Your webserver can save lives with folding

Posted by davidejones

What on earth am i talking about? Thats exactly what i would have thought if i had read the title of this blog post maybe a year or 2 ago. Well if you aren’t up to date on folding here is the jist of it.

Folding at home is a distributed computing project. People from around the world run a small piece of software on their computer which works together with thousands of others to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world! This supercomputing power is used to do something called protein folding which is basically looking at the folding process of diseases such as alzheimers, als, parkinsons and cancers thus the name folding@home.

Now every little helps with folding, running this piece of kit has already proven to help research towards some of these diseases and you can do your bit too whether you are at a computer or not. Infact i decided to set it up on my web server instead and its been running alongside this website ever since.

I always have a linux server heres how i did it:

STEP 1
Ssh into the server and run the following commands

1. cd /tmp
2. wget http://www.stanford.edu/group/pandegroup/folding/release/FAH6.29-Linux.tgz
3. tar -xzvf FAH6.29-Linux.tgz
4. sudo mkdir /fah
5. sudo mv fah6 mpiexec /fah
6. cd /fah
7. sudo ./fah6 -configonly

STEP 2
Follow the instructions to configure the client. You may want to choose a team before doing this step, i currently fold for a gaming community called no-heroes.com their team number is 168138 if you want to help their team.

1. Username: *you know this*
2. Team: 168138
3. Passkey: exactly as you get from email, copy and paste it without spaces, save it in a text file in F@H folder
4. Acceptable size of work assignment: big
5. Change advanced options: yes
6. Launch automatically as a service: yes
7. CPU Usage: 100% (if GPU folding, set GPU client settings Core Priority=low)
8. Scientific Cores: yes
9. Additional client parameters: -smp -verbosity 9 (note: I see folks adding a number after -smp (#), this is for cores or threads, does auto-detect them though and no need unless less is desired)

STEP 3
Now that the client is configured run this command to start folding

sudo nohup ./fah6 &

This will run the process in the background, if you want to stop it from folding you need to do the following commands..

1. top
2. Look for the ProcessID of the FAHcore_A3
3. press q to exit the top program
4. type sudo kill PID of the FAHcore, example… sudo kill 20955

You can ofcourse start it again do the same command as before

1. cd /fah
2. sudo nohup ./fah6 &

I hope this helps and fold on people!

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