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If you came here from a BOINC 4 or BOINC 5 installation, please read the BOINC 6.2 - 6.12 FAQ first!

BOINC Programs directory

The default directory where BOINC will install its executables to is:

  • Windows 32bit: C:\PROGRAM FILES\BOINC
  • Windows 64bit: C:\PROGRAM FILES (x86)\BOINC for 32bit BOINC
  • Windows 64bit: C:\PROGRAM FILES\BOINC for 64bit BOINC
  • Linux: Berkeley installer: default in the Home ./BOINC directory
  • Linux: Package Maintained installer: depends on the package
  • Macintosh: /Applications/BOINC/

BOINC Data directory

The default directory where BOINC will install the data files to is:

  • Windows 98/SE/ME: C:\Windows\All Users\BOINC or C:\Windows\Profiles\All Users\BOINC (*)
  • Windows 2000/XP: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\BOINC (*)
  • Windows Vista/Windows 7: C:\ProgramData\BOINC (*)
  • Linux: wherever you unpack it/BOINC/
  • Macintosh OS X: /Library/Application Support/BOINC Data/

(*) This directory is hidden, so either put the path to it directly into Windows Explorer, or instruct Windows Explorer to show hidden files and folders.

Simple view new skin

The Simple view has been rewritten from the ground up, all the old images (for buttons and such) are ditched, skinning is made easier, translations are now be able for the whole simple view front.
For a How-To on making and using skins for Simple view, please see the BOINC User Wiki.

Improved virtual machine support

Let's start with the basics first. What's a Virtual Machine?
Wikipedia writes that: A virtual machine (VM) is a "completely isolated guest operating system installation within a normal host operating system".

It allows you to run other operating systems within your own operating system, without you needing to reboot into that other operating system. So you can run for instance Windows 7 - 64bit, with a VM running Windows XP. Or you can run Ubuntu 12.04 with a VM running Mac OS X 10.7.3

This then makes it easier for projects to supply you with work, as they only have to program their applications for one platform --usually Linux. The are downsides though, one of which is that you have to install an external program, called Virtual Box. Another is that the project will send you an image file of their operating system, which will run in the virtual machine. These tend to be rather large though. Even with compression, easily over 250MB, which you still have to download.

BOINC only supports Virtual Box virtual machine images. If anyone wants to use a different virtual machine, they'll need to port the VBox application over to whichever virtual machine they use.

BOINC 7 CPU + GPU scheduler and work fetch module

OK, now, you have by now noticed that your old BOINC 6 did things differently than this BOINC 7.0 does things. That's because the old 6 was deemed broken and the new 7.0 is deemed fixed, but with some bugs still included.

The REC-based scheduler

What the client does is, it keeps a record of how much CPU/GPU time a certain project has recently seen - the recent estimated credit (REC). It compares this figure with the project share that has been set. A project that has worked less than its share will get priority in both scheduling (running tasks) and work fetch. Then as it gets crunch time its REC increases and another project will get to the head of the queue. Over time you get a more or less good distribution of crunching time according to resource share.

Points of note

  • GPUs are very productive so lead to high REC. If you run GPU projects alongside CPU ones on similar shares the GPU project sees virtually no CPU.
  • CPU and GPU are scheduled separately.
  • A project like SETI will probably stay pretty high up in the queue, since getting tasks is hit and miss due to their bandwidth being overworked.
    • However, setting a small 'additional days' cache will help getting tasks from Seti, since BOINC will ask more often, thereby increasing your chances.

In finer detail

The CPU and GPU schedulers have been rewritten from the ground up, as is the new work fetch module. This means that work fetch will happen completely different from how you're used to it in BOINC 6. Where BOINC 6 would for instance report work and immediately ask a new task, BOINC 7.0 will try to store a couple of "ready to report" results, report them and immediately request work only when BOINC is under the value set by the Minimum work buffer.

This means that when you have left your old BOINC 6 values for "Connect to" + "Additional work" at, example given 0.1 and 1.0, that BOINC 7.0 will ask for 1.1 days worth of work and ONLY renew this cache when it's fallen under the 0.1 days worth of work limit.

Which means that it can happen that your BOINC runs empty, because 7.0 won't request new work before it has dropped below the 'minimum work' setting and will only ask for work up to the 'and additional' setting --and that only from the project that has the highest priority (worst REC to resource share ratio). Only if that project doesn't have work it will ask other projects in order of priority.

This is easily fixed though, by turning the values around. Where the old values were 0.1 + 1.0, you now go for Minimum work buffer 1.0 + Maximum additional work buffer 0.1

Stop micromanaging BOINC!

However, there is a bug in the software somewhere, one that's difficult to track and therfore fix. This one comes into play when you run work from 2 or more projects. It'll happen that one project will be running work solely, while the others are fresh out of work.

Although, if you now leave things well alone and don't interfere, this will fix itself in due course. It seems that BOINC just needs to learn about the new idiosyncrasies of all the projects again. When you're struck by this bug, do nothing.

Allow BOINC to adjust for at least a week to its completely new settings.

When you manage to let it go, you'll find that BOINC will switch between projects and only run these exclusively for a while, before returning to running a mixture of task from different projects. All according to resource share, of course.

Original writer Original FAQ Date
Jorden / LadyL / Trog Dog 592 2012-04-16