched and debug settings will provide more information as work is done. The options within the file only have two settings: 0 for 'off' and 1 for 'on'. The whole list of options is now at



Todo Items (move to talk page, or delete when done)

* update configuration info to Jaunty/6.2.18 and beyond.

  • keep several older versions?

* wanted: discussion of wisdom / possible problems with upgrading direct from Boinc site.

  • ? should we uninstall first ? are there technical/setup issues unique to Ubuntu
    • (other than risk of not-yet-tested-here versions)

BOINC (last edited 2012-03-29 14:31:12 by a91-156-62-249)