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Thread: HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04

  1. #1
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    HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04

    (note: this workaround is from http://foldingforum.org/viewtopic.php?f=58&t=14782)

    As you may or may not know version 6.29 of the Folding@Home SMP client for Linux doesn't work properly due to something wrong with the way the client is linked and doesn't like the Ubuntu libc. Fortunately it's only a minor fix to get it working again.

    To those of you that are wondering why use the SMP client, I give you a single word: points. I was running 4 instances of F@H 6.02 in single thread mode and I'd get around 1000 points a day folding most of the day on a Core 2 Quad Q9400 at 3.8Ghz. Now that the SMP version is working my average is around 8000 points a day, more than what I used to get for a week! (my stats) The SMP version currently requires at least 4 cores and it should be a relatively fast machine running 64bit Linux, with plenty of RAM and a high uptime as the SMP cores have rather short deadlines. To get the most points you should also get a passkey and put it in below.

    So without further ado, here's how to get SMP folding working.

    1. Install F@H using Origami
    (If you don't use Origami you can skip to step 3)
    Origami is a nice little tool that makes the installation of F@H easier. It sets up the launch scripts and the user for you so that you don't have to worry about it. If you have origami already installed, please erase it to start over again by issuing this command:
    Code:
    sudo origami erase
    Use this command to install Origami and tell it we want F@H to be folding for the Ubuntu team in SMP mode:
    Code:
    sudo origami install -t 45104 -u USERNAME -p amd64 -k PASSKEY -b big
    Substitute in your user name and passkey and press enter. Note that the -p switch is set to amd64 as there is a bug in origami which means it only configures the client to SMP mode if it's set to amd64 (not smp).

    2. Update the F@H client
    After origami has done its job we need to update the client version. By default it comes with 6.02 which works with Ubuntu out of the box but doesn't support recent SMP cores, which means you won't get any work units. First we need to stop origami:
    Code:
    sudo origami stop
    Then download the latest (6.29) F@H client and extract fah6 to your desktop (mpiexec is the same as the one origami downloaded so we don't need it). Then we need to move it to where origami stores the client and overwrite the original client:
    Code:
    sudo mv ~/Desktop/fah6 /var/lib/origami/foldingathome/CPU1/fah6
    Also we should change the permissions and owner of the new client to how it was like for the old client, which is done by these 2 commands:
    Code:
    sudo chmod 711 /var/lib/origami/foldingathome/CPU1/fah6
    sudo chown origami:nogroup /var/lib/origami/foldingathome/CPU1/fah6
    3. Make 6.29 client work
    As I said above there's a bug that stops 6.29 from working. Fortunately there's a simple fix to it by installing the package nscd:
    Code:
    sudo apt-get install nscd
    Then, we need to change a value in its configuration file. First we gotta open the config file:
    Code:
    gksudo gedit /etc/nscd.conf
    Then, find the line that says "enable-cache hosts no". Change that no to a yes, save, and restart nscd by doing:
    Code:
    sudo service nscd restar
    Now you can start origami again by issuing
    Code:
    sudo origami start
    And hopefully everything will work. The F@H log is at /var/lib/origami/foldingathome/CPU1/FAHlog.txt and you can open it to monitor progress/errors.

    Caveats

    • NCSD has a potential security vulnerability if you turn host caching on (see link and link). If you're running a server and/or using Kerberos you should do a bit more reading to see if doing this workaround is a good idea.
    • The new SMP cores do have a low chance of failing mid way due to a bug in the core or things like that. If you see in the logs that F@H suddenly stopped half way through a WU and then went and fetched a new one don't panic, it might be perfectly normal.


  2. #2
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    Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal

    Re: HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04

    Awesome post robinl! But I'm having a bit of trouble running origami when I startup Ubuntu. What command would be needed to paste into System->Preferences->Startup Applications?

    P.S. I apologies if my question is vague, as I'm rather new to Ubuntu

  3. #3
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    Re: HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04

    Quote Originally Posted by MrRichard View Post
    Awesome post robinl! But I'm having a bit of trouble running origami when I startup Ubuntu. What command would be needed to paste into System->Preferences->Startup Applications?

    P.S. I apologies if my question is vague, as I'm rather new to Ubuntu
    Origami should take care of that - it should start automatically on boot, no configuration needed. If it doesn't seem to work, try doing "origami status".

    It should say "Status of FAH client(s): OK" if Origami is running. If it says "Status of FAH client(s): FAILURE" then try manually starting Origami by issuing "sudo origami start". If it still doesn't work feel free to post your F@H logs at /var/lib/origami/foldingathome/CPU1/FAHlog.txt and I'll help you sort it out.

  4. #4
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04

    Worked here. Thanks! I had all kinds of grief trying to get FAH going until this thread. I like origami and wanted to use it. Now I can.
    I'd rather die fighting lions than being trampled by geese.

  5. #5
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    Re: HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04

    I tried it with 64 bit server LTS and it took 4 tries to get it past the downloading stage. It kept failing with the libc.so.6 error. It's working for now. If it fails I will post here when I have time.

  6. #6
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04

    I have two Quad Core 64bit systems (both Lucid) after installing & configuring nscd it is possible to run Folding again.

    Unfortunately it takes at least two and as many as four or five tries to connect to the download server each time a new job starts which means a new job won't start unless I am at the machine & remember to check.

    I believe this is probably caused by the inherent latency of the satellite internet connection. Two different locations but both on satellite (no other choice)

    Too bad @Folding doesn't seem interested in correcting the underlying problem.

  7. #7
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    Re: HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04

    If you're having problems getting it to download a WU can you post your client.cfg (at /var/lib/origami/foldingathome/CPU1/)? I've configured my F@H client to set -advmethods and ask for big WUs and it has been quite consistent at getting WUs immediately.

    Adding your passkey to the client might also help, see http://folding.stanford.edu/English/FAQ-passkey

  8. #8
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    Re: HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04

    I have just completed a run and can confirm that the relocation error still occurs. It happens when the client trys to connect to the assignment server to get a new WU. When I started it again it connected just fine and downloaded the work unit. I should add that I am no longer using origami and tried the nscd fix on the stanford client. I will be posting on the stanford forums as this seems to be a problem with thier client and not Ubuntu.

  9. #9
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    Ubuntu 10.10 Maverick Meerkat

    Re: HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04

    How do I get Ubuntu to not scale up the processor to work on FAH? I want it to ignore the idle load, but can't seem to find anything to help me with that.

  10. #10
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    Re: HOWTO: Get SMP Folding@Home (and Origami) working in Ubuntu 10.04


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