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Thread: BOINC: setting up an offline machine

  1. #1
    Moderator VJ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001

    Lightbulb BOINC: setting up an offline machine


    How to use a computer that doesn't have an internet connection to perform calculations (and have you trickles count)?

    A. The requirements
    [list=1][*]a computer with network access (hereafter referred to as PC1)[*]one (or more) computers without network access (referred to as PCx)[*]a means of transferring data from one PC to another (CD/DVD/USB storage/...) (removable storage)[/list=1]
    We will call the folder where BOINC is installed (d:\program files\boinc) the BOINC folder.
    For the next steps, we assume that you have registered at BOINC and downloaded a client.

    B. Configuration
    [list=1][*]Install a boinc client on PC1. This PC can now start working, but it doesn't really matter.[*]Install a boinc client on PCx. note: on both PCs I have installed it on my d: drive, I'm not sure if the procedure works if you use different driveletters on both computers. [/list=1]

    C. Downloading workunits, uploading results
    [list=1][*] stop the client on PCx (exit !)[*]make a backup of the BOINC-folder of PCx (i.e. rename it to boinc_remote), and copy it to the removable storage (any crunching on PCx after this point will be lost).[*]stop the client on PC1 (exit !)[*]rename the BOINC-folder of PC1 to something else (i.e. boinc_local)[*]copy the boinc_remote folder from the removable storage to PC1, so that it becomes the new BOINC folder[*]start the client on PC1[/list=3]
    It will now connect to the server, and download workunits. To the server, this will be a different computer with the same specifications and IP adres (regardless of the specs of the PC you will run it on).

    Adjust the general settings of the BOINC client to your liking. Important things:
    • <s>set the 'work when user is active' to yes (you'll have to suspend manually). </s>edit: Set it to whatever you like.
    • if you set the time the computer will not connect to the network too long, it could download additional workunits.

    When the download is completed, and PC1 is calculting (notice it has the same id as PC2), stop the BOINC client and exit.

    D. Restoring the clients on the different computers
    [list=1][*]move the current BOINC-folder from PC1 to the removable storage[*]restore the backup made in step 5 (rename 'boinc_local' to 'boinc')[*]move the BOINC-folder from the removable storage to PC2[/list=1]
    If you start BOINC on PC1, it will continue where you stopped it in step B3.
    Starting BOINC on PC2 will cause it to continue its workunits (don't forget to disable network access, this must be done every time).
    If everything works, you can delete the backups.

    E. Remarks
    • When uploading the data from the non-networked computer (step 7), it is possible that the server thinks you are connecting a new client. Simply merge the two clients that represent the same computer to restore this.
    • it is important that you never merge the different boinc folders. So if in the above steps you have to copy a folder from location to another, make sure the target folder doesn't contain any files
    • if you use CD or DVD as medium, make sure that the boinc folder and the files are not readonly when coping from the media to your harddisk
    • the boinc-folder zips very well
    • to upload data at various intervals (this procedure keeps count of your credits), you have to perform the procedure described in C and D. The client will automatically connect and upload.
    • if in the general settings you have set a relatively large time between network connects, it is possible that a new workunit will be downloaded before the old one has finished.
    • machine architecture appears not to be a problem (my PC2 is a dual Xeon, my PC1 is a P4), but it could lead to incorrect estimates of the total time a workunit will take.

    Best of luck!

    Last edited by VJ; 29th November 2004 at 07:43.
    Dream as if you'll live forever. Live as if you'll die tomorrow. (James Dean)

  2. #2
    Crabby Smurf Umfriend's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001


    Way kewl, this should be a sticky. I assume it will work not just for CPDN but for all running under BOINC.

    Moderator, would you consider having this stick on top of the forum?
    Join MURCs Distributed Computing effort for Rosetta@Home and help fight Alzheimers, Cancer, Mad Cow disease and rising oil prices.
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  3. #3
    Super MURCer GNEP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2002


    Fantastic. Thanks Jörg. Yup indeed echoing Umf here - Sasq (or Ees if you're about) can you sticky this one? Ta.
    DM says: Crunch with Matrox

  4. #4


    You think an AMD 5x86 133MHz counts as a valid offline machine?

    (prolly take years to complete ONE work unit, hehe)
    Titanium is the new bling!
    (you heard from me first!)

  5. #5
    Super MURCer High_Jumbllama's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Reisterstown, Maryland - USA


    Originally posted by ZokesPro
    You think an AMD 5x86 133MHz counts as a valid offline machine?

    (prolly take years to complete ONE work unit, hehe)
    Depends on your overclocking skills. Got any liquid nitrogen?

  6. #6


    Quote Originally Posted by High_Jumbllama
    Depends on your overclocking skills. Got any liquid nitrogen?
    You sure it could keep up even with liquid nitrogen?

    I gained another 2 positions. Guess I'll keep climbing till I reach those with equivalent cpu's now.

    (upgraded to p4 3.2GHz HT, an asus p4p800 se and a asus n6600. My dual channel ram unfortunetely only runs stable @266 )

    Accumulated more credit than % of all Climate Prediction users: 92.94%
    Total number of users: 89656
    World Position (based on incremental update) 6,333
    Highest World position ever 5,222 at 2005-06-10
    Accumulated more credit than % of all Team members: 46.67%
    Accumulated more credit than % of all fellow citizens: 91.44825%
    Position in Country stats: 385

    You can see where I upgraded on this graph.
    Last edited by ZokesPro; 18th April 2006 at 04:32.
    Titanium is the new bling!
    (you heard from me first!)

  7. #7

    Smile Funny

    hey, man. May i have a question? May i post a message to you?

  8. #8

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