Go Back   Hardware Canucks > HARDWARE CANUCKS COMMUNITY > HardwareCanucks F@H Team

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1 (permalink)  
Old December 16, 2012, 05:56 PM
Hall Of Fame
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Ottawa, ON
Posts: 1,344

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
Reply With Quote
  #2 (permalink)  
Old December 28, 2013, 12:26 AM
Trial Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Posts: 1
Default Headless BOINC manager

I just stumbled across your post when looking for a boinc-minimal set up and remembered something which makes administration a little easier when using a headless server.

If you're using a linux terminal (or OS X with X11 extensions) ssh in via:
ssh -X remotehost xterm
This will then give you a terminal window from which you can start boincmgr, so that it's running on your server, but using the desktop of your terminal. Makes configuration a lot easier.

If you're feeling dead lazy, you can skip the terminal bit and launch boincmgr directly:
ssh -X remotehost boincmgr &
For these, I do not need to have a full X environment installed on the server.
Linux rocks
Reply With Quote
  #3 (permalink)  
Old February 16, 2014, 11:55 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 3


I've been searching the internet for a guide or some help on solving an issue just like it when I found your post.

I've been trying to build RACK mounted Ubuntu 12.04 Servers to crunch data using BOINC - with both CPU and GPU.
But I just can't get it to work. We are discussing this very intensely at berkeley.edu, and we have been doing it for more than 2 weeks.
Might there be a change, you helping us with this issue? I have tried the todo on this site of course, but i didn't work. The GPU can't be seen/recognized by BOINC!

I've exactly the same environment as you. Non-graphical Ubuntu Server, controlled by SSH from a windows rig

The hardware I'm testing this at, is:

Project RACK Linux Boinc Servers
Ubuntu Server 12.04.4 64bit
Intel i5-3470/4Gb Ram/Asus P8H61-MX
MSI GeForceGT610 2Gb
Nvidia v.nvidia-linux-x86_64-331.38
BOINC v.7.2.33 x86_64-pc-linux-gn

I know it's a old post, but it's the best and nearest suggestion to solve the issue.
I hope to hear from you or some of the other guru's in here.

Here's the discussion going on at berkeley.edu:
Global Setting - Default, Work, Home --> Setup unstable
Ubuntu Server 12.04.4 64bit - LM-sensors & temp control of GT610 v. Nvidia driver
Ubuntu Server 12.04 - Nvidia GeForce 610 inst. OK, BUT lm-sensors affected! No temp for GPU anymore
ATI Radeon X1650se --> Will this card work in BOINC/Ubuntu Linux (GPU)???
Intel i5 processors/MSI GeForce GT610 2Gb/Linux 12.04.2 - Needs help installing linux driver
apt-get install boinc-client or boinc repository - when Nvidia driver problems?
Ubuntu Server 12.04.4 - Use GPU to chrunch data

Please help me/us. Please

Kind Regards,
Dan Hansen
Reply With Quote
  #4 (permalink)  
Old February 26, 2014, 08:18 PM
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 3
Red face


I was so happy when I found your ToDo. But I've tried it, followed it to the letter, and it didn't work. The whole installation went on without any kind of errors or warnings. So it looked like I a last found someone who knows what he is talking about.
I've been fighting this issue for more than 1 1/2 month. If you got the time, will you help me get it right?

Rebooting the rig, an error occurs:

"Starting ... Load Fallback Graphics Devices .. [Fail]

The hardware I'm testing this at, is:

Project Headless RACK Linux Boinc Servers
Ubuntu Server 12.04.4 64bit
Intel i5-3570K/8Gb Ram/Asus P8H77-M Pro
Asus GeForceGT640 1Gb PCIe 2.0 x16
Asus GeForceGT640 1Gb PCIe 3.0 x16 (to be added when it works with one card)

Kind regards
Dan Hansen

Last edited by DanHansenDenmark; March 7, 2014 at 03:48 PM.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
An experiment I'd like to try, thoughts? igot6strings Water Cooling 18 September 19, 2012 07:08 PM
New GPU2 (nvidia) client install using 100% CPU core? sswilson HardwareCanucks F@H Team 22 January 20, 2010 10:49 PM
help me figure the minimal wattage of my mini-itx machine baov Power Supplies 5 September 30, 2009 01:13 PM
New Folding/Crunching Rig crazyhorsejohnny HardwareCanucks F@H Team 5 September 13, 2009 09:13 AM
Opteron Experiment xrmarcis CPU's and Motherboards 8 September 24, 2007 12:44 PM