BOINC 64 bit

I have been playing around with BOINC the last couple of days. It took me some time to figure out a couple of things though.

My laptop runs 64 bit which can be a problem with some of the projects using Boinc. Einstein@Home (as well as many other projects) doesn’t support 64 bit. So with a standard install I would get error messages looking like this one:

Message from server: platform 'x86_64-pc-linux-gnu' not found

There is (as always) a fix – this should work in general, but I have for obvious reasons only tried it on my own Ubuntu laptop. First you need to be able to run 32 bit applications. This is done by installing ia32 libraries:

sudo aptitude install ia32-libs

Then you have to tell the Boinc client to request work as if it was a 32 bit pc. This is done by shutting down the boinc client

sudo /etc/init.d/boinc-client stop

and then, in the file /var/lib/boinc-client/client_state.xml replacing the line

<platform_name>x86_64-pc-linux-gnu</platform_name>

with this one:

<platform_name>i686-pc-linux-gnu</platform_name>

and start the Boinc client again

sudo /etc/init.d/boinc-client start

Another option is to put your 64 bit processor to use and work on some of the projects that actually support 64 bit…
Here is a list of projects supposed to have native 64 bit applications (I have only tried ABC@home my self):

Of course the two options above does kind of exclude each other. I have not found a way to report one platform to some projects and another platform to others. It would seem nice with a ‘fallback’ platform to be reported if the x86_64 fails, but maybe that will come in the future. On the other hand it seems like a good idea to use only optimized applications on 64 bit hardware. The last approach is the one I’m using currently.
You can see my progress here:


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