Folding @ Home on Linux Mint to contribute to the analysis of the new coronavirus

Overview

Folding @ Home is a project to analyze the protein of a virus by using the processing power of an individual's PC. A long time ago, there was a project with a similar idea of analyzing radio waves from UFOs.

When the program is executed, the unit to be analyzed is assigned from Folding @ Home, it is downloaded, the analysis process is executed, and when it is finished, the result is uploaded repeatedly.

Folding @ Home itself is not necessarily specialized for the new coronavirus (COVID-19), and it seems that it has existed before that, but now, if the target is set to the default  ĽAny`, the new coronavirus will be prioritized. It seems to analyze the virus. I also want COVID-19 to end as soon as possible, and even if I get sick, I hope that there will be no one who can be cured quickly with drugs and die, so I am participating in my Linux PC at home.

The method to do it on Windows is described in Folding @ Home Setup, so please refer to that. Here are the steps to contribute on Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

Installation

Download the required package

$ wget https://download.foldingathome.org/releases/public/release/fahclient/debian-stable-64bit/v7.5/fahclient_7.5.1_amd64.deb
$ wget https://download.foldingathome.org/releases/public/release/fahcontrol/debian-stable-64bit/v7.5/fahcontrol_7.5.1-1_all.deb
$ wget https://download.foldingathome.org/releases/public/release/fahviewer/debian-stable-64bit/v7.5/fahviewer_7.5.1_amd64.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahclient_7.5.1_amd64.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahcontrol_7.5.1-1_all.deb
$ sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahviewer_7.5.1_amd64.deb

I participated anonymously without registering as a user. When the installation is complete, it will run automatically in daemon mode. I want to do it from the command line so I'll turn off the service.

$ sudo systemctl stop FAHClient.service
$ sudo systemctl disable FAHClient.service

Run on CPU

My machine has 6 cores and 12 threads, so I run it like this:

$ FAHClient --client-threads=12 --smp=true --cpus=12

By the way, if you have already registered as a user and obtained a passkey, execute as follows

FAHClient --client-threads=12 --smp=true --cpus=12  --user=<username> --passkey=<passkey>

For <username> and <passkey>, specify the user name you registered and the passkey sent by e-mail at that time.

Soon, the unit will be downloaded from the folding @ home server and the analysis will begin. When the analysis is finished, the result will be uploaded to folding @ home and the next unit will be downloaded automatically. On my machine (6 cores / 12 threads / 2.60GHz [maximum 4.50GHz] / 12MB cache), analysis for one unit is completed in less than an hour.

If you want to check if you are really using the core properly, you can usually find out by looking at the top command. It seems that there is no mistake because the CPU usage of FAHCore_a7 is close to 1200% on the top running in the terminal on the left. Screenshot from 2020-03-29 12-34-46.png

If you want to stop it, use Ctrl-C, and if you want to run it, use the above command. I think it's faster to run on GPU, but it seems to be a lot of trouble, so if there is another opportunity.

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