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Message boards : Number crunching : What is so hard about Linux?

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Dagorath
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Message 35002 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014 | 17:27:56 UTC

I get the impression many GPUgrid crunchers would like to try Linux but are turned off by reports from those who have tried and either gave up or failed. What are the stumbling blocks? How could the whole process of installing Linux and BOINC and setting it up to crunch GPUgrid be made easier? Is it simply installing the OS itself? Is it installing BOINC? Is it the NVIDIA drivers? Let's discuss it and see if I and some of the other Linux users here can provide some scripts or packages that automate some of the harder parts.

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Message 35005 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014 | 18:27:28 UTC

I have no idea what is so hard on Linux, but I've been on Linux since 2001 and I'm very familiar with it and a terminal doesn't scare me away. I guess this is the most scary part for newcomers. They don't know Linux/UNIX commands so they don't know what to enter in a terminal and it takes (lots) time to Google, read and then enter the commands

That said, installing BOINC on Linux is as easy as entering a few commands (or using a GUI interface to install packages) in a terminal. Most distro's package BOINC so people can easily install it.

In case one needs to compile BOINC, I've written on the Team Belgium forum how to do that. My experience is compiling on openSUSE but it should be the same on other distro's too. http://teambelgium.net:8080/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=18
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Message 35008 - Posted: 12 Feb 2014 | 19:46:17 UTC

I tried GPUGrid about a year ago on Linux. It went fine for awhile; then I started getting lots of segfaults. Nobody seemed to be fixing the problem, so I left. This year WUs seem to be doing much better.

I've heard SMXI (and SGFXI) may be good driver install scripts, but I haven't tried them.

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Message 35011 - Posted: 13 Feb 2014 | 0:37:17 UTC - in response to Message 35005.

I have no idea what is so hard on Linux, but I've been on Linux since 2001 and I'm very familiar with it and a terminal doesn't scare me away. I guess this is the most scary part for newcomers. They don't know Linux/UNIX commands so they don't know what to enter in a terminal and it takes (lots) time to Google, read and then enter the commands


Terminal usage and CLI are daunting. I would like to engineer something that requires little or no terminal usage for installing BOINC, the shared libs BOINC requires and the NVIDIA drivers. Ideally they install Linux, allow it to install the updates then download a script they simply click on. The script checks the system's resources and installs the recommended BOINC and the recommended NVIDIA drivers. The script could have a GUI, a curses interface or plain CLI. The script would adjust all the permissions and take care of all the niggling details.

Even more convenient for newbies would be to derive a new Linux distro that installs everything required for BOINC and GPUgrid crunching when the OS installs. It would also have a daemon that checks for BOINC and NVIDIA driver updates, informs the user updates are available and installs them if and when the user wants them.

That said, installing BOINC on Linux is as easy as entering a few commands (or using a GUI interface to install packages) in a terminal. Most distro's package BOINC so people can easily install it.


That's an easy way to install BOINC on Linux but that's all it is. There are no regular updates and that sucks big time. What users need is a daemon that checks the BOINC website for new versions and installs them. The BOINC as a daemon concept is not useful for most newbies either because it installs everything on the boinc account. Later, when the user needs to install an app_info.xml or even edit gui_rpc_auth.cfg he doesn't have permission. Yes, there are easy ways to acquire the permissions but newbies are invariably stumped. Linux permissions are so foreign to them they don't have a clue. No matter how hard you try to explain it they invariably botch the commands and screw up the permissions on a dozen other things and bugger the entire system. That's when they go back to Windows and vow never to return to Linux land. So, BOINC needs to be installed on their own account rather than some unprivileged user's account. The client needs to be setup to autostart at boot time and there needs to be a way for the user to easily prevent it from starting at boot time. There needs to be a clickable icon on the desktop or task launcher that starts BOINC manager.

What crunchers need is to get up and crunching quickly and easily with a minimum of decision making and command typing. They don't want their RAC to decay while they're messing around learning about Linux permissions and learning to check what they've typed on the command line and waiting for their online helper to realize he spelled the command wrong or missed a vital space character when he posted the command the newbie needs to get BOINC running. Been there, done that, ain't going through that again.

I think the solution is a script that sets it all up. The script is limited in scope to just one distro to keep it simple and it gets tested thoroughly before it's released. After the newbie is up and running and crunching he does a complete backup so he can restore everything easily and then and only then is he ready to learn the inner workings of Linux, the CLI and whatnot.

In case one needs to compile BOINC, I've written on the Team Belgium forum how to do that. My experience is compiling on openSUSE but it should be the same on other distro's too. http://teambelgium.net:8080/forum/viewtopic.php?f=18&t=18


Thanks but compiling BOINC is the last thing a newbie wants to do and the last thing a newbie should need to do.


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Message 35012 - Posted: 13 Feb 2014 | 0:57:28 UTC - in response to Message 35008.

I tried GPUGrid about a year ago on Linux. It went fine for awhile; then I started getting lots of segfaults. Nobody seemed to be fixing the problem, so I left. This year WUs seem to be doing much better.

I've heard SMXI (and SGFXI) may be good driver install scripts, but I haven't tried them.


Thanks, I had never heard of those before. I checked them out and they look very good except for one deficiency. The author has condemned himself to a lifetime of script maintenance and updates by not making the script aware of new driver releases. In other words, whenever NVIDIA releases a new driver he has to add the new driver to the script and provide the new version of the script for download. If he ever decides to not update the script anymore it becomes useless code. I think I can do better than that and make the script intelligent enough to check for driver updates itself. Maybe the SGFXI author tried that idea and maybe there is a good reason why it doesn't work. OK, I guess one hurdle would be that NVIDIA might change their website or FTP site structure to something the script can't understand but that problem would occur far less frequently than a driver update.

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Message 35013 - Posted: 13 Feb 2014 | 10:10:40 UTC

Dagorath, I don't know what's possible, since i've never learned programming, but a GPUGrid/BOINC distro sounds like a really good idea. If it was possible to have a web interface somehow, similar to linux firewalls and NAS distros, in the way you can point and click and select what to do, then that would be awesome.

But again, i've no idea if this is at all possible with BOINC. If it is, one could have a headless box, and still be able to manage the box without hassle of logging in via terminal etc. This I think is one way to make it very simple for non-experienced linux users. Still, they would need to install it first of course, but installing a basic linux distro, like Ubuntu for instance, now adays can be very simple.

I use linux myself, and recently installed the newest nvidia drivers on my boxes, and it was quite a hassle in the way that the 'nouveau' drivers as it were, wouldn't get disabled until i wrote some lines in grub.cfg, which is what could really turn off new users. It required some research and hairpulling, since the Nvidia install script could not do this automatically.

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Message 35015 - Posted: 13 Feb 2014 | 12:52:56 UTC
Last modified: 13 Feb 2014 | 13:33:48 UTC

How about a list of what crunchers really need from Linux and then figure out how to approach each aspect. I think clear instruction is more important - scripts and GUI can come later.

1. Install and update operating system
- How about using same flavor / version as the GPUGrid team itself?
- Include network / wifi configuration

2. Install and update anti-virus
- Or is the Linux world 'immune' from virus?

3. Install and update nvidia drivers
- How to do this "on demand" - we don't need or necessarily want
to update to the newest drivers and there have been problems in the past.

- How about using same version as the GPUGrid team itself?

4. Install and update nvidia monitoring
- Would be nice to be able to check temps and 'down-clocking'

5. Install and update nvidia oc tooling (not necessary but would be nice).

6. Install and update cpu monitoring

7. Install and update boinc


- We are all on the same team so let's try to stay focused on the technology and show each other some respect. Quit calling me a newbie and talking about how I've failed and given up, how I don't already know things you find easy, what I find daunting and what scares me. All that's nothing but blowing smoke and frankly one of the biggest turnoffs I've encountered about Linux so far.

Please take a step back and keep the focus on the technology.
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Message 35017 - Posted: 13 Feb 2014 | 15:27:59 UTC - in response to Message 35013.

Dagorath, I don't know what's possible, since i've never learned programming, but a GPUGrid/BOINC distro sounds like a really good idea. If it was possible to have a web interface somehow, similar to linux firewalls and NAS distros, in the way you can point and click and select what to do, then that would be awesome.

But again, i've no idea if this is at all possible with BOINC. If it is, one could have a headless box, and still be able to manage the box without hassle of logging in via terminal etc. This I think is one way to make it very simple for non-experienced linux users. Still, they would need to install it first of course, but installing a basic linux distro, like Ubuntu for instance, now adays can be very simple.



As for the BOINC portion of the system you propose, that much would be easy thanks to BOINC's rpc interface. Unfortunately one needs to be able to interact with and maintain the OS too and there's the rub. I'm sure it's doable but it would be a huge job to provide, via a web/browser interface, all of the functionality one needs to maintain the OS. That need doesn't just disappear because the system is managed from a web interface. In the end it would be no better than desktop sharing which we already have. I'm all for reinventing the wheel if it will be a better wheel but I don't think it could be a better wheel in this case.

I use linux myself, and recently installed the newest nvidia drivers on my boxes, and it was quite a hassle in the way that the 'nouveau' drivers as it were, wouldn't get disabled until i wrote some lines in grub.cfg, which is what could really turn off new users. It required some research and hairpulling, since the Nvidia install script could not do this automatically.


I had the same trouble on Ubuntu 12.04 and putting lines in grub.cfg that should have caused a boot to a terminal didn't work for me. If you were using Ubuntu 12.04 and that method worked for you I would be very interested in knowing exactly what you put in grub.cfg because a solution like that is easy to include in a script. I found a slightly easier solution than the one you used but still it was "manual" and not something the average new user wants to go through and it's not a scriptable solution either. The only other option I see at this time is to use a distro and/or desktop that allows dropping to a terminal and disabling the nouveau driver with a simple "init 3" command in a script. That would mean either Debian, openSuse or Fedora, none of which realize that the ridiculousness of the their neurotic, overly-zealous, "pure, unencumbered open-source or we won't have it" user unfriendly policy is what guarantees they will never be as popular as Ubuntu.

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Message 35020 - Posted: 13 Feb 2014 | 17:26:39 UTC - in response to Message 35015.

How about a list of what crunchers really need from Linux and then figure out how to approach each aspect. I think clear instruction is more important - scripts and GUI can come later.


I tried clear and detailed instructions 2 years ago. I put over 100 hours of work into it. Yes, 100 hours. Before I released it to the general public I gave it to several Windows users who had expressed a desire to try Linux. Their unanimous opinion was that the length of the instructions was too scary. Not one of them even attempted it; they just blew it off on looks alone. 100 hours of hard work researching, testing, editing out "excessive wordiness" to make it concise and they just blew it off because it looked scary. Never again.

I'll give a "do it all script" or maybe a "do it all distro" a try and if that doesn't work then they can just bloody well man up and do what I did which is hunker down, learn to read and follow instructions, learn to ask meaningful questions, learn to at least try and post what you've already tried before whining for help, learn to not jump to ridiculous conclusions like "the all cheese pizza I ate last night caused my 'puter to crash, nothing else changed so it must be that, I knew I should have stuck with my usual pepperoni and green pepper", and learn Linux the usual way which is to WORK at it until you finally get it.


1. Install and update operating system
- How about using same flavor / version as the GPUGrid team itself?
- Include network / wifi configuration

2. Install and update anti-virus
- Or is the Linux world 'immune' from virus?

3. Install and update nvidia drivers
- How to do this "on demand" - we don't need or necessarily want
to update to the newest drivers and there have been problems in the past.

- How about using same version as the GPUGrid team itself?

4. Install and update nvidia monitoring
- Would be nice to be able to check temps and 'down-clocking'

5. Install and update nvidia oc tooling (not necessary but would be nice).

6. Install and update cpu monitoring

7. Install and update boinc


1) I see no benefit in using the same flavor/version as the GPUgrid team but if someone could point out a benefit I would be willing to consider it. Network and wifi configuration just happens on Linux. It's not like Windows which needs a configuration wizard for some reason. Linux just does it and it just works. The only exception is if the system has a non-standards compliant ethernet/wifi adaptor in which case it might need some manual setup. Fortunately it seems non-standards compliant devices have disappeared so network and wifi driver installation and setup issues are a thing of the past.

2) Virus protection... Only fools claim Linux is immune from viruses and attack. I may be stupid but I'm no fool ;-)
Anti-virus for the average user is minimal on Linux but on some distros it installs easily as a package from repository. It could easily be installed and configured in the kind of "do it all script" I propose.

3) NVIDIA drivers... yep, one of the bigger problesm and I agree 100% with the "on demand" idea. Again, that's all scriptable and at the top of the priority list for the "do it all script" or "do it all distro" I propose and am quite prepared to build and provide. As for using the same drivers as the GPUgrid team.... hmmm... that's doable if and only if they provide the driver version they are using in an easily accessible way and update that info on a regular basis. But I suspect they use a variety of driver versions. That's not to say I won't do it, just saying I would need to see a better reason than any of the reasons I can see in my mind. If you have a better reason then I'm willing to listen.

4) NVIDIA monitoring... the GUI app that ships with NVIDIA drivers for Linux does a pretty good job of that. It has a few deficiencies but I've mostly overcome those deficiencies with my gpu_d script which I intend to develop even further.

5) OC tooling... the current state of NVIDIA drivers for Linux doesn't allow OC. There may be ways around that and I am investigating. I can say that if temps are kept below 70*C then cards auto-boost clocks nicely on Linux.

6) CPU monitoring... easily done via "do it all script" or "do it all distro", piece of cake.

7) BOINC... I've got ideas for that and they're good. If I don't get any feedback on what the issues are with BOINC install then I'll just do it my way.

- We are all on the same team so let's try to stay focused on the technology and show each other some respect. Quit calling me a newbie and talking about how I've failed and given up, how I don't already know things you find easy, what I find daunting and what scares me. All that's nothing but blowing smoke and frankly one of the biggest turnoffs I've encountered about Linux so far.


I have a choice between typing "newbie" and "Windows users who are new to Linux". Given that choice what would you type? If you have a term that means the same as what I mean by newbie that you prefer then please let me know. New Linux users regularly call themselves newbies or noobs. In the Linux world we don't get all up tight about that stuff.

Regarding "failure"... I have a choice between saying "failed" and "didn't quite meet the challenge". Given that choice, what would you say? If there is another term that you find less offensive please let me know but bear in mind that in the Linux world we see nothing wrong with failure. It's regarded as part of the learning process.

Regarding how you don't know things I find easy... that works both ways... I don't a lot of things you find easy and I don't feel uncomfortable when you point that out. And if I did I wouldn't whine about it, I'd just suck it up and learn.

Please take a step back and keep the focus on the technology.


Thank you. I'll try to do that but I also want to offer some advice in return, grasshopper.... Linux isn't easy and if anyone wants to learn it then they best be prepared to fail and be not afraid to admit it. It's not just a technical challenge it's a mental/psyche/personality challenge as well. If I call you newbie or grasshopper it doesn't mean I hate you or that I laugh at you, it simply means I know what you are and I know your struggle because I was a newbie and a grasshopper one day too (and still am in many Linux circles) but I wore that moniker proudly because it meant I was no longer a frickin lemming.

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Message 35037 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014 | 13:27:13 UTC - in response to Message 35011.

I have no idea what is so hard on Linux, but I've been on Linux since 2001 and I'm very familiar with it and a terminal doesn't scare me away. I guess this is the most scary part for newcomers. They don't know Linux/UNIX commands so they don't know what to enter in a terminal and it takes (lots) time to Google, read and then enter the commands


Terminal usage and CLI are daunting. I would like to engineer something that requires little or no terminal usage for installing BOINC, the shared libs BOINC requires and the NVIDIA drivers. Ideally they install Linux, allow it to install the updates then download a script they simply click on. The script checks the system's resources and installs the recommended BOINC and the recommended NVIDIA drivers. The script could have a GUI, a curses interface or plain CLI. The script would adjust all the permissions and take care of all the niggling details.


YES THIS!!

Even more convenient for newbies would be to derive a new Linux distro that installs everything required for BOINC and GPUgrid crunching when the OS installs. It would also have a daemon that checks for BOINC and NVIDIA driver updates, informs the user updates are available and installs them if and when the user wants them.


I think this would end up being too time consuming to keep updated.

What crunchers need is to get up and crunching quickly and easily with a minimum of decision making and command typing. They don't want their RAC to decay while they're messing around learning about Linux permissions and learning to check what they've typed on the command line and waiting for their online helper to realize he spelled the command wrong or missed a vital space character when he posted the command the newbie needs to get BOINC running. Been there, done that, ain't going through that again.

I think the solution is a script that sets it all up. The script is limited in scope to just one distro to keep it simple and it gets tested thoroughly before it's released. After the newbie is up and running and crunching he does a complete backup so he can restore everything easily and then and only then is he ready to learn the inner workings of Linux, the CLI and whatnot.


YES, YES, YES!!! For instance use Ubuntu LT and make a package that the user can choose from a list such as if he has an Nvidia or AMD gpu, and installs the proper drivers. Then Boinc runs and the person goes thru the process of setting up the project, and it looks similar enough to the Windows version that they can just get Boinc up and crunching asap. All of this with very little input from the user and no command line stuff.

Ubuntu LT is JUST an example, it really doesn't matter as whatever works on most Intel and AMD cpu machines is what's needed. Windows is he!!bent on the licensing aspects and way too many people are getting frustrated and would like to move away and have heard about Linux, but it is just too daunting if you haven't done it before, or in awhile. Sure you can install Linux and be cpu crunching in no time, but gpu crunching is a whole other matter and sometimes you even need to put in delays etc to make it work. Then other times it won't automatically start back up again after a pc restart, you click the X and the thing shuts down unlike in Windows where it minimizes, etc, etc. In short all kinds of differences between the two OS's is the problem in getting people to switch and just crunch.

I don't need a machine that does dvd recording or whatever, I just need a setup that can be expanded to do that later on if I wish, but gets me up and crunching asap.

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Message 35039 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014 | 14:39:07 UTC
Last modified: 14 Feb 2014 | 15:03:27 UTC

I have been using Linux for quite a few years now. I still find that they are the most counter-intuitive OS (compared to Windows and OSX) with the highest learning curve and the highest instability.

Don't misunderstand me, I love working in Linux and cannot imagine working in Windows.

BUT I have never managed to crash Windows as badly as Linux and so frequently. Here's a list of my favorites:

Try installing a nice screensaver? Reboot and you are back to console without a clue on how to boot into gnome because your x-server configuration got fucked up.
Try installing the ATI drivers for your graphics card manually (not from a repo)? Reboot - graphics are all fucked up and there is no Add/Remove Programs where you can find the drivers to uninstall them.
Connect my USB sound card? Machine freezes requiring reboot.
Second hard drive dead? Can't reboot into gnome, have to fix from command line.
Right click on Nvidia manager panel icon to configure second monitor? Crash machine.

No matter if these are all problems due to 3rd party drivers or whatever and that you can google the solutions or not install stuff outside the package manager etc. Windows is simply more stable for an end-user perspective and doesn't require you to learn all of its internal workings. For example, why would any user need to know where the hell the Xorg config file is stored to restore the backup or that he even has to do that to get back to a human user interface.

So to not cause misunderstandings: I would hate to have to work in Windows especially for research but I would never personally recommend anyone who is not a computer scientist to install linux (unless you don't give them root access, in which case they cannot do anything or fuck up anything).

Obvious exception is if you are getting really serious into the crunching business, in which case it might make sense to learn some Linux.

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Message 35041 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014 | 17:00:34 UTC - in response to Message 35037.

Even more convenient for newbies would be to derive a new Linux distro that installs everything required for BOINC and GPUgrid crunching when the OS installs. It would also have a daemon that checks for BOINC and NVIDIA driver updates, informs the user updates are available and installs them if and when the user wants them.


I think this would end up being too time consuming to keep updated.


Not really. There is a tool one can use to derive a new distro from an existing Ubuntu distro. Since the new distro (let's call it Crunchuntu) would be derived from Ubuntu it would use all of Ubuntu's package update and maintenance infrastructure. I wouldn't have to touch or maintain any of that as it's maintained by Debian/Ubuntu and the community. Crunchuntu would be everything Ubuntu is now plus a script that does all the BOINC and GPU setup work you and others want done. That script would ship with the OS and run automatically when you install the OS. It would ask you a few questions, check/verify some stuff then tell you something like "based on your answers and my own checks, I'm going to install <whatever>. If you want something different then click the Advanced button where you can customize the installation to your specific needs else click Proceed to install the items in the above list". Or something similar to that.

The alternative is to have you install some existing distro (Ubuntu LT for example) and then have you download the script and run it manually. You see I would still have to maintain the script but on top of that you have to do extra work downloading and running it. If it's bundled up in the OS then it's one-stop-shopping for you. The only extra work for me with the other approach would be learning how to derive Crunchuntu from Ubuntu but that's something I need to do anyway as part of my plan to take control of all the nukes and declare myself Supreme Ruler of the Solar System For Life.

For instance use Ubuntu LT and make a package that the user can choose from a list such as if he has an Nvidia or AMD gpu, and installs the proper drivers.


I hadn't planned on doing anything for AMD users. And if by "package" you mean a regular Linux style package that resides in a repository and installs via the distro's package manager software.... well that could work but again it means extra work for users. They would have to add the repository to their list of software sources or I would have to get my package included in one of the repositories that are included in the list of software sources installed by the existing Ubuntu. That's a political process I don't want to deal with it. Having users add the repository name is frought with potential errors. They'll leave a spce or comma out of the name and it won't work and then they'll whine about how Linux just isn't user friendly when the real problem is they can't read what's on the screen and type it into a box. Been there, done that, ain't gonna deal with that again. I would rather just create/derive a new distro.

Then Boinc runs and the person goes thru the process of setting up the project, and it looks similar enough to the Windows version that they can just get Boinc up and crunching asap. All of this with very little input from the user and no command line stuff.


I don't plan on altering BOINC for Linux to make it look exactly like BOINC for Windows. The differences are miniscule differences. Users will just have to learn how to cope with the differences. If they can't do that then sorry but there's only so much hand holding I'm willing to do.

Ubuntu LT is JUST an example, it really doesn't matter as whatever works on most Intel and AMD cpu machines is what's needed. Windows is he!!bent on the licensing aspects and way too many people are getting frustrated and would like to move away and have heard about Linux


History repeats itself. Windows succeeded in part because IBM was seen as establishment that was interested only in profit and out of touch with customer needs. Not saying that perception was true, just saying that was the perception. Bill Gates was a likeable nerd who drove around in a Volkswagen and sang silly songs. Now Microsoft is perceived as the money grubbing out of touch establishment and people are beginning to reject it the way they rejected IBM. Don't be surprised if Microsoft gets out of the OS market within the next 10 years and limits itself to apps that run on Linux or Android. The only other way they'll compete with Android and survive in the OS market is to hire Linus Torvalds, fire everybody else right down to the janitor and let Torvalds show them how it's done.

but it is just too daunting if you haven't done it before, or in awhile. Sure you can install Linux and be cpu crunching in no time, but gpu crunching is a whole other matter and sometimes you even need to put in delays etc to make it work. Then other times it won't automatically start back up again after a pc restart, you click the X and the thing shuts down unlike in Windows where it minimizes, etc, etc. In short all kinds of differences between the two OS's is the problem in getting people to switch and just crunch.


I think some of those odd behaviors can be attributed to PICNIC.

I don't need a machine that does dvd recording or whatever, I just need a setup that can be expanded to do that later on if I wish, but gets me up and crunching asap.


See that's another reason for creating Crunchuntu. I could trim it down to something leaner than Ubuntu, eliminate services that most crunchers will never use, install services that crunchers really could use, etc. It would retain the ability to install all the non-BOINC related applications and services later, if the user wants them.

Examples of BOINC related services/apps that could be auto installed and configured in Crunchuntu:


  • A PXE boot setup/configuration wizard that helps those with BOINC farms setup their farm so that it needs only 1 disk. All the crunch boxes boot off that disk and use it for storage. It makes it easy(er) to configure BOINC for a number of different machines and it wears out only 1 disk instead of several.

  • Sometimes tasks get stuck and will run forever until they're aborted in spite of safeguards in BOINC. Why not have a service that watches for stuck tasks and either aborts them or suspends them, notifies the user, etc.

  • Some projects, CPDN for example, have tasks that run for weeks. How about a service that automatically backs up those tasks and restores them if they crash before completion?

  • If you crunch several different projects it can be a bit of a chore to go to each project's website and check if your results are verifying. It would be nice to have a service that does that for you once a day, every other day or whatever and reports how many of your results failed for each project you crunch. It could even suspend any project for which you receive more than say 3 failed verifications in a row or more than say 10 per week.

  • How about a service that tracks exactly how much time BOINC gives to each of your projects and creates pie charts you can use to see if the scheduler is respecting your share allocations?

  • How about an app that analyses your system and BOINC configuration once in a while to see if you've got any obvious configuration errors?


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Message 35042 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014 | 17:38:52 UTC - in response to Message 35039.

I've never had those kinds of problems with Linux but then I don't use a USB soundcard, second monitor, screensaver (wtf for), etc., and I doubt most users do. Also, I've heard similar reports about Windows and OSX. Myself, I find Ubuntu far more stable than Windows ever was. As for intuitive... well, intuitive is a mindset. Now that I'm used to Ubuntu I find Windows incredibly non-intuitive and a real PITA to do anything with. I hate it and avoid it as much as possible.

If Windows is working for you and you don't mind paying for upgrades then stick with it. If it's not working for you then give Linux a shot, that's all I'm saying. If your GPUs aren't running as well as they could and it's because of Windows' driver model then consider Linux.

Sometimes I think every OS sucks even Linux and that if one could somehow quantify how much each one sucks you'd find they all suck about the same amount and the only difference is they suck in different ways or at different frequency. However, if I'm going to be stuck with an OS that sucks then I'll pick the one I don't have to pay for and the one that annoys me the least. If what skgivens says about Microsoft using Linux server in their data centre(s) is true then apparently Microsoft feels somewhat the way I do about the matter.

For the average user whose activities are restricted to email, live chat, skype, web surfing, collecting and organizing music and photos, scanning photos, watching videos and other run of the mill activities I truly believe Linux is every bit as good as Windows and OSX if not better, that's it's more stable and just as intuitive after you've used it for a while. And at a far lower cost.

I also know people who use it in commercial enterprise settings for drafting, engineering, website development and SCADA and they say they'll never go back to Windows.

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Message 35043 - Posted: 14 Feb 2014 | 19:20:57 UTC - in response to Message 35039.
Last modified: 14 Feb 2014 | 19:25:15 UTC

I have been using Linux for quite a few years now. I still find that they are the most counter-intuitive OS (compared to Windows and OSX) with the highest learning curve and the highest instability.

Don't misunderstand me, I love working in Linux and cannot imagine working in Windows.

BUT I have never managed to crash Windows as badly as Linux and so frequently. Here's a list of my favorites:

Try installing a nice screensaver? Reboot and you are back to console without a clue on how to boot into gnome because your x-server configuration got fucked up.
Try installing the ATI drivers for your graphics card manually (not from a repo)? Reboot - graphics are all fucked up and there is no Add/Remove Programs where you can find the drivers to uninstall them.
Connect my USB sound card? Machine freezes requiring reboot.
Second hard drive dead? Can't reboot into gnome, have to fix from command line.
Right click on Nvidia manager panel icon to configure second monitor? Crash machine.

No matter if these are all problems due to 3rd party drivers or whatever and that you can google the solutions or not install stuff outside the package manager etc. Windows is simply more stable for an end-user perspective and doesn't require you to learn all of its internal workings. For example, why would any user need to know where the hell the Xorg config file is stored to restore the backup or that he even has to do that to get back to a human user interface.

So to not cause misunderstandings: I would hate to have to work in Windows especially for research but I would never personally recommend anyone who is not a computer scientist to install linux (unless you don't give them root access, in which case they cannot do anything or fuck up anything).

Obvious exception is if you are getting really serious into the crunching business, in which case it might make sense to learn some Linux.


Emm, I have quite the opposite experience. From 2001 (when I started with Linux) until now I've only had 3 or 4 crashes on my machines, and they were all due to prop drivers. Linux has been rock solid for me over the years. Sure, I had some lockups here and there, but it was mostly due to new hardware being initially supported by the kernel, so its in-kernel drivers had some issues.

I don't know what distro you use, but it surely can't be good if you had so many problems. Also, once you know where "everything" is located, I find Linux to be more better structured than the Windows mess (talking about directory hierarchy/locations and the mess called the registry)

In Linux, when something goes bad like your Xorg issues, at least it drops you to a console where you can do something about it. Bad driver in Windows? Enjoy your cryptic error massage and sit back 'cause you don't get a console to at least try to find out what's wrong. Clueless people will take such thing to the computer shop for a reinstall because there's no ability offered to them to fix it.

Yes, Linux has still a lot of issues and I don't recommend it to people who are not serious about getting to know the system a bit, which then unleashes its true power. I still recommend Windows for your average Joe who only needs Facebook/Twitter/email and office.
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Message 35049 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 13:22:46 UTC - in response to Message 35041.


See that's another reason for creating Crunchuntu. I could trim it down to something leaner than Ubuntu, eliminate services that most crunchers will never use, install services that crunchers really could use, etc. It would retain the ability to install all the non-BOINC related applications and services later, if the user wants them.

Examples of BOINC related services/apps that could be auto installed and configured in Crunchuntu:


  • A PXE boot setup/configuration wizard that helps those with BOINC farms setup their farm so that it needs only 1 disk. All the crunch boxes boot off that disk and use it for storage. It makes it easy(er) to configure BOINC for a number of different machines and it wears out only 1 disk instead of several.

  • Sometimes tasks get stuck and will run forever until they're aborted in spite of safeguards in BOINC. Why not have a service that watches for stuck tasks and either aborts them or suspends them, notifies the user, etc.

  • Some projects, CPDN for example, have tasks that run for weeks. How about a service that automatically backs up those tasks and restores them if they crash before completion?

  • If you crunch several different projects it can be a bit of a chore to go to each project's website and check if your results are verifying. It would be nice to have a service that does that for you once a day, every other day or whatever and reports how many of your results failed for each project you crunch. It could even suspend any project for which you receive more than say 3 failed verifications in a row or more than say 10 per week.

  • How about a service that tracks exactly how much time BOINC gives to each of your projects and creates pie charts you can use to see if the scheduler is respecting your share allocations?

  • How about an app that analyses your system and BOINC configuration once in a while to see if you've got any obvious configuration errors?



I'M IN where can I download it?!!!!!

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Message 35051 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 15:08:21 UTC - in response to Message 35002.

What are the stumbling blocks?

Curious you should ask. I just built a new Haswell machine (4770) a couple of days ago, and while waiting for my Windows disc to arrive, thought I would try Linux Mint 16 Cinnamon 64-bit. That is supposed to be easy to use, and this is a dedicated machine, so I don't have to worry about anything except BOINC on it. But it will be remotely controlled over the LAN, which leads to several problems.

    You have to learn what Root, Home and Swap directories are before you can even install it, and guess what size they should be; not a problem in Windows.

    You next find out that you can't access the BOINC folder to install the files for remote viewing of BOINCTasks until you Take Ownership, which is not a problem in Windows. And of course you are stuck with whatever version of BOINC they give you (7.2.7) unless you want to try and figure out how to install the latest version yourself. Windows makes it trivially easy to install BOINC, or anything else for that matter.

    Now for the good part. I need a remote desktop control program, so tried TightVNC, which works fine on my Windows machines. But using either the TightVNC or VNC server under Mint, and the Linux machine crashes as soon as I try to access it over the LAN. It is some sort of known bug, but don't see a solution applicable to me. Maybe it will be fixed in the next version, whenever that is.

    But at least BOINC works properly running WCG/MCM on the CPU, which was the first test (well except when VNC crashed, which errored out those work units).

    However, to run my GTX 660s for GPUGrid, I need to reduce the number of CPU cores used for WCG. But I now find that I can't change the percentage of processors in use (or any other BOINC preference), probably because of the above-noted change in ownership, but I really don't have the enthusiasm to find out. It won't really be a problem, since I will be replacing Linux as soon as my Windows disc arrives.



Addendum: None of the usual utilities (GPU-Z, etc.) for measuring CPU and GPU temperature are available, and the Linux equivalents are hard to find and install; a lot of them need to be run from the command line, and aren't very convenient to use. (Even finding programs in the start list, or whatever they call it in Mint, is not as easy as it is in Windows.)

I think Linux is fine if you use it in your work, but hopeless for home use. Bill Gates need not worry about his MS stock, unless they do themselves in by Win8.

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Message 35052 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 15:48:33 UTC - in response to Message 35049.

I'M IN where can I download it?!!!!!


I'll let you know where you can download it after I build it, if I can build it. If I can't then I'll have to drop back to plan B which is where you install an available distro, let it update then download and install either a script or a package that does all of the other things for you.

I can build scripts now so I might even just start off with that scenario and try for Crunchuntu later when I learn how to do that.
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Message 35053 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 15:54:24 UTC - in response to Message 35051.
Last modified: 15 Feb 2014 | 16:03:31 UTC



I think Linux is fine if you use it in your work, but hopeless for home use. Bill Gates need not worry about his MS stock, unless they do themselves in by Win8.


No doubt Windows is easy. It's what you know. Don't expect Linux to work/look/behave the same. After all, if it did, what's the point in having it?

It's not hopeless for home use. My mom used to use it after some getting used to. She watches mostly movies on it and does some mail reading. My mom is both a techno-phobic and tech-illiterate so anything to do with technology, she's scare of and not very interested in. Sadly, my mom is no longer (died of cancer a year ago). And here's the thing and "advantage" she has. She's never used computers much, so it doesn't matter to her whether it's Windows or Linux. I just put her in front and explained a few things on how to use it and where stuff goes to (like saving in /home/username, etc). After a few days, she stopped asking questions and got familiar. Never complained once about it. The "advantage" here is, from the perspective of a person who's never used a PC, it doesn't matter what you offer them. If they have the support, eventually they'll learn to use it with ease

I use it on all my home computers and is just fine for home use. I don't have problems with permissions, watching or encoding videos, listening to and managing my music, writing websites, writing documents, etc. Of course, I'm very familiar with it but I wasn't born with that knowledge. It takes both time and effort to get to know a new platform. I've been there and seen it all from the beginning. Everyone's been a noob at some point, right? :)

This is the problem with most people. They try out something totally different and new to them, see it doesn't work like the thing they're used to, and get discouraged and go back to their familiar stuff.

"Not having enthusiasm" translates to me as "I just gave up" because I'm not interested/lazy/takes too much time/etc.

Look at Win8. A lot of people I know are just confused by Metro and want their old familiar desktop back. Same thing applies to Linux. It's different so they want the old back instead of sticking with the different and learning it. But it takes effort and persistence
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Message 35054 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 16:12:44 UTC - in response to Message 35053.
Last modified: 15 Feb 2014 | 16:31:17 UTC

This is the problem with most people. They try out something totally different and new to them, see it doesn't work like the thing they're used to, and get discouraged and go back to their familiar stuff.

I was using the vi editor under Unix before most people on this forum were born, and dearly hoped never to see it again. I think I will keep it that way.

But as with most such discussions, after asking why Bill Gates is a billionaire rather than the developers of Linux, the partisans ignore the results. I would not expect anything less.

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Message 35056 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 16:46:32 UTC - in response to Message 35051.

What are the stumbling blocks?

Curious you should ask.


Curious you should reply just to confirm what we already know... we can't drive a Ferrari like we drove our old Volkswagen Beetle and expect satisfactory results. When you're ready to spend a little time learning to drive a Ferrari, it really isn't that hard, I think you'll be amazed.

Sorry to hear your GPU will continue to perform poorly on Win8.



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Message 35057 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 16:56:33 UTC - in response to Message 35056.

Sorry to hear your GPU will continue to perform poorly on Win8.

Actually, I will be trying XP, if that will work on a Haswell machine. I already have one GTX 660 on XP that is working faster than Win7 (especially with the beta drivers), and I doubt that Linux offers any advantage over XP.

Speaking of which, though I didn't mention it above as it is not relevant to GPUGrid, I was quite surprised to find that Linux runs the WCG/MCM more slowly on the CPU than does Win7. In fact a comparable work unit (same series) that takes 4 hours on Win7 64-bit takes 5 1/2 hours on Linux Mint 64-bit. I am not sure why that is, and there may be other factors than the OS, but I will know more when I can try XP on it. (And the lack of hardware monitoring tools is another reason to get away from Linux.)

If you like it, have fun.

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Message 35058 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 17:07:13 UTC - in response to Message 35054.

This is the problem with most people. They try out something totally different and new to them, see it doesn't work like the thing they're used to, and get discouraged and go back to their familiar stuff.

I was using the vi editor under Unix before most people on this forum were born, and dearly hoped never to see it again. I think I will keep it that way.


Bingo! Dude, vi is available in Linux but that's not the only editor it offers. Had you bothered to spend 10 seconds learning to drive your Ferrari you would find the text editors it offers beat the pants off of any text editor your old Beetle offers and you just click on the icon to start them. But if you prefer edlin then fill your boots.

But as with most such discussions, after asking why Bill Gates is a billionaire rather than the developers of Linux, the partisans ignore the results. I would not expect anything less.


You're wrong about that too. I've never ignored that question or the results. The reason Bill Gates is a billionaire and not Linux developers is because Bill Gates is a crook, a fraud, a cheap huckster, and lemmings are too stupid to realize it or even dream of the possibility that anything else could be equal or superior.

Now I ask you this.... Why is Bill Gates giving away his fortune?

The answer... He thinks he's going to hell for being the biggest crook in the entire history of the free Western world and he's trying to atone for his sins before he dies. (Yah, there is no hell and no god but Gates thinks there might be and doesn't want to take a chance)

Partisan: lemming speak, name for anybody they don't like

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Message 35059 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 17:11:46 UTC - in response to Message 35058.

Partisan: lemming speak, name for anybody they don't like

A partisan is one who speaks highly of the free market system until they get to Bill Gates, and then they assign him to the nether regions for being successful at it.

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Message 35060 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 17:36:46 UTC - in response to Message 35054.
Last modified: 15 Feb 2014 | 17:46:29 UTC

This is the problem with most people. They try out something totally different and new to them, see it doesn't work like the thing they're used to, and get discouraged and go back to their familiar stuff.

I was using the vi editor under Unix before most people on this forum were born, and dearly hoped never to see it again. I think I will keep it that way.

But as with most such discussions, after asking why Bill Gates is a billionaire rather than the developers of Linux, the partisans ignore the results. I would not expect anything less.


LOL? This is your reply. I tried software X many years ago, I didn't like Software X for OS Y, so all software made for OS Y must be equally bad, including the OS Y itself. You might wanna look up logical fallacies. I'm sure yours classifies as one

If my mom can learn to use Linux in a week, knowing how my mom thinks and acts, I'm sure many more people will have no problem learning it too. It's just that they lack some things that prevents them, like little time, lazy, no interest, busy with other stuff, etc

In reply to your partitioning issue, the reason people don't know how to do it, is because Windows is pre-installed on PCs. 90% of people buy PCs with it already functioning so they don't need to bother or learn how to do it. If you need to install Windows yourself, Windows itself already makes a sane default that you just need to accept. Guess what? Most if not all Linux installers do the same. Regular people don't install Windows. They are happy if all is set up and they can use it. If something goes bad and they can't fix it, the PC shop will do it for a small fee. This is what I call "dumbing down" people

Personally, I'm very thankful UNIX and Linux exist. Without them, I would never have learned how to program, set up servers, write websites, automate tasks and let the computer work for me without me looking, and even get into crunching (which is thanks to Linux).

Anyways, I'm not trying to convince you here. Not even trying to change your mind. Just don't make assumptions based on very limited experiences and throw out statements like "I didn't like X so X must be bad for others too as I'll never recommend it".

In response to Bill Gates. Guess what? Gates didn't got rich from writing Windows himself. He stole and built on already existing, often raw, technology. This in combination with his genius-like, business-centric mind is what got him the money. it's called exploiting opportunities and sometimes being at the right time at the right place

The "developer of Linux" is not a billionair because that's not his goal. He does it for the love of technology, while Gates' underlying drive was to get rich in addition to setting a computer in every home.
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Message 35061 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 17:43:23 UTC - in response to Message 35060.
Last modified: 15 Feb 2014 | 17:43:54 UTC

This is the problem with most people. They try out something totally different and new to them, see it doesn't work like the thing they're used to, and get discouraged and go back to their familiar stuff.

I was using the vi editor under Unix before most people on this forum were born, and dearly hoped never to see it again. I think I will keep it that way.

But as with most such discussions, after asking why Bill Gates is a billionaire rather than the developers of Linux, the partisans ignore the results. I would not expect anything less.


LOL? This is your reply. I tried software X many years ago, I didn't like Software X for OS Y, so all software made for OS Y must be equally bad, including the OS Y itself. You might wanna look up logical fallacies. I'm sure yours classifies as one

If my mom can learn to use Linux in a week, knowing how my mom thinks and acts, I'm sure many more people will have no problem learning it too. It's just that they lack some things that prevents them, like little time, lazy, no interest, busy with other stuff, etc

In reply to your partitioning issue, the reason people don't know how to do it, is because Windows is pre-installed on PCs. 90% of people buy PCs with it already functioning so they don't need to bother or learn how to do it. If you need to install Windows yourself, Windows itself already makes a sane default that you just need to accept. Guess what? Most if not all Linux installers do the same. Regular people don't install Windows. They are happy if all is set up and they can use it. If something goes back and they can't fix it, the PC shop will do it for a small fee. This is what I call "dumbing down" people

Personally, I'm very thankful UNIX and Linux exist. Without them, I would never have learned how to program, set up servers, write websites, automate tasks and let the computer work for me without me looking, and even get into crunching (which is thanks to Linux).

Anyways, I'm not trying to convince you here. Not ever trying to change your mind. Just don't make assumptions based on very limited experiences and throw out statements like "I didn't like X so X must be bad for others too as I'll never recommend it".

In response to Bill Gates. Guess what? Gates didn't got rich from writing Windows himself. He stole and built on already existing, often raw, technology. This in combination with his genius-like, business-centric mind is what got him the money.

I won't try to respond to all of your diatribe, there is no answer to a vacuum anyway. But you managed to totally miss the point about vi, even though I had clearly stated that I was trying out Linux Mint now. The point is that I am not adverse to trying out something new (or else I would not be trying out Mint, would I?), but that the same type of limitations that existed many years ago on Linux and its precursor Unix are still with us. They have not made much progress on user friendliness. That opened up a huge door for MS, and Bill stepped right through it, to the eternal annoyance of Linux fans ever since.

I can use Linux too once it is set up; ask you Mom to get GPUGrid running under BOINC while remotely monitoring it. But the even more basic question is why bother? You have not attempted to answer that one, except for vindictives against Bill.

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Message 35062 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 17:47:57 UTC - in response to Message 35057.

Sorry to hear your GPU will continue to perform poorly on Win8.

Actually, I will be trying XP, if that will work on a Haswell machine. I already have one GTX 660 on XP that is working faster than Win7 (especially with the beta drivers), and I doubt that Linux offers any advantage over XP.


If you're thinking striclty from a performance on GPUgrid perspective then you're right, Linux has no advantage over XP, assuming it will work with your CPU and chipset. For a dedicated cruncher it might be all you need. Or it might not. Let us know how it turns out.

From a broader perspective and by that I mean mostly "for a machine that will be used for everyday activities as well as GPUgrid crunching", Linux has huge advantages but I don't think you're mentally prepared to accept that possibility, the way a drunk isn't prepared to accept the fact he has to sober up until he hits rock bottom. Don't get me wrong, nothing wrong with rock bottom, I've been to every rocky bottom there is and even invented a few nobody ever heard of before. It's what you do after you get there that counts.

Speaking of which, though I didn't mention it above as it is not relevant to GPUGrid, I was quite surprised to find that Linux runs the WCG/MCM more slowly on the CPU than does Win7.


Surprised huh? And what will you say when I tell you there are plenty of projects that run slower on Windows than they do on Linux? Will you say "I'm quite surprised" or will you cover your furry little ears with your cute little paws and yell "nahnahnahnahnahnahnaaaaaaah, caaaaaaan't heeeeeeaaaaarrrrr yoooooooooooooooooo" the way Gates brainwashes his little lemming bitches to do?

And the lack of hardware monitoring tools is another reason to get away from Linux.


There is no lack of hardware monitoring tools on Linux, just a lack in your
ability to find and run them. See on Linux we have this thing called Google? It helps you find stuff and learn stuff?

If you like it, have fun.


Thank you! Hope you like scratched up XP disk you're getting off Ebay, or is it some virus laden hijack disk from pirate bay? Maybe a knock off from Shanghai?

Also, I buy clay pigeons for about 26 cents each in lots of 500. What could I get 500 of those XP disks for? They're smaller and fly faster than clay pigeons which makes them more of a challenge. And for rookies they fit nicely into a crack on a fence post, clay pigeons don't.

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Message 35063 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 17:51:54 UTC - in response to Message 35062.

It looks like you have given up on performance and ease of use, and are resorting to drinking habits. Let us know what you come up with.

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Message 35064 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 17:53:54 UTC - in response to Message 35061.

This is the problem with most people. They try out something totally different and new to them, see it doesn't work like the thing they're used to, and get discouraged and go back to their familiar stuff.

I was using the vi editor under Unix before most people on this forum were born, and dearly hoped never to see it again. I think I will keep it that way.

But as with most such discussions, after asking why Bill Gates is a billionaire rather than the developers of Linux, the partisans ignore the results. I would not expect anything less.


LOL? This is your reply. I tried software X many years ago, I didn't like Software X for OS Y, so all software made for OS Y must be equally bad, including the OS Y itself. You might wanna look up logical fallacies. I'm sure yours classifies as one

If my mom can learn to use Linux in a week, knowing how my mom thinks and acts, I'm sure many more people will have no problem learning it too. It's just that they lack some things that prevents them, like little time, lazy, no interest, busy with other stuff, etc

In reply to your partitioning issue, the reason people don't know how to do it, is because Windows is pre-installed on PCs. 90% of people buy PCs with it already functioning so they don't need to bother or learn how to do it. If you need to install Windows yourself, Windows itself already makes a sane default that you just need to accept. Guess what? Most if not all Linux installers do the same. Regular people don't install Windows. They are happy if all is set up and they can use it. If something goes back and they can't fix it, the PC shop will do it for a small fee. This is what I call "dumbing down" people

Personally, I'm very thankful UNIX and Linux exist. Without them, I would never have learned how to program, set up servers, write websites, automate tasks and let the computer work for me without me looking, and even get into crunching (which is thanks to Linux).

Anyways, I'm not trying to convince you here. Not ever trying to change your mind. Just don't make assumptions based on very limited experiences and throw out statements like "I didn't like X so X must be bad for others too as I'll never recommend it".

In response to Bill Gates. Guess what? Gates didn't got rich from writing Windows himself. He stole and built on already existing, often raw, technology. This in combination with his genius-like, business-centric mind is what got him the money.

I won't try to respond to all of your diatribe, there is no answer to a vacuum anyway. But you managed to totally miss the point about vi, even though I had clearly stated that I was trying out Linux Mint now. The point is that I am not adverse to trying out something new (or else I would not be trying out Mint, would I?), but that the same type of limitations that existed many years ago on Linux and its precursor Unix are still with us. They have not made much progress on user friendliness. That opened up a huge door for MS, and Bill stepped right through it, to the eternal annoyance of Linux fans ever since.

I can use Linux too once it is set up; ask you Mom to get GPUGrid running under BOINC while remotely monitoring it. But the even more basic question is why bother? You have not attempted to answer that one, except for vindictives against Bill.


Which limitation exactly? The only thing you said is that you prefer not to see or use vi again. You didn't explain why, unless I missed it. Do you think I find all software for Linux/UNIX awesome? Or that I think UNIX/Linux doesn't have issues? Of course there's software that sucks or that a person doesn't like it. I also have my preference about which desktop environment I use, which CLI editor, which GUI editor, which language I use for scripting, etc, etc

If my mom was alive, I'm sure she can set it up. Don't think that just because my mom doesn't know computers much, she lacks the brainpower to set something up. Given enough time and a bit of research, she can do it :)

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Message 35065 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:01:44 UTC - in response to Message 35064.
Last modified: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:06:24 UTC


The point is that I am not adverse to trying out something new (or else I would not be trying out Mint, would I?), but that the same type of limitations that existed many years ago on Linux and its precursor Unix are still with us. They have not made much progress on user friendliness. That opened up a huge door for MS, and Bill stepped right through it, to the eternal annoyance of Linux fans ever since.


Actually, no. The limitations are only in your little experienced mind. You also might wanna read up on why Windows became the default on all sold PCs (hint, hint, MS pays HW manufacturers) and also read on what happened during the UNIX wars that your beloved Bill exploited to become the dominant player

Oh boy, for someone who "used vi even before most on this forum were born", you surely don't know a lot of history

Anyways, I see where this is going. Windows Vs Linux, and not the OPs original intent to make the transition to Linux painless for new crunchers.
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Message 35066 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:05:12 UTC - in response to Message 35065.
Last modified: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:08:48 UTC

Actually, no. The limitations are only in your little experienced mind. You also might wanna read up on why Windows became the default on all sold PCs (hint, hint, MS pays HW manufacturers) and also read on what happened during the UNIX wars that your beloved Bill exploited to become the dominant player

Oh boy, for someone who "used vi even before most on this forum were born", you surely don't know a lot of history

You aren't even close. MS became dominant because IBM adopted it, and let Bill Gates keep the copyright on the software (DOS). He then took it and ran, developing better versions thereafter. Try an alternative universe where you explanation might be more accepted.

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Message 35067 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:11:42 UTC - in response to Message 35061.

I won't try to respond to all of your diatribe, there is no answer to a vacuum anyway.


So facts you can't face are just a vacuum, huh? Whatever.

But you managed to totally miss the point about vi, even though I had clearly stated that I was trying out Linux Mint now. The point is that I am not adverse to trying out something new (or else I would not be trying out Mint, would I?),


You expect anybody to catch a point you never made? Interesting!

Nah, I don't think you tried out Mint at all. I think all you did was report to Lemming Central that you've spotted a partisan and they sent you a link to pages of BS about Linux that you're now copying and pasting into posts here. I mean anybody who has really tried Linux can't be saying what you're saying unless they're lieing or they're, well, you know, cognitively challenged.

...but that the same type of limitations that existed many years ago on Linux and its precursor Unix are still with us. They have not made much progress on user friendliness. That opened up a huge door for MS, and Bill stepped right through it, to the eternal annoyance of Linux fans ever since.


Continue living in the past if you wish. The truth is a ton of progress has been made on the user friendliness front, more progress than Windows has made IMHO. The fact that lemmings aren't allowed to admit that fact is amusing to Linux users, not annoying. Bill's money? That proves nothing about anything so that couldn't possibly annoy a sane person.

I can use Linux too once it is set up; ask you Mom to get GPUGrid running under BOINC while remotely monitoring it. But the even more basic question is why bother? You have not attempted to answer that one, except for vindictives against Bill.


More lemming lies from Lemming Central. Gotta admit you copy and paste pretty fast. Your question has been answered repeatedly. My guess is either you're stupid and can't read or the "truth about LINUX detector" on your Win machine is filtering out the responses. That would be Gates' style.


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Message 35068 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:14:28 UTC - in response to Message 35063.

It looks like you have given up on performance and ease of use, and are resorting to drinking habits. Let us know what you come up with.


I sobered up in 1996 as a matter of fact and haven't resorted to liquid courage since then, not even once. Cold turkey. You should try it too.

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Message 35069 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:15:19 UTC - in response to Message 35067.

I can use Linux too once it is set up; ask you Mom to get GPUGrid running under BOINC while remotely monitoring it. But the even more basic question is why bother? You have not attempted to answer that one, except for vindictives against Bill.


More lemming lies from Lemming Central. Gotta admit you copy and paste pretty fast. Your question has been answered repeatedly. My guess is either you're stupid and can't read or the "truth about LINUX detector" on your Win machine is filtering out the responses. That would be Gates' style.

How did she fix the VNC crash? I can still try it out before the Windows disc arrives. I don't want to stand in the way of your search for truth.

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Message 35070 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:16:40 UTC - in response to Message 35066.

Actually, no. The limitations are only in your little experienced mind. You also might wanna read up on why Windows became the default on all sold PCs (hint, hint, MS pays HW manufacturers) and also read on what happened during the UNIX wars that your beloved Bill exploited to become the dominant player

Oh boy, for someone who "used vi even before most on this forum were born", you surely don't know a lot of history

You aren't even close. MS became dominant because IBM adopted it, and let Bill Gates keep the copyright on the software (DOS). Try an alternative universe where you explanation might be more accepted.



Why do you think IBM adopted it? Because the software was so amazing? For Christ's sake, the early versions were bug-filled.

In the initial planning, IBM was pushing its own OS for the PC-compatible, only the BASIC-interpreter was to be made by MS. After time, when IBM saw their new OS didn't progress as planned, they went to MS and MS agreed to deliver the OS. Billy initially planned to write it himself but soon went searching at other firms until he discovered QDOS that MS bought for 50.000 dollars and developed it further.... if you want more history, there's this amazing search engine called Google that can help you

No, because Billy boy exploited yet another opportunity ;)

Ad-hominem attacks to "try another universe" don't work on me ;)
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Message 35071 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:19:22 UTC - in response to Message 35070.

Why do you think IBM adopted it? Because the software was so amazing? For Christ's sake, the early versions were bug-filled.

In the initial planning, IBM was pushing its own OS for the PC-compatible, only the BASIC-interpreter was to be made by MS. After time, when IBM saw their new OS didn't progress as planned, they went to MS and MS agreed to deliver the OS. Billy initially planned to write it himself but soon went searching at other firms until he discovered QDOS that MS bought for 50.000 dollars and developed it further.... if you want more history, there's this amazing search engine called Google that can help you

No, because Billy boy exploited yet another opportunity ;)

Ad-hominem attacks to "try another universe" don't work on me ;)

At least you recognize that your earlier version was not accurate. Of course Bill exploited opportunities; you seem to think that is a dirty term. Is that what you call an "Ad-hominem" attack? I can never tell with people trying to argue against history.

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Message 35072 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:27:54 UTC - in response to Message 35071.
Last modified: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:29:29 UTC

Why do you think IBM adopted it? Because the software was so amazing? For Christ's sake, the early versions were bug-filled.

In the initial planning, IBM was pushing its own OS for the PC-compatible, only the BASIC-interpreter was to be made by MS. After time, when IBM saw their new OS didn't progress as planned, they went to MS and MS agreed to deliver the OS. Billy initially planned to write it himself but soon went searching at other firms until he discovered QDOS that MS bought for 50.000 dollars and developed it further.... if you want more history, there's this amazing search engine called Google that can help you

No, because Billy boy exploited yet another opportunity ;)

Ad-hominem attacks to "try another universe" don't work on me ;)

At least you recognize that your earlier version was not accurate. Of course Bill exploited opportunities; you seem to think that is a dirty term. Is that what you call an "Ad-hominem" attack? I can never tell with people trying to argue against history.


Actually, it is accurate. MS does pay HW manufacturers to prefer Win over anything else. Just like it recently paid Samsung, Sony and others to make Windows phones ;) But hey, when you're rich and desperate, why not just buy your way in, huh? ;)

No, i don't think opportunities is a dirty word. What I think is dirty is how it's executed by Billy ;)
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Message 35073 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:37:29 UTC - in response to Message 35066.

Actually, no. The limitations are only in your little experienced mind. You also might wanna read up on why Windows became the default on all sold PCs (hint, hint, MS pays HW manufacturers)


Wrong. If you were a computer assembler (Dell, HP, Compaq, etc.) MS threatened to make their OS incompatible with your hardware unless you pre-installed Windows on your computers. They also threatened any store that sold a PC that did not have Windows pre-installed on it and tried to prevent anybody from even selling all the parts for a PC without a copy of Windows. That's unfair trade practice which makes Gates nothing but a dirty crook. But if you distort the facts enough and use the "Gates is rich therefore it must be good" fallacy lemmings seem to eat it up and cough up endless quantities of hard earned cash on what is basically junk.

The good thing Gates ever did was force some standards into the industry for PnP to work but he even tried to own that all to himself, along with the Internet. Other than those standards, which Linux does a lot better btw, Gates is a useless asshole. Rich, but useless and an asshole.


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Message 35074 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 18:51:16 UTC - in response to Message 35073.

Actually, no. The limitations are only in your little experienced mind. You also might wanna read up on why Windows became the default on all sold PCs (hint, hint, MS pays HW manufacturers)


Wrong. If you were a computer assembler (Dell, HP, Compaq, etc.) MS threatened to make their OS incompatible with your hardware unless you pre-installed Windows on your computers. They also threatened any store that sold a PC that did not have Windows pre-installed on it and tried to prevent anybody from even selling all the parts for a PC without a copy of Windows. That's unfair trade practice which makes Gates nothing but a dirty crook. But if you distort the facts enough and use the "Gates is rich therefore it must be good" fallacy lemmings seem to eat it up and cough up endless quantities of hard earned cash on what is basically junk.

The good thing Gates ever did was force some standards into the industry for PnP to work but he even tried to own that all to himself, along with the Internet. Other than those standards, which Linux does a lot better btw, Gates is a useless asshole. Rich, but useless and an asshole.

You have overlooked the obvious. If Linux is so good (and free), why don't the hardware manufacturers use it? In fact, why are you arguing your point at all? I am perfectly happy to let you or anyone else who wants to use Linux do so; if they are familiar with it from work or school, it is a lot easier. But you asked a question in your original post, and have been trying to avoid the answer ever since.

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Message 35076 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 21:04:40 UTC - in response to Message 35073.



...The good thing Gates ever did was force some standards into the industry for PnP to work but he even tried to own that all to himself...




Back in the day, PnP was a standard feature with Macintosh computers and was a huge selling point over Windows before PnP found its way into Windows world. PnP came to Windows because Window users were growing frustrated adding components or upgrading their computers. One could say that Gates once again "borrowed" another Macintosh concept and incorporated that into the Windows world.

Now to help get this thread back on topic, how difficult would it be to add a feature where we could manually control the video card fan speed on the second or third video card? Getting tired of seeing one video card at 52c and the other at 71c. If I could do that I would ditch Windows on all but two of my computers (work related issues) as that is the only real reason why I have Windows.

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Message 35078 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 22:29:00 UTC - in response to Message 35074.

You have overlooked the obvious. If Linux is so good (and free), why don't the hardware manufacturers use it?


Lol! Are you trying to say that the fact the hardware manufacturer's don't use it is proof Linux is no good? As if there is no other possible explanation for why they don't use it? That's a yes or no question. Think before you answer else confirm the suspicion that you're an idiot.

In fact, why are you arguing your point at all?


I'm not arguing. I'm just pointing out that you are either an idiot or a blatant liar, that most everything you've said about Linux is false and that Gates is a crook who should be in jail.

I am perfectly happy to let you or anyone else who wants to use Linux do so; if they are familiar with it from work or school, it is a lot easier. But you asked a question in your original post, and have been trying to avoid the answer ever since.


The fact that I asked the question indicates I am not avoiding the answer. The fact that I have offered to listen to complaints about Linux and try to help is further indication. The fact I have admitted there are deficiencies and have proposed mechanisms to overcome them is further indication. I am not avoiding anything, I am simply pushing back against the BS and FUD you are unashamedly spreading here.

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Message 35079 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 22:44:51 UTC

I think the 40 posts in this thread (before mine) have provided the answer to the original question.

What is so hard about Linux? To get civilised people to hold a civilised conversation on the subject.

Exactly the same question, and answer, apply to Windows.

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Message 35080 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 22:46:47 UTC

Going back to topic again, two things I find hard about Linux is:
1. Installing things by yourself or updating BOINC to the latest version. If I installed it wrongly, not being the owner of the directory, I never can get to that directory, look in it and change things like the cc_config file.
2. Monitoring and adjusting software for GPU, CPU like temperature, fan speed, memory use and the like.

@microchip, I am sorry to hear that you lost your mother. My mother is almost 6 years dead but it always struck me when I hear or read that someone has lost her or his mother. It is very sad.
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Message 35081 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 22:56:58 UTC - in response to Message 35076.

Now to help get this thread back on topic, how difficult would it be to add a feature where we could manually control the video card fan speed on the second or third video card? Getting tired of seeing one video card at 52c and the other at 71c. If I could do that I would ditch Windows on all but two of my computers (work related issues) as that is the only real reason why I have Windows.


You can already do that via the nvidia-settings app that ships with Linux drivers. It's a GUI app, you click an icon to run it. I have used it to control the fan speed on 2 cards and set them at different speeds. I have heard it works with a maximum of 4 cards but others have said the limit is much higher than that. I haven't seen many motherboards with more than 4 slots so 4 should be plenty.

The thing is it allows you to set the fan speed but not a target temperature. So you set the fan at say 40% because that speed keeps your card at a nice 70*C then the ambient temperature goes up for whatever reason (your AC quits, the sun rises and shines in the window and heats up the room, your wife catches a chill and cranks the thermostat up, whatever) and suddenly your cards are running at 85*C. What you really need is an app that allows you to set a target temperature, say 70*C, and then automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep the card at that temperature. If the ambient temp goes up the app adjusts the fan speed up to keep the card at the target temp. If the ambient goes down then the app adjusts the fan speed down to conserve a little power, reduce noise and avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the fan.

I think that's what you really want and I happen to have exactly that. I wrote the app myself, it works perfect with 1 fan so far because all I had was 1 fan when I wrote it but I'm sure it could work with several more fans. I have it setup to start when the OS boots though it can also be setup to start by clicking an icon on your desktop or an icon on the Application Launcher (Start Menu in Windows speak).

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Message 35082 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 23:06:48 UTC - in response to Message 35079.

I think the 40 posts in this thread (before mine) have provided the answer to the original question.

What is so hard about Linux? To get civilised people to hold a civilised conversation on the subject.

Exactly the same question, and answer, apply to Windows.


You Apple fanboys always dump on Linux and Windows.

</sarcasm>




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Message 35083 - Posted: 15 Feb 2014 | 23:16:30 UTC - in response to Message 35080.

Going back to topic again, two things I find hard about Linux is:
1. Installing things by yourself or updating BOINC to the latest version. If I installed it wrongly, not being the owner of the directory, I never can get to that directory, look in it and change things like the cc_config file.
2. Monitoring and adjusting software for GPU, CPU like temperature, fan speed, memory use and the like.


I have tested and proven solutions for all those concerns except memory use and CPU temperature. For memory use there probably is a solution but I don't know what it is at the moment. For CPU temperature I don't have a working solution that I have tested but I read an article on how to do it and it sounds pretty easy, I'm confident I can code something simple for it.

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Message 35084 - Posted: 16 Feb 2014 | 0:00:14 UTC - in response to Message 35079.

I think the 40 posts in this thread (before mine) have provided the answer to the original question.

What is so hard about Linux? To get civilised people to hold a civilised conversation on the subject.

Exactly the same question, and answer, apply to Windows.

+1

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Message 35088 - Posted: 16 Feb 2014 | 1:50:20 UTC - in response to Message 35084.

I resent your insinuation that I am civilized and I suspect Jim1348 does too.
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Message 35096 - Posted: 16 Feb 2014 | 13:22:10 UTC - in response to Message 35069.


How did she fix the VNC crash? I can still try it out before the Windows disc arrives. I don't want to stand in the way of your search for truth.


I am NOT a Linux user today, but have been kinda sorta in the past and I think "Wine" is what you are looking for. It lets people runs Windows type software on Linux machines without crashing them. I use WinVnc to control my Windows machines now but in the past was able to control a Linux machine remotely using Wine and some other VNC program. Wine is installed thru the software package manager and then you also install VNC on the Linux machine and then you can connect to it using a Windows machine, I think anyway as it has been awhile.

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Message 35100 - Posted: 17 Feb 2014 | 12:38:34 UTC - in response to Message 35079.
Last modified: 17 Feb 2014 | 12:58:29 UTC

I think the 40 posts in this thread (before mine) have provided the answer to the original question.

What is so hard about Linux? To get civilised people to hold a civilised conversation on the subject.

Exactly the same question, and answer, apply to Windows.



Hi, The question of using Linux to run BOINC already been discussed on several occasions and not only here , personally I can only repeat my experience in the matter.

8.1 Windows and Linux to run BOINC either on the same computer , just change the system disk and ready and all my records (six) are removable .

According to project me interested in working use an OS or another as yields vary widely , especially for the CPUs , In Linux have differences of more than 50 % yield CPUs in some projects, when it comes to GPUs differences are not so great but no .

For example, 10-15% GPUGRID there for Linux but generally in other projects, not usually spend 25 % improvement. GPUs.

Install and use BOINC in Linux is easy or rather is not very complicated , personally I have published more than a tutorial to make this easier and right here in this forum , mo long ago, the issue has been discussed widely .

There are two basic installation options , for example in Ubuntu :

A) - From repositories, has advantages and disadvantages .

B) - From a shell , direct download of the latest version available on the website of Boinc , currently 7.2.39 Recommended version = " boinc_7.2.39_x86_64 -pc- linux- gnu.sh " also has its advantages and disadvantages.

Another point is to install Nvidia driver but the latest versions of Ubuntu should be no problem, installed directly from "Software Update + Additional Drivers"

Anyway, if you have not served to clarify something, but I repeat is available (at least on my part) a tutorial to install Boinc on Linux and not die trying. Greetings.

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Message 35176 - Posted: 20 Feb 2014 | 16:27:45 UTC

I would love to run Linux on my crunching boxes again. Most of them were Linux back in the "CPU project only" days but now all my crunching machines have 1 NVidia and 1 AMD GPU installed. I have had no luck getting both to run BOINC simultaneously in any version of Linux that I've tried (I'm certainly NOT an advanced Linux user though). Windows 7-64 runs both seamlessly. If there was a way to move my machines to Linux I'd do it without another thought. If you can come up with a solution I'd be indebted to you.

Regards/Beyond

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Message 35177 - Posted: 20 Feb 2014 | 16:50:08 UTC - in response to Message 35176.

Beyond,

I had forgotten that was an issue on Linux so thanks for the reminder. I'll look into it and if it's just a matter of it being a tricky setup procedure I might be able to make that easier with a script or something. If it's a low-level driver conflict with Xorg then it might need mods to Xorg or the kernel which is of course way beyond my ability. I'm thinking maybe Xorg can deal with only 1 driver at a time or something like that. I'll see what info I can dig up. Do you have any info on why the problem exists?

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Message 35178 - Posted: 20 Feb 2014 | 17:52:03 UTC - in response to Message 35177.
Last modified: 20 Feb 2014 | 17:54:53 UTC

ATI is a pain on Linux. Mind you, lots of people struggle with ATI on Windows too. Getting MW WU's to run is a challenge nowdays.
Even on Windows, NVidia drivers want NVidia cards only, otherwise some portion of the drivers doesn't work (PhysX, I think).

The problem I have with Linux is that the commands and the interface change far too much. Every time I install a new version it's like starting from scratch. Then there is that new 'recovery' screen. Tried to installed Ubuntu on an oldish laptop - after an hour or two I was presented with some gibber and a command line. Found a help menu which consisted entirely of non-helpful, alien commands, basically more gibber. 13.x works fine on new desktops but not old laptops.

That said, if it's a choice of Metro or Linux, there is only one winner and it's not Metro. I have a small laptop with W8 on it and it's the most unintuitive OS I've ever encountered. Seriously, it's just broken. Even when browsing the web it manages to screw up the page. Using it is like working in slow motion. It takes unproductive to a whole new level of useless.
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Message 35181 - Posted: 20 Feb 2014 | 18:46:06 UTC - in response to Message 35088.

I resent your insinuation that I am civilized and I suspect Jim1348 does too.

I didn't quite realize that I was throwing a match onto gasoline, but should have. I love Linux, but will just let someone else run it for me.

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Message 35185 - Posted: 20 Feb 2014 | 21:27:18 UTC - in response to Message 35181.
Last modified: 20 Feb 2014 | 21:29:05 UTC

I resent your insinuation that I am civilized and I suspect Jim1348 does too.

I didn't quite realize that I was throwing a match onto gasoline, but should have. I love Linux, but will just let someone else run it for me.

Jim, It might have been a bit dry but it wasn't an insult, it was witty and vanity free and the target of the joke wasn't just you. Awaken your sense of humour and lose that paranoia - better to be mad than paranoid!
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Message 35186 - Posted: 20 Feb 2014 | 21:28:52 UTC - in response to Message 35178.

ATI is a pain on Linux. Mind you, lots of people struggle with ATI on Windows too. Getting MW WU's to run is a challenge nowdays.
Even on Windows, NVidia drivers want NVidia cards only, otherwise some portion of the drivers doesn't work (PhysX, I think).


Everything about GPU, from drivers to hardware to apps, has been evolving rapidly. I'm surprised there aren't more incompatabilities. The easiest way to get around it might be to run one brand on the real machine and the other brand in a VM.


The problem I have with Linux is that the commands and the interface change far too much. Every time I install a new version it's like starting from scratch.


That's a fairly common complaint and it's a valid one depending on the distro you install and the desktop you elect to install. I am fairly sure you can still use the old gnome desktop on just about any distro, I don't think you have to go with the latest desktop, the point being you can (I think) usually upgrade a distro but stick with an older desktop you've become familiar with.

Then there is that new 'recovery' screen. Tried to installed Ubuntu on an oldish laptop - after an hour or two I was presented with some gibber and a command line. Found a help menu which consisted entirely of non-helpful, alien commands, basically more gibber. 13.x works fine on new desktops but not old laptops.


Sometimes I think that 'recovery screen' should be called the 'final death blow ' screen. I have it figured out, finally, but I had to RTFM to do it. That's not intuitive but then I don't think anybody can learn any OS simply on intuition. Somewhere along the line you have to RTFM or get advice from someone who has. Regarding Ubuntu 13.x... that's an odd numbered version therefore it's a development version and will always be unstable and glitchy. Even numbered versions are the stable versions except while they're still in beta phase. Only even numbered versions become LTS (longterm support) versions.

That said, if it's a choice of Metro or Linux, there is only one winner and it's not Metro. I have a small laptop with W8 on it and it's the most unintuitive OS I've ever encountered. Seriously, it's just broken. Even when browsing the web it manages to screw up the page. Using it is like working in slow motion. It takes unproductive to a whole new level of useless.


I bought a laptop with Win 8.0 installed and gave it an honest 3 month trial. In the end I concluded it might be better if you have a touchscreen but with a mouse/touchpad it was exactly as you say... unproductive to a whole new level of uselessness.

The latest Ubuntu desktop is kind of "metro-ish" and a lot of Linux users aren't having it. I happen to like it for some reason. Those who don't benefit from the fact that they can select from a number of other desktops and interfaces. There are alternatives that are as simple and traditional as Win XP and others that are quite radical.

Getting back to the point which is to make all that troublesome stuff easier, both of the paths I have proposed here could smooth out some of the issues you've mentioned by installing one desktop and staying with that desktop until it absolutely has to be abandoned, to provide uniformity and consistency over time. That doesn't mean locking users into a desktop, they would be able to opt out of the default desktop and try something else.

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Message 35187 - Posted: 20 Feb 2014 | 21:47:22 UTC - in response to Message 35185.

I resent your insinuation that I am civilized and I suspect Jim1348 does too.

I didn't quite realize that I was throwing a match onto gasoline, but should have. I love Linux, but will just let someone else run it for me.

Jim, It might have been a bit dry but it wasn't an insult, it was witty and vanity free and the target of the joke wasn't just you. Awaken your sense of humour and lose that paranoia - better to be mad than paranoid!


Jim, I don't know if you are familiar with Jonathan Winters, the comedian who never cracked a smile, but that's me and I apologise for that. I've never been one to add smileys. I don't know why and I know I have to do better. Yes, I was trying to say in a humorous way that I am a bit uncivilized and I know it and jab you too.

I didn't take your response as being paranoid, btw. I can be as volatile as gasoline, it's true, and all I can say in my defense is that I don't hold grudges. It's just words, not sticks and stones.

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Message 35188 - Posted: 20 Feb 2014 | 21:48:49 UTC - in response to Message 35186.
Last modified: 20 Feb 2014 | 21:54:16 UTC

While the repo drivers tend to be the best, it's often the case that LTS editions don't bother updating NVidia drivers.
I have used old drivers with new cards on Linux, without issue, but I wouldn't like to rely on Maxwell working with an old distro and repo driver.
Then there is the repo Boinc versions - and yes, I'm lazy too!
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Message 35194 - Posted: 21 Feb 2014 | 1:59:50 UTC - in response to Message 35188.

While the repo drivers tend to be the best, it's often the case that LTS editions don't bother updating NVidia drivers.


True but it's easy to script NVIDIA driver updates and reversions on certain distros. I'm having a hard time scripting it on Ubuntu with the Unity desktop but that's only because the Ubuntu devs have made it difficult to stop Xorg from the command line with Unity. I have a hunch it works with XFCE desktop or LUbuntu and even more certain it works with KDE and gnome on Debian distro. I'd like to stick with Ubuntu and Unity though.

Then there is the repo Boinc versions - and yes, I'm lazy too!


I propose forgetting about the repo BOINC versions. They install BOINC as a daemon on an unprivileged user account which is easy to work with if you know how Linux permissions and groups work but if you don't then you can't even install a cc_config.xml. Newbies find BOINC much easier to work with when it's installed on their own account and it's easy to script that and even provide a GUI interface that tells the user what the current recommended version is, what other versions are available and then allow the user to select whichever version he wants and install it. The script can also check if all the required shared libs are installed and install them if they are not.

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Message 35195 - Posted: 21 Feb 2014 | 2:39:30 UTC - in response to Message 35187.

I didn't take your response as being paranoid, btw. I can be as volatile as gasoline, it's true, and all I can say in my defense is that I don't hold grudges. It's just words, not sticks and stones.

No, it wasn't you I was referring to, but the whole situation. As Richard Haselgrove pointed out, it is hard to hold a civilized conversation on the subject. But if you can iron out some of the tough spots in using Linux, I am all for it.

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Message 35197 - Posted: 21 Feb 2014 | 2:52:16 UTC - in response to Message 35177.
Last modified: 21 Feb 2014 | 2:53:06 UTC

Beyond,

I had forgotten that was an issue on Linux so thanks for the reminder. I'll look into it and if it's just a matter of it being a tricky setup procedure I might be able to make that easier with a script or something. If it's a low-level driver conflict with Xorg then it might need mods to Xorg or the kernel which is of course way beyond my ability. I'm thinking maybe Xorg can deal with only 1 driver at a time or something like that. I'll see what info I can dig up. Do you have any info on why the problem exists?

Hey Dagorath,

I don't envy the challenge you've taken on and sure do hope that you're successful. Sorry I can't help but know very little about Linux. Used it on a fairly elementary level before GPUs became the crunching engines of choice and would like to switch to Linux again if possible.

SK:
ATI is a pain on Linux. Mind you, lots of people struggle with ATI on Windows too. Getting MW WU's to run is a challenge nowdays.
Even on Windows, NVidia drivers want NVidia cards only, otherwise some portion of the drivers doesn't work (PhysX, I think).

Boy, my experience has been different. I've never had problems with ATI/AMD drivers in Windows even when used in conjunction with NVidia. One trick is that at least on some motherboards when using a mixed environment the AMD card works best when placed in the primary PCIe slot. It's been a long time since I've had a problem running AMD and NV together in Windows. Did half a billion MW credits without problems with machines that had both ATI and NV. The ATIs ran MW and the NVs worked on various other projects (including GPUGrid). Most of my AMDs are currently on Einstein.

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Message 35198 - Posted: 21 Feb 2014 | 3:09:45 UTC - in response to Message 35195.

That's what I thought you meant. I don't know if I can iron out some of the tough spots in a way that suits everybody, or even anybody, but I'll try. Thanks for contributing your thoughts on what makes it difficult for you, I'll try to address some of those concerns.

I used to work for a couple of truck drivers. One was in love with Kenworth tractors; the other thought Peterbilt ruled. They used to get into horrible battles over which was the best truck. When they realised neither of them was winning they'd fight over which engine was best. The one thought Cummins was top dog; the other thought if it wasn't Waukesha (now Detroit Diesel) it was junk. I couldn't understand how they could get so worked up and start cussing and throwing stuff at each other but eventually I realized that they spend years in their truck and eventually it becomes very close and personal to them. When someone else criticizes what they call home for a good part of their life it offends them. Ones choice of OS can become a very close and personal thing too if one spends enough time with it.

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Message 35201 - Posted: 21 Feb 2014 | 12:23:27 UTC - in response to Message 35186.


I bought a laptop with Win 8.0 installed and gave it an honest 3 month trial. In the end I concluded it might be better if you have a touchscreen but with a mouse/touchpad it was exactly as you say... unproductive to a whole new level of uselessness.


That's why I suggested they adopt a strategy of detecting whether the system has a touch screen or not and then give either the Metro look or the 'old' look, but no one liked that idea at the time, seems they are now revisiting the whole default 'Metro' look in the next update.

I can see how going to a homogeneous OS for every type of system would work, but they must adapt it along the way to make it easy to use too. Essentially do the same thing in different ways depending on your device.

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Message 35247 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 5:11:01 UTC
Last modified: 23 Feb 2014 | 5:14:17 UTC

Here is a progress report on what I've discovered so far to let you know what I think I can do and how I think should proceed.

Crunchuntu

I mentioned the possibility that I might be able to derive a new OS I refer to as Crunchuntu from Ubuntu. I haven't abandoned Crunchuntu but after looking into in more detail it's obvious to me that it will take a long time.

Plan B

I also mentioned the possibility of a "do it all script" that you could download and run after you install Ubuntu. After exploring that idea and thinking about it I think the best way to do it would be 2 separate scripts. In memory of Dr. Seuss I refer to the 2 scripts as "Thing 1" and "Thing 2", now here's what they do.

Thing 1


  • runs on Windows 7/8, possibly XP too
  • written in Python (would require you to install Python which is relatively easy) or perhaps Windows Powershell (already exists on every Win 7/8 installation, no installation required)
  • you download the script and run it
  • the script automatically (no intervention from you) downloads the Ubuntu 12.04 ISO file, verifies the download is not corrupt via SHA256, burns the ISO to DVD, creates a new, blank partition for Ubuntu to install on later on whichever HDD you choose.
  • at that point you have a verified, bootable Ubuntu 12.04 DVD plus a partition to install it on else you have a log file explaining why the process failed



Thing 2


  • runs on Ubuntu, in other words you install Ubuntu 12.04 using the DVD Thing1 created for you then you download and run Thing 2
  • automatically downloads BOINC and installs it for you on your account so that you have all the permissions required to configure BOINC easily with a cc_config.xml, app_info or whatever you need
  • configures BOINC to start automatically at boot (if you select that option) and creates clickable icons for starting and stopping the client and manager whenever you wish
  • configures itself to autostart at boot time (if you wish) so it can monitor all sorts of stuff and do many of the things BOINC fails to do for example kill tasks that run for 11 days when they should require no more than 11 hours.
  • written in Python and has a GUI
  • could easily be included as is in Cruchuntu if Crunchuntu ever becomes a reality



Reactions, suggestions and questions are welcome.
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Message 35248 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 5:25:08 UTC

Sounds absolutely amazing. I've been wanting to teach myself Linux for a while now. My last attempt was with Debian and ended in failure with me trying desperately to give myself permission to install BOINC without any success.
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Message 35251 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 6:51:51 UTC - in response to Message 35248.

Hi Matt,

Don't feel bad. If you don't know anything about Linux then trying to install it and BOINC and get it all running and crunching is more than most newbies can chew without choking. I did it in 2 steps. The first step was to firmly resolve that I wasn't going to just try it and see if I could make it work, I was going to learn it and make it work no matter what and no matter how long it took. Like Yoda said, "There is no try there is only do."

Second step was to install Linux in a dual-boot configuration so I could switch back and forth. While I was at work or sleeping my computers ran Windows so they could crunch. After work I booted Linux and spent an hour a day learning how to use it from a book I bought and from online tutorials and forums. A couple months later I knew enough about Linux to install BOINC on it. It took another week to learn how to start BOINC. A month later I deleted the Windows partition on my 2 machines and booted only Linux. That wasn't the end of the learning process and I knew it but I also knew I would never have to revert to Windows again. Finally, I was free.

Hopefully I can help get newbies up and crunching quickly by automating a few things for them. After they're crunching, if they want, they can take time to learn Linux so they can do more (eg. web surf, email, etc.). Or they can just let it crunch and do all their regular stuff on a Windows machine. My objective is not really to convert anybody to Linux. Only you can convert yourself. All I want is to make it possible for Vista/7/8 users to be able to crunch GPUgrid on Linux so they aren't hampered by WDDM. If that's all they ever do with Linux then I will have succeeded. If they become a full convert then that will be a success they can call their own, not mine.

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Message 35269 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 13:20:37 UTC - in response to Message 35247.

Hi Dagorath: The idea is very good and actually facilitate people as installing BOINC on Linux to automate the steps in a tutorial detailing only.

One suggestion, to advise colleagues own experience, the problem is also have many users with Nvidia drivers and Coolbits, initially with the installation and configuration, then after the update.

If not resolved and clear guidelines are given to this issue, it is useless to have Boinc installed correctly.

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Message 35274 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 14:29:19 UTC - in response to Message 35247.

Here is a progress report on what I've discovered so far to let you know what I think I can do and how I think should proceed.

Reactions, suggestions and questions are welcome.


If time is of the essence I would do 'thing 2' and just include a small text file of where to find the version of Ubuntu you are basing your script on and how to download and burn it to a cd/dvd. MOST windows folks can do that much on their own, if they know where to look for the downloads. The after Linux is installed, with some pointers from your text file as to disk sizing etc, then your script takes over and BOOM everything is setup and running and then can begin crunching.

One small suggestion would be to include a 2nd script for those that use a non crunching capable gpu to start with then add one later on, to automatically set it up with the latest drivers etc to get it up and crunching.

Have you seen this yet: http://www.gpugrid.net/forum_thread.php?id=2871

It is a how to from the FAQ's to install Ubuntu Linux here at gpugrid. You might get with them to add your final choice(s) in that FAQ. Maybe an additional thread in there, or even a set of lines at the bottom, so users can do this if you want to do it yourself or download that set of scripts to do it all automatically. Wow that reads badly but I hope you get what I am trying to say!

Giving users a choice to just download Crunchuntu is still of course the best ultimate choice for most I think, as most just want to click and crunch. But baby steps is not a bad idea for you to see how hard this is ultimately going to be to maintain over the long term.

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Message 35280 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 15:37:37 UTC - in response to Message 35269.

Hi Carlesa,

You are correct, as usual :-) The drivers and Coolbits are difficult for newbies and I know because it took me a long time to understand it. I plan to automate drivers and Coolbits via a script but I forgot to mention it in my last post.

Automating driver installation and driver upgrades and downgrades on stock Ubuntu 12.04 has been one of the more difficult parts of my task due to Unity but yesterday I finally found the advice I need to make it work. I haven't coded it yet but I'm confident it will work nicely and save a lot of work and confusion for everyone.

Thanks for your interest in my project and I hope you continue to share your excellent advice and experience.

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Message 35281 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 16:24:58 UTC - in response to Message 35274.
Last modified: 23 Feb 2014 | 16:32:36 UTC

Hi Mikey,

Good point but just a few minutes after I outlined Thing 1, I recalled a problem mentioned by captainjack a few weeks ago. The problem is that if Linux is installed alongside Win7 in a dual-boot configuration in the usual way then Win7 won't install updates. The good news is that it's very easy to install it the way Win7 wants it. Captainjack's post provides a link to an excellent online tutorial, complete with step-by-step screenshots of every detail, that shows you exactly how to:

1) shrink an existing partition to make room for the Linux partitions (assuming you don't have unallocated space on your HDD)
2) install Ubuntu 12.04
3) install and run an app on Win7 that tweaks the boot partitions in a way that convinces Win7 it's OK to install updates

The upshot of all that is Thing 1 no longer needs to do the repartitioning step so that saves me a lot of time coding Thing 1. All it has to do is D/L the Ubuntu 12.04 ISO, verify the download, burn the DVD then verify the burn. I think I can do that with an easy to write DOS batch file, no need for the user to install Python and no need for me to learn Windows Powershell. You are correct when you say those steps are easy to do manually but I've seen many newbies screw it up and end up with the wrong version or a bugged version because they didn't verify the integrity of the download or else didn't verify the burn. That creates problems for anybody trying to help them figure out what's going wrong. Nobody needs that. A proper DVD is the foundation upon which all that follows rests and it's best for all concerned to make absolutely sure that foundation is solid.

So now I am in the process of setting up a rig with a fresh Win7 install on it so I can verify that Thing 1 works after I code it and that the online tutorial pointed to by captainjack works. When it works for me then I want a few other people to test it and verify that it works for them too. Are you down for a little testing, Mikey? I know you don't need Thing 1 but that makes you the perfect tester... if Thing 1 doesn't work for you you'll have a much better idea of where it's failing than someone who has never burned an ISO to DVD before.

Edit added:

BTW, here is the post by captainjack I mentioned. The URL for the tutorial he suggested is http://www.linuxbsdos.com/2012/05/17/how-to-dual-boot-ubuntu-12-04-and-windows-7/.

@captainjack: if you're listening in, thanks again for the advice in that post and the link to the tutorial
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Message 35283 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 16:53:16 UTC - in response to Message 35281.

If it helps, I'm reasonably experienced in Windows (I can burn an ISO :P), but I am an utter and complete n00b in Linux.

I have a Windows 7 Pro box (Dell OEM install) which I deliberately bought as a sacrificial OS to test some problems with the BOINC Windows installer and account permissions, when Rom Walton eventually has time to devote to that again - it has a factory recovery image of the OS in (I'd better check this) a separate partition of the hard disk.

It's an i5 'Haswell', and the integrated Intel HD 4600 is crunching happily on projects that support it. A twitching in my wallet suggests that it might acquire a GTX 750 Maxwell of some description next month, so that would make it a candidate for Thing 2 as well.

I also made a contribution to Adaptiva's "Parallella" project, so I should be receiving a release pack in due course. All things considered, this might be the year I start to learn Linux, so going along for the ride with Thing 1 and Thing 2 could be a way to do it.

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Message 35287 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 19:07:37 UTC - in response to Message 35283.

Richard,

Earning your interest tells me I am at least headed in the right general direction if not on precisely the right track. I would be grateful to have your considerable talent providing some feedback or whatever you have time for.

There are a lot of signs telling me this is a good time to learn some Linux. With the advent of VT-d, maturation of virtual machine software, the tendency for project devs and researchers to prefer Linux and success (mostly) of Rom's VBox wrapper at T4T, I have a feeling more projects will be providing only Linux applications in the future. They will run on virtual Linux machines on everything from Macs to Unix machines, PCs to huge mainframes and relieve project devs of the chore of developing and maintaining apps for 3 or more OS's. Yes, a god time to learn Linux if I read the signs right.

Slight change of topic:

I have a new i7-4771 Haswell arriving this week, with VT-d, and I'm interested in experimenting with virtualizing GPUs.

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Message 35288 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 19:19:36 UTC - in response to Message 35287.

Slight change of topic:

I have a new i7-4771 Haswell arriving this week, with VT-d, and I'm interested in experimenting with virtualizing GPUs.

Did you see Crunching in a Virtual Machine at Einstein?

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Message 35290 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 20:32:55 UTC - in response to Message 35287.


I have a new i7-4771 Haswell arriving this week, with VT-d, and I'm interested in experimenting with virtualizing GPUs.


I understand that GPU virtualisation is only supported for Tesla K20 and Grid GPUs.

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Message 35296 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 23:06:59 UTC

Dagorath, I go along with your project to follow its progress and make good use (parts) of it. I have Linux running on a system to test it.
The most frustrating thing to me is that it is my PC, I have installed the OS and it are my files. But installing things wrongly then I am not the owner and do not have the right to go the the directories I made myself on my own PC! Please keep that in mind when making scripts. Thanks.
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Message 35297 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 23:09:36 UTC - in response to Message 35290.


I have a new i7-4771 Haswell arriving this week, with VT-d, and I'm interested in experimenting with virtualizing GPUs.


I understand that GPU virtualisation is only supported for Tesla K20 and Grid GPUs.

Matt


From the discussion in the thread Richard linked to (thanks Richard, interesting read) at Einstein it sounds like there are 2 different techniques and I hope I have the terminology right: GPU virtualization and GPU passthrough. In the discussion at Einstein they were able to get GPU passthrough working on Xen with CPUs that have VT-d. They got it to work mid to high end AMD cards and OpenCL. They said NVIDIA doesn't support passthrough in their drivers on consumer grade cards but do support it (or intend to support it?) on Tesla K2 and Grid GPUs At least that is my take on the conversation but I had time for only 1 quick read.

The other thing they mentioned regarding NVIDIA and passthrough is that consumer grade cards such as we use here at GPUgrid can be hacked to identify themselves as Teslas and Quadros to the NVIDIA drivers. I've read the procedure for the hack and it's not easy but I think I could do it. I was thinking of doing it to unleash DP power for Asteroids@home but now I have a second reason.

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Message 35299 - Posted: 23 Feb 2014 | 23:31:14 UTC

Howdo - sorry to hijack the thread. I've made you all a live Linux USB disk. The thread about it is here: http://www.gpugrid.net/forum_thread.php?id=3642

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Message 35302 - Posted: 24 Feb 2014 | 0:36:39 UTC - in response to Message 35296.

Dagorath, I go along with your project to follow its progress and make good use (parts) of it. I have Linux running on a system to test it.
The most frustrating thing to me is that it is my PC, I have installed the OS and it are my files. But installing things wrongly then I am not the owner and do not have the right to go the the directories I made myself on my own PC! Please keep that in mind when making scripts. Thanks.


It sounds like you installed BOINC from the distro repository instead of installing it using the Berkeley installer. That's what happens when you install from the distro repository. It creates a user named boinc and installs BOINC on the account owned by the user named boinc. By default nobody but the superuser (aka root) and boinc can modify files that belong to boinc. Your regular account does not have permission to modify has boinc's files or install anything (a cc_config.xml) in any of boinc's directories (folders). If you could login as boinc you could modify boinc's files but boinc doesn't have a password so you cannot login as boinc.

One solution is for you to become root. root is the name of the system administrator or superuser. When you are root you have permission to modify the files of any user who has an account on the computer. As root you can install a cc_config.xml, or an app_info.xml or whatever you want to do. root is all powerful. Unfortunately there a few things you need to learn in order to become root and add files to boinc's folders. If you Google "Linux file permissions" or similar topics you will find excellent online articles on how to work with Linux file permissions and user privileges.

There is a better solution that will not require you to become root or deal with permissions. Instead of using the BOINC installer from distro repository, Thing 2 will download and use the Berkeley installer which installs BOINC on your account instead of on the account of a user named boinc. That way you, not a user named boinc, will own all of the files and folders BOINC client and BOINC manager use. You won't have to become root to add a cc_config.xml or modify client_state.xml. You will have complete control over BOINC's files. They will all be located in one sub-directory of your home directory where they will be easy for you to locate and work with.

Will that work for you, TJ?


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Message 35316 - Posted: 24 Feb 2014 | 10:16:03 UTC - in response to Message 35290.


I have a new i7-4771 Haswell arriving this week, with VT-d, and I'm interested in experimenting with virtualizing GPUs.


I understand that GPU virtualisation is only supported for Tesla K20 and Grid GPUs.

Matt

I think 'full' access is limited to,

    Quadro Series:
    Quadro 6000, Quadro 5000, Quadro 4000

    GRID Series:
    GRID K2, GRID K1

    M-Class:
    M2070-Q



However, some OpenGL functionality may be accessible in other NVidia cards (but not cuda AFAICT).

There are differences in functionality across VM software, but I don't see any point investigating software that costs money, especially if your main OS is Linux.

I heard that Riva Tuner could be made to worked in an XP VM hosted from a Linux system (which could be beneficial for those with multiple GPU's and struggle with cool-bits). All this may now be irrelevant should Matt's Linux system tick a few boxes...


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Message 35319 - Posted: 24 Feb 2014 | 10:57:55 UTC - in response to Message 35302.

Yes that works for me Dagorath. Having Linux installed and play with it helps to understand the OS. I am not crunching with it yet, the rig has not a GPU capable for it. Use it to become familiar with it.
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Message 35320 - Posted: 24 Feb 2014 | 13:10:36 UTC - in response to Message 35281.

Hi Mikey,
Are you down for a little testing, Mikey? I know you don't need Thing 1 but that makes you the perfect tester... if Thing 1 doesn't work for you you'll have a much better idea of where it's failing than someone who has never burned an ISO to DVD before.


Sure, I have a box I am willing to sacrifice for testing. My main testing box is only a dual core so I hope that is okay, but I could do a quad if I need to. If you need one with a gpu it will have to be the dual core for now. Are you think Nvidia gpu's only, or are you thinking Boinc wide and ATI and Nvidia gpu's will both work. Or is all that too early yet?

How big of a hard drive will I need in the machine, right now I have a 160gb one with over 90gb free in my test box, but I have a small stack of other drives I could add in if needed.

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Message 35322 - Posted: 24 Feb 2014 | 16:22:17 UTC - in response to Message 35316.

I heard that Riva Tuner could be made to worked in an XP VM hosted from a Linux system (which could be beneficial for those with multiple GPU's and struggle with cool-bits). All this may now be irrelevant should Matt's Linux system tick a few boxes...


Setting up Coolbits is easy in a console or a script using the nvidia-config utility that ships with NVIDIA drivers for Linux. man nvidia-config for the user manual. I forget the exact command line switches but usually what you want to do is "enable all GPUs" then follow with the "configure coolbits" switch which configures coolbits for all enabled GPUs.

Thing 2 will do that for you.

I've found it's best to use nvidia-config just after a fresh driver install or before the Xorg.conf file has not been heavily edited and modified by the usere. Nvidi-config's parser doesn't seem to be overly intelligent so when user has "customized" too much nvidi-config gets confused. If you delete Xorg.conf (or simply hide it by renaming it to Xorg.conf.bkp or something) then install the driver then run nvidia-config it works perfectly every time and will continue to work perfectly as long as someone doesn't manually edit the file into a format nvidia-config doesn't parse well.

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Message 35323 - Posted: 24 Feb 2014 | 17:14:16 UTC - in response to Message 35320.

Hi Mikey,
Are you down for a little testing, Mikey? I know you don't need Thing 1 but that makes you the perfect tester... if Thing 1 doesn't work for you you'll have a much better idea of where it's failing than someone who has never burned an ISO to DVD before.


Sure, I have a box I am willing to sacrifice for testing. My main testing box is only a dual core so I hope that is okay, but I could do a quad if I need to. If you need one with a gpu it will have to be the dual core for now. Are you think Nvidia gpu's only, or are you thinking Boinc wide and ATI and Nvidia gpu's will both work. Or is all that too early yet?

How big of a hard drive will I need in the machine, right now I have a 160gb one with over 90gb free in my test box, but I have a small stack of other drives I could add in if needed.


I'm thinking just GPUgrid and NVIDIA for now. If/when I acquire another AMD (I gave the 7990 I bought last year to my nephews), I'll try to code something for AMD and NVIDIA combined. One GPU is sufficient, number of CPUs and disks doesn't matter. When I have something ready I'll post a download link here.

Matt has shown me an easier way to provide a customized Linux "distro" so I might go that route and include Thing 2 in it (after testing Thing 2 of course). It wouldn't be a true distro, just an image (copy) of a Ubuntu installation on one of my machines bundled up into a .img file then converted to an ISO so you can burn it to DVD and install to an HDD. That depends if the .img to ISO converter works or not, heard it does but ya never know.

Sorry for all the direction changes. Everyday I seem to discover a new possibility that has the potential to make it all easier and better. It might look like I'm confused but I'm not, just learning as I go. Well, OK, I guess that's just organised confusion :-)

Also, there's a security issue I didn't think of until now. For Thing 2 to do everything I've promised it's going to need root privilege on your system. If it gets root privilege it can take over your entire computer, steal all your recipe files, reattach your BOINC client to my BOINC projects so I get credits for tasks your machine crunches and possibly even scoop your online banking info (if you do online banking) and send it to me in an email. It could theoretically even invade other machines on your LAN and scoop your banking PIN from them. I doubt I can do that at this time but I could learn how, not that I have any illusion that I could keep it secret or get away with it. The point is... that's the security issue, what are we going to do about it?

Regarding security with scripts, scripts are not compiled code. The script is the source and anybody can open it with a simple text editor, read it and see what it does providing they know the script language. If it's a sufficient security measure for you we could agree that you and all the others who will easy access to the script will be watching and that will be sufficient deterent as long as you never run a script that I send you privately, unless of course you know the scripting language (I usually use Python). If there is a better solution please let me know, anybody. Or I could provide clear and detailed tutorial on how to do the stuff that needs root privilege. So far Thing 2 would need root privilege only to install the NVIDIA driver and setup the Coolbits, IIRC. It's feasible for users to do that manually rather than have the script do it. That way the root password stays secret though I could access any file you can access from your own user account.

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Message 35324 - Posted: 24 Feb 2014 | 17:20:59 UTC - in response to Message 35299.

Howdo - sorry to hijack the thread. I've made you all a live Linux USB disk. The thread about it is here: http://www.gpugrid.net/forum_thread.php?id=3642

Matt


Some might call that a hijack but I regard it as additional info I can learn from and perhaps use. Thanks. It is a slight topic change so thanks for opening a new thread for it :-)

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Message 35360 - Posted: 26 Feb 2014 | 16:52:52 UTC - in response to Message 35002.

I get the impression many GPUgrid crunchers would like to try Linux but are turned off by reports from those who have tried and either gave up or failed. What are the stumbling blocks? How could the whole process of installing Linux and BOINC and setting it up to crunch GPUgrid be made easier? Is it simply installing the OS itself? Is it installing BOINC? Is it the NVIDIA drivers? Let's discuss it and see if I and some of the other Linux users here can provide some scripts or packages that automate some of the harder parts.


I experimented a bit with Ubuntu 13.10 on my spare basement machine and eventually gave up & reinstalled win7 on it. Main reasons:

-Hardware issues, wouldn't recognize a 2nd hard drive installed in the machine
-Difficult to successfully network with other windows machines in the house
-graphics drivers (and anything else not available right in the software center) difficult to install
-the OS's reliance on terminal commands to do anything meaningful instead of the gui is arcane, annoying and time consuming

I like the concept of linux since it's open source freeware that is not controlled by microsoft, but the implementation seems like it has quite a ways to go before it is readily usable by regular joes. Personally I had my fill of command prompt/terminal tomfoolery back in the DOS days when I was in junior high and don't have a big desire to go back to it. Windows, with all its problems, is very easy to use these days. Just click on an install file and.. voila.. it installs itself. Until linux can reach that level of user friendliness it will never be mainstream.

If I feel the need to toy with that machine again I will probably try Win XP on it to get rid of the WDDM overhead, instead of linux.

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Message 35361 - Posted: 26 Feb 2014 | 17:52:51 UTC - in response to Message 35360.

Thanks for your input and sad to hear Ubuntu Linux didn't work for you.

The highest version number is not always the best. The version you tried, 13.x, is an odd numbered version which means it's not stable. You should have tried 12.04 instead.

With 12.04 I haven't had any problem with any of the issues you mentioned. Linux recognizes all the disks and partitions on a system. The reason Windows users think it doesn't is because it doesn't name them and organize them the way Windows does.

Networking with Windows machines in Ubuntu 12.04 is just a couple of mouse clicks away. There is a wizard specifically for that on the app launcher and it's very simple to use. I guess you just didn't find it?

I install lots of software that isn't in the Software Center. If it's a .deb package (most of it is) all you have to do is download it and click on it. NVIDIA drivers install with a click or 2 from the "Additional drivers" app in the app launcher. It doesn't provide the absolutely latest version but it does guarantee a stable version.

My Thing 2 script will provide easy NVIDIA driver updates and roll backs on demand (i.e. when the user wants to not when the OS wants to).

If you give it a while you see that you are not totally reliant on the terminal to do anything useful. You find lots of stuff is handleable by GUIs. Windows users are adverse to using a terminal/console because the Windows shell is extremely difficult and backwards. It's just the opposite in Linux, the shell and therefore console/terminal is very well developed and user friendly.

I think people get the idea Linux is all terminal because in forums, whenever someone asks how to do something in Linux, the response usually involves terminal commands. The reason for that is usually because it's easier to explain that as a solution than to explain which GUI to install and all the clicks needed to get something done. The GUIs are often there if you need them but terminals are often easier and faster.

Hope you find XP's drawbacks less troublesome but if it's an unauthorized version/install I think you'll find it's a PITA. Every OS is a PITA, sometimes, even Linux. Whichever one is least painful for you is the one you want.

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Message 35476 - Posted: 3 Mar 2014 | 4:47:57 UTC - in response to Message 35081.


The thing is it allows you to set the fan speed but not a target temperature. So you set the fan at say 40% because that speed keeps your card at a nice 70*C then the ambient temperature goes up for whatever reason (your AC quits, the sun rises and shines in the window and heats up the room, your wife catches a chill and cranks the thermostat up, whatever) and suddenly your cards are running at 85*C. What you really need is an app that allows you to set a target temperature, say 70*C, and then automatically adjusts the fan speed to keep the card at that temperature. If the ambient temp goes up the app adjusts the fan speed up to keep the card at the target temp. If the ambient goes down then the app adjusts the fan speed down to conserve a little power, reduce noise and avoid unnecessary wear and tear on the fan.

I think that's what you really want and I happen to have exactly that. I wrote the app myself, it works perfect with 1 fan so far because all I had was 1 fan when I wrote it but I'm sure it could work with several more fans. I have it setup to start when the OS boots though it can also be setup to start by clicking an icon on your desktop or an icon on the Application Launcher (Start Menu in Windows speak).

I completely agree with your analysis of the controlling the fan speed and GPU core temperature and that is something everyone using Linux should have.

You can already do that via the nvidia-settings app that ships with Linux drivers. It's a GUI app, you click an icon to run it. I have used it to control the fan speed on 2 cards and set them at different speeds. I have heard it works with a maximum of 4 cards but others have said the limit is much higher than that. I haven't seen many motherboards with more than 4 slots so 4 should be plenty.

Once again, thank you for your enlightenment and forum postings on controlling the fan speed issue. After doing some research and testing I was finally able to control the fan speed on two video cards in the same system and set them at different speeds. Discovering skgiven's previous postings on this subject was truly the "game changing" event, and I owe him another huge thank you as well for those forum postings.

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Message 35557 - Posted: 7 Mar 2014 | 15:31:16 UTC - in response to Message 35361.

Every OS is a PITA


No doubt about that.

I also have a radeon card in that machine & have been using it for Einstein - from what I've gathered the AMD drivers are more difficult to deal with than nvidia in Linux? It's also cobbled together out of old parts including the hard drives which probably contribute to the issues I had.

If I put an nvidia card in it at some point I might try it again with a LTS release.

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Message 35559 - Posted: 7 Mar 2014 | 18:09:32 UTC - in response to Message 35557.

I'm not sure if AMD is harder to deal with in Linux. I've heard stories that say the greatest difficulty is getting AMD and NVIDIA to work side-by-side in Linux. We shall see as I will be receiving an AMD 7770 soon. I'll be putting it in with my 3 NVIDIA cards and will try to get it working.

I would like to release 1 version of Crunchuntu that has drivers for AMD and NVIDIA pre-installed plus all the other features I've mentioned. If I can't make that work then I'll release 2 flavors of Crunchuntu: 1 for AMD and the other for NVIDIA.

An update rfor anybody looking forward to Crunchuntu:

Work on Crunchuntu is progressing, perhaps slowly, but it is progressing. The biggest problem I face is building the GUI. If it were not for the GUI it would be mostly done but I'm not as experienced with GUIs as I am with CLI apps. The latter are much easier but I said I would try to make it all GUI so that's what I'll try to do.

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Message 35564 - Posted: 8 Mar 2014 | 14:35:18 UTC - in response to Message 35559.


An update rfor anybody looking forward to Crunchuntu:

Work on Crunchuntu is progressing, perhaps slowly, but it is progressing. The biggest problem I face is building the GUI. If it were not for the GUI it would be mostly done but I'm not as experienced with GUIs as I am with CLI apps. The latter are much easier but I said I would try to make it all GUI so that's what I'll try to do.


And those of us waiting REALLY DO appreciate your work on this!!

I had a pc keep quitting on me the other day and after replacing the hard drive and the cpu fan figure out the fan wasn't any good and it was just overheating! I HEARD the drive clicking so it could have been bad too, but it set aside in the maybe pile. I replaced the cpu fan with a Hyper 212+ setup and the system is now crunching again just fine. Along the way after I put the new cpu fan in I installed 64bit Windows Home Server but couldn't get an anti-virus to load! Most free ones don't work on Servers!! Eventually I gave up and replaced the hard drive, again, and installed Win7 on it and it is now crunching. It has an AMD gpu in it so I did not even try the Linux route, been there done that no joy in gpu crunching land for me that way!!

One of my older pc's running Windows XP has had several secondary harddrives in it over the years, it currently has an Nvidia gpu in it but has had various AMD gpu's in it. The AMD software won't uninstall as the 'drive is no longer found' with the software on it. BUT when I put an AMD gpu in the machine it works just fine. What I am getting at is I have no problems clicking thru an error message saying this or that kind of gpu was not found if you can get both kinds of drivers to install in your 'Crunchuntu'. If you need to do two different versions that works for me too. Linux is very flexible when the underlying hardware changes when moving harddrives from one machine to another.

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Message 35576 - Posted: 9 Mar 2014 | 16:17:13 UTC

I've been using Linux for two years and crunching on linux notebooks for three months. North bridge of my old notebook was getting very hot while running bot CPU and GPU works. So I ran only CPU works.
Now, I have a fairly new notebook. It crunchs all the projects well but GPUgrid CUDA works causes the GPU temps to reach 95 degrees while running with full CPU load. Einstein@home was able to reach only 80 degrees. So I run only GPUgrid GPU works on this now. This way GPU temps doesn't reach above 90degs.
Problem with Linux was Optimus support of Nvidia. But I was able to run Boinc with optirun boinc command and running fine now. However, I have broken the OpenCL support someway.

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Message 35600 - Posted: 10 Mar 2014 | 21:28:47 UTC - in response to Message 35559.

I'm not sure if AMD is harder to deal with in Linux. I've heard stories that say the greatest difficulty is getting AMD and NVIDIA to work side-by-side in Linux.

With recent-ish drivers, PhysX no longer works for NVidia GPU's if there is an AMD/ATI GPU installed.
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Message 35786 - Posted: 21 Mar 2014 | 16:37:05 UTC

Does anyone have an opinion on Mint Debian? That is, would it be easier/harder to set up with BOINC?
http://blog.linuxmint.com/?p=2577

How about driver updates, as compared to Mint Ubuntu for example?
Does 32/64 bit matter for GPUGrid purposes?

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Message 35797 - Posted: 21 Mar 2014 | 23:45:02 UTC - in response to Message 35786.
Last modified: 21 Mar 2014 | 23:46:28 UTC

It's essential that you use a 64bit Linux operating system; the Linux app is x64 only. OS flavour is down to you.
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Message 35820 - Posted: 23 Mar 2014 | 11:43:28 UTC - in response to Message 35797.

It's essential that you use a 64bit Linux operating system; the Linux app is x64 only. OS flavour is down to you.


Hmmm well that leaves out my older machines then, I did not know that, thanks! You just saved me some work on switching to Linux for crunching here for my old XP machines.

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Message 35974 - Posted: 28 Mar 2014 | 19:35:58 UTC - in response to Message 35559.
Last modified: 28 Mar 2014 | 19:39:06 UTC

Hi Dagorath, if you are working on the issue of the Linux installer, I recommend you try the new Linux kernel version in its Low Latency.

Kernel: Linux-031307-lowlatency 3.13.7 (x86_64)
Compiled: 201403240156 SMP PREEMPT Mon Mar 24 6:05:35 UTC 2014

The overall performance is very good, GPUGRID Boinc tasks or generally not significantly reduce the execution time but the whole system faster wheel fine.

Low Latency Kernel love. Greetings.

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Message 36003 - Posted: 30 Mar 2014 | 13:18:34 UTC - in response to Message 35974.

Hi Dagorath, if you are working on the issue of the Linux installer, I recommend you try the new Linux kernel version in its Low Latency.

Kernel: Linux-031307-lowlatency 3.13.7 (x86_64)
Compiled: 201403240156 SMP PREEMPT Mon Mar 24 6:05:35 UTC 2014

The overall performance is very good, GPUGRID Boinc tasks or generally not significantly reduce the execution time but the whole system faster wheel fine.

Low Latency Kernel love. Greetings.


Dagorath quit crunching so I think he stopped working on his Linux based release.

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Message 36004 - Posted: 30 Mar 2014 | 14:59:16 UTC - in response to Message 36003.

Dagorath quit crunching so I think he stopped working on his Linux based release.


Hi Mikey: Thanks for the comment, I'm sorry to say, the truth is that it was a difficult task, Linux does not help matters.

Anyway the comment is valid in general Low Latency Kernel is proving very interesting and personally recommend their use (always under the responsibility of each). Greetings.

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Message boards : Number crunching : What is so hard about Linux?

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