Running different Nvidia architectures optimal in same host with seti@home and other BOINC projects.

I was having a major headache.

Struggling with the issue that Fermi boards can effeciently run more than one application per GPU board and the GTX 2xx architecture which slows down made me think of a way to get around this issue.
I came up with an idea to have two different BOINC directorys which could run hand in hand with eachother.

The purpose of this was in my case to have the orginal installation modifed to run the Fermi board and the CPU’s most optimal and the other installation would run my Nvidia 2xx generation card by itself..

In that way i could configure app_info.xml to make the fermi board run two WU’s at once and not even bother trying to use the 2xx board for crunching and 2xx board 1 WU at once with another executable which is more suitable for that board.

Example below:

Start with creating a new directory in which your new standalone boincdata directory should be. In my example that catalogue is called “tst”

Open a command prompt and type this:
“c:\Program Files\BOINC\boinc.exe” –allow_multiple_clients –dir c:\tst

What happens is that boinc starts to build up a structure in that directory which you entered, and also you get the message that one of the last lines should say “This computer is not attached to any projects”

If you got that you’re on the right track :), Press Ctrl+C to break it.

Edit the file gui_rpc_auth.cfg in that directory and choose a password. In my example i use the password “1″, Close and save it!
From the command prompt run this: “c:\Program Files\BOINC\boinc.exe” –allow_multiple_clients –dir c:\tst –gui_rpc_port 9999

Now you have initiated so far that you can do with the console easily. Fire up boinc manager!

If you have a regular boinc installation it would automatically start that one so the easiest way is to choose suspend all projects.
Choose to manage another computer and choose localhost:9999
Enter the password 1 in that box.
If everything is working the attach to project window should appear.

Choose to connect to seti@home or another project of choice.

When everything has started so it has created that directory you easily can start to do the magic stuff in your seti project directory. Chosing right executable of choice etc.

After the project has initiated and downloaded executables and work you can monitor your messages directory so you can see which CUDA unit number is assigned to which graphics card.

In my case i wanted to single out my GTX2xx generation card so that this special boinc installation only uses that board/boards for computation.
Create a cc_config.xml in that directory and choose which/what GPUs you want to exclude, in my example i don’t want that installation to use device 0 and 1.

CC_CONFIG.XML:

<cc_config>
  <options>
     <allow_multiple_clients>1</allow_multiple_clients>
 <use_all_gpus>1</use_all_gpus>
 <ignore_cuda_dev>0</ignore_cuda_dev>
 <ignore_cuda_dev>1</ignore_cuda_dev>
 <ncpus>0</ncpus>
  </options>

Save that file.

Now edit your regular boinc directorys cc_config.xml, in my example i wanted the original boinc installation to ignore CUDA device 2 and it worked best if the allow_multiple_clients parameter was set to 0 in my case, look in my example below:

<cc_config>
<options>
<allow_multiple_clients>0</allow_multiple_clients>
<use_all_gpus>1</use_all_gpus>
<ignore_cuda_dev>2</ignore_cuda_dev>
</options>

Save the file..

All the customizations you can do in each separate boinc directory

Now it’s only to start the custom installation with a shortcut with:
“c:\Program Files\BOINC\boinc.exe” –allow_multiple_clients –dir c:\tst –gui_rpc_port 9999

Voila!!
Now you can make the most use of both architectures with most optimal executables and configurations.


  1. EPFRYBARGER says:

    I am attempting to nearly mimic your 2 BOINC technique but seem to be failing at the “fire up BOINC manager” step. do you have any other insites into the process … like when to exit the cmn prompt (if ever) or what other problems I can expect (if any)

    Ed F

  2. epfrybar says:

    What I’m seeing is connecting to localhost:9999 I get to the same as localhost (i.e. the default SETI instance)

    Ed F

  3. Vyper says:

    Have you done everything that i mentions in the guide.
    You must begin from a installed boinc installation , and exit it first so that it doesn’t run.

    If you then follow all my guide lines including editing the gui_rpc file in both directories and assign the listening ports it actually should work!

    And ofcourse the last line when your’e done: “c:\Program Files\BOINC\boinc.exe” –allow_multiple_clients –dir c:\tst –gui_rpc_port 9999″
    Create a shortcut or try that line in pure dos! Because if you start with that line it should automatically create the new drawer and if you start regular boincmanager it should autostart the “old” installation and then you can go to the meny and choose to administrate the other computer localhost:9999 with the provided password set in the rpc_gui file!

    Well it should work out just fine :)

  4. atrocity says:

    Any way you can think of to use an account manager like BAM! or anything to control each instance independantly?

  5. admin says:

    Nope, i haven’t tried it!
    Don’t even know how it could be done atm :)

  6. commhealy says:

    So I am trying to set this up and am running into problems. I copy and paste the first command (“c:\Program Files\BOINC\boinc.exe” –allow_multiple_clients –dir c:\tst) in the command prompt and also tried typing it in and I get this message: The filename, or volume label syntax is incorrect.
    Has something changed since this post was made? I have created the new directory and BOINC manager is closed.

  7. werdwerdus says:

    I have the same problem as epfrybar

    try to connect with BOINMGR to locahost:port and it just connects to the regular boinc client as if ignoring the port

  8. Vyper says:

    Hmm i don’t know actually. Perhaps.
    Will check how it works out for me in newer versions aswell. It worked properly in past versions as it was back then but how it is two years later i can’t really tell as the machine i’m running doesn’t do what it used to do in the past :)

  9. epfrybar says:

    Good grief … I had no idea this “stuff” lingered on the web ;-)

    I currently have 3 boinc instances running on my small computer 2 on the nvidia 550ti and 1 on the nvidia 9500.

    I have it all set up in a batch (“.bat”) file to start at windows boot. This has been working FINE for months now … (well … over a year now!) I Have the x41zc optimized code running on the faster card and x41g on the slower card … just lazy I guess …

    Ed F

  10. edwardpf says:

    Here is my startup batch file:

    start /affinity 01 C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31416 –dir C:\BOINC_test_data_1 –detach
    start /affinity 02 C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31417 –dir C:\BOINC_test_data_2 –allow_multiple_clients –detach
    start /affinity 04 C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31418 –dir C:\BOINC_test_data_3 –allow_multiple_clients –detach
    start /affinity 08 C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31419 –dir C:\BOINC_test_data_4 –allow_multiple_clients –detach
    start /affinity 10 C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31420 –dir C:\BOINC_test_data_5 –allow_multiple_clients –detach
    start /affinity 20 C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31421 –dir C:\BOINC_test_data_6 –allow_multiple_clients –detach
    start /affinity 40 C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31422 –dir C:\BOINC_test_data_7 –allow_multiple_clients –detach
    start /affinity 80 C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31423 –dir C:\BOINC_test_data_8 –allow_multiple_clients –detach
    start C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31424 –dir C:\BOINC_test_GPU_1 –allow_multiple_clients –detach
    start C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31425 –dir C:\BOINC_test_GPU_2 –allow_multiple_clients –detach
    start C:\BOINC_test_programs\boinc.exe –gui_rpc_port 31426 –dir C:\BOINC_test_GPU_3 –allow_multiple_clients –detach
    start C:\BOINC_test_programs\boincmgr.exe /s
    cd ..\boinc_starts

    for Boincmgr I use Advanced/Launch_another_Boinc_manager and specify localhost:314xx as needed.

    I have the gui_rpc_auth.cfg set the same in all the c:\BOINC_test_data_x dir’s and c:\BOINC_test_GPU_x dir’s so I don’t have to remember too much …

    I hope this helps …

    And YES, this creates separate SETI clients. In my case my computer is 11 clients to SETI.

    Ed F

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