CERN Accelerating science


Where can I find help?

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 10:31 — Daniel Lombraña...

In this FAQ and by all means asking and participating in the message boards of the project. We have a great community that will try to help you.

Why are we using desktop computers instead of the Grid?

The computing needs of the LHC, especially when it comes to comparing various theories with experimental results, are enormous. Basically, the physicists' appetite for computing power expands to fill all available resources, because there are always more theories to test than there are computers to test them with.

Since budgets are constrained, especially in these economically difficult times, access to volunteer resources is seen by CERN as a great opportunity to expand computing capacity. We'll never replace the Grid's core function of managing the data mountains, but we could augment its computing power considerably. While the LHC World-Wide Computing grid is used at full capacity to handle the analysis of LHC data, there is need for additional capacity for simulations of LHC physics, ranging from theory to simulations of detectors as well as design improvements for future accelerators.

It's also clear to everyone in our community that getting the public more directly involved in LHC physics has great outreach benefits as well. So we see this as a win-win situation. And who knows, perhaps one day we'll be able to announce an important discovery that will have been made in part thanks to the volunteers. That would be cool!

What do I need to participate in this project?

Tue, 07/05/2011 - 10:30 — Daniel Lombraña...

You need a computer connected to the Internet with at least 512MB of RAM and 9GB of free hard disk space. It can run Windows, MacOSX or Linux. Additionally you will have to install two applications: BOINC and VirtualBox. Please, read carefully our installation guide.

Does this project support GPUs?

Tue, 08/09/2011 - 12:25 — Daniel Lombraña...

For the moment this project does not use GPUs for running the experiments. Additionally, the GPU code could not work as we are accessing the hardware via a virtual machine.

Is it possible to configure the maximum amount of data that can be downloaded/uploaded by the project per month?

Tue, 09/13/2011 - 11:48 — Daniel Lombraña...

The BOINC transfer at most network preference is not supported for the moment. If your ISP has a limitation in the bandwidth that you can use each month, bear in mind that the virtual machine will continue downloading/uploading data when needed.

Are any of my personal data sent to CERN when I install the software?

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 09:54 — Daniel Lombraña...

You will only have to provide a user name and an e-mail, nothing else is required. The information that is sent about your machine is the hardware specifications: CPU type, RAM and disk space, OS version, etc.

I tried to install it, but it was too complex I gave up...

Thu, 10/13/2011 - 09:57 — Daniel Lombraña...

We know it, and for this reason we are working together with the BOINC and VirtualBox communities to simplify the whole process to set up the software and join us. It will be interesting if you can tell us where you have difficulties, please use the forums, so we can try to fix them for the next releases.