Linux GPU support

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Linux GPU support

Postby ultimitloozer » Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:48 am

Do you have a timeframe for adding GPU folding support to F@H? I have systems with kick-ass GPUs in them that are way underutilized but the systems are running Linux since it is far more stable than Windows and end-users can easily get quality support for it unlike the MS products lately. My last 2 machines will also be running Linux shortly after the new year so I can get rid of all of the MS crapware. So, if you want processing cycles from me, you have got to up your game for supporting Linux systems.
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby Joe_H » Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:02 am

No timeframe has been announced for GPU folding on Linux or OS X. There have been some PG posts that it was under consideration. But no further information has been released. The current focus appears to be on getting GPU folding optimized for recently released cards from AMD and nVidia on Windows.
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby csvanefalk » Tue Nov 13, 2012 10:58 am

You CAN try to get GPU folding running under Wine (at your own risk of course). There are some threads on this forum that delve into this.
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby Ivoshiee » Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:32 pm

WINE + nVIDIA GPUs has been proved to work, similar thing with ATI ones is not working at all or there are not much people trying that. Native effort should be possible as OpenMM does work under Linux as well, but it will take someone from the PG to start tinkering with it. At presence we have no such information about it.
NB: I would not expect any Linux support before Windows ones are relatively bug free. Maybe it will take another year or two.
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby proteneer » Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:34 pm

We are working on these issues. There is a fairly extensive rewrite of the core in the works right now. It will take some time, but we hope it will bring much better stability (and better integration with OpenMM).
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby Spazturtle » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:28 pm

Will you be optimising the ATI/AMD gpu cores this time? ATI/AMD cards are just as powerful as NVIDIA ones yet you don't seam to use that power.
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby csvanefalk » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:31 pm

Spazturtle wrote:Will you be optimising the ATI/AMD gpu cores this time? ATI/AMD cards are just as powerful as NVIDIA ones yet you don't seam to use that power.

ATI support is suffering for reasons beyond the control of the Pande Group, unfortunately.
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby michealPW » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:54 pm

csvanefalk wrote:
Spazturtle wrote:Will you be optimising the ATI/AMD gpu cores this time? ATI/AMD cards are just as powerful as NVIDIA ones yet you don't seam to use that power.

ATI support is suffering for reasons beyond the control of the Pande Group, unfortunately.

Do you have anymore information on this?

I don't understand why, for example, Bitcoin mining software for Linux can fully utilize ATI GPUs but there's no support here? I've got over 1200 APU cores that tear through bitcoin OpenCL at awesome speeds on GNU/Linux, better than on Windows 7 but yet they can't fold at all, folding is stuck on the 4 CPU cores I have, it seems really backwards :|

Is Folding@Home client for linux open source?

If you had anymore information it would be really appreciated, thanks for your time.
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby bruce » Sat Dec 15, 2012 8:01 pm

Welcome to foldingforum.org, michealPW.

FAH is divided into several different software pieces. The FAHClient is a gateway type application which contacts the servers and asks for an assignment. Once a new Work Unit is downloaded, it starts up the specific scientific code, called a FahCore, that processes the WU. When the FahCore finishes the work, the FAHClient uploads the result and gets a new WU. No, it's not open source, but it already contains all the code necessary to receive and send WUs between Linux and the servers.

Various projects may require different FahCores and each FahCore must be customized to work with a specific Operating System and specific types of hardware. One of the Linux FahCores that uses CPUs is presently processing work on your system. Currently there is no FahCore that runs on ATI GPUs on Linux, nor are there any projects designed to work with such a FahCore. The Folding@home project has mentioned that they plan to develop Linux cores for GPUs but they've associated no specific dates with that plan.

The source code to develop such a FahCore is a combination of open source and closed source. The fundamental analysis code was developed by Gromacs.org and is available from them. It has been packaged/adapted somewhat by simtk.org and is available from them. With that code, you'd be able to create a system to process your own scientific projects but you wouldn't be able to run it as a part of FAH.

Because the validity of the scientific research is at stake, Stanford does not allow arbitrary code to process it's projects, so there's a certain amount of closed code required to interface between the FahClient and the OpenMM code. There's a lot of testing/checking that must be performed to validate that the FahCore produces scientifically sound results. Until that process has been completed, no FAH projects will be developed which can be assigned to Linux GPUs.

The OpenCL interface code is still being developed. Portions of that code are proprietary, developed by NVidia, AMD(ATI), Intel, etc. and packaged with their drivers. Before a FahCore can be validated, there's a lot of additional validation of OpenCL that's required and significant bugs are still being discovered in that code. Then, too, the Linux community will have to face the issue of open vs. proprietary drivers before the development can be completed for a specific type of GPU on a specific version of OpenCL with specific drivers. I'm sure that has a lot to do with why the Windows code was developed long before the Linux or OS-X FahCores were developed. I've seen claims by the GPU manufacturers that they support OpenCL Version X but that does not guarantee that arbitrary analysis code (OpenMM) provided by Stanford will produce bug-free results when written in accordance with the OpenCL Version X standards. :(
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby proteneer » Wed Dec 19, 2012 1:26 am

PS - we're working on building the new core in linux. Things are going pretty well. There are some pretty exciting things we have planned ^_^.
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby Zagen30 » Wed Dec 19, 2012 9:02 am

That's fantastic that the Linux GPU core looks like it's on the horizon. I'm just afraid for my power bill, as now I'll feel much more inclined to put my dual 460s in my dedicated Linux box when I upgrade my main rig instead of selling them. Lousy tiered SoCal power pricing...
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby proteneer » Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:58 pm

Yep, NorCal electricity is also pretty pricey. Good news is that NVIDIA is aware of power issues. The Kepler generation is supposed to be a step in this direction. Most of modern hardware is now geared towards reducing wattage as they are by far the highest expenditures in server farms.
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby powerarmour » Tue Jan 08, 2013 1:54 pm

Seeing as we are unable to download the console v6 client for Wine use anymore :-

viewtopic.php?f=54&t=23365

Hopefully v7 will be available sooner rather than later!, I've got a few machines I can't do anything with at the moment.
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby art_l_j_PlanetAMD64 » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:03 pm

powerarmour wrote:Hopefully v7 will be available sooner rather than later!, I've got a few machines I can't do anything with at the moment.

Yes, the number of GPUs running FAH will probably rise by several hundreds (or even thousands) as soon as the native Linux GPU client is available. In fact, the only reason I have any Windoze systems at all, is for the GPU folding! :wink:
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Re: Linux GPU support

Postby powerarmour » Tue Jan 08, 2013 2:17 pm

art_l_j_PlanetAMD64 wrote:Yes, the number of GPUs running FAH will probably rise by several hundreds (or even thousands) as soon as the native Linux GPU client is available. In fact, the only reason I have any Windoze systems at all, is for the GPU folding! :wink:


Indeed, considering how cheap Windows 8 licenses are at the moment, it still doesn't justify the expense of running a 24/7 GPU folding machine unfortunately.
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