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09-24-2008, 12:54 AM #1
Linux SMP Folding in Windows with VMWare Server
This guide was written by WFO from PlanetAMD64.com.
I made a few changes to reflect program updates released since then.
This guide was written with Windows Xp in mind, but the latest VMWare Server beta supposedly is Vista x64 compatible.
VMware only supports two cores in each guest OS. To take advantage of all 4 cores you'll need 2 complete Linux installs in VMware with different machine IDs.
First stop is the VMware website: http://www.vmware.com/download/server/
Click the link at the top to register for your free serial number(s).
The latest release is VMware Server 1.0.7 which will work with Windows XP and Vista 32 bit.
For Vista 64 bit you can try VMware Server 2.0 Release Candidate 2 which is Vista x64 compatible: http://www.vmware.com/beta/server/overview.html
I tried it with Vista x64 and while it installed just fine, I was unable to install Linux in the Virtual Machine I created. It may have been a compatibility issue with my machine though, I'm not sure.
Choose the Desktop Edition and 64bit AMD and Intel computers. Choose the download location and Start Download.
It is very important that you get the 64 bit edition.
Burn your Linux .iso and you are ready to begin.
Click the VMWare exe to start the install. You will get an error message about ISS not being installed or improperly configured. Ignore it and continue. It will appear to hang when the blue progress bar has traveled across the screen. Don’t worry. It’s still installing. Give it time. Enter the S/N when prompted and click finish. Reboot if prompted to do so. Otherwise launch VMware/Local Host/OK.
Click New Virtual Machine/Next. Typical/Next. Select Linux/Ubuntu or Other Linux 64bit. Use network address translation. Select disk space allocated. I used 8GB. Selecting less and you won’t have room for pictures, music or other extras you may want to add Check allocate disk space now/ finish. Click edit Virtual Machine settings. Highlight Processor. Select 2. Double check ram settings. I recommend 512.
Insert the Ubuntu/Xubuntu CD. Click Open Existing Virtual Machine and the CD will launch. If by some chance it doesn’t, open and close the CD tray. Or you may have to close and re-launch VMware. Select Start or Install Ubuntu. The Live CD will boot. When the Desktop is loaded, click “Install.”
My selections during install were?
Time Zone: Your time zone
Set time/ your local time whatever it is
Keyboard -U.S. English/ Forward
Select your Username and password
Select Use Entire Disk. It will only use what you previously allocated. Don’t worry. Your data is safe.
The next screen will show all choices previously selected. Select Install or back if you need to change something. After the install you will be prompted to remove the CD and restart the OS. When the desktop is reached, from the drop down menus on top of the screen, click System/Administration/Update Manager. Install all updates. Feel free to get a cup of coffee or an adult beverage while this takes place.
When the updates are installed, you’ll need to open the terminal. Applications/Accessories/Terminal. Minimize the Terminal. Open the Firefox browser and come to this page. Copy and paste the following command into the Terminal Window. I say copy and paste because any typing errors will just ruin your day. Leave the browser open. You will be bouncing between these instructions and the Terminal as you copy and paste.
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
Press "Enter." Enter password when prompted. Press “Enter” again. Enter y to continue when prompted. Note the smp will not run without the above 32bit compatibility libraries.
Open your home folder. “Places/Home Folder.” Right click and create a new folder called “folding” Open it right click and create another new folder called FAH
In Firefox go to the F@H download page: http://folding.stanford.edu/English/Download and download the Linux (x86) and BSD *combined uniprocessor and SMP client 6.02.
Download the Linux client to the desktop in the guest OS(Ubuntu). Right click and choose extract here. Open that folder, highlight the two files, right click and copy. Go back to the FAH folder you created, open it, right click and paste.
You can move the .tgz file and the FAh6.02-Linux folder on the desktop to the trash once that is done.
Close the FAH folder and go back to your Terminal.
To configure the client type:
cd folding/FAH ...press “enter”
./fah6 –smp –configonly ... press “enter”
Enter your folding name and Team 41608.
When asked to enter a passkey you can simply hit enter to ignore that step.
Enter the advanced options and make sure you say yes to WUs greater than 5MB or you will get error messages while folding. Don't disable highly optimized assembly code. And don’t select more ram than you gave the Virtual Machine. Now just type:
./fah6 –smp –forceasm –verbosity 9
Press “Enter” and away you go. I always leave the Terminal up and just minimize VMware. The screen will be black when you bring it up. Just click the cursor in the black part of the screen and you are in Ubuntu. To free the cursor, press Ctrl-Alt. You can disable screensaver to avoid the black screens. You can also close the VMware box and vmware will continue running as a service.
With the V6 client you must use the –smp flag or it will download a standard client. Failure to use the –smp will destroy a smp client on a restart. You will lose your work!!! Stanford will have a check in place when the client comes out of beta.
Please note... if you have shut down the client, use Ctrl+C. To shut down VMware, first use System/quit/shut down from Ubuntu/Xubuntu. When the guest shuts down, click File and Exit in VMware. Not using this procedure will cause your computer to hang on shut down because Linux and VMware are still running. When restarting Ubuntu and the SMP client, bring up the Terminal and navigate to the folder the SMP is in. Type:
And lastly the command...
./fah6 -smp –forceasm –verbosity 9
OPTIONAL: To make it a little easier for yourself, one can make a script by running following commands:
echo "./fah6 -smp –forceasm -verbosity 9" > FaH
chmod +x FaH
Now you'll just have to run
The above are case sensitive.
To Monitor the client in FahMon. right click the FAH folder click sharing options and check "share this folder". You will be asked to install samba share. Once that is done go back to the FAH folder, right click sharing options, and check "share this folder" once more.
Feel free to ask questions if you run into any problems.
09-24-2008, 11:02 PM #2
If you experience a2 core work unit's hanging at the 100% mark then you can omit the -forceasm flag. These new a2 core work units are about 35% faster than a1 core work units. I'm running one now and getting 2600ppd on 2 cores of my Q6600. If I were to run another virtual machine on the remaining 2 cores then 5000+ combined ppd would certainly be possible. I tried it and the GPU client's speed in this machine dropped by half.
Last edited by slugbug; 09-25-2008 at 02:39 PM.
06-12-2009, 07:43 AM #3MoonRunX Guest
Linux SMP Folding in Windows with VMWare Server
I have an old case sitting around..Im half tempted to build a Folding Rig..hmmmmm would someone care to make a build list?
06-12-2009, 05:30 PM #4
The bare minimum you would need to do some Linux SMP folding is:
- CPU and cooler
Notfred's Diskless Folding method doesn't even require a hard drive to be installed: http://reilly.homeip.net/folding/
There are plenty of guides on the net on how to configure it.
I run two instances of Notfreds Diskless virtual folding appliance with VMWare Player on my Q6600@3.0GHZ and get 2600+ppd from each(5200ppd+ combined).
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08-24-2009, 11:27 PM #5Sadiow Guest
Linux SMP Folding in Windows with VMWare Server
i have nvidia & ati working on folding home , nvidia is so fast, maybe the code are not optimized for ati yet ?
and are there coming any 64bit cpu for windows soon ??
08-26-2009, 03:22 PM #6
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08-26-2009, 07:03 PM #7
With 800 stream processors you really would expect ATI cards to fold like hell. I guess the Pande Group needs to work on a separate optimized ATI folding client.
They also need to get off their duffs and release a dedicated Linux GPU client.
It's no secret that the Linux SMP client is more efficient than the Windows SMP client. I wonder if a Linux GPU client would do the same.
08-28-2009, 08:44 PM #8PopcornMachine Guest
Thanks for the great write up slugbug.
I actually have been doing this for a few months now on my Q6600 in 64-bit XP. And recently realized that I can run two Linux VMs for SMP folding at the same time. It beats on the CPU pretty good, but it survives.
I was folding with one VM and my two HD 4830s, but as you say the ATI client isn't there yet. And the system uses around 366 watts. With 2 VMs it's more like 266 Watts, and I get about the same points.
Just for the record, I tried running two VMS with one 4830 and it doesn't work so well. Too much of a load I guess and the cards PPD drops in half.
Also, I installed a 9600 GSO in another system and get very efficient performance from that one.
Also wanted to add that it takes around 16 hours for my VMs to complete a 1920 point WU. Does that sound normal? Just wanted to check.
Last edited by PopcornMachine; 08-28-2009 at 08:50 PM.
08-29-2009, 02:47 AM #9
Do you have FahMon installed, and if so what's your ppd per VM?
When mine are running SMP CVS work units I get about 2600 ppd per VM. This is on a Q6600@3.0ghz. With the slower SMP work units(project 2665) I get between 1600-1700 ppd.
08-29-2009, 06:29 AM #10PopcornMachine Guest
I do use FahMon, and it shows 2800-2900 ppd for each VM, and also running SMP Gromacs CVS jobs. Now running my Q6600 at 3.456 GHz.
However, I only run 24/7 a few times a week. Trying to watch my power usage. So My goal is to finish 2 1920 point VMs per day and mix in some WUs from the cards.
Today was not a good day as I got a late start and then had virus/malware problems this evening.
08-29-2009, 06:32 PM #11
Your ppd for those work units is good. As I said, I get 2500-2600 with each VM at 3.0ghz.
Are you using Linux virtual machines or the notfreds folding appliance? I use notfreds and it gives me a 200ppd boost per VM.
08-30-2009, 12:02 AM #12PopcornMachine Guest
I'm using Fedora VMs. Im an old UNIX/Linux guy. But I use XP as my host OS so I can play games. Too bad VMs are limited to VMware video driver.
VMware is wonderful for lot of reasons. Folding is just one of them.
Not too familiar with notfreds appliance, but I think it's a kernel just for folding. I would expect that to be better than the Windows SMP client.
08-30-2009, 01:22 AM #13
That's exactly what notfreds is. The Windows SMP client is horribly inefficient when compared to the Linux client. Ever try running two Windows SMP clients on the same machine? Shut one down and you lose all the work from both clients. No such problem with Linux.
08-30-2009, 02:45 AM #14PopcornMachine Guest
I tried Windows SMP first and it seemed really slow. So I lookied into VMware Server and got going with Linux. Don't know why I didn't do it before, because now I can do my Linux stuff right on the same system and not have to switch back and forth between systems.
I've also been trying out Windows 7 on a 3rd VM, but running that one while the 2 are folding seems a bit much for my Q6600.
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