BOINC Application Owner's Manual
From Unofficial BOINC Wiki
The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is a client-server architecture system with software components located on one or more Project's Servers and other components installed on (usually) standard personal computers which we call a client.
The parts that are installed on the client computer; in this case, your computer; interface to and control the operation of what we call the BOINC Client Software. This software currently consists of two component parts called the BOINC Manager and BOINC Daemon.
 BOINC Manager
The BOINC Client Software has, like almost all application programs today, one main window that contains the universe of the program itself. And like all modern windowed products today there are common features native to all of the windows operating on your computing platform. Because the BOINC Software is a cross-platform application there are some small differences between the exact window layout and controls.
The BOINC Software can be installed and run on Microsoft Windows®, Apple Mac OS X, Solaris Operating Environment, and Linux. In this document we are going to be primarily showing the version that is run on the Microsoft Windows® platform as our "reference" platform. Where there are glaring differences between the features of one of the other platform's and this "reference" platform we will endeavor to explain or show that unique feature. However, for those features where there is a clear and commonly understood analog control on the alternative platforms we will not be adding specifics for those controls. And you can put the ropes away, I work on, own, and use all three platforms (and no I am not going to ever admit to the public at large that the Macintosh is by far and away my favorite platform, so, I am just going to keep you in the dark about that).
The main window of the BOINC Manager has the application name along with the usual controls and display features. We will cover the controls and features in roughly a top down order with at least a short explanation of each of the controls. If for no other reason than completeness, well, there is a reason for this attention to detail. And that reason is that some of the controls may operate in a manner that is unlike normal windows operation on your system (did I just imply that the BOINC Manager is an abnormal application? Hmm, I wonder if I should clarify that, if I do, how will I do it? Well, maybe it will stir up some controversy …).
Closing this window does not completely stop the operation of the BOINC Client Software. Actually, all you did was to shut down the BOINC Manager, the real work-horse of the BOINC System; the BOINC Daemon and the Science Applications are still hard at work and doing marvelous things, way cool!
You can click on the window to get a full size version of the window and a brief description of the controls. The categories of the BOINC Manager's controls are:
- Title Bar
- Window Display Area
 Window Title Bar
This is then the main groups of the window's controls and they are listed here along with a brief description:
This is the standard title bar that will have all of the controls that are found on all windows created by your Operating System and we will only touch on them very quickly. If you need more details we are going to have to point you to the documentation that is available for your operating system.
The controls in the Window Title Bar are:
 Window Title
Correctly identifies this window as "BOINC Manager" and that it is monitoring the BOINC Daemon on the local computer.
 Minimize Window
Minimizes the window to the Taskbar (Microsoft Windows®), Dock (Macintosh), or whatever (Linux). It should be noticed that this may create an entry in the Taskbar that is not required. If the BOINC Manager is not going to be used for sometime, the close window control should be used (see the section that describes that control).
 Maximize Window
This control opens the window up to the full screen size.
 Close Window
And lastly, but not leastwise, we have the control that closes the window. This control works a little differently on the BOINC Manager window in the sense it does close the window, but it does not end BOINC's operation. With most applications, clicking on the close window control will close the application and end all processing. With the BOINC Manager this is not the case. When the close control is clicked the BOINC Manager's window will close, but the BOINC Daemon and the running Science Applications are not stopped.
So, you do not have to minimize the BOINC Manager's window to keep the BOINC Client Software running. After you open up the window to work with the BOINC Manager you can then use the "close" control to close the BOINC Manager's window without ending the operation of BOINC and your Science Applications. The program will minimize to the Taskbar (windows), Dock (Macintosh), or whatever (Linux) and it will continue to operate as an Idle Priority task.
These give the user top level control over the BOINC Client Software and its operation. Each menu can be opened and the options contained within that menu become available.
 File Menu
In the later version, some of the operational controls were moved to the Commands Menu.
 Commands Menu
 Projects Menu
The Projects Menu contains the options that allow the Participant to interact with the BOINC Powered Projects by allowing the BOINC Client Software to be "Attached" to the Project; and allowing the use of the new Account Manager feature.
 Options Menu - The Tools Menu in Versions Prior to 5.x.y
The Options Menu allows the application specific settings to be altered. Contrary to many of the programs you are used to, many of the control settings of the BOINC Client Software are maintained on-line so that they can be altered from any location (though the actual implementation of the changes may be delayed until there is a communication with the Scheduling Server).
 Help Menu
 Pop-Up Menu
The tabs select the material that will be displayed in the lowest window pane.
 Projects Tab
The information shown is:
- The names of the Projects the Participant (you!) has joined.
- The name of the account being used by the BOINC Client Software.
- The Total Credit earned for that specific project.
- The Recent Average Credit earned for that project.
- The Resource Share allocations to the various projects that the user is participating.
 Work Tab
The Work Tab, when selected, will display in the main pane the Work Units that have been downloaded to the local Work Buffer. With this tab view the Participant should be able to monitor the basic operation of the system as it grinds through the Work Units. This is most likely the tab that you will be using most often with your interaction with the BOINC Client Software.
The information shown is:
- The name of the Project that created the Work Unit.
- The specific version of the Science Application that will be used to process the Work Unit.
- The Work Unit Name (it is usually a string of gobble-de-gook that only means something to the computers).
- The current total amount of time that has been spent processing that Work Unit.
- The progress towards completion as a percentage of the total estimated time to completion. Keep in mind that this is an estimate of the remaining time and it may fluctuate.
- The estimated wall clock time until the completion of the processing on the Work Unit.
- The deadline, as a date and time after which the Data Server will consider that Work Unit as abandoned if a result file is not returned by that stipulated moment.
- The current status of the Work Units. A description is available for the various "Status States".
 Transfers Tab
The Transfers Tab, when selected, allows the user to monitor the communication of the results that are being up-loaded to the Data Server and the reception of new Work Units to be entered into the BOINC Manager's Work Buffer.
The information shown is:
- The name of the project that is involved in the listed transfer activity.
- The identification name of the file that is undergoing transfer.
- The progress to completion of the transfer expressed as a percentage of the total amount of data to be transferred.
- The size of the data item being transferred.
- The time of day.
- The speed of the data transfer in bytes-per-second.
- The status of the transfer.
 Messages Tab
- The name of the Project that created and sent the message.
- The date and time of the specific message.
- The actual message content
There are a number of Messages that can be displayed. The types and content of the messages may be found in:
- Category List of All BOINC Messages
- Category List of BOINC Information Messages
- Category List of BOINC Status Messages
- Category List of BOINC Warning Messages
- Category List of BOINC Error Messages
You can also read the "How-To" Guide: "Messages, Discovering the Meaning of The Message Tab's Contents".
 Statistics Tab
The Statistics Tab is an information display about the various BOINC Powered Projects to which this Participant's Computer is attached. The data is automatically gathered with no need for Participant intervention.
- No data will be displayed until the BOINC Client Software has contacted the Project's Scheduling Server at least once on three different days. So, there will not be any information displayed immediately after installing the BOINC Client Software.
 Disk Tab
The information shown is:
- The amount of disk space consumed by the BOINC Client Software and the amount consumed by the Attached Projects (Science Applications).
 Window Display Area
This is a dynamic area of the window where information is reported. The exact content of the information that is displayed is dependent on the tab that has been selected and the exact status of the BOINC Client Software.
 Status Bar
Most of the time this will indicate "localhost" indicating the computer to which the BOINC Manager is connected is the local machine.
 Balloon Pop-Up
When the BOINC Manager is minimized into the "Taskbar" (Microsoft Windows®) at the bottom of your screen, if you pass the mouse cursor over the BOINC Icon, you will get a pop-up balloon with a list of the currently running Project and the percentage complete of the Work Units in progress for those Projects.
An example of that is shown here in the image.
As you can see, there are two Projects running on the computer that the BOINC Manager is connected to because this was a dual processor machine. If you have only one processor, then you will see only one Project listed. On my dual Xeon computer with two physical and four "Logical Processors" there will be four Projects listed.
 BOINC Screen Saver
|Project||Project Web Site|
|Climateprediction.net||Climateprediction.net Web Site|
|Einstein@Home||Einstein@Home Web Site|
|LHC@Home||LHC@Home Web Site|
|Rosetta@Home||Rosetta@Home Web Site|
|SETI@Home||SETI@Home Web Site|
For more details on the BOINC Screen Saver, look at the following topics:
- BOINC Screen Saver
- BOINC Screensaver Set-Up
- Enabling The Graphics Capability of the BOINC Client Software for a Service Type Installation
- Climateprediction.net (CPDN):