CERN Accelerating science

Join Us!

Welcome to the volunteer computing community! 

This section explains the steps you need to take in order to start contributing to scientific progress! For information on any of the projects, simply go to Projects. If you're not sure what the software does that you're downloading, see How It Works. If you have any other questions, look at the FAQ, or contact us!

All you need to do is install the appropriate software then attach BOINC to your desired project. Step-by-step videos are provided for each platform. Click on the operating system choices below for more information.

Step 1 -- Install BOINC

All of our LHC@Home applications use BOINC, which is available for download on the official BOINC site. BOINC will detect your running operating system, automatically choose the best client for your computer, and give you a link to download an installer package.

Note that while set-up is automatic, it does vary under the hood from one operating system to another. Before double-clicking in the installer, please check the following notes depending on your operating system:

Windows OS

Download the BOINC client installer from the official BOINC site, and follow the instructions without modifying the default options.

A step-by-step online tutorial about LHC@home for Windows users is available at 


Download the BOINC client installer from the official BOINC site, and follow the instructions without modifying the default options.

A step-by-step online tutorial about LHC@home for Mac users is available at


Here's a step-by-step video  to help guide you through the Linux set-up.

In GNU/Linux systems there are two possible ways of installing BOINC:

  1. Using the distribution packaging system (apt-get, yum, conary, etc.), or
  2. Using the self BOINC installer provided by the official BOINC team.

The first solution could be the easiest one, however, before installing it via this way, double check that the version that you are going to install is >= 7.0If your distribution only has version 6, then, you should use the second method.

If you do not know which is the best method for you, we recommend you to use the second method.

In order to use the second method, go to the BOINC download link(link is external) on the official BOINC site and download the installer, which has a name of the form "". This is an auto self-extracting file(link is external), that has to be installed as follows:

  1. The file needs to be run, so you first need to give it execution permissions (by default it is a non-executable file).
  2. Then you will be able to double-click it, or run it from a command line as (./
  3. After running this application you will see a new BOINC folder, where you can run the client by double-clicking in the boincmgr command.


To install BOINC, click on the button which takes you to the official BOINC download area:

Step 2 -- Add virtualisation software if required


Just requires BOINC - there's nothing else to install for Sixtrack.

ATLAS@Home, Test4Theory, Beauty, CMS

These applications require BOINC and VirtualBox.

If you are using Windows, the BOINC client installation now includes VirtualBox, so installing VirtualBox may have already been done for you.

Step 3 -- Attach BOINC to the LHC@Home project

After installing BOINC (and VirtualBox if your desired project requires it), you will be ready to attach your BOINC client to the LHC@Home project.

When first launched, the BOINC client will pop-up a window with a list of projects. Simply select LHC@Home from the list, and attach to the project. Then click "next", and follow the instructions.

You will be asked to provide a user name and password to create an account in our system. After creating the your account, your system will be ready to start receiving jobs from CERN.

Modify your BOINC preferences

For best performance of LHC@home projects, we recommend that you review your BOINC client preferences using your BOINC Manager as follows:

1. Under the Preferences Tab "processor usage", in the line "While processor usage is less than percent (0 means no restriction)", you can at the beginning keep BOINC default for is 25% which causes some pausing/resuming of the VirtualBox process. If you want to try to contribute a maximum, you can set the box X to 0 (zero).

2. Under "Use at most % CPU time", set the box X to maximum 80 % in the beginning, to make sure that your machine does not get blocked. (The BOINC default used to be 60%, but is now 100% for some client versions.) You can later try to set the box X to 100 % if you wish to contribute a maximum. 

3. On multiprocessor systems, you can chose to use only a subset of them and reduce the number of tasks running in parallel accordingly.

BOINC Network preferences to suspend and resume work should now work properly.

If you have other problems please look at the Help and Support information.