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Old December 16, 2012, 05:56 PM
frontier204 frontier204 is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
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My System Specs

Red face Experiment: What's the minimal install to get nVidia BOINC crunching

I just wanted to share my experience getting BOINC GPU to work on a "headless" Ubuntu Server 12.10 install, which I'm using as a NAS that now sucks 250-300W from the wall due to the crunching . Note what I have is not quite headless in that there's a TV that I don't use hooked to the GPU, but I suppose you could do the same stuffing some resistors in a DVI-VGA adaptor.

Note it would have been a lot more practical for me to do this by installing a lightweight GUI (xubuntu, lubuntu) that I wouldn't use and putting the server stuff that I needed, but here it is anyway for your amusement.
Who knows - maybe this will be useful for all of you running Ubuntu Server for SMP folding when they finally support GPU OpenCL folding.

The required installs are the following:

BOINC / CUDA: Currently there's a bug in the boinc-client that asks for WAY too many packages to actually get it running, hence the no-install-recommends flag.
apt-get --no-install-recommends install boinc-client boinc-nvidia-cuda
I set up BOINC for remote access from my Windows rig as per: Controlling BOINC remotely - BOINC

nVidia Driver: Ubuntu doesn't come with a CUDA-capable driver, so install one that works for you, like this one...
apt-get install nvidia-current-updates
Minimal GUI: To get BOINC to recognize that you have a GPU, BOINC has to be loaded AFTER some sort of graphical user interface (GUI) is up and running. For this, I used a simple display manager:
apt-get install --no-install-recommends lightdm
apt-get install lightdm-webkit-greeter
After restarting, the result was an ugly, unusable GUI, but it was enough GUI to load the nVidia driver and get BOINC folding.

2012-12-16 7:26:25 PM |  | NVIDIA GPU 0: GeForce GTX 550 Ti (driver version unknown, CUDA version 5.0, compute capability 2.1, 134214656MB, 134214622MB available, 745 GFLOPS peak)
2012-12-16 7:26:25 PM |  | OpenCL: NVIDIA GPU 0: GeForce GTX 550 Ti (driver version 304.51, device version OpenCL 1.1 CUDA, 1024MB, 134214622MB available)
Have fun!
"The computer programmer says they should drive the car around the block and see if the tire fixes itself." [src]

Last edited by frontier204; December 16, 2012 at 05:58 PM. Reason: Change the little icon
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