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Science Technology

World Community Grid Releases Linux Agent 97

GrahamHood from writes "The World Community Grid is proud to announce the release of a Linux Agent, for the current Human Proteome Folding Project. Team Slashdot, being the #1 team on the World Community Grid, will be pleased to hear that it is now available for download."
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World Community Grid Releases Linux Agent

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  • Imagine (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:30AM (#13968219)
    Imagine a beow... no, don't...
  • by teewurstmann ( 755953 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:32AM (#13968228) Homepage
    It is a great move that a Linux agent has been released. I just wished more companies/projects/institutions would realize that there are people out there that prefer living without having to click on Start to shutdown their box...
  • by Vo0k ( 760020 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:51AM (#13968293) Journal
    So, okay, Linux is like 2% of world computer share. BUT lots of the Linux machines are servers. Running 24/7 and with plenty of spare CPU power.

    I launch my primary PC, 2GHz CPU. Boot it to Windows. The computation starts and runs for 1h when I check my mail, read some slashdot, then I want to start up Half-Life 2 and have every CPU cycle for myself so I quit the client. I play for 3h, then for the rest of the evening use a text terminal in my bed for IRCing, the main PC is off. 2 billion CPU cycles per day donated.
    But I have a PC at work, that works as a Samba server, has 330MHZ CPU, and most of the time does completely nothing. Linux. 8 billion CPU cycles per day donated.
    • With one problem though. GTK and X required.
      • No they're not.
    • It look like AMD is going to soon stop making 32 bit microprocessor. They now sell a 64 bit microprocessor for around $60. It would be nice if the people who are asking for your donation of CPU time at least allow you to use the cheapest means of providing that service. Windows require the professional version to get 64 bit computing so a 64 bit Linux operating system on a AMD 64 bit machine would be cheaper and faster than a 32 bit machine with windows xp.
    • Does anyone know what the story is with the Debian package of this?

      I just spent more than two hours trying to get the "official" version of this running on my headless Debian sarge box, over an SSH session, and I eventually threw in the towel when I couldn't find a script for running it as a daemon that seemed generally accepted to work and be stable. It's too bad, since I have the perfect system for it: my backup server, which sits connected to a cable modem in a friend's basement, on a UPS and 99.9% idle,
  • But... (Score:1, Funny)

    by Wite_Noiz ( 887188 )
    now what will Team Slashdot be campaigning for?!
  • Psst (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:54AM (#13968303)

    The Linux Agent is Valerie Plume.

    But you didn't get that from me.

    -- A friend of democracy

  • That's some effort (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dJOEK ( 66178 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @06:55AM (#13968305)
    Logic for beginners:

    1. World Computing had only a Windows Client until today
    2. Team Slashdot is the #1 Team -> lotsa computing power
    3. Slashdotians are in general Linux zealots.

    Conclusion, The few windows users on slashdot that engage in World Computing have some pretty hefty Windows boxen ;-)

    That, or you're all closet XP users ;-)
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Why don't you guys just run BOINC, which is open-source and runs on all sorts of platforms and projects? It seems kind of lame to act like supporting a multi-national conglomerate like IBM is "rad" and they only run one boring project.
    • Statistics seem to show most slashdotians are closet XP users. However I've added my computer to the linux fold (I love puns).

      Incidentely the software seems to work fine. It's not pretty and it's just based off standard GTK. When installing you have to remember to read the instructions CAREFULLY as it will give you a link that's needed to attach your account to the server. After this run the file run_manager and it will download a whole lot of files that you need and then after these files are finish
    • by J0nne ( 924579 )
      It's been general knowledge that the majority of users on /. use Windows. But if you'd compare it to other websites, there's a bigger percentage of users that use Linux (but it's still not the majority).

      Incidentally, I'm posting this from Linux (Ubuntu Breezy Badger).
    • What causes the Slashdot effect? Incredible loads of computers.

      Reason with me:

      1. World Computing had only a Windows client
      2. Team Slashdot has the most computing client
      3. Team Slashdot has lots of computers running on windows

      1. Team Slashdot has lots of computers running on windows
      2. Slashdot consists mainly of non-Windows boxes
      3. Slashdot (indirectly) has more boxes than you can imagine.

      It's like the slashdot effect on DC.
  • Questions (Score:5, Interesting)

    by trollable ( 928694 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:03AM (#13968322) Homepage
    The fact there is now a linux client is a good things. However, there is a few things that are not very clear. I scan quickly both and

    1) Who can access the results?
    2) What are the policies for the input and output?
    3) Can any researcher use the results?
    4) Is the client close-source?

    • Re:Questions (Score:3, Insightful)

      4) Is the client close-source?

      Yes, I would be rather uncomfortable about running a cpu heavy application which requires internet access without some way of auditing its behavior.

      • Re:Ridiculous (Score:2, Interesting)

        by SolitaryMan ( 538416 )
        I would be rather uncomfortable about running a cpu heavy application which requires internet access without some way of auditing its behavior.

        I find it more than just uncomfortable. It's ridiculous to ask me for some of my computing power, while in return giving some weird EULA to accept and non-free (as in freedom) application.
        • They have to protect their data stream and project data from people who would vandalize it via hacked clients, thus the protected clients.

          People on slashdot and the grid have been begging for a linux client since it started. Now they have provided one.

          I'm sorry you feel uncomfortable about the eula, but if you think about the reasons behind it and the importance of keeping this data valid, it makes sense.

          I personally think that it's a great project and have been happy to contribute 111 days of computing ti
        • Also, without source code, they're missing out on lots of Linux machines that don't run x86 CPUs, including major G5 clusters, Sparc workstations, Alpha workstations, etc.
      • I run the seti@home and folding@home clients. I created an init.d service for each. They run in the background with their own user id. While the kernel could have local exploits, and they don't run chroot (too many libraries to chase down for that), it is a sandbox. I was mainly worried about bugs, rather than intentional spying or sabotage.

        I had rpms for each service that "builds" from their binary tarball. But the installation is not consistent, and the RPM needs tweaking every time I upgrade.


        • I run the seti@home and folding@home

          Ah yes, but how do you know they are really doing seti and folding? Not so much of a problem today, with the small community of people running these things, but in the future when there is a greater demand for heavy computing capacity, it may be different.

          Java actually does pretty well speed wise for long running programs of that nature

          Quite right

    • 4: No. It may not be Free as Speech, but you can compile it from the source.
    • Re:Questions (Score:1, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward
      1 and 3) Contributed to the public domain

      2) * Focused on solving problems to benefit humanity;
      * Conducted by public or nonprofit organizations;
      * Contributed to the public domain; and
      * Accelerated by grid computing technology. e/ []

    • 1. The results from any project run on World Community Grid are required to be placed into the public domain for anyone to use.

      2. I'm Not sure what you mean by this question. The research institute creates the data and World Community Grid verifies and packages it up for deployment on the grid. Results are verified by World Community Grid, packaged and sent back to the research institute for whatever post processing they need to do on the raw results. All data is sent and received via an encrypted link
      • Thank you very much for the answer. The fact that the results are put into the public domain is exactly what I wanted to hear. I could not find this information on the website but I probably just missed it. Thanks again.
        • Look on the Submitting a Proposal [] page under the "Research" tab.

          Specifically, the first paragraph states:

          ...Research results must be made available to the global research community and will be made available on World Community Grid's web site.

          You can find more details in the "Request For Proposal" PDF on that page.

  • READ THE EULA (Score:4, Interesting)

    by putko ( 753330 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:46AM (#13968436) Homepage Journal
    There is a EULA, and it looks pretty irritating [].

    I will leave it to the EULA vultures to pick over this thing -- but it is a doozy.
  • Agent? Agent!? We don't need no stinking agent.

    What kind of agent anyway? Secret agent? Agent Orange? PR agent?

    *goes off to read TFA*

    Oooooh shiny.
  • by TuxPaper ( 531914 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @07:56AM (#13968466)
    From their FAQ:
    What is the difference between what Human Proteome Folding does and what Folding@home does?

    There are large differences between the Human Proteome Folding Project and folding@home. Both projects are excellent but have very different objectives.

    Folding@home aims to get at how a few proteins of KNOWN structure fold DYNAMICALLY. Folding@home is a project to further understanding of the folding process itself. Understanding why protein folding works (and why it doesn't) could have a significant impact in certain diseases like Alzheimer's and Huntington's Disease, which Folding@Home is actively studying.

    The Human Proteome Folding Project will PREDICT the structures of large numbers of proteins of UNKNOWN-structure. The aim of this project is to get structures and functions for huge numbers of proteins so that biologists and biomedical researchers who run into these mystery proteins in their research can look to ISB's database for functional/mechanistic clues about their favorite mystery-proteins.

    Call me a pessimist, or a conspiracy theorist, but the ability to predict unknown structures sounds like a way for coporations to patent them. Or maybe I'm reading it wrong. Either way, I'm sticking to Folding@Home.
  • The World Community Grid is proud to announce the release of a Linux Agent

    What did they capture him for? Was he spying on them again? Who is this agent, is he a secret agent? What was exchanged in return for his safe release?
  • Heh Heh (Score:3, Interesting)

    by TubeSteak ( 669689 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @08:22AM (#13968529) Journal
    "No news story has appeared yet on ./ as I'm writing this. You should submit one (I have to go). Be sure to mention that the project has previously been featured on Slashdot on 2004/12/30(31 ?), so that moderators can moderate "-1 Redundant" posts containing some form of mention that the news is a dupe ;-)"
    That's the last post in their official slashdot thread

    someone's got a sense of humor
    • Well, I'm slightly tired of reading multiple posts containing a mention that the news is a dupe, and/or that the ./ authors are lame because they couldn't see they were making a dupe. This is one of the kinds of comments responsible for the special reputation of ./ readers (although there are gems in mostly every topic).

      BTW, where are all those who complained about the lack of a Linux client ;-) ? Last time, team Slashdot gained more than 3000 users. This time, less than 400 so far (barely enough to be noti
  • Team Slashdot are #1 but only now does it have a Linux client! You're all secretly Windows users! It's all been lies!
  • Source (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Vo0k ( 760020 ) on Monday November 07, 2005 @08:33AM (#13968563) Journal
    For anyone asking: No idea what's the license but the source code is open: []
    (by the way, they really make it hard to get there from the main page...)
    • Re:Source (Score:2, Informative)

      by amirl ( 813941 )
      You're wrong. Boinc is not part of World Community Grid. As a matter of fact, it's 2 different projects. Boinc is indeed open source written by Berkely University but World Community Grid is not. Read more here [].
      • Re:Source (Score:3, Informative)

        by Vo0k ( 760020 )
        except World Community Grid uses Boinc as its Linux agent.
        to me
        More options 12:01 pm (1½ hours ago)
        Thank you Vo0k for downloading the World Community Grid Linux agent.

        Be sure to have the following information handy when installing the Linux agent:
        Account Key: xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
        BOINC Project URL:

        If you'd like to download the Linux agent to another computer, you can do that from this l

  • Folding @ Home? (Score:2, Informative)

    by r2tincan ( 893666 )
    I was wondering how this World Community Grid stands up to Folding@Home []?

    I'm a member of a F@H team and it seems like there are a lot of people participating. Are these efforts competing against one another or are they different areas of study? I don't quite understand.

    Also, I know that the F@H client can run in the background and take up no system resources, only unused processor cycles, (which is part of the reason I use it.) Does the World Community Grid project's clients take up a lot of system resour
    • I've been running it on my XP box for about a year now, and it's been pretty well behaved. It doesn't lock up, or noticably slow my applications down. Beyond that, you can set it to run in pure screensaver mode, so you can be sure it won't be interfering.

      I'll definitely try it out on my low security linux box, but it worries me slightly, because I have a lot of background services running on that one. It'll be interesting to see how well it plays with others.
    • The Boinc client seems to run at nice 19 (i.e. very low thread priority), and doesn't seem to be hogging memory or disk space. I haven't been running it long enough to see if either of those will build up over time. It's designed for you to run it in the background without noticing.

      As to your other question, this addresses a slightly different research topic than Folding@home. See their explanation of the differences at e/ []
  • What's a Linux Agent?

    I know Clippy was a Microsoft Agent []
  • It would have been nice to release the source code for the client, eh? Now all of my
    idle cpu clocks on all of my dual cpu sun machines will still go to waste heating the
    house instead of helping mankind. (the client is AMD or Wintel x86 only).

    I suppose the apple guys are in the same camp until 2006 (apple-tel?) also...

    When will they ever learn.
    • Maybe I'm missing something, since I haven't actually installed it yet (downloading now) but can't you use BOINC? It's open source and multiplatform, runs on Linux x86, PPC, probably other architectures as well, and Mac OS X. Probably there's a windows version...but who cares. ;)

      Would that satisfy your requirements?

      OT: I wish there was a summary of the various distributed projects along with a rundown of what they do, who's sponsoring them, and what clients you need to help out. I keep hearing about a big I
      • Well, guess I got ahead of myself there. Just for the record, although World Community Grid (which is clearly the IBM-sponsored project) does use the BOINC client, it only uses the Windows and Linux "official" versions. The OS X and I assume probably also any other roll-your-own-from-source versions don't work. As an example on my Mac I just get this message:

        "Mon Nov 7 20:03:27 2005|World Community Grid|Message from server: platform 'powerpc-apple-darwin' not found"

        Their loss, I'll find another project to
  • ...I've searched the FAQ and stuff on the worldcommunity web pages but I can't figure out what I'm supposed to do next after installing it? I'm running it from a command line, no GUI available and can't find any local DOC file on how to install it.

    It runs, did a benchmark of the cpus, then sits there.
  • Wheee - more free R&D resources for pharmacos pimping their drugs to dying people who can't say no to patent-monopoly prices, and the government handouts. When these drug research massively parallel projects can chargeback to my bank account a share of the take proportional to my participation in the project, wake me.
  • If they didn't have to support that other, lesser OS that is still polluting everybody's desktops, these folks could use the Secure Computing capability of Linux to wall off the grid client from the rest of the box, right at the kernel level: []
  • Bout time they released this, Pan is a piece of garbage. ;-)
  • From the looks of things, Easynews beat the slashdot team
    in results returned, points generated and run time yesterday.

    Come on folks.. re-gain the #1 stop.. or we'll (Easynews) keep
    whipping your a$$.

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