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TJ
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Message 34437 - Posted: 22 Dec 2013 | 23:06:44 UTC

Hello,

I now there is some useful information in the FAQ forum but not what I need to know first.
I will try Linux on a dual boot on my new cruncher. Yes I still Win7 for my work thus dual boot is the option I go for. There a two SSD's in the system, one with Win7 the other is for Linux. Also two HD's for all the data.

Now at first: what distro is best to use for GPU crunching, CPU crunching and general PC work?

I have a dual boot with XP but that pc has a PSU of only 350W and the P4, no cruncher anymore (to slow).
I installed the BOINC package that was in it, but I never got possibility to look through the folders as I had no rights. Even when I made myself super user it didn't work. That BOINC version was very old by the way. I need to place a cc_config file in the data folder off course but when I have no rights, even it is my own PC and I installed it myself, its a bit frustrating. Same as Windows often is. Have bought a book for Dummies and Ubunty Kung-Fu but is not a great help yet.
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Message 34438 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013 | 1:32:25 UTC - in response to Message 34437.

Hello,

I now there is some useful information in the FAQ forum but not what I need to know first.
I will try Linux on a dual boot on my new cruncher. Yes I still Win7 for my work thus dual boot is the option I go for. There a two SSD's in the system, one with Win7 the other is for Linux. Also two HD's for all the data.

Now at first: what distro is best to use for GPU crunching, CPU crunching and general PC work?


To understand the answer you first need to understand that traditionally Linux distros will not install proprietary software for you. Most distros adhere so that philosophy tenaciously. Ubuntu has departed from that philosophy and will install proprietary modules and packages for you as part of the distro which makes it much easier for general PC work.

For BOINC and GPU crunching... there is very little difference, the all work pretty good but Ubuntu is slightly easier than the others, IMHO, for the following reasons:

1) It's the most popular distro amongst BOINC crunchers so no matter what project you need help with there will almost always be a Ubuntu user there to give hints and advice.

2) The BOINC devs build and test BOINC on Ubuntu LTS. The BOINC installer they supply (the Berkeley installer) won't give you an installation that works out of the box on Ubuntu however all you need to do is install a few missing shared libraries and it will work fine. If you use the Berkeley installer to install on other distros you will have to add maybe a few more shared libraries than you do for Ubuntu. I can give you the library names you need for Ubuntu 12.04 and the command for installing them. It takes 5 minutes or less. I don't know the names of the shared libs you would need for any of the other distros. That's the extent of the differences between distros that pertain to BOINC and now you can see the differences are almost negligible.

I have a dual boot with XP but that pc has a PSU of only 350W and the P4, no cruncher anymore (to slow).
I installed the BOINC package that was in it, but I never got possibility to look through the folders as I had no rights. Even when I made myself super user it didn't work. That BOINC version was very old by the way. I need to place a cc_config file in the data folder off course but when I have no rights, even it is my own PC and I installed it myself, its a bit frustrating. Same as Windows often is. Have bought a book for Dummies and Ubunty Kung-Fu but is not a great help yet.


All Linux distros have very tight security, tighter than Windows, but easier to use once you understand it. I know exactly the problem you had and it's not difficult to do if you understand how Linux permissions (rights) work. The reason you ran into permission issues is because you didn't use the Berkeley installer, instead you used the BOINC package in your distro's repository. So "installed from repos" is the short way to say it. If you install from repos then the installer automatically checks to make sure you have the shared libraries required for BOINC and if they are absent it downloads and installs them for you. That's the advantgae of installing BOINC (or any Package) from repos. The installer in repos also installs BOINC as a daemon sevice which means it runs on the account of a user named boinc, not on your account. You cannot access any of boinc's files or directories from your account. In order to access boinc's "stuff" you must become root (the super user).

You can avoid 99% of the permissions issues you had if you use the Berkeley installer instead of the installer in repo. The Berkely installer installs BOINC to run on your own account which means you own all the files and directories and have permission to do whatever you want with them. Many Linux users who run BOINC like having that flexibility so that that's why they use the Berkeley installer instead of the installer in repo.

An advantage of installing BOINC from repo is that the installer configures the BOINC daemon service to automatically start at boot time and to automatically shutdown properly when you restart or shutdown the computer. However, you can easily configure to auto-start and auto-shutdown BOINC even if it's installed via Berkeley installer.

If you want I can give you step by step instructions for setting up a dual-boot system, installing and configuring BOINC and installing the NVIDIA driver. The first step would be to decide how you want the disks to be partitioned and shared. The possibilities there are almost limitless. Decide what you want and I'll tell you how to do it. Any existing Windows partitions that are formatted NTFS can be setup to be accessible by Linux or you can hide them.

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Message 34442 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013 | 14:33:54 UTC - in response to Message 34438.

Thanks Dagorath.

Checking Internet I was thinking of Debian (as the systems admins of my work speak over all the time) or Suse, but it is Ubuntu to go for.

I did a few times installing a dual boot so that must work out well. I will use a separate SSD for the Linux OS and a separate HD for the files. So no messing with Windows.

Indeed previous I had BOINC installed as a daemon. I will now use the Berkeley installer. I saw the instruction at the FAQ in this forum.

However if you could write, what and how I need to install some stuff manually (the 32 bit things if I understand correct), that would be great.

Temperature control under Linux for CPU and GPU is a bit hard if I have read, but I think and hope that all have a safety build in and shut down when to warm?


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Message 34447 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013 | 17:34:41 UTC - in response to Message 34442.
Last modified: 23 Dec 2013 | 17:41:58 UTC

Here is a list of all the packages (.deb files) that contain the additional 64-bit shared libs you will need for BOINC on Ubuntu 12.04:

libwxgtk2.8-dev
libcurl4-openssl-dev
libxss-dev
libstdc++6
freeglut3

The package containing the 32-bit compatability libs is named ia32-libs

The easy way to install them:

1) on Linux you don't need to shutdown apps when you install drivers/updates and whatnot and you rarely need to reboot, the exception is if you install a kernel update

2) click on an open area of the desktop (anywhere but in a running app's window) then press ctrl-alt-T to open a terminal

3) you can paste text at the command line by right-click in the terminal to produce the pop-up menu then left-click Paste, copy and paste the following command into the terminal:

sudo apt-get -y install libwxgtk2.8-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libxss-dev libstdc++6 freeglut3 ia32-libs


The -y option is not necessary. It tells the package installer to not stop for user input. If you exclude the -y the installer will stop after it checks each package, report some info and ask if you want to proceed. I assume since this is going to be a new install there will be ample disk space available for the additional libs so you won't have any reason to not proceed so I recommend including the -y.

After you install the above packages and BOINC, test to see if all the libs the client and the manager require are installed and accessible. In a terminal do the following commands:

1) cd ~/BOINC (~ is shortcut for your home directory therefore if you installed BOINC in a directory named BOINC in your home directory this command will change to that directory)

2) ldd boinc (this lists all the shared libs the client needs, if the lib is accessible it prints the path to the lib to the right of the arrow(=>), if the lib is not accessible (perhaps not installed) then it prints "Not found" to the right of the arrow)

3) now you want to run ldd against the manager but the list of shared libs the manager needs is very long but if you want to see the list enter ldd boincmgr but the easier way is to filter the list so you get only the lines that contain "Not found", to do that enter ldd boincmgr | grep "ot found".... notice I left the "N" off "Not found" because I can't remember if the "Not" is uppercase or lower and I don't remember if the grep filter is case-sensitive so I sidestep around the issue by excluding the "n".

Note that you must include the quotes in the ldd boincmgr | grep "ot found" command. If you get no output from the command then it means all the libs are installed and accessible.

4) enter ./boinc to start the client, starting it this way will cause the client to log to the terminal which is not the way you should normally run it but it's a good idea to try it this way the first time because if there is any error and it refuses to start then the error code will be there in the terminal where it's easy to see, otherwise you will see exactly what you see in Event Log in BOINC manager, pressing ctrl-c will shutdown the client

Temperature control under Linux for CPU and GPU is a bit hard if I have read, but I think and hope that all have a safety build in and shut down when to warm?


I am pretty sure the thermal protection (shutdown when too warm) is either coded in the video card BIOS or is hard wired on the video card. Either way it is OS and driver independent (I think).

If you simply install the NVIDIA driver then the temperature will be automatically controlled by the BIOS on the video card. Sometimes that auto-mode works very well and you need nothing more, sometimes it does not, seems like it depends on the manufacturer. For example, I have a Gigabyte GTX 670 and an Asus GTX 670 and auto-mode keeps both cards below 70C with fan speed approximately 50%.... perfect! On the other hand I have an EVGA GTX 660Ti that, in auto-mode, allows the temperature to hover around 80C which sucks therefore I have to put the fan speed control for the 660Ti in manual mode to keep the temp below 70C.

The point is... if auto-mode works well on your cards then that's probably all you need. Auto-mode is installed by the NVIDIA driver installer by default.

To monitor the GPU temps use the nvidia-settings utility that installs along with the NVIDIA driver. To run nvidia-settings just open a terminal and enter nvidia-settings. The GUI will start, it's very intuitive, the temperature monitor is under "thermal settings". If the temperatures are too high then configure manual fan control by opening a terminal and copy 'n paste the following 3 commands 1 at a time:

cd /etc/X11
sudo nvidia-xconfig --enable-all-gpus
sudo nvidia-xconfig --cool-bits=5
sudo shutdown -r now


If you prefer to type the above commands then note the X is an upper-case X but the other x's are lower-case. Linux is very case-sensitive whereas Windows frequently is not.
The last command causes a reboot. Then start nvidia-settings again and on the "thermal settings" page you will see options to select manual mode. Tick the box, read the warning/disclaimer, scroll the warning/disclaimer all the way to the bottom to enable the continue button, click continue.

In manual mode you will likely find you cannot increase the fan speed to more than 80%. Also, the GUI will not accept certain numbers, for example, it might not accept 50% but it might accept 55% or 60% so you will need to experiment.

If you need manual fan control mode and you get this far then I'll show you how you can use my gpu_d to make the manual mode more automatic but I think an even better solution would be to re-program the auto-mode in the card's BIOS by re-flashing the card's BIOS.
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Message 34455 - Posted: 23 Dec 2013 | 20:26:31 UTC

I will recommend you also give openSUSE a try. It's not as popular as Ubuntu/Debian, but is a very solid and easy to use distro. We have a control center called YaST where you can set up most system-related things. Also, openSUSE's KDE desktop is unmatched as a lot of KDE developer use openSUSE and the KDE project uses openSUSE's build service to build their desktop environment for various other distros, not just SUSE.

That all said, openSUSE does need a bit of "setting up" as multimedia codecs and such are not installed by default. For that you use the Packman repo which contains more than you want :)
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Message 34522 - Posted: 31 Dec 2013 | 1:02:55 UTC

I have this thread for help, but have two questions first.
Win7 is on SSD1 and I want Ubuntu (already made the iso DVD) on SS2.
1) I suppose I can set in the BIOS that the PC must boot from SSD2, put the iso DVD in the drive and then boot?
2) Do I manually make something with a boot manager or goes this automatically.?
Did this in the past with XP and Ubuntu but on the same HD, was very easy.

Thanks.
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Message 34524 - Posted: 31 Dec 2013 | 3:54:18 UTC - in response to Message 34522.

I have never installed Linux on a 2 disk system either but I can tell you a few things. You don't have to set anything in the BIOS, just allow it to boot from the same disk it now boots from. You don't have to manually create a boot manager because the Ubuntu installer will do that for you. I can probably give more help if you can answer this... Do you want Ubuntu to use the entire SSD2 or do you want SSD2 to be partitioned with Win7 on one partition and Ubuntu on the other partition?

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Message 34527 - Posted: 31 Dec 2013 | 12:09:30 UTC - in response to Message 34524.

Yes indeed the entire SSD2 is for Linux.
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Message 34528 - Posted: 31 Dec 2013 | 14:22:57 UTC - in response to Message 34527.

If you have the Ubuntu install CD then the steps below will not work. In that case I would recommend downloading the Ubuntu Live ISO and burning it to DVD. If you are not sure if you have the plain installer CD or the Live DVD then boot it and see if it gives you the option mentioned in step 2 below. It won't erase any data until step 6 therefore going to just step 2 is completely safe.


  1. Boot from the DVD
  2. When you see the screen that gives the option to try Ubuntu versus install Ubuntu choose try Ubuntu, it will then boot to a working Ubuntu desktop without writing anything to disk
  3. Type ctrl-alt-T to open a terminal, in the terminal enter sudo gparted which will start the Gnome partition editor GUI
  4. Gparted will analyse your SSDs, your SSD1 will be named /dev/sda and the partitions on it will be given numbers. If, for example, /dev/sda has 3 partitions they will be named /dev/sda1, /dev/sda2 and /dev/sda3. Make sure /dev/sda is selected from the drop down list in the upper right corner of gparted's window, then check to see if one of the partitions is labeled "boot". If you have that "boot" partition then proceed. If you don't see a "boot" partition on /dev/sda then let me know because the instructions below will not work.
  5. Now you want to work with your SSD2 which Ubuntu will name /dev/sdb so select /dev/sdb from the dropdown list in the upper-right corner. Then it will show you the partitions on /dev/sdb, they will be given numbers. If you have not formatted or partitioned /dev/sdb then it will be shown simply as "unallocated space". If that is the case then jump down to step 7.
  6. At this point you want to delete the partitions on /dev/sdb (your SSD2), create a primary partition and format it with a typical Linux file system (not NTFS). Later, when the Ubuntu installer sees that partition it will want to use that space with little intervention or further work on your part. If /dev/sdb is formatted and partitioned by Win7 already then select the partition at the bottom of the list by clicking on it, then click the red circle with the slash through it to delete the partition. Note that the delete operation does not actually happen at this point, it is merely put into a list of pending operations. Now, working from the bottom of the list up, select the next partition and click the delete icon, repeat until all partitions are in the Pending Operations List.

    Now click the orange arrow and note that the last pending operation is removed from the list. If you think you have made any mistakes at this point you can use the orange arrow to back out. None of the operations in the pending list will be executed until you click the green checkmark.

    At this point double-check to make sure you have /dev/sdb selected from the dropdown list in the upper right corner. If you do then click the green checkmark to perform the pending operations. When the operations are complete the entire disk should show as "unallocated space".

  7. Exit gparted. At this point you have the disks setup for the Ubuntu installer. If you want to take a break and resume at a later time you can just hit the poweroff button or do a reset to boot back to Win7 and boot from the Ubuntu Live DVD later and select Install Ubuntu instead of Try Ubuntu. If you want to proceed now then click the "Install Ubuntu" icon on the desktop.

  8. When you get to the screen that asks you to make sure bthe computer is connected to the Internet and has X GB free disk space, select the 2 boxes near the bottom of the screen too so that free but proprietary codecs and other software (Flash, for example) get installed too.

  9. Eventually you should see a screen that says the installer sees a Win7 installation on your system. One of the options should be to preserve Win7 and use free space (unallocated space) for Ubuntu. If you select that option the installer will not touch the Win7 partitions. It will only format /dev/sdb and install Ubuntu on it and setup the boot manager to allow you to select either Win7 or Ubuntu at boot time.

    After installation, when you boot to Ubuntu it will automatically mount any NTFS partitions in read-write mode so you can access all your Win7 files from Ubuntu.



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Message 34535 - Posted: 1 Jan 2014 | 16:41:27 UTC

Another option for installing Ubuntu and Windows 7 in a dual boot configuration.

When you install Ubuntu dual boot using the standard Ubuntu installer, it removes the Windows Master Boot Record (MBR) and replaces it with GRUB (Grand Unified Boot loader).

This option is useful if you want to keep the Windows Master Boot Record (MBR) in place. I've read that Windows will not install a service pack upgrade if the MBR is missing. The following technique will leave the MBR in place and install GRUB in a different location of your choosing. It requires that you install a free piece of software called EasyBCD on your Windows 7 instance.

The instructions are here http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2012/05/17/how-to-dual-boot-ubuntu-12-04-and-windows-7/

I've been using this technique to install Ubuntu/Windows dual boot on two hard drives for over two years including Ubuntu 13.10.

The one trick that I learned the hard way is this: if you want to completely remove and reinstall Ubuntu, you should first remove the Ubuntu entry from EasyBCD before you perform the reinstall, then re-add the Ubuntu entry to EasyBCD after the reinstall.

Hope that helps.

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Message 34541 - Posted: 1 Jan 2014 | 19:24:03 UTC - in response to Message 34535.

I've read that Windows will not install a service pack upgrade if the MBR is missing.


Thanks, captainjack, for updating me, I had no idea. Does that apply to Win8 too?

I recommend following the link captainjack provides if one wants a Linux-Win7 dualboot. The article is well written and uses screenshots for key points.

Would the moderator please hide my message 34528 upthread. The procedure in that message is obviously inferior.

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Message 34551 - Posted: 2 Jan 2014 | 6:54:18 UTC - in response to Message 34541.
Last modified: 2 Jan 2014 | 6:56:02 UTC

I've read that Windows will not install a service pack upgrade if the MBR is missing.


Thanks, captainjack, for updating me, I had no idea. Does that apply to Win8 too?

I recommend following the link captainjack provides if one wants a Linux-Win7 dualboot. The article is well written and uses screenshots for key points.

Would the moderator please hide my message 34528 upthread. The procedure in that message is obviously inferior.

No, please leave that message (34528), it is good information for me!
Thanks Dagorath for the indept explanation. It is very useful to me. I have to read it carefully again and then start with the installation soon.
Also thanks to captainjack for the extra information.
I will use the link from captainjack for the dual boot installation.
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