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Old 04-01-2004, 08:30 AM   #1
Hack99
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Folding@Home FAQ

The recent influx of new folders has brought a rush of typical startup questions and in the interest of getting everyone’s questions answered and their farms up and running ASAP I thought a FAQ might be useful.

All of the information below has been addressed many times by Jason, shroomer, and others. However, I know that the thought of reading everything, or figuring out how to search or what to search for can be a bit overwhelming so here it is in bite sized pieces. The answers below are brief but should give you the gist of things.

Also, my experience is with Windows and the info below relates to folding in Windows unless noted otherwise. If anyone would like to supplement the FAQ with Linux or OS X info or would like to add something for Windows, please PM me.

The main folding thread is here HERE and will help get you started.

Jason, EOC’s owner and uber admin, has created a thread HERE that consolidates most of the links
you will find of interest while folding.

You can also get tons of info about folding from Stanford’s FAQ page HERE

FAQ

What is this “Folding at Home” stuff anyway?
Folding@Home is a distributed computing project by Stanford University that studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases. In short, they’re trying to find cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Mad Cow, Parkinson’s, CJD, and ALS.

Sounds great, how do I get started?
All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. Just go to the STANFORD SITE, download the appropriate client and install it on your computer. Installation varies by client type and is covered below.

What clients are available?
There are currently clients for Windows, Linux and Mac OS X. For Windows and OS X you can get a graphical client, a text only client or a screen saver. Linux only has the text client.

I don’t have broadband, can I still fold?
Yes. You can setup the client to autodial or wait when it finishes a work unit.

UD Monitor is a useful program that will allow you to download and que up several WUs in a row if you don't want the client to autodial.

Which client should I use?
The graphical client is the easiest to install and to manage. It has a graphics window available that allows you to see the protein being simulated. It is installed via a simple installation wizard that asks you all relevant configuration questions. During installation, it will create a shortcut to the exe and place it in your startup folder so that it launches when you login. It will also put an icon in your system tray so you can minimize, maximize or configure the client. On the down side, the graphical client is known to interfere with some games.

The text only console provides information about the simulation in a text format. It runs in a terminal window and minimizes to your taskbar. You can use an app like Trayit to minimize to your system tray. You will need to create a shortcut manually and install it in your startup folder. The text console can also be installed as a service so it launches with Windows and will run in the background regardless of which user is logged in.

The screen saver works pretty much like any other, except that your computer begins folding when Windows activates the screen saver.

Which client is fastest?
Text > Graphical > Screen Saver
Windows > Linux > OS X (Although is seems that the speed differences are small)

How do I install my client?
**Make sure you enter 11314 as the team number**
**You can use any name you like but you can’t transfer points later if you want to change it**

To avoid confusion, you want a unique user name. The download page at Stanford has a name search window to help with name selection.

Graphical Client – Download Folding@Home4.exe, double click and follow the installation wizard.

**Folding@Home502.EXE is now available**

Screen Saver - Download Folding@Home4_screensaver.exe, double click and follow the installation wizard.

Text Console -
- Make a directory for FAH (for this example C:\FAH)
- Download FAH4Console.exe into the new directory

**FAH502-Console.exe is now available**

- Create a new shortcut and specify the target as:

"C:\FAH\FAH4Console.exe" -advmethods -verbosity 9

- Put the shortcut in your startup folder and reboot your machine.
- The client will launch automatically and will run through the configuration the first time it starts.
- Select yes for advanced options and put FAH in the choice for (auto/fah/gah)

There is a screenshot of the console configuration attached below.

Text Console as a Service (Recommended Win2k, XP)-
The instructions are HERE

Can I install FAH as a service on Win98?
WordFaith provided the following solution:
Use graphical client but run as a service(yes it can be done in win98)

I've got my second rig set up this way and it runs with NO tray icon and it even runs when you're not logged on I was monitoring it with emIII and it was still working away at the windows log in screen.(not sure bout the upload/download when not logged on though)

1-Install the graphical client as normal but remove the shortcut from the start menu

2-use regedit - put a new string in
MyComputer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\W indows\CurrentVersion\RunServices

3- Have it pointing to the folding exe like this:
C:\Program Files\Folding@Home\WinFah.exe

There you have it now it'll run with no icons or third party software and the only way you'll know it's running is when you ctrl-alt-del as it shows up there
>>I should have mentioned to open it up normally at least once to set all your options first...11314 & username<<

What are flags?
Flags are special instructions given to the client at launch.

You can see the complete list HERE

How do I use flags?
Append them to the target line in the shortcut that launches your folding client.

See the attached screenshot for an example.

Which flags should I use?
AMD Single processor rig: -advmethods -verbosity 9
Intel Single processor rig: -advmethods -forceasm -verbosity 9
AMD Multiprocessor rig: -local -advmethods -verbosity 9
Intel MP/HT rig: -local -advmethods -forceasm -verbosity 9

-advmethods: "Request to be assigned any new Cores or work units." In effect, you get gromacs most of the time. You will still get the occasional Tinker.

In April of 2004, the points awarded for many WUs, including tinkers, were increased. As a result, there is better ppd parity between tinkers and gromacs and the -advmethods flag now provides less benefit than it once did. In fact, some folders no longer use it.


-forceasm: "Instruct the core to use SSE/3DNow assembly instructions if possible, even if it has previously made the determination that the machine may not be handling this well."

-verbosity 9: Sets the level of output detail that is written to the log file

The following clarification was posted by shroomer:

" Forceasm is only effective if you have issues with the PC folding....

By Default a RIG AMD or INTEL will use SSE/3DNOW ECT.... with no flags... but if you have a error or a reboot caused by instability in the PC or heat or for whatever reason... the FORCE XXX flag will force the PC to use SSE even after a crash ect.... without the flag it will revert back to not using SSE to gain stability on a crash."


What core priority should I use?
Use low priority on a dedicated folding rig. The core will try to run at all times.
Use idle priority on an everyday use rig. The core will only try to run when NOTHING else is active.

Can I adjust the core priority using task manager?
No. The priority has to be set during configuration.

What do I do if I have more than one rig folding?
You set up each machine the same way. Use the same user name and team number no matter how many rigs you have.

Do I need a different machine ID for each rig?
No. The machine ID referrs to the number of processors in a single rig, not the number of rigs in your farm. Each instance of FAH needs a different machine ID, but each rig can have the same machine ID.

How do I set up a multi-processor/HT machine?
**You will need to use the text console client**

- Install the first client as described above except that you need to add the “-local” flag to your shortcut.
- Make a second folder “FAH2” for example. Install the second instance just like the first but enter “2”
for the machine ID.

If you want to run two instances as a service, use the GUI service installer and simply enter 2 for the number of clients. The installer will set everything up for you.

What should I know about my FAH directory?
Work Folder – Contains the files your FAH client is currently working on or waiting to upload.
client.cfg – Contains the configuration information for your client. You can edit this with a text editor. If you delete it and are using the text console, the console will run through the configuration process the next time you launch it.
FAHlog.txt – This is the log file of your clients activity. The “-verbosity 9” flag adds details to the log.
unitinfo.txt – This gives you the progress your client has made on the current WU.
queue.dat – This dat file is the que of WUs waiting to be turned in plus info on your current WU

What is a WU?
A WU is a work unit. It’s the term Stanford uses for a single simulation run.

Are all WUs the same?
No. There are three types of WU:

- FAHCore_65.exe - Tinker - 100, 200 or 400 frames. They are generally the slowest WUs and the -advmethods flag reduces the number your rig will be assigned unless Stanford releases a new crop.

- FAHCore_78.exe - Single Gromacs - 100 frames. Use SSE. They are generally the fastest WUs.

- FAHCore_79.exe - Double Gromacs - 100 frames. Use SSE2 They are much faster than single Gromacs on P4 rigs.

There are many different proteins of each type being studied. See the list HERE

How long does it take to finish a WU?
A WU can take anywhere from 4 to 36 hours to complete on a fast rig. Obviously longer on slower rigs.
Stanford has set the scoring system so that you get more points for the bigger WUs.

How does the scoring system work?
This is how Stanford explains it:

“How do you determine how many points a work unit is worth? Before putting out any new work unit, we benchmark it on a dedicated 500MHz Celeron machine (this machine does not have SSE/3DNow). We plug the results of this into the following formula:
points = 3.5 * multiplier * (daysPerWU)
where daysPerWU is -- no surprise -- the number of days it took to complete the unit.”

My current WU is corrupt, How do I delete It?
- Close FAH
- Delete the Work folder and queue.dat file in your FAH directory
- You might also need to delete the FahCore_XX.exe file(s) so the client can re-download that too.
- Restart FAH

My log file says I can’t send/receive WUs, What do I do?
If everything is working on your end, check your log file for the IP address of the server your client is trying to connect to. Then check HERE for the server status. It may be a problem at Stanford.

How will MY computer perform?
Based on my own production experience here are some production examples for reference:
(ppd = points per day)

2500+ Barton @ 2.5 GHz - 161 ppd
1800+ T Bread @ 2.3 GHz - 150 ppd
1700+ Palomino @ 1.5 Ghz – 73 ppd
550 MHz Xeon – 25 ppd
2.0 GHz Xeon – 68 ppd
2.4 GHz Xeon - 96 ppd
2.4 GHz Xeon HT - 140 ppd
3.0 GHz Xeon HT - 200 ppd
3.2 GHz P4 - 146 ppd
3.8 GHz p4 - 228 ppd (thanks to lots of DGromacs - Tomvill's rig - woot)

The backup for these numbers is in the attached pdf files. I will try to keep this info updated and will expand it as I get more data. Feel free to send me your AllStats.html data from EMIII and I will add it to the database.

How much bandwidth will FAH use?
You can expect FAH to transmit 2Mb ~ 3Mb in the process of uploading a finishsed WU and downloading a new one.

How do I check my score?
You can check the official Stanford stats HERE

You can check the EOC team stats HERE

Where did all my WUs go?
It sometimes takes a few hours to a day or so for WUs to make it into the stats.
Double check your user name and team number and just be patient.

How do I monitor multiple rigs?
There are several applications that let you track multiple rigs from one machine:

EMIII
Basic Functions:
Track multiple rigs via network
Records WU data
Reports WU data as .csv file or as HTML
Reports WU progress graphics as HTML
Built in web server for WU data
Can be used to stealth a text console
Built in client.cfg file editor
Built in queue.dat file viewer
Built in production calculator
Changeable skins

FAHSTATS
Basic Functions:
Track multiple rigs from network and view on local machine or on the Internet via it's built in Http server - Thanks (907)FAN-BOY
Estimates ppd, ppw for current WU
Maintains a list of Stanford projects
Changeable skins

DCMonitor
Basic Functions:
Track multiple rigs via network
Reports WU data as HTML

How do I get that Liquid Ninja sig thingy?
Add the following to your sig for the liquid ninja stats:

[img]http://www.liquidninjas.net/dc/ln_dc_sigs.php?xfahuser=YOURUSERNAMEHERE&xfahteam= 11314[/img*]

Remember to remove the * and add your username

What’s wrong with my Liquid Ninja sig thingy?
The liquid ninja stats run a day or two behind. Double check your sig and just be patient.

How do I get that other sig thingy?
Add the following to your sig for the statgfx stats:

[img]http://gfx.statgfx.com/old/folding.cgi?&username=YOUR_USERNAME_HERE&teamid=11 314&border=0,0,0&custom=0,0,255&label=0,0,255&head er=0,0,255&stats=0,0,255&bgcolor=0,0,0&trans=yes&t emplate=fah_original&.jpg&cpu=YOUR_CPU_COUNT_HERE[/img*]

Remember to remove the * and add your username and cpu count
You can change the colors if you like.

Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Flags.jpg
Views:	1147
Size:	32.2 KB
ID:	34633  Click image for larger version

Name:	Console.jpg
Views:	1170
Size:	92.3 KB
ID:	34641  
Attached Files
File Type: pdf PPD by Processor - Core.pdf (88.6 KB, 732 views)
File Type: pdf PPD by Protein.pdf (38.9 KB, 424 views)

Last edited by Hack99 : 06-01-2005 at 11:57 AM.
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Old 04-01-2004, 08:58 AM   #2
Teh_l33t_d3wd
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How do I get that Liquid Ninja sig thingy?
Add the following to your sig for the liquid ninja stats:

[img]http://www.liquidninjas.net/dc/ln_dc_sigs.php?xfahuser=Hack99&xfahteam=11314[/img*]

Remember to remove the *

Change the link to-

[img]http://www.liquidninjas.net/dc/ln_dc_sigs.php?xfahuser=YOURUSERNAMEHERE&xfahteam= 11314[/img*]

Otherwise it will show the stats for Hack99

You should also add something about how long each wu takes on average
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Old 04-01-2004, 09:10 AM   #3
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added to jason's links... http://forums.extremeoverclocking.co...625#post764625
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Old 04-01-2004, 10:01 AM   #4
Hack99
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Done.

and

Thanks!

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Old 04-11-2004, 08:13 PM   #5
Teh_l33t_d3wd
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AMD Single processor rig: -advmethods -forceSSE -verbosity 9
Intel Single processor rig: -advmethods -forceasm -verbosity 9
AMD Multiprocessor rig: -local -advmethods -forceSSE -verbosity 9
Intel MP/HT rig: -local -advmethods -forceasm -verbosity 9

You should edit that part, considering amds before the duron don't have sse.
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Old 04-18-2004, 04:37 AM   #6
Teh_l33t_d3wd
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You should talk about user id, a lot of people think you can only have up to nine rigs and have to get a different number for each rig etc.
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Old 04-20-2004, 02:36 AM   #7
john_spit010
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Thanks alot Hack for making this thread. It answered alot of my questions.
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Old 04-21-2004, 02:46 PM   #8
Teh_l33t_d3wd
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I cant seem to find anything in the faq about core priority, there was just a thread started about that.
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Old 06-16-2004, 11:10 AM   #9
DiverGuy
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User Stats

Why dont any users show up for our team on the EOC stats page?

Some teams have users, others dont.

What is the difference? How do we get our users to show up?

Thanks.

DiverGuy
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Old 06-16-2004, 12:54 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiverGuy
Why dont any users show up for our team on the EOC stats page?

Some teams have users, others dont.

What is the difference? How do we get our users to show up?

Thanks.

DiverGuy

Here we are man http://folding.extremeoverclocking.c...php?s=&t=11314
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Old 06-16-2004, 04:41 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DiverGuy
Why dont any users show up for our team on the EOC stats page?

Some teams have users, others dont.

What is the difference? How do we get our users to show up?

Thanks.

DiverGuy
YHPM

Let me know how things work out.
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Old 06-18-2004, 03:00 PM   #12
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I added a couple of reference rigs to the ppd estimate and adjusted the points to reflect the new points system.

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Old 07-01-2004, 03:58 PM   #13
Crispy
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Ok i just jointed the F@H team but i want to now is this look right? (Team stats and stuff)

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Old 07-01-2004, 06:42 PM   #14
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Looks fine, welcome to the team.

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Old 07-08-2004, 06:08 AM   #15
noremacyug
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ok, newbie to folding here. ive completed one project or whatever you want to call it thus far and am wondering how often the stats are updated. i'm trying to make sure that the info got send back correctly and that everything is good to go. but, so far i dont appear on the user list and cant find any stats for me.

thanks
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Old 07-08-2004, 06:18 AM   #16
okuma
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The stats update every 3 hours. 12:00, 3:00, 6:00 and so on. Ive noticed
that sometimes the stats dont appear emmediatly after the update. Just give it a little longer if you dont see the update and it will eventually will show up.
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Old 07-08-2004, 06:20 AM   #17
noremacyug
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yeah, i just checked it again. its on there now. i was just being impatient. thanks.
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Old 08-22-2004, 10:06 PM   #18
CanadianBronco
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Pssy hack update the flags (for 5.0 )
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Old 08-29-2004, 04:28 AM   #19
Roscoe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by question asker
Now how exactly does this work? What do you do? Do you just get a computer with an internet connection, set it up, and leave it there with the client installed? Help please.
Exactly, you download the client and you download small 'projects' or protiens and your puter folds them and sends the results back to Stanford Univ. The client runs in the background without disrupting whatever else you may be doing, whether it be gaming or just simply surfing the net.
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Old 04-21-2005, 07:38 AM   #20
SaFrOuT
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i can't find the fah/gah option in the advanced menu while installing the test console FAH502-Console
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