Folding@Home on Ubuntu 10.04

Folding@Home (a.k.a. FAH or F@H) is one of the coolest distributed computing projects available. It intelligently maximizes the output of your computer for beneficial medical research (like cancer and Alzheimer's disease). If you're a new Ubuntu Linux user like me and want to participate in this great cause, here are a few steps to get up and running:

1. Download the finstall script for FAH to your home directory (right-click link and choose 'Save Link As...')

2. If you have a 64-bit machine, open the finstall script with a text editor and change the following lines:

On line 750, change Fclient_linuxB=FAH6.02-Linux.tgz to be Fclient_linuxB=FAH6.29-Linux.tgz

On line 754, change Fclient_linuxA_SMP=FAH6.02-Linux.tgz to be Fclient_linuxA_SMP=FAH6.29-Linux.tgz

3. Open a command prompt and change the script to be executable: sudo chmod +x finstall

4. Determine if your computer meets the SMP requirements.

5. Run the appropriate command prompt for your computer:

SMP computer command: ./finstall smp
Non-SMP computer command: ./finstall

6. The script will begin installing Folding@Home. When prompted, compare the MD5 hash to verify the downloaded client is correct and valid.

7. When prompted, I recommend you install the 3rd party utilities from Dick Howell.

8. When prompted for a username, think of something original and verify it hasn't been taken.

9. When prompted for a team number use 45104 (Ubuntu Folding Team!)

10. When prompted for a passkey, use this form to request one be emailed to you (Note: 'Donorname' is the username you selected in step 8). By using a passkey, you can more accurately track your participation points.

11. I used the default settings for the remainder of the install prompts (just keep hitting 'Enter' on your keyboard at each prompt to accept the default setting).

12. Once it finishes installing, copy the folding shell script to your services directory: sudo cp ~/foldingathome/folding /etc/init.d

13. Convert the shell script to a service to run automatically at startup: sudo update-rc.d folding defaults (note: to later remove the service so it doesn't run automatically at startup you can run this command: sudo update-rc.d -f folding remove)

14. Verify the service works: service folding start (note: you can stop Folding@Home at any time by running this command: service folding stop)

15. Within a minute, your CPU usage should max out at 100% and you can view the status by running: ~/foldingathome/folding status

16. You can view your data processing by navigating to your CPU folder (e.g. cd ~/foldingathome/CPU1) and running: ./qd

17. Depending on your hardware, you can also double-click the fpd executable file in the foldingathome folder to see a GUI display of your processing data.

18. After a few days of processing, you should start seeing your accumulated points. Note: you will likely need to run your computer non-stop for 3-6 days to accumulate a single work unit (WU) before your username appears in the Folding@Home stats.

Happy folding!

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