Setup Boinctasks to monitor remote BOINC clients

9th Apr 2020 Karibu

BOINC for Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, is an opensource platform using volunteering resources to compute useful calculations with the spare CPU/GPU cycles of your computer/server, for scentific researches.

In this Covid-19 epidemic, such platforms (like Folding@home as well) have attracted new members that wants to "donate" their idle processors cycles for Covid-19 research.

I let you check the official website of BOINC for more information as this is not the intent with this tutorial

If you have several computers or servers running BOINC, you may want to centralize the management and have direct control of all your BOINC instances, whereever they are. It exists one solution to do this, BoincTasks. In my case I have a Windows laptop running BOINC, and several computers (HTPC, Servers,..) running BOINC as a daemon. I always struggle to manage them effectively until I discovered how easy it was with BoincTasks.

Normally it is preferable to have all your machines you want to monitor, in the same network to ensure a better security, but actually you can also connect remote machines, and here is how you have to do it.

I assume first that you have BoincTasks installed in your "supervisor", the computer that will monitor and control all your instances of Boinc. On the same network, you simply select Computer->Find computers and enter the IP address, click "Scan address range", you select the computer and add it.

But on a different network, you must first allow boinc-client to be accessed remotely. Obviously you expose your instance in such case but you can add a password and a whitelist at least.

How to configure Boinc-client for remote access


1) Go to the boinc-client folder

cd /var/lib/boinc-client


2) Add a password

nano gui_rpc_auth.cfg

and simply type the password you want to add. Save it (CTRL +X), and move to the next step.


3) Add the external IP that can access it

nano remote_hosts.cfg

and add the public IP where BoincTasks is running and will access to this instance. If you have a dynamic IP, I suggest you to play with a domain name.

Save it (CTRL +X), and move to the next step.


4) Modify the boinc configuration to allow remote connection

nano cc_config.xml

and add:

<options>
    <allow_remote_gui_rpc>1</allow_remote_gui_rpc>
</options>

before the at the end.
Now restart your boinc-client to take all those parameters into account.

systemctl restart boinc-client

You are now ready to connect your remote boinc-client to your BoincTasks.


5) Add your remote boinc-client to BoincTasks

Very simple, go to Find Computer, add the IP Address, the password that you set up and click on "Scan address range". This may take some time (15s usually in my case) but then you should be able to see the computer and add it.

Happy crunching!

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Loves to discover web-based apps to install on his own server@home and write articles about it

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