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pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3

4 edits

13 recommendations

How to switch from SETI Classic to SETI BOINC

SETI via BOINC is now officially active and live. Due to numerous requests I am creating a simple step-by-step guide to help Team Starfire crunchers move over from SETI classic" to the new BOINC platform.

There are a couple items to be taken into considering before proceeding.
First, Berkeley has conveniently put into place a facility for converting your current (or "classic") SETI@Home account into a new BOINC account. In order to take advantage of this however you will need access to the email address your signed up with SETI@Home with!! If you do not have access to this email address, you will be required to establish a new account.
Please don't take this as a setback though; SETI BOINC uses a completely different system to compute work unit credits and therefore your current WU count won't add to your new SETI BOINC stats. Here is a screenshot of the info that does carry over:



For more information on how BOINC calculates credit, please see this faq
»SETI@Home FAQ »How does BOINC give credit for my work?

Also note the BOINC client is not just for SETI@Home. The BOINC client is capable of supporting many different distributed computing projects. Berkeley currently has two other projects in beta test (SETI2 and AstroPulse). There is also a Predictor@Home beta as well (for example).

The BOINC client is slightly more complex than the original SETI@Home client. However it is nothing to be intimidated by. In fact, many users will never even go into the settings and may find configuring this client even simpler than the original. One very nice feature of the BOINC client is that
the majority of the settings are saved server-side with the project sponsor (in this case Berkeley) and can be changed remotely from any web browser.
For those of use with multiple clients, this makes life much simpler.

FYI: The project home page is located at »setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/

And now, on with the show!

1. The first step obviously is going to be shutting down your old SETI
client. The old client and BOINC don't play well together. Your add-ons such
as SetiSpy and SETIDriver have become obsolete. Work unit caching is now a
feature of the client.

2. Ok, first things first. Berkeley prefers users establish a BOINC account
prior to downloading the client.
  • If you already have a classic
    SETI@Home account AND you have access to the email address associated
    with it, you will use this
    link
    . Enter your classic SETI@Home email address here. You will then
    be forwarded to the account activation page and an email will be
    sent.
  • If you are a new user OR you can no longer access the
    email address associated with your classic SETI@Home account, you will use
    this
    link
    to create a new account. Enter your current email address here.
    You will then be forwarded to the account confirmation page and an email
    will be sent.
3. Upon receiving your email (should just take a few
seconds), copy and paste the account ID (long random string) into the
activation page and press enter. Save this email!

4. You will now be asked if this is the first BOINC project you've
participated in. Lets go ahead and click on "This is my first BOINC project"
and be whisked off to the settings page.

5. Yes, there are a LOT of settings. The nice thing is though this is the
only time you'll be bothered with them. I recommend leaving all the
defaults, except for "Keep enough work on disk to last between x and
x days". I set my max to 4 days. Don't bother setting it beyond 14
days -- SETI BOINC work units expire after 14 days and will not be
processed. Feel free to experiment with the settings if you wish, but I
would think about 95% of us will never change any of the other settings.
Just make sure "do work while computer is in use" is set to "yes". Also, for
those of you with hyperthreading enabled CPUs, double check the "On
multiprocessors, use at most X processors" is set to 2.

6. Finally! Now we get to download the client. After saving your settings,
you will automagically be forwarded to the download page.
Click on the corresponding client for your operating system. If your OS is
not listed, or you would like to compile the client yourself, you may download the source
here
.

7. Now from here on out, I'm going to focus on the Windows client, because
that will be the most popular. The Windows download package comes with an
installer. After running the installer, you will see this screen:



Check the boxes as you desire and press "finish". Note that the BOINC client
uses open-GL to display graphics and therefore steals far less processer
time showing the pretty pictures. Of course you'll still see improved
efficiency by choosing to use no screen saver.

8. Now the BOINC client opens. This is the first screen new users see:



This is where you sign in, or "attach" to the project. Attaching to a
project tells the BOINC client who you are and what project you would like
to participate in, so that it may download the appropriate software and
properly credit work to your account.

Important note for
those that require the use of a proxy server
: you must configure BOINC
to use the proxy server BEOFRE attempting to attach to a project. To do
this, close the "Attach to Project" window. Go to the "Settings" menu and
choose "Proxy Server...". Adjust the settings as needed and click "OK". Now
click on the "Settings" menu once again and click on "Attach to Project..."
to continue.
Remember that email you got with your account key in step 3? You'll need
that again. Copy and paste the "Project URL" (which is
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu, note this is different than the project
home page). Then copy and paste your unique "Account ID". This info should
also be displayed on the BOINC download page. Press OK.

9. You might notice the "Messages" tab beginning to flash. Whenever this tab
flashes, there is activity with the BOINC client. Let's click on the tab and
have a look:



Anytime BOINC uploads, downloads, begins a WU, finishes a WU or has some
type of problem, it will be reflected in this tab. You may also see a
message telling you BOINC is computing your CPU benchmarks. The client will
do this periodically to determine how much work to request and/or cache for
this particular machine.

From my screenshot, we can see BOINC contacted the SETI@Home servers,
requested my settings (preferences) and downloaded the newest SETI client*
and then... oops. My laptop wasn't plugged in so BOINC momentarily suspended
per my settings. After I plugged in, BOINC requested some work to crunch.
After getting the work, the client began to crunch. Next we'll click on the
"Work" tab.

10. The "Work" tab displays all work units cached on this machine and their
status. If you see one or more work units with a moving status bar, you're
up and running! Congrats!



As you can see, I have already crunched a few work units. The first few have
been completed ("Ready to report"). One is queued to be uploaded
("Uploading"). I'm currently 69% through another unit ("Running"), and there
are several more ready to go ("Ready to run").

If you'd like to see the pretty pictures SETI BOINC makes while crunching,
right click on the currently processing unit and choose "show graphics". The
visuals will pop in a new window which can be resized or maximized to full
screen.

Now you're up and crunching!!

If you need to install on multiple machines, all you need to do is repeat
steps 6 - 9 on subsequent machines and you're good to go.

AND NOW THE MOST IMPORTANT PART! Join Team Starfire! Those
of you who were able to convert you old account over, you need not worry -
your team status is carried over. However if you created a new account,
don't forget to join Starfire.

*Note: another nice feature of BOINC is that whenever a project's client is
updated, BOINC automagically downloads and installs the newest version.
However, the BOINC core client itself will never update itself.

For more detailed information on the BOINC client and how to use it, visit
the BOINC main page. Also
check the Team Starfire SETI FAQ for more
updates on using BOINC.

I hope you found this helpful and useful. All comments, suggestions and
critiques are most welcome.

-Mike

[added link to Portuguese translation of this post. - Liontaur]


Liontaur
Lets Get Boincing Already
Premium,MVM,ExMod 2004-06
join:2001-11-03
Salmon Arm, BC
Very nice post Mike, only thing I can think of is I thought there was a 14 day deadline on WUs, not 7?


samburgers
Premium
join:2001-05-23
Vancouver, BC
reply to pike
Great post pike! That'll get them to switch easily! Thumbs up!


Mikep7779
Premium
join:2002-05-26
Woodlawn, NY
good guide, i register a few days ago so its too late to help me, but will help others.
--


pleekmo
Triptoe Through The Tulips
Premium
join:2001-09-14
Manchester, CT
reply to pike
Now I first have to get rid of all the old classic WUs. Some of my machines have over a half-year worth of WUs stashed locally.

Can I convert piecemeal? That is, as my faster machines go through their remaining WUs, shut down Classic SETI on them and then install BOINC?
--
"[They] watch the bonfire mark the end of the Madman/They all watch the bonfire die into embers/They all watch the funeral morning glow./The Madman is dead./The dawn wind whispers:/'The Madman is dead.'"--S.C.Schumacher, "The Madman of Hamberton Swabe"


Catman
Coasting On Lifes Highway
Premium
join:2003-03-13
Pineville, WV
reply to pike
Thanks....that should do me when I convert. Less than 300 to go.

OH..btw.

There is a Boinc spy out. I haven't looked at it, but Ive been on the website.

»www3.telus.net/BoincSpy/

just thought I would mention that....maybe someone could look into it and see if its feasible to use.


GN7
Premium
join:2002-07-14
Central USA
reply to Liontaur
said by Liontaur:
Very nice post Mike, only thing I can think of is I thought there was a 14 day deadline on WUs, not 7?

My very thoughts exactly, where did you get 7 days?
--
The faulty interface lies between the chair and the keyboard.

Rattledagger
Premium
join:2002-07-03
Norway

1 recommendation

reply to pike
Looking good, but a couple of points.

2; "account converstion page" should maybe come 1st? Also, should be more outlined to make sure they don't clicks the wrong link.
Also since many will complain about this, the "classic"-stats is from 14. May and may not be changed.

5; currently 14 days deadline, not 7. Also, since don't knows what defaults they're using now, "do work while computer is in use?" & make sure HT-people is setting "On multiprocessors, use at most 2 processors". Of course it's maybe already this way...

8; If you needs to use proxy-settings, you must configure these before attacking, for otherwise you will attack, don't get a connection and be kicked out again.

10; Since very many will be confused of this, "ready to report" does not mean the result is returned and will show up on the web-page (then re-enabled) or validated.

Someone will probably write these things better than me.
--
"I make so many mistakes. But then just think of all the mistakes I don't make, although I might."


Jammy
Premium
join:2000-11-03
Pittsburg, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to pike

According to BOINC my account does not exist!


Pike:

Against my better judgment, I went to the link you listed for account conversion, and entered the email address that my Seti account is under,and once again it said that there was no such email address in their database. This is the 7th time I have tried:

Account Not Found

No account with the email address 3jamm3@calantilles.com was found. You may wish to create a new account.


If these folks cannot even find an account that is over 5 years old I do not need to continue Seti I when it ends!

Jammy


Jammy
Premium
join:2000-11-03
Pittsburg, CA
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to pike

double post, sorry

sorry double post.

Jammy


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to Rattledagger

Re: How to switch from SETI Classic to SETI BOINC

Rattledagger - thanks for the corrections. Unfortunately I wasn't able to get here in time to fix my post and the 12-hour edit window is up. I will contact a moderator to help me.

As for the account conversion part - I actually originally had it like worded as you suggest, with ul and li html tags to boot. For some reason I couldn't get it to read right and just ended up doing it that way it is. Now I regret changing it

Where the heck did I get 7 days from? Sorry guys.

-Mike
--
XM411.com - Your #1 site for all things XM
XM Satellite Radio


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to Jammy

Re: According to BOINC my account does not exist!

Jammy - sorry to hear about your troubles. Just a hunch, but I'm wondering if perhaps this has something to do with your email address beginning with a number instead of a letter. Did you try posting at the SETI BOINC help forums? I'll send you a link when their page comes back up.

-Mike
--
XM411.com - Your #1 site for all things XM
XM Satellite Radio

John Keck
Official Boinc-Er

join:2003-01-20
Vicksburg, MS

1 edit
reply to pleekmo

Re: How to switch from SETI Classic to SETI BOINC

said by pleekmo:
Now I first have to get rid of all the old classic WUs. Some of my machines have over a half-year worth of WUs stashed locally.

Can I convert piecemeal? That is, as my faster machines go through their remaining WUs, shut down Classic SETI on them and then install BOINC?

I didn't see an answer to this so I'll take it. There is no date set for the end of seti I yet so you can move a piece at a time. The BOINC version runs at a slightly lower priority so when your computers start to get low you can put BOINC on them and have no interruption in processing.

When setting up multiple computers the easiest way is to copy the account....xml file from a working computer to the new one. That way you don't have to worry about typos.

BTW you know that seti I has a one month deadline, right? Your tally goes up after that but the work has no value.


JRBlood
Premium
join:1999-12-28
Syracuse, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 recommendation

reply to pike
Don't forget that you can use the stop_after_send.txt trick with your old SETI clients.

For those that don't know about this trick, all you have to do is create a null text file called stop_after_send.txt in the same directory (folder) that your client is in. It doesn't have to contain anything, just as long as the file name exists (Right-click, New, Text Document works the best for me).

Once your old client uploads the results of the current WU, it will upload the results and then stop. This way you don't "waste" a downloaded WU and you can switch over to the BOINC client.

Now if you need to switch back to the old client, just delete the stop_after_send.txt file and fire up your old client.
--
"Change is inevitable...ADAPT!" - JRBlood
RaveTrax - It's not just music, it's a way of life!


pleekmo
Triptoe Through The Tulips
Premium
join:2001-09-14
Manchester, CT
said by JRBlood:
Don't forget that you can use the stop_after_send.txt trick with your old SETI clients.

I don't think this will work for me. If I read this correctly, then this will make the client stop after sending the current WU and ignore the remaining WUs that I have cached locally.

What I want to do is to continue processing SETI Classic until my current cache runs out. I think the easiest way to do this would be to change my SETI Driver "Desired Cache Size" to zero and let it continue running.

Now after the cache runs out can I immediately switch over to BOINC on that machine or do I have to let all the caches on all my machines run out before switching to BOINC?
--
"[They] watch the bonfire mark the end of the Madman/They all watch the bonfire die into embers/They all watch the funeral morning glow./The Madman is dead./The dawn wind whispers:/'The Madman is dead.'"--S.C.Schumacher, "The Madman of Hamberton Swabe"

Rattledagger
Premium
join:2002-07-03
Norway
You can run BOINC & classic on different machines at the same time.

Also, to make sure you don't get any down-time, you can start running BOINC then you've still got a couple classic wu cached, just don't set the preferences in BOINC to high, due to the deadline.

Since seti for BOINC runs at priority 2 and classic 4, the classic will get all cpu-time, but BOINC will immediately kick in then empty.
--
"I make so many mistakes. But then just think of all the mistakes I don't make, although I might."


JRBlood
Premium
join:1999-12-28
Syracuse, NY
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

1 edit
reply to pleekmo
said by pleekmo:
said by JRBlood:
Don't forget that you can use the stop_after_send.txt trick with your old SETI clients.

I don't think this will work for me. If I read this correctly, then this will make the client stop after sending the current WU and ignore the remaining WUs that I have cached locally.
That's correct. It will stop your client from pulling from the cache. However, since you're using SETIDriver, and you set it to 0, then you don't need this text file since your client will no longer process as it can't get a WU from the SD's cache.

Now if you had several clients pulling from one queue like from SETIQueue, and you want to convert one over to BOINC for testing, then this tip will help as your other classic clients will continue to drain the queue.

quote:
Now after the cache runs out can I immediately switch over to BOINC on that machine or do I have to let all the caches on all my machines run out before switching to BOINC?
Yes, you should be able to switch over, as long as your other clients don't rely on that same queue (Not really sure if that's even possible with SETIDriver since I haven't run it in a couple of years).


Jammy
Premium
join:2000-11-03
Pittsburg, CA
kudos:1
reply to pike

I can't register for the team with BOINC!


OK, I can't join the team with BOINC! I registered and am starting a WU but without a team.

Jammy


sargeeld
Sgm Retired
Premium
join:2002-12-16
Raeford, NC
reply to pike

Re: How to switch from SETI Classic to SETI BOINC

You should already be on Team Starfire. They moved us all over.


pike
Premium,MVM
join:2001-02-01
Washington, DC
kudos:3
reply to Jammy

Re: I can't register for the team with BOINC!

If you weren't able to convert you account and had to create a new one for BOINC, use this link to join Team Starfire.

-Mike
--
XM411.com - Your #1 site for all things XM
XM Satellite Radio


Jammy
Premium
join:2000-11-03
Pittsburg, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to sargeeld

Re: How to switch from SETI Classic to SETI BOINC

I did finally find a way to join up to Team Starfire. I was not automatically moved over nor did they move my completed WUs!

Also, I have completed one WU with BOINC and it is just sitting there and won't get returned. I am also 2/3rds completed on a second WU.

I find BOINC veey user unfriendly.

Jammy


sargeeld
Sgm Retired
Premium
join:2002-12-16
Raeford, NC
reply to pike
Jammy, BOINC will not try to connect to the server until the low water mark is reached. When you setup your preferences it asks how many days work to get. The default is .1 to 7. I changed mine to 5 to 7 and when I get down to 5 days worth left it connects, sends the finished ones and downloads some more. The only way to send them sooner is to do a manual update.
--
Help Team Starfire get into fifth place... Join Team Starfire today!!


Jammy
Premium
join:2000-11-03
Pittsburg, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to pike

Only my name shows up!


Ok pike . . .I was able to join the team long before my first WU finished, yet on that screen thingie only my name shows up and no team name.

Also I have not received credit for my first completed WU yet and according to Messages, the WU was uploaded almost two hours ago:
quote:
SETI@home - 2004-07-11 16:41:55 - Finished upload of 04ja04aa.7402.5330.173580.182_3_0
Another thing, it seems that BOINC is using the 3.08 version which is a lot slower than the 3.03 version . . .what gives with this project? Seti is ruined now.

Jammy


CylonRed
Premium,MVM
join:2000-07-06
Bloom County

1 recommendation

So it is ruined because they use a slower client? I thought it was about finding ET not on how fast your PC can turn WU's around?
--
Brian
America's Army Forum Moderator and America's Army Beta Tester


Jammy
Premium
join:2000-11-03
Pittsburg, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
said by CylonRed:
So it is ruined because they use a slower client? I thought it was about finding ET not on how fast your PC can turn WU's around?

Yeh, OK . . .I am a stats whore alright? This project will never find ET . . .face it!

Seti I was the most easy DC project around to run. Now this new one moves in . . .I was told that I would have to install microsoft .NET to even use the new BOINC spy.

It was next to impossible to even join up to this team, I could not get my units to transfer over, and now I see that my username and my finished WU's points "were" moved over after I had already rejoined and had been already been crunching away on my first BOINC wu .

Call me a spoil sport if you wish, but after over 5 years running various DC projects with out caring about overclocking my poor computers I must end this craziness.

The only one to repair my computers is me and I do not feel indebted to any one project enough to have to spend "my" time setting up eac hproject and coddling it while it runs.

Ah for get it! I do not have the time to fool around setting up a new project on my boxes, nor do I want to run them 24/7 any longer, especially I do not like running my computers when the outside temperature is over 79 degrees.

Seti I was nice . . .later guys.

Jammy


Jammy
Premium
join:2000-11-03
Pittsburg, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to pike

OK I am still trying this out

Click for full size
BOINC totals (so far)
Click for full size
Totals according to team page


But none of my BOINC creidt is showing up on the team page. I do have an account and it says that I am a member of Team Starfire:



So if I am not a member of this team where are my stats going?

Jammy

Rattledagger
Premium
join:2002-07-03
Norway

1 edit
reply to Jammy

Re: How to switch from SETI Classic to SETI BOINC

Well, since v3.03 was a debug-build it was using roughly 100% longer time to crunch...
Remember, the fact the current seti-version in BOINC is v3.08 is a complete coinsidence and has nothing to do with the "classic" version.

As for getting credit, only then you has returned a result, connected with the scheduling-server and actually saying you've returned the result & 2 others has successfully returned the result will the validation-process be run and you will get credit if all 3 results passes validation.

So the "finished upload of 04ja04aa...." is just step 1 in your 2-step-process of returning the result.

In "classic", over 43% is returned by the slow windows-gui, so very likely the BOINC-version actually crunches more results total.
Also, "classic" has now 7.01 results/wu, so for Berkeley the BOINC-version is more than 100% more effective.

edit - Never used either seti-spy or boinc-spy, but the developer of boinc-spy choosing to use NET has nothing to do with BOINC.

--
"I make so many mistakes. But then just think of all the mistakes I don't make, although I might."


Jammy
Premium
join:2000-11-03
Pittsburg, CA
kudos:1

Rattledagger please see my post right above yours! I have accumulated some BOINC points but they do not show up on the team page only at the BOINC site!

Jammy

Rattledagger
Premium
join:2002-07-03
Norway

1 edit
Finding someone on the BOINC-stats-pages is difficult at best.
But these pages is cached for 12 hours, so of course it's doubtful you're showing up yet.

Also, unsure how often the external stats is made, if it's once or twice a day, but you will show up on the team-stats in under 24 hours atleast.

For external stats, look at
»macg.no-ip.info:5520/boinc/teams.php

Edit - you've made a new account you're crunching in and getting credit to. But for both you're showing up as a member of BBR so the stats should show up here also.


Jammy
Premium
join:2000-11-03
Pittsburg, CA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Comcast

1 edit
said by Rattledagger:


Also, unsure how often the external stats is made, if it's once or twice a day, but you will show up on the team-stats in under 24 hours atleast.


Are you "sure" that I will show up in the team stats within 24 hours? And the only reason that I had to make a new account is because I could not transfer my account over myself, my old email address was NOT accepted, so I had no choice but to make a new account.

All of my old work was lost, and it seems that I am having to do too MUCH work already just to get BOINC to running correctly.

My total credit has went way up:
quote:

Total credit 80.39
Recent average credit 8.92

Yet my Seti BOINC stats sig does not reflect them. This is the total from two boxes.

Ya know . . .I am supposed to be working on my thesis, not having to constantly post because my BOINC is not working! This is what I meant by a project that does NOT need human intervention to run.

I like to be able to do a quick lookup to see my current standings, and not have to constantly move back and forth between pages to find myself.

I like things to be simple.

Jammy

p.s. also my entry on the team page does not reflect my "actual" amount of returned WUs:

User: Jamilla Hall
Country: United States
Registered: 5/31/1999
Results returned: 6758
Total CPU time: 2.88 yrs

vs the team page's entry:

SETI@home member since 29 May 1999 15:00:33 UTC
Country United States
Total credit 0.00
Recent average credit 0.00
SETI@home classic workunits 6,438
SETI@home classic CPU time 24,325 hours