That’s right! I’m already at position #8 in the Cosmology@Home challenge:
And that’s why I also made the Finished BOINC Tasks section at my website, so everyone can keep track of my completed BOINC Tasks 😁, as I sometimes get asked what hardware I use to crunch tasks that allow me to go up in the leaderboards 🙂.
New Gridcoin BOINC Challenge: Cosmology@Home – Installing VirtualBox and configuring the project
Today, a new BOINC challenge for the project Cosmology@Home started. This challenge was issued by Team Gridcoin:
I went ahead and added my machines to this project, only to realize I need VirtualBox installed:
So in order to crunch tasks for this project, I went to install VirtualBox as well as configure the project. Here I detail you the installation and optional configuration process, which is really simple:
2. Because I’m using Windows, I’ll download the Windows version:
3. We’ll click Save:
4. And after the download finishes, we will click on Run:
5. We press Next:
6. We’ll leave this as it is and press Next:
7. We’ll press Next again:
8. Now, we’ll click Yes:
9. Now on Install:
10. It will ask us to install some driver software. We’ll click Install:
11. When the installation finishes, uncheck the Start VirtualBox checkbox and press Finish:
Configuring the project
I recommend doing these steps if you have a really bad lag or unresponsiveness in your PC. I had to apply a customized version of the configuration posted in the Cosmology@Home FAQ section as the VM would get stuck in my AMD Ryzen machine, so I configured it to use half the PC cores.
2. Open your favorite Text Editor and copy the contents you copied recently. I used Notepad++ here. Then, change the <avg_ncpus> section to specify the amount of threads you want the VM to use. I first limited it to 4 cores and kept going up until I could maximize my PC resources while keeping it stable. In my Intel machine, I tried this configuration to test it:
3. Save the config in the Cosmology@Home folder. If you installed BOINC and left the directories at their default location, then this directory/folder is C:\ProgramData\BOINC\projects\www.cosmologyathome.org. Save the file as app_config.xml:
4. You’ll see the syntax is highlighted. It should be like this meaning it saved as an XML file:
And that’s it! We’ve finished the configuration.
Testing the installation and configuration.
Now, we need to launch BOINC and perform a project update. For this, exit BOINC if it is already running and launch it again. Then select the Cosmology@Home project and press Update:
You should see in the log that it is downloading tasks:
And that they are running:
You can also check VirtualBox and see that the task VM is running:
And here’s how the CPU of one of my Intel machines looks like:
Eventually, I upped the CPU threads to 8 so that it can use every resource in it. The only exception is my AMD Ryzen 7 2700X machine which is limited to 8 threads out of its 16.
If you followed this guide and are running Cosmology@Home tasks, congrats! And I wish you luck in the competition!
This required some coding in my BOINCToWeb software I wrote to accomplish this. I’ll talk about the code changes and additions in another post.
I also remember all of you that you can see the tasks I’m crunching by clicking here:
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