Folding Through Distributed Computing For Science

You might decide to contribute to the scientific community in several ways. If you are a scientist or a researcher you are contributing to science “by deafult” by publishing your results on online libraries such as USENIX, IEEE Explorer, ACM, Pubmed and so forth , but are there different ways to contribute even if you are not actually a scientist ? Well, the answer is yes ! You might decide to contribute by donating money or by donating your time or, if you have unused infrastructure, you might decide to borrow your technology for free ! This the case I explored in the past months. After having transferred some of my computational power I found myself with an interesting amount of old CPU running Linux without being utilized in any of my researching programs, so I decided to join the Folding By Home community. They are using the power of many computer spread all around the world to build a giant supercomputer usefull to fight diseases.

Folding Through Distributed Computing For Science
My First 100 folded workunits certificate

Together, we have created the most powerful supercomputer on the planet, and are using it to help understand SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 and develop new therapies. 

Folding By Home Foundation

If you are in that position, if you own an old or a new computational power and you want to do help scientists, you have one more option by downloading and running their software HERE. It is actually something very easy to perform and your might feel better to know that on your G/CPU is running good science. By installing your distro packet some simple installation steps will walk you through the configuration process in where you might decide what folding group to join and the percentage of computational power to dedicate to the folding job.

This post is for celebrate my 100 folded workunit (as shown in the previous image) and to introduce to my network this alternative way to donate.

Installation and Configuration

Installing the software is just a matter of few minutes. On my Ubuntu box it was like a charm.

wget https://download.foldingathome.org/releases/public/release/fahclient/debian-testing-64bit/v7.4/fahclient_7.4.4_amd64.deb
wget https://download.foldingathome.org/releases/public/release/fahcontrol/debian-testing-64bit/v7.4/fahcontrol_7.4.4-1_all.deb
wget https://download.foldingathome.org/releases/public/release/fahviewer/debian-testing-64bit/v7.4/fahviewer_7.4.4_amd64.deb


sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahclient_7.4.4_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahcontrol_7.4.4-1_all.deb
sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahviewer_7.4.4_amd64.deb

You now find the configuration file on /etc/fahclient/config.xml, every single field in that configuration file is self-explanatory, so just read it and make your choices. If you go with GUI, configurations are just simple as the installation process, everything is guided and you do not need any documentation at all (BTW if you need it, it’s HERE). But if you prefer to run your faclient without a configuration file but only with command line parameters, so that you can add it to an external script you can just run it as follows: ./FAHClient --user=Anonymous --team=0 --passkey=1385yourpasskeyhere5924 --gpu=false --smp=true . In that case you are folding as “Anonymous” on team “o” without GPU boost. How simple is that !

So if you have unused hardware, you can still donate its computational power to science. I hope this post would help Folding@Home to reach even more workingutins. Happy Folding to everybody !

By admin