Run Multiple clients on one machine?

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Run Multiple clients on one machine?

Postby willrandship » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:50 am

I have a 4 core computer, but since it is running a 32 bit OS (I want zSNES :P among other software with 32-bit only versions) with a PAE kernel, it has no Multi-Processor client available. I would like to compensate by running two or more independent clients, doubling the amount of WUs I get done, since I rarely use more than 2 of my cores at any given time. That way my input to the project would be maximized. However, the client has detection to prevent multiple processes of folding@home running at once.

Is there any way around this, so I could run multiple clients?
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Re: Run Multiple clients on one machine?

Postby Zagen30 » Fri Feb 03, 2012 7:59 am

Welcome to the forum, willrandship.

What you need to do is install multiple copies of the client in separate directories. It's probably easiest to just make copies your current folding directory, then delete the work folder and queue.dat from each copy's directory to make sure the copies don't try to work on the same work unit (when the client sees neither of those it'll make new ones and get new work). This also has the benefit of not having to configure every new copy from scratch, though you will need to change the Machine ID in the copies' configurations (make sure each copy has a unique ID).

In case you didn't know, FAH backs off if other processes need CPU time, so in theory you should be able to leave 4 copies running without seeing any noticeable slowdown in your other applications. In practice this doesn't always hold true, but I'd suggest trying it and seeing what happens. You'll probably want 4 copies anyway for when you're away from your computer, and you could shut down individual clients when running other things if there is notable slowdown.
Image
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Re: Run Multiple clients on one machine?

Postby willrandship » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:10 am

thanks, so I can just change the machineID from 1 to 2, 3, 4 and so on for each client? That's easier than I expected! :P

All that's left now is to write a shell script to start them all on startup :D Not terribly difficult.

That should nearly quadruple my WUs. Very helpful.

Edit: Done now. It sure makes the output less readable, though. Not that it really matters, I'd rather not have massive logs growing out of control as the alternative.

I do think this is the first time I've actually maxed all 4 cores.
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Re: Run Multiple clients on one machine?

Postby MtM » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:40 am

willrandship wrote:It sure makes the output less readable, though.


All clients should have their own log just as readable as before?

Question btw ( at those who should know ), would that PAE kernel cause fInstall to not work? If not, I would think that would be the easiest option and would prevent OP from having to write his own scripts.
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Re: Run Multiple clients on one machine?

Postby willrandship » Sat Feb 04, 2012 10:31 pm

I meant the actual terminal output, but the logs are still intact, yes.

Somehow finstall looks more complicated than my solution:

#!/bin/bash
#Starts the 4 set up FAH clients
cd ~/Projects/Folding@home
./fah6 &
cd 2nd
./fah6 &
cd ../3rd
./fah6 &
cd ../4th
./fah6 &

with a dir tree like this:

/Folding@Home
-Contains a Client with MachineID 1
/Folding@Home/2nd
-Contains a Client with MachineID 2
/Folding@Home/3rd
--Contains a Client with MachineID 3
/Folding@Home/4th
--Contains a Client with MachineID 4

Debating about installing the 32 bit SMP client
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