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Migration To LHC@home - No New Tasks Here
As part of the ongoing consolidation effort, the Theory application has been added to the LHC@home project. Therefore, please could everyone switch to that project to run the Theory application. The plan is to stop sending new Theory tasks to this project on Wednesday this week.

Thanks to everyone for their continued contribution.
30 Jan 2017, 10:40:52 UTC · Comment


Migration to LHC@home
Following the Theory simulations added 1 week ago, we have now also deployed the CMS and LHCb applications from the T4T/vLHCathome project on the consolidated, original LHC@home.

Registration of new accounts on the Virtual LHC@home project is therefore closed from now on.

We would like to warmly thank you all for your contributions, and to ask you to continue crunching the VM applications on the LHC@home project!

If you have not already registered there in the past, please connect to:
https://lhcathome.cern.ch/lhcathome

We will keep this old site up for as long as needed. You may detach from the old project at your leasure, and attach to LHC@home instead.

--The team
21 Nov 2016, 10:53:06 UTC · Comment


CMS Servers are up again
I have just been informed (and confirmed) that the servers we use at RAL have been shut down due to the CVE-2016-5195 "Dirty COW" Linux kernel vulnerability. They will remain down until a patch is available and applied.
It would be prudent to suspend the CMS application in BOINC until the servers are restarted.
24 Oct 2016, 15:50:59 UTC · Comment


SSL connection option
For those with BOINC clients above version 7.2, there is now an option to connect with SSL on the URL:

https://lhcathome.cern.ch/vLHCathome/

This server runs a web-front end and scheduler for this project. To use it, please detach fron the project, and re-attach using the new HTTPS URL.

The other project daemons still run on the same server as before. The old server and URL will remain in place until further notice.

So far our tests of this distributed server setup works fine, and we would appreciate feedback in case of problems.
22 Sep 2016, 9:30:11 UTC · Comment


Removing the restriction on running work units
After experimenting with a number of options, a solution has been found to provide a default limit on the number running work units per host for new volunteers which can be disabled by those who are more experienced.

Once implemented, a new setting will be available in the project preferences where the Max # jobs can be set. In order to provide this, three steps are required.


  • Update the project to support the option
  • Updated everyone's project preferences to set this value to 2 tasks
  • Remove current the project limit



This should be transparent for everyone and only those who wish to receive more tasks will get them once they have changed the value of this new setting. Work on this will start immediately and should be completed within the next few days. 6 Sep 2016, 13:13:54 UTC · Comment


3 TRILLION EVENTS REACHED BY TEST4THEORY TODAY !!!
Congratulations and thanks to all our volunteers for helping CERN to reach the extremely impressive total of 3 Trillion events successfully simulated on our Theory project.

We have recently received warm testimonials from scientists who use and appreciate the MCPlots database which is the destination of all your work. We have posted these on our "Science" message board at:

http://lhcathome2.cern.ch/vLHCathome/forum_thread.php?id=1889&postid=21037#21037
21 Aug 2016, 8:23:45 UTC · Comment


Please don't upgrade to Virtual Box 5.1.2 (now supported)
Please don't upgrade to Virtual Box 5.1.2 as it does not seem to work for us at the moment. An issue(#1606) has been submitted to the developers. 8 Aug 2016, 13:22:55 UTC · Comment


Server Upgrade
The server will be upgraded Monday morning. The downtime should be no longer than a few minutes. 29 Jul 2016, 12:00:57 UTC · Comment


Theory Tasks Available
Theory tasks are available again. The downtime was caused by a suspected NFS related problem that resulted in a bad batch of jobs. The submission code has been hardened to detect this scenario in the future. The maximum jobs in progress limit has been put back to 2 and we will consider increasing this limit in the very near future. 25 Jul 2016, 10:22:11 UTC · Comment


CMS Application Now Available
As the issues with the Theory application will probably not be fixed until after the weekend, the CMS application has been made available for everyone. Due to the slightly larger memory requirements, the the number of tasks that can be run simultaneously on a host has been reduced from 2 to 1. If for whatever reason you do not wish to run the CMS application, you can update your project specific preferences to run only the applications that you select. There will be no more tasks for Theory app until the problem has been resolved. 22 Jul 2016, 20:56:29 UTC · Comment


Theory Application job problems
The Theory Application looks like it is getting a batch of bad input jobs from the MCPlots server. This is causing many task errors.
We are investigating… Please be patient.

We now suggest more people try the CMS Application which has been filled with work for you!
Go to your account page, then click "vLHCathome preferences", then "Edit vLHCathome preferences", then enable the "CMS Simulations" box, then click "Update preferences". Do a project update and you should get CMS tasks.
22 Jul 2016, 13:10:10 UTC · Comment


Authentications Errors
The authentication service is currently down. Tasks will fail with exit status 206 EXIT_INIT_FAILURE until this is resolved. We are working to bring it back up ASAP. 18 Jul 2016, 9:00:02 UTC · Comment


Computation errors
Since we added the 64bit theory application, a number of tasks are failing with Computation Error. This is due to three reasons.


  • The need for Hardware-assisted virtualization for 64bit
  • Additional checks for issues that were not previously detected e.g. idling VMs.
  • A technology change that still requires some hardening for all the issues that we experience when running on random machines around the world.

In the past 24 hours 71.79% of hosts returned a successful task using v2619.31 but 35.38% failed tasks with 7.18% returning both successful and unsuccessful tasks. This suggests that things are working but we still have some improvements to make.

To help the situation, please could everyone periodically (no more than once per day) visit your account page and click on the Task View link in the Computing and credit section to view the results of your tasks. If you do see a computation error, click on the task to see the exit status code and the logging output.

The breakdown of failures by exit code is as follows.


  • 35.14% -1073740791
  • 27.17% 206
  • 18.84% 194
  • 6.16% 207
  • 4.35% 255
  • 3.26% -2135228415
  • 2.54% 1
  • 2.17% 203
  • 2.17% 5
  • 1.45% -186
  • 0.72% 197
  • 0.36% -2147467259
  • 0.36% -185

We will address each one of these in subsequent posts and once we have arrived at a final solution, the issue will either be fixed to stop it occurring or an entry will be added to the FAQ to explain what is going on. 8 Jul 2016, 9:28:55 UTC · Comment


Scheduler and vbox update to detect 64-bit enabled computers
The BOINC scheduler has been updated to detect 64 bit machines that do not have the virtualization hardware extensions enabled. Also vboxwrapper has been updated for better error handling, and vboxwrapper 26193 is now deployed for Windows and Linux for the Theory, CMS and LHCb applications. This setup has been tested in our dev project.

Many thanks to Rom Walton for providing these changes to the BOINC code.


The CMS and LHCb applications seem to run fine with the new wrapper, and after fixing a permission issue, also the Theory simulations now use this wrapper.



--The team
21 Jun 2016, 10:56:43 UTC · Comment


CERN Summer Computing Challenge - SOFTWARE STOPPED
The software which supported the CERN Summer Computing Challenges in 2014 and 2015, and continued to run Theory jobs with minimum support, has now been halted due to lack of developer resources for this activity.

PLEASE DO NOT RUN CHALLENGE SOFTWARE UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE AS YOUR JOBS WILL BE LOST.

Many thanks to all Challenge volunteers who have contributed to this project and helped to explore new Web and CernVM technologies. We do have plans for a new WebAPI system for running multiple vLHC jobs inside a single multi-CPU VM and will announce this in due course.
14 Jun 2016, 10:32:18 UTC · Comment


LHCb beta application published
A new application to simulate Beauty physics at the LHC from the LHCb experiment has now been made available for those accepting beta applications.

Like the CMS application and the 64-bit version of the Theory simulations app, the Beauty simulations require a 64 bit computer with virtualization extensions (VT-x) enabled. Please refer to the instructions in the box on VT-x on the page: http://lhcathome.web.cern.ch/join-us for more information.

Specific discussions on the Beauty simulations can be done in the forum thread dedicated to the LHCb application.

The team.
13 Jun 2016, 13:53:53 UTC · Comment


vlHC Theory Application 64bit upgrade
We have put the new Theory 64bit Application into production today.

Please note the following important changes:

As it is a 64bit application, you must have VT-x / AMD-V acceleration enabled:
- To check this, in your VirtualBox Manager select "Settings -> System -> Acceleration" and make sure that "Enable VT-x/AMD-V" is activated. Also make sure another hypervisor isn't installed or running like KVM or Hyper-V.

For volunteers with 32bit hardware, the legacy 32bit Theory Application will be retained for a while:
- (subject to CoPilot continuing to run on a best-effort basis, as our CoPilot support person has just left CERN).

The CoPilot job scheduler system has been replaced by Condor:
- This enables us to unify both Theory and the LHC experiment applications going forward. (Condor is already implemented in the CMS Application here).

The VM consoles for the new Theory app are:
SCREEN 1: Boot console
SCREEN 2: Job output of running job
SCREEN 3: Linux "top" output
SCREEN 4: Job ID log (Condor and MCPlots)
SCREEN 5: Job error log
SCREEN 6: Login console

The web logs for the new Theory app are:
Parent (home) directory - the standard Test4Theory graphics with links to the other logs:
MasterLog: Condor Master process log
StartLog: Condor Start Daemon log
Starterlog: Condor Starter process log
running.log: Current executing job output file
.. finished_n.log: nth completed job output file
stderr.log: Job error log
stdout.log: Job ID log (Condor and MCPlots)

The team
6 Jun 2016, 9:15:03 UTC · Comment


CMS Jobs Available Again
There was a fault with a server at CERN last night, which meant that we could not submit new CMS jobs, so we ran out.
However, the problem has now been fixed and CMS jobs are available again. Many thanks to the staff who worked Saturday night and Sunday to fix the problem.
5 Jun 2016, 16:49:43 UTC · Comment


Congratulations to T4T volunteer Igor !!!
The Test4Theory project announces that volunteer cruncher "Igor" has just passed 1 MILLION JOBS and 100 GIGA EVENTS.

A million thanks to you, Igor !!!

The T4T team.
26 May 2016, 13:13:31 UTC · Comment


Job output problems
Since 4pm yesterday, half of our job outputs are being blocked from returning to the MCPlots server. We are working to fix this problem and believe the outputs will be recovered correctly when it is solved.

The team

EDIT: Problem solved (but some jobs lost - sorry!)
2 May 2016, 9:33:30 UTC · Comment


MCplots machine reconfiguring
Just got this message from Anton for all volunteers:

sorry for not letting you know in advance - I started the migration of mcplots machines to openstack service and pause jobs processing to speed up the migration. The copilot input queue have enough jobs to keep T4T busy for several days and output queue will be processed once the migration is finished - nothing will be lost. I think the migration will be finished in 1-2 days.

Cheers,
Anton

EDIT: The reconfiguration was finished successfully after 2 days - thanks to all!
30 Mar 2016, 15:42:37 UTC · Comment


Server software update
We will update the BOINC server software for vLHCathome this afternoon to bring it to the same level as for our development project.

The server will be down for an hour or so. Thanks for your understanding and collaboration.
17 Mar 2016, 13:30:45 UTC · Comment


The project reaches ONE BILLION total credits this weekend !!
The vLHCathome (T4T) project will reach ONE BILLION total credits this weekend !!

http://www.teamocuk.co.uk/sprojectcred.php?p=T4T

Thanks to all our Test4Theory volunteers since 2011 - and a special thanks to Maeax for pointing out this amazing statistic in time for us to report it to everyone.

The team
11 Mar 2016, 14:57:27 UTC · Comment


Short server interruption 9-Feb.
Our LHC@home servers will be down for a short while Tuesday 9th in the morning for an upgrade of an underlying disk server. (Intervention postponed 1 week.) 2 Feb 2016, 8:26:39 UTC · Comment


Latest software versions to use
Following our recent upgrade of vboxwrapper for all apps to the latest v26178, we can now recommend everyone to use VirtualBox version 5.0.10 or 5.0.12 (with their respective extension packs) together with Berkeley's latest recommended BOINC version 7.6.22 from http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php.

No known bugs exist with these choices.

The team
11 Jan 2016, 9:11:43 UTC · Comment


Server interruption Tuesday morning
The LHC@home servers will be down for a short while from 6:30 UTC Tuesday 10th November for a database update. 9 Nov 2015, 7:48:42 UTC · Comment


Migrating Theory VMs to 64 bit
We are starting the migration from a 32bit to a 64bit VM for our Theory simulations. A beta application is available for volunteers to test - to participate, please check the box "Theory Simulations 64" (inside "Edit vLHCathome preferences"). You also need to accept test applications to get these tasks.

IMPORTANT: Hardware virtualization technology extensions (VT-x for Intel or AMD-V for AMD) need to be enabled in your host CPU as indicated on the http://lhcathome.web.cern.ch/join-us page. You can find more information here for Windows and Linux systems: http://www.sysprobs.com/disable-enable-virtualization-technology-bios. Mac systems are OK.

The "Show VM console" layout is simpler with the new VM - the hot keys used are:
ALT-F1: Boot console (only used while the VM boots)
ALT-F2: System information: top running processes, memory usage, etc.
ALT-F3: Job logging - combined scheduler, stdout, error logs (colour coded)

The "Show graphics" logs are also slightly modified.

Otherwise this new application is similar to the "Theory Simulations" application, but it uses the latest vboxwrapper version; 26178.

We have started drip-feeding new beta tasks with the Theory 64 bit application to validate the app. Then there will be more jobs coming next week.

The team
30 Oct 2015, 10:20:27 UTC · Comment


Server down tomorrow morning
LHC@home servers will be down for about 1 hour tomorrow morning from 6am UTC, due to an intervention on the database server. 8 Sep 2015, 9:10:14 UTC · Comment


Server maintenance 12 UTC
The BOINC server will be down for maintenance for about 1/2 hour from 12:00 UTC today.

Like usual, BOINC clients will back off and upload results later once the server is available again.

Many thanks for your contributions to LHC@home!
24 Aug 2015, 6:42:05 UTC · Comment


Citizen Cyberlab Survey (with prizes!)
Colleagues from the Citizen Cyberlab project http://citizencyberlab.eu are studying how citizen science projects can be designed to help you learn more about the scientific topics concerned, and making participation more interesting and useful for you.

They propose a 15 minute survey at https://tecfalabs.unige.ch/survey/index.php/372819/lang-en (or at https://tecfalabs.unige.ch/survey/index.php/372819/lang-fr in French).

First prize is either a 500€ gift voucher for amazon.com or free participation and travel subsidies for the Citizen Cyberlab Summit this coming autumn: http://www.citizencyberscience.net/2015/05/announcing-the-citizen-cyberlab-summit-geneva-17-18-september-2015/. 20 other participants will receive a 32 GB USB-3 key.

Closing date is September 1st, so hurry up and take the survey now!
13 Aug 2015, 7:31:37 UTC · Comment


Vboxwrapper upgraded
vboxwrapper 26169 has been deployed for all architectures.

(We have not yet deprecated the older app versions, will do so when the new one is confirmed to be ok).

This version should support VirtualBox 5.x

Ben, Nils and team
11 Aug 2015, 9:14:30 UTC · Comment


Job offer: Studentship to work on WebAPI technology
The MCnet organization (http://www.montecarlonet.org) is offering a 3 month studentship to work on developing the CernVM_WebAPI technology currently being tested in the CERN Summer Computing Challenge. Anyone registered for a PhD in experimental or theoretical particle physics may apply.

For more details, please see: http://www.montecarlonet.org/index.php?p=Residency/outreach&sub=ShortTermStudentships&m=lhcathome
29 Jul 2015, 11:40:13 UTC · Comment


CERN Summer Computing Challenge - beta testers please
Late last year we ran the first CERN Public Computing Challenge to test several new technologies for volunteer computing. Now we are preparing the Summer 2015 edition. We've made many improvements so it needs some final testing and we believe that the T4T community is ideal for this. To help us, just point a Web browser to the URL http://test4theory.cern.ch/vlhc or go to the Challenge website http://test4theory.cern.ch/challenge and click "JOIN NOW" and "START COMPUTING".

What's new this Summer?

The new VM has several advanced features:
(1) It uses micro-CernVM which boots faster than CernVM, and it uses the new DataBridge to get jobs faster than CoPilot.
(2) it runs up to 4 simultaneous jobs. If you offer n <= 4 CPU's it opens n Linux containers and runs them all inside your single VM.
(3) It supports jobs coming from multiple projects, not just Test4Theory jobs, so there's an entirely new credit system included called "Credit-Piggy" which collects your credits from all projects into your personal piggy-bank.

To begin with we will be running standard jobs from the Test4Theory project with all results going to the MCPlots database. If you click on the small "BOINC" button at the bottom of the WebAPI page and set your BOINC T4T user ID, then in addition to your Piggy credits you will also collect MCPlots stats for your Billionaire's Club, etc.

Also note: the old Challenge VM was a copy of the current Test4Theory 32 bit CernVM image. The new one is 64bits which means you MUST have VT-x or AMD-V enabled! For help on this see: http://www.cern.ch/ben/64bit-VTX.html

More information and hints.
For more detailed testing information please go to: http://www.cern.ch/ben/Challenge-webapi-hints.html

Please give your feedback initially on this Message Board thread.

Thanks to everyone for supporting T4T and looking forward to your help and interest for our future developments.

The T4T and Challenge teams
27 Jul 2015, 12:54:13 UTC · Comment


2 TRILLION EVENTS REACHED BY TEST4THEORY TODAY !!!
Congratulations and thanks to all our volunteers for helping CERN to reach the extremely impressive total of 2 Trillion events successfully simulated on our project.

When we passed our 1st trillion events in 2013, CERN published the following story on its Web site, and it still makes excellent reading:

http://home.web.cern.ch/about/updates/2013/09/crowd-sourced-computing-platform-reaches-one-trillion-events

Greetings to all from the T4T Team
28 Jun 2015, 4:57:09 UTC · Comment


New beta app (DataBridge): Tests over, please stop!
Thanks to all who tested the new DataBridge system. Tests are now completed and we have no more MCPlots jobs in the DataBridge queue, so remaining beta app tasks will run idle VM's which is wasteful.

*** PLEASE ABORT ANY RUNNING BETA APP TASKS AND TURN OFF THE BETA APP FLAG IN PREFERENCES ***

Ben and team
19 Jun 2015, 9:37:53 UTC · Comment


New beta app: Theory simulations using DataBridge
A new version of the Theory simulations application is now available for users that allow test applications. The simulations running in the VM are similar to those in the regular Theory application, however the queue and job management to the VM is handled via the "Data Bridge" application layer that is a new and more flexible framework that is intended to replace the CoPilot application layer that has been used up to now.

Happy crunching!
7 May 2015, 12:44:58 UTC · Comment


CoPilot server upgrade
We are about to upgrade our CoPilot servers, which interface all volunteer VM's with our MCPlots server - the source of the jobs and the science behind this project. We hope you will not notice this - it may cause a few lost jobs but should not affect any BOINC tasks. A news update will follow after the upgrade.

*** 1st update: the upgrade is now under way. As VM's are rebooted (e.g. when a BOINC task ends), they will be switched to the new CoPilot servers. Old VM's will be used to empty the old servers' job input queue and their results will be stored on the old servers until the upgrade is completed, at which point MCPlots will be resynchronised. This will take about one day to complete. Volunteers do not have to take any action.

*** 2nd update: the upgrade is now terminating successfully. The new CoPilot servers have fully replaced the old ones. The job queues should stabilise over the next few hours.

Ben and team
27 Apr 2015, 13:27:04 UTC · Comment


Vboxwrapper upgrade to latest version v261.66 (all systems)
We have just upgraded to vboxwrapper v261.66 for all BOINC T4T clients (Windows, Linux and Mac).

Please let us know if any problems occur, preferably by posting to this News thread.

Note that starting with this release snapshots will no longer be used: VM's will be Saved rather than PoweredOff when BOINC suspends or restarts, which avoids losing or repeating some jobs or events.

The T4T team
15 Apr 2015, 12:57:04 UTC · Comment


Problem with CERN server resolved
Well, in spite of it being Easter Saturday, the support team did identify the failing server machine and the problem is fixed. Particular thanks to Pete Jones (in Geneva) and Artem Harutyunyan (in California !!).

Happy holidays again to all.
4 Apr 2015, 9:17:20 UTC · Comment


Problem with CERN server
Since 8pm yesterday there is a problem with part of the CERN server infrastructure for vLHC@home, which prevents jobs being fetched or returned to the VM's. As CERN is closed for the Easter holidays, this may not get resolved until Tuesday April 7th. In any case we wish all our volunteers a happy holiday break!

The team
4 Apr 2015, 5:34:28 UTC · Comment


Vboxwrapper upgrade to latest version v261.57 (all systems)
We have just upgraded to vboxwrapper v261.57 for all BOINC T4T clients (Windows, Linux and Mac).

Please let us know if any problems occur, preferably by posting to this News thread.

When all this is running well, it will allow us finally to lift the restriction to VirtualBox version 4.3.12 that we have had to live with since last summer, particularly for Windows clients. We will make a separate announcement when this is decided.

The T4T team
24 Mar 2015, 15:02:07 UTC · Comment


Vboxwrapper upgrade to latest version v261.55 (Windows only)
We have just upgraded to vboxwrapper v261.55 for BOINC T4T clients running Windows.

Please let us know if any problems occur, preferably by posting to this News thread.

We will upgrade vboxwrapper for Linux and MacOSX clients later.

When all this is running well, it will allow us finally to lift the restriction to VirtualBox version 4.3.12 that we have had to live with since last summer, particularly for Windows clients. We will make a separate announcement when this is decided.

The T4T team
5 Mar 2015, 8:37:28 UTC · Comment


Short interruption for server change
The project will be rehosted on a different server on Wednesday afternoon 25/2 3pm CET. This intervention will lead to a short downtime of the project, BOINC clients should reconnect automatically once up again. 25 Feb 2015, 8:36:52 UTC · Comment


CERN Computing Challenge successfully completed
The CERN 60th anniversary 12 day "Public Computing Challenge" has just successfully finished. Please see https://test4theory.cern.ch/challenge/ for all the details, and many thanks to all of you who contributed.

As you know, completed Challenge jobs help to fill a database to support a new interactive "game" project we are developing, whose users will be able to tune the Monte Carlo QCD models at the heart of Test4Theory.
Even though the official 12-day Challenge is now over, you can still continue to contribute to this database by running WebAPI jobs logged in with Facebook, Google or Twitter accounts, or even anonymously.

Note that if you are logged in to WebAPI with your BOINC-T4T account, you will run jobs from the BOINC vLHCathome job stream, and receive MCPlots statistics for them.

We send holiday and New Year greetings to all our T4T volunteers and look forward to sharing some exciting developments with you next year.

The T4T and Challenge teams
20 Dec 2014, 10:14:13 UTC · Comment


Invitation to join CERN Public Computing Challenge
As part of the CERN 60th anniversary celebrations and the 10th anniversary of LHC@home, we just began a 12 day "Public Computing Challenge". See https://test4theory.cern.ch/challenge/.

We invite you and your friends to support the Challenge. Go to "JOIN NOW" and "START COMPUTING" on the Challenge website and follow the steps. You keep track of your jobs by logging in to an account on Facebook, Twitter, or Google. The Challenge runs a stream of T4T-style simulation jobs via the new WebAPI system (which some T4T volunteers have been successfully alpha and beta testing for us). The Challenge results fill a database to support an exciting new project we are developing: an interactive version of Test4Theory whose users will help to tune the Monte Carlo QCD models at the heart of the system.

Note that if you login with your BOINC-T4T account, you will run jobs from the BOINC vLHCathome job stream, and receive MCPlots statistics, but do not participate in the Challenge.

Thanks to everyone for supporting T4T and looking forward to your help and interest for our future developments.

The T4T and Challenge teams
9 Dec 2014, 18:13:26 UTC · Comment


T4T_WebAPI pre-Challenge test jobs
To all T4T_WebAPI testers:
Over this weekend, we will be injecting some short test jobs before the Challenge starts next week.

If you run logged-out (i.e. without a BOINC ID), you will get these short jobs when they are ready, either very short dummy ones (1 minute) or real simulations with 10,000 events instead of 100,000. They will not give you any MCPlots credit of course, but we would like as many testers as possible to try it out. Log back in to BOINC to resume MCPlots work.
5 Dec 2014, 18:29:25 UTC · Comment


Request to beta test T4T_WebAPI
As part of the CERN 60th anniversary celebrations (and the 10th anniversary of LHC@home), we're planning to run a two-week "Public Computing Challenge" during December, and at that time we will be asking all of you, our T4T volunteers, to contribute CPU power to this Challenge via BOINC.

But starting today we have a different request. The Challenge will run a special series of Test4Theory simulation jobs, whose outputs will build up a database to support an exciting new project: an interactive version of Test4Theory where users help to tune the Monte Carlo QCD models at the heart of the system. The main developer of this project is Ioannis Charalampidis who works at CERN for the Citizen Cyberlab collaboration.

One component of this interactive system is a web-browser interface to CernVM called CernVM_WebAPI. After alpha-testing this for some time, we think it's ready for wider testing. So we created a special version called T4T_WebAPI, configured to run Test4Theory jobs from web browsers. This way, members of the T4T community can easily become our first beta testers.

From today we are asking all interested T4T volunteers to help to test T4T_WebAPI.

Further information and a series of hints for beta testers is at: http://www.cern.ch/ben/t4t-webapi-hints.html

Please give any testing feedback on this forum thread as far as possible.

All the best from:

Ben, Ioannis, and the T4T team
1 Dec 2014, 8:06:46 UTC · Comment


Multiple tasks enabled
After many volunteer requests over the years, we have decided it is time to send out multiple T4T tasks to users who enable more than 1 CPU in their BOINC preferences. To begin with we have enabled 2 tasks maximum.

Volunteer feedback about this change is welcome - please use this News thread.

The Team
7 Oct 2014, 12:04:52 UTC · Comment


Warning: do not upgrade beyond VirtualBox 4.3.12 !!
Due to several problems being reported with the latest version of VirtualBox (4.3.14), we strongly advise volunteers not to upgrade beyond VirtualBox 4.3.12.

The team
17 Jul 2014, 12:20:25 UTC · Comment


Server migration completed
The migration of Test4Theory to the new vLHC@home server is completed. In case of problems, we advice to detach and re-attach to the project.

Thanks for your understanding and for your contributions!
14 Jul 2014, 14:55:53 UTC · Comment


Migration to new server and change of project name
On Monday July 14, the Test4theory project will be migrated to a new server, and also get a new name: "vLHC@home".

Following 3 years of running Theory simulations under CernVM and BOINC, we plan to gradually expand the project and add more applications on CernVM with simulations from the LHC experiments. Thus the new name: "Virtual LHC@home".

The old server URL will be redirected, and we expect that the transition should be transparent to BOINC clients. The forums and BOINC user database with accumulated credit will remain the same as today. There is a slight risk that running tasks may fail and that the credit for these will be lost. We would in that case recommend to detach and re-attach to the project. Further advice will be given here in the News forum once the upgrade is completed.

We would like to express our warmest thanks to all of you for your contributions to Test4Theory, and hope that you will continue to stay with us in the future!

The team
8 Jul 2014, 8:50:28 UTC · Comment


Pleasse upgrade to BOINC 7.x clients
Most users of this project already use BOINC 7.x clients, however there still a few people who are using old BOINC 6.x clients and the old cernvm wrapper.

We plan to upgrade to a new server in the near future and to phase out the old wrapper, so please upgrade your BOINC clients to BOINC 7.x. The current version available is BOINC client 7.2.42, and most OS packages are available with a recent 7.2 version that will give better functionality and a better user experience.

Thanks for your contributions and your collaboration!

...the team.
17 Jun 2014, 14:47:32 UTC · Comment


VM connection problem solved
The problem that started after midnight Geneva time this morning has now been solved.

Our support team was working from Rome, Geneva and Silicon Valley, and all on a Sunday. This is the spirit of Test4Theory and we thank everyone involved, and all our volunteers for their patience.
15 Jun 2014, 19:45:20 UTC · Comment


Investigating connection problems
We are trying to understand and fix a problem that is currently preventing VM connections with CERN. 15 Jun 2014, 9:11:03 UTC · Comment


Vboxwrapper upgrade to latest version v260.79 (all systems)
We have just upgraded to vboxwrapper v260.79 for all BOINC T4T clients.

The CernVM image has also been updated, which will reload cernvm.vdi the first time the new version runs.

Please let us know if any problems occur.

The T4T team
26 May 2014, 13:26:03 UTC · Comment


Vboxwrapper upgrade (64 bit Windows and Linux only)
We have just upgraded to version v260.78 of vboxwrapper on 64 bit Windows and Linux clients.
(The CernVM image has also been updated for these systems, which will reload the image the first time).

No changes have been made for 32 bit Windows, 32 bit Linux, or any MacOSX systems.

Please let us know if any problems occur.

The T4T team
20 May 2014, 16:15:22 UTC · Comment


Vboxwrapper upgraded for Windows and Linux
We are now running upgraded versions of vboxwrapper on Windows and Linux clients. A Mac upgrade will follow soon. Please let us know if any problems occur.

The Team
21 Mar 2014, 10:22:28 UTC · Comment


Vboxwrapper upgrade in progress - be patient
We had a server problem while upgrading vboxwrapper to v26073 on Windows systems, sorry.
Will be fixed tomorrow.
20 Mar 2014, 22:40:53 UTC · Comment


Upgrades to vboxwrapper and VirtualBox 4.3.8
1. The production version of vboxwrapper has now been upgraded to v1.00 for Windows clients.
(After more testing it will also be upgraded for Linux and Mac clients).
Please let us know of any problems you encounter on Windows.

2. We can now recommend everyone to upgrade to the latest VirtualBox version 4.3.8.
(Do not forget to upgrade to the latest Extension Pack as well).
26 Feb 2014, 21:58:19 UTC · Comment


Now recommend upgrading to VirtualBox 4.3.6
After extensive testing by several volunteers since December, we can now recommend everyone to upgrade to the latest VirtualBox version 4.3.6.

Do not forget to upgrade to the latest Extension Pack as well!
14 Jan 2014, 14:47:39 UTC · Comment


Happy New Year 2014 to all !!!

... and congratulations to gsancosme who is about to achieve 20 GigaEvents for T4T !!!

We will very soon be recommending new T4T wrapper and VirtualBox software versions - be patient!

The team
1 Jan 2014, 17:41:55 UTC · Comment


Warning: do not upgrade to VirtualBox 4.3 !!
The error introduced in VirtualBox 4.2.18 has not been corrected in 4.3, so remain with 4.2.16 or below. 16 Oct 2013, 13:36:53 UTC · Comment


1 TRILLION EVENTS REACHED BY TEST4THEORY TODAY !!!
Congratulations and thanks to all our volunteers for helping CERN to reach the extremely impressive total of 1 Trillion events successfully simulated on the project.

CERN has just published the following story on its Web site:

http://home.web.cern.ch/about/updates/2013/09/crowd-sourced-computing-platform-reaches-one-trillion-events

The T4T Team
19 Sep 2013, 16:54:04 UTC · Comment


Problems solved with new wrapper v0.16 for MacOSX
The new wrapper version v0.16 for MacOSX has now been put into production.
Please report any problems in this thread as soon as possible.

(Note that for Windows and Linux platforms, the current production version is v0.15)
11 Sep 2013, 9:55:47 UTC · Comment


Warning: do not upgrade to VirtualBox 4.2.18
VirtualBox 4.2.18 seems to have problems. Remain with v4.2.16 or below!

The team
8 Sep 2013, 15:03:24 UTC · Comment


Problem with new wrapper v0.15 and v0.16 for MacOSX
After investigation and testing, we conclude that the newest wrapper versions v0.15 and v0.16 for MacOSX have problems and we will revert to v0.14 for MacOSX.

The team
3 Sep 2013, 8:15:17 UTC · Comment


Upgrade of vboxwrapper today
The latest version 26024 is now deployed as vboxwrapper 0.15 on T4T.
(This is a minor bugfix release).

The T4T team
26 Aug 2013, 13:47:20 UTC · Comment


Adoption of new BOINC wrapper
The Test4Theory project is now migrating from the older CERN "VMwrapper" to the new "vboxwrapper" developed and supported by the official BOINC development team. Many thanks to David Anderson, Rom Walton and Charlie Fenton for their work with us!

*** Starting from today, all volunteers running BOINC client versions 7.0 or higher will receive vboxwrapper Work Units ***

(Volunteers running BOINC clients 6.x or lower will still receive CERN VMwrapper Work Units, as they are not supported by vboxwrapper).

We are updating the project's Web pages to support this change, and also modifying their look and feel.

Some important differences you will notice with vboxwrapper compared to CERN VMwrapper:


- HEADLESS MODE: Your VM will run without a console window, but you can view its console via an RDP client by pressing the new button "Show VM Console" appearing in the BOINC manager GUI for a running Test4Theory Task. Non-Windows users can download and install a free RDP client such as CoRD for Mac OS X, or FreeRDP for Linux. The control keys Alt-Fx select the same alternative console screens as before.
(NOTE: "Show VM Console" will only work after you install the VirtualBox Extension Pack for your version of VirtualBox. Remember to quit BOINC before you update VirtualBox or the Extension Pack).

- GRAPHICS: Another new GUI button "Show graphics" is provided to view the graphics and log output from the VM, using any up to date browser version (including Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or Safari 6+). A window of your default browser will be automatically used.

- MAC SANDBOXING: Mac OS X users no longer need to run the "Mac enabling script" after updating the BOINC client.

- SINGLE CPU ONLY: For the moment only single-CPU operation is supported.

- VM CPU THROTTLING: This is supported via your local/global BOINC CPU preferences, not T4T project preferences.

(If you have previously selected the "Run test applications" T4T preference option to help us beta-testing vboxwrapper, you can remove it at your convenience).

Please give any feedback using this News thread "Adoption of new BOINC wrapper", or the Number crunching thread "Testing new wrapper".

Thanks to all from the Test4Theory Team
12 Aug 2013, 7:47:24 UTC · Comment


Super Billionares Club
Hi everyone,

Today we have decided to launch a new and very special club: the Super Billionares Club.



We have created this new club, because several of you (Frank, Ksysju and Gsancosme) have already helped us with more than 10G simulated events, each! summing a total of 385,000 jobs completed, WOW. Moreover, other volunteers will be joining the club soon!

As usual, all we can say is that you are amazing. Thus, THANKS!!!! Thanks a lot for your support and help achieving those amazing numbers!

The team
31 Jul 2013, 11:22:31 UTC · Comment


Migration to new BOINC wrapper
The Test4Theory project is going to migrate from the current CERN "VMwrapper" to the new "vboxwrapper" developed and supported by the official BOINC development team. After extensive debugging and beta-testing, we believe the latest vboxwrapper version 0.14 is ready for adoption.

As the final step before full migration, we now encourage all volunteers (with BOINC client versions 6.12 or later, and VirtualBox versions v4.2.8 or higher) to begin using the new wrapper. To do this, click "Your account" on the T4T project home page, go to "Test4Theory preferences", select "Edit Test4Theory preferences" and check the box beside the option "Run test applications?", then press the "Update preferences" button. Your subsequent work units will use the new wrapper.

Some important differences you will notice:

- HEADLESS MODE: Your VM will run without a console window, but you can view its console via an RDP client by pressing the new button "Show VM Console" appearing in the BOINC manager GUI for a running Test4Theory Task. Non-Windows users can download and install a free RDP client such as CoRD for Mac OS X, or FreeRDP for Linux. The control keys Alt-Fx select the same alternative console screens as before.
(NOTE: "Show VM Console" will only work after you install the VirtualBox Extension Pack for your version of VirtualBox. Remember to quit BOINC before you update VirtualBox or the Extension Pack).

- GRAPHICS: Another new GUI button "Show graphics" is provided to view the graphics and log output from the VM, using any up to date browser version (including Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or Safari 6). A window of your default browser will be automatically used.

- MAC SANDBOXING: Mac OS X users no longer need to run the "Mac enabling script" after updating the BOINC client.

- SINGLE CPU ONLY: For the moment only single-CPU operation is supported.

- VM CPU THROTTLING: This is supported via your local/global BOINC CPU preferences, not T4T project preferences.

Please give any feedback using this News thread "Migration to new BOINC wrapper", or the Number crunching thread "Testing new wrapper".

Thanks to all,

The team
24 May 2013, 8:49:02 UTC · Comment


Congratulations again Frank - first to 10 GigaEvents !!
We are happy to announce that user Frank is our first 10-time Billionaire.

He has processed over 10 billion Monte Carlo events and is still heading our T4T leaderboard for events and jobs run: http://www.citizencyberscience.net/t4t-webapp/stats/

Note that we have a new champion for CPU time, user gsancosme - so bravo to him too!

Congratulations to our champions and thanks to all our other volunteers!

The Team
16 May 2013, 17:06:57 UTC · Comment


Citizen Cyberscience Workshop at University of Geneva, 22-23 April 2013
Dear all,

We are really happy to announce that the 22-23 April 2013 there will be a
Citizen Cyberscience Workshop at University of Geneva and several of the researchers and developers of the project will participate.

The venue of the event is: Université de Genève, Campus Battelle (Route de Drize 7, Carouge), Building D, auditoire D185
(This course is part of a series supported by the Conférence Universitaire de Suisse Occidentale)

What is this course about? This course introduces in a hands-on way a variety of approaches to doing online citizen science, including volunteer computing, volunteer thinking and volunteer sensing. It explores the contributions and the motivations of the volunteers who participate in such projects, as well as the sort of scientific and social impact that these projects are having.

Who should join it? Basically, anyone with an interest in online citizen science. Including but not restricted to: computer science and computer engineering students who want to learn about the latest trends in open source tools for browser-based science; science students who are developing or want to develop apps for the general public to participate in their research; human-machine interface researchers interested in games with a scientific purpose; social scientists studying online social networks and communities.

What will be achieved? As part of the course, the goal for the students will be to work in teams to design and implement a first mock-up or working prototype of an online citizen science project. Participants can bring their own project proposals, or work on existing projects in areas such as bioscience, nanotechnology, particle physics and psychology. Participants will use HTML5 tools (Javascript, Python…) to build browser-based apps and open source platforms for mobile-phone-based data collection (Epicollect), pattern recognition, transcription and digitization (Crowdcrafting), and virtualization of computing tasks (CernVM).

Detailed Programme

How to register? Registration is free!!
9 Apr 2013, 12:40:15 UTC · Comment


Project running on a new server
The server migration is done, and the project is now running on the latest BOINC server software.

If you should run into problems, we recommend to detach and re-attach to the project.

Thanks for your collaboration and happy crunching!

The team.
19 Mar 2013, 15:56:04 UTC · Comment


Migration under way
Please note that a server migration is on going and that it will take some time before the service is restored.

Thanks for your contributions to LHC@home!

The team
18 Mar 2013, 14:14:44 UTC · Comment


Interruption for server migration
There will be a server interruption for the Test4Theory project this afternoon from 1PM UTC, due to a migration of the BOINC server. The BOINC server and message boards will not be available during this operation.

As the copying of files take a long time, we do not expect the server to be up before 20pm UTC or later.

All jobs under the VMs should continue running like usual.

Thanks for your understanding and thanks again for contributing to LHC@home!



The team.
18 Mar 2013, 10:10:58 UTC · Comment


Server update - short interruption
In order to update the server software, there will be a short interruption today. Sorry for the inconvenience and thanks for your contributions.

The team.
13 Mar 2013, 10:10:42 UTC · Comment


VirtualBox 4.2.8 upgrade recommended
We now recommend volunteers to upgrade to the latest version of VirtualBox (4.2.8).

(The bug introduced in version 4.2.6, affecting Beta testers using the new wrapper, is fixed in 4.2.8).

The team
7 Mar 2013, 10:03:50 UTC · Comment


Problem with CERN servers (resolved)
The CERN servers have now been successfully restarted and all VM's should resume job processing automatically. No user intervention is needed.

Thanks for your patience,

The team
4 Mar 2013, 16:15:21 UTC · Comment


Problem with CERN servers
Since about noon on Saturday (Geneva time) there have been problems with the CERN central servers which can prevent T4T virtual machines from getting and returning jobs.

These are being caused by power supply interventions at CERN over the weekend so please be patient!

Thanks to all our volunteers,

The T4T team
3 Mar 2013, 6:27:32 UTC · Comment


Problem with MCPlots job feeder (update)
The MCPlots server is running again since some hours and the jobs backlog is being slowly cleared up. It is not yet clear whether a likely hardware problem has been corrected so the problem may recur.

Stay tuned,

The team
18 Feb 2013, 20:01:51 UTC · Comment


Problem with MCPlots job feeder
The CERN server mcplots-dev has been down since yesterday (Feb. 16th) with a hardware problem. We will try and fix this as soon as possible starting tomorrow.

This machine distributes to volunteer VMs all the jobs from the T4T scientists and handles their outputs. While it is down, jobs currently executing in volunteer VMs will run to completion but the VMs will then wait to upload their results and get new jobs. BOINC credit will continue to be earned but no MCPlots credit or statistics will be available.

We will update this news item when the problem is fixed. Thanks for your patience!

The team
17 Feb 2013, 20:48:07 UTC · Comment


Scheduled maintenance operation 4th of February of 2013
Dear all,

The next 4th of February we will be performing some maintenance tasks in the servers from 10:00 UTC+1 to 12:00 UTC+1. Sorry for the inconveniences.

Best regards,

The team
1 Feb 2013, 10:18:02 UTC · Comment


Do not upgrade to VirtualBox 4.2.6 for the moment
Dear all,

Some volunteers are experiencing some problems with the latest published version by Oracle, so we recommend to not upgrade.

If you have upgraded your VBox installation, please, share your experience in this thread.

If you are experiencing problems with this version, you can downgrade it by going to this page and looking for your OS version.

Best regards,

The team
26 Dec 2012, 8:55:54 UTC · Comment


Don't feed the trolls
Dear all,

As you already know we have a Code of Conduct for the project that should serve as a guide for interacting with each other respectfully, and pursuing a good environment for enjoining, sharing ideas, comments and working together in this project.

We know that the project is not perfect, and that it will not fit to everyone, so sometimes frustration comes in because the project is not working as you are expecting.

When you don't like something, you should complain to us by e-mail, PM or using the forums, but you should complain to us in a respectful way.

Insulting, trolling, flamewars or personal attacks in any form to any member of the project will cause to not get any feedback at all from any of the project staff members until you respect the Code of Conduct again.

Therefore, from now on, we encourage every member of the project to ignore any comments from any other member that does not respect the Code of Conduct.

Best regards,

The team
20 Dec 2012, 11:34:46 UTC · Comment


Firefox extension: Test4Theory now available
Dear all,

We are really happy to announce that the Firefox extension for checking your MCPLOT stats of the project on the go has gotten the full approval by Mozilla and it is now fully available in the addons web site.

You can install it by going to the extension web page, and clicking in the install button. The extension does not require to re-start your browser, so installing it should be really easy.

As usual, comments and feedback are welcome!

Best regards,

The team!
17 Dec 2012, 9:28:32 UTC · Comment


Congratulations Frank - 5 GigaEvents today!
We are happy to announce that user Frank is our first 5-time Billionaire.

He has processed over 5 billion Monte Carlo events and so is currently heading our T4T leaderboard: http://www.citizencyberscience.net/t4t-webapp/stats/

Congratulations and thanks to him and all our other volunteers!

The Team
19 Nov 2012, 8:40:02 UTC · Comment


Faster forums
Dear all,

We are happy to announce that we have been working in improving the performance of the forums.

Today we have released a fix that will load asynchronously your MCPLOT stats in the forums, so the pages should load faster.

This new version of the forums will show the word [b]Loading[\b] near the Jobs and Events sections, until the data come back from the MCPLOT site.

We hope you enjoy this new "small" fix.

The team
23 Oct 2012, 15:12:50 UTC · Comment


Check your stats with this Firefox Addon
Dear all,

The project is happy to announce that since today, you can install a Firefox Addon (stills in beta mode but works really well) to get automatic updates on your MCPLOTS stats.

The Firefox Addon can be installed in any recent Firefox browser, it is multi-platform and it does not require to re-start your browser after installing it.

The Addon will give you notifications when you have contributed to the project:


  • New completed jobs
  • New simulated events
  • New computers attached to the project, and
  • if you can be proud to be a member of the Billionaire's Club.



One of the benefits of using this addon is that you can actually get feedback from the project while you are browsing the web and your VM is processing jobs.

The addon has passed the first official revision from Mozilla, making it "experimental", and we need your help to test it a bit more and make it "official".

As usual any comments and suggestions are welcome!

The team.

UPDATE: Version 0.2 has been released and approved by Mozilla. You should get the update automatically.

PS: For Mac OS X users you need to install, if you don't have it already, Growl (there is a free version), and for GNU/Linux users make sure you have libnotify in your system (it is usually installed by default by every distribution). 19 Oct 2012, 6:30:10 UTC · Comment


Beware VBox 4.2.0 !!
Several T4T volunteers are reporting buggy behaviour after upgrading to Virtual Box version 4.2.0.

We recommend people NOT TO UPGRADE beyond VBox 4.1.x versions until further notice!
18 Sep 2012, 7:16:35 UTC · Comment


CERN T4T servers fixed
Thanks to Alvaro working in his weekend time, the T4T servers came back online yesterday!

Thanks also to all volunteers who noticed the problem ("No Jabber connection...") and advised others.
16 Sep 2012, 17:04:46 UTC · Comment


Problems with CERN servers
Since early afternoon on Friday (Geneva time) there have been problems with T4T services due to a general problem with shared storage affecting many CERN servers.

We have limited effort over the weekend to fix this situation so please be patient!

Thanks to all of you,

The T4T team
15 Sep 2012, 6:31:14 UTC · Comment


LHC@Home on BBC Radio 4
Dear all,

Steven Goldfarb from CERN is interviewed by Rhod Sharp and Dr Karl from BBC Radio 4, answering questions about the search for the Higgs Boson and the LHC@Home platform.

You can download the podcast and listen to it.

We hope you like it!

Best,

The team
31 Jul 2012, 13:05:06 UTC · Comment


How T4T helps the search for the Higgs boson
Peter Skands, the theoretical physicist leading the project MCPlots (http://mcplots.cern.ch), explains the important part that T4T plays in the ongoing search for the Higgs boson - see his new post about this:
http://lhcathome2.cern.ch/test4theory/forum_thread.php?id=1013&nowrap=true#11573.
27 Jul 2012, 15:27:34 UTC · Comment


T4T Billionaires Club announced today
We are happy to announce the names of the first three members of the T4T Billionaires Club:

Toby Broom, Frank, and Jay Pound

They have each processed over 1 billion Monte Carlo events and so are currently heading our T4T leaderboard: http://www.citizencyberscience.net/t4t-webapp/stats/

Congratulations and thanks to them and all our other volunteers!

The Team
18 Jul 2012, 16:36:03 UTC · Comment


Breaking news from CERN (with online webcast)
CERN and the scientific World are abuzz with speculations about what exactly will be announced in a scientific seminar to take place at CERN, this Wednesday, July 4th, at 9am (CET).

A public web cast will be available: http://cern.ch/webcast.

The speculations concern whether hints of the elusive Higgs particle - key to the origin of mass - have been reconfirmed with this year's data from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). If so, Wednesday's announcement could kickstart a whole new era of investigations with the LHC.

Not only would it mark the beginning of detailed measurements of the physical properties of the Higgs field, such as its interaction with matter and force, it would also give a huge impetus to searches for so-called "New Physics" - the Higgs field being extremely sensitive to quantum effects, there are indications that something more, beyond the spectrum of known particles, is needed to explain its apparent stability. But first, tune in to CERN on Wednesday, if you want to be among the first to find out whether the Higgs is really fact, or still fiction.
3 Jul 2012, 16:10:26 UTC · Comment


Check how many events you have simulated!
Dear all,

We are really happy to announce that we have finally a set of charts that display how many events you have simulated and the number of jobs that you have processed within the Virtual Machine.

These statistics show the real work that you are doing, so you can see how much you have contributed to the project!

We have created a Learderboard with the best contributors.



The leaderboard uses again the latest available and open standards web technologies such as HTML5, CSS and SVG (you can check the source code of the leaderboard here).

If you don't find yourself in the leaderboard, you can check your contributions directly in your T4T profile page. We have added a new link that says: "Check your contributions". Click in it and you will see a short summary regarding the number of jobs, simulations, events, etc. that you have contributed.

We are really happy about this new feature, and we will improve it and link it to more services pretty soon. As usual any comments and feedback are welcome!

UPDATE Now you can see also the number of jobs and events that you have simulated under your avatar in the message boards!

UPDATE 2 Now the UOTD also shows how many jobs and simulated events you have done!

Best regards,

The team!
27 Jun 2012, 11:04:31 UTC · Comment


Citizen Cyberlab: a new project accepted by the European Union
Dear all,

A few months ago we asked you for opinions on ways to combine projects like T4T with online learning. Your feedback was really useful for preparing a funding proposal on this theme, and it's a pleasure to announce that the proposed project, called Citizen Cyberlab, has been accepted by the European Commission.

The project will involve a number of institutions in London, Paris and Geneva, including CERN – you can read more about it in the first comment of this post. A specific goal for CERN in the project will be to build an educational game based on LHC@home.

The project should start by the end of this year. However, we plan to start improving the links between LHC@home and online education already this summer, in a collaboration between Peer-to-Peer University (P2PU) and the Citizen Cyberscience Centre. I look forward to telling you more about that when the project kicks off in June.

Best Regards,

The team!
16 May 2012, 7:24:56 UTC · Comment


New bug fix release for the virtual machine
Dear all,

We have just deployed a new revision of the current Virtual Machine 2.5.1-3-1.1 that should improve the stability of the system and reduce the errors with the floppy device.

The queue has right now new WUs with this VM, so you will get it in the next few days.

Best regards,

The team
24 Feb 2012, 8:04:51 UTC · Comment


P2P University challenge
Dear all,

As a joint effort of the Test4Theory team and the P2P University, we are glad to announce that we have created the first challenge to help people to become a volunteer in scientific projects thanks to BOINC.

The challenge has three tasks, and gives the opportunity to everyone to learn how you can from your home be part of the scientific community, joining different projects and solving easy tasks (installing BOINC, posting your first credits, etc.)

This first challenge will help other people to join any BOINC project. The next step will be the creation of a specific challenge to join Test4Theory, as this research project is a bit more complicated due to we need to install VirtualBox.

If you want to help us in getting more people involved in this project, as well as in the BOINC community, don't hesitate and join the P2P Test4Theory study group, and help us creating new challenges, mentoring new users, etc.

As usual any comments and feedback are welcome!

Best regards,

The team!

Update: The P2PUniversity has a blog post about the challenge :)
21 Feb 2012, 15:47:18 UTC · Comment


CernVM Wrapper 7.07 is out!!
Dear all,

Today we have released a new version of the wrapper, that restores the previous 7.05 version behavior for pausing/saving the VM.

This new release does not abort the VM after 10 failed tries to suspend or save the VM. The previous 7.05 behavior has been restored, but the log file will be populated with 7.06 messages.

If you were suffering errors from the previous wrapper, you should get the new one asking for a new WU.

Best regards,

The team
21 Feb 2012, 10:41:02 UTC · Comment


The 2nd Citizen Cyberscience Summit: Feb 16 - 18, 2012
Dear all,

We are happy to announce that this week the project Test4Theory will be present in the 2nd Citizen Cyberscience Summit in London.

Dr. Ben Segal will be presenting the project and the status in a panel session about volunteer computing this Friday afternoon (check the details of the program!)

And on Saturday there will be a hackday around citizen cyberscience, with one special challenge for LHC@Home. As many of you know, we have created a study group in the P2P University, and we will be inviting people from the summit to join us to create some courses/challenges for this study group.

The first courses/challenges could be about how a person can join a BOINC project, with special focus for LHC@Home (Sixtrack and Test4Theory), the requirements, how you can check the results, etc. If you are in London and want to participate, just register (there are only 36 tickets left!) and join us to create some courses/challenges for LHC@Home study group.

Best regards,

The team!

UPDATE You can watch online the talks, check this broadcast tomorrow morning!.
13 Feb 2012, 12:52:22 UTC · Comment


New wrapper bug fix released
Dear all,

We are happy to announce that thanks to your reports and feedback, you discovered a bug in the wrapper, and now has been fixed.

The bug was causing that some VMs were not paused or saved even though the command was issued.

The new bug fix released today should solve this problem, as it will check for 10 times if the VM is paused or saved before moving to the next step. If after 10 times it has not been possible to pause or save the VM, the WU will be aborted, as for some reason the VM is not responding.

You will get the new wrapper version when your computer finishes your current WU.

Best regards,

The team!
13 Feb 2012, 12:38:33 UTC · Comment


Disruptions caused by weather
Dear all,

Yesterday and today we have had some power cuts at CERN caused in most cases by the bad weather that we are having these days.

The systems are back and running again normally, however, we may suffer again some disruptions due to the weather.

Just look at these photos from two days ago! (Thanks to the Flickr community)




Check the full album!! The photos are impressive!

Best Regards,

The Team!
10 Feb 2012, 13:23:51 UTC · Comment


Power cuts affecting the project
Dear all,

There are some power cuts at CERN, and some of the servers are affected.

We will inform you when everything is back to normal operation.

Thanks for your understanding.

The team.

Update
Dear all,

The system is up and running again!

Thanks for your understanding.

The team!

Update 2
Dear all,

Unfortunately we are suffering today again some power cuts. We are working in the recovery of the systems. As soon as everything is back to normal, we will inform you.

Best regards,

The Team!
9 Feb 2012, 14:57:15 UTC · Comment


New Virtual Machine released
Dear all,

We are very happy to announce that we have released today a new virtual machine (cernvm_2.5.1-3-1).

This new version has several improvements at the low level that will help to improve the number of returned successful jobs.

You will get the new virtual machine when all the jobs with the previous VM version have been processed.

Best regards,

The team.
2 Feb 2012, 11:33:19 UTC · Comment


Web application not working
Dear all,

During this week you are going to experience some minor problems with the web application, as we are deploying it in your VMs. While the deployment is done, you will get the warning message from the web application, saying that your browser does not support HTML5 and Javascript, but giving you access to the figures and logs via two links.

This warning message will be removed, once we have finally done the deployment.

Sorry for the inconveniences.

Best regards,

The team.

UPDATE: The new web application has been deployed in our servers. In one hour you should be able to reboot the VM if you want to see the new application or wait until your WU finishes. The next WU will have the updated code.
30 Jan 2012, 10:27:08 UTC · Comment


Video tutorial for the web application
Dear all,

Today you can test a new feature that we are developing for the web application: an HTML5 video-tutorial that interacts actively with your web application user interface.

For this development, we are using pure HTML5 + CSS3 + Javascript. The video tutorial uses the latest and open source code for video encoding from Google: Webm, so only modern web browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome will be able to play it (these browsers are free and open source!).

The result, well, I think it is better if you try it by yourself. Go to

http://www.citizencyberscience.net/t4t-webapp-help/

and leave a comment here if you like it or not ;) We would love your feedback!.


Enjoy!!!
20 Jan 2012, 8:03:43 UTC · Comment


Multi-core disabled by default
Dear all,

Due to all the last problems that we are having with the latest wrapper, we decided to follow your advise and give you the opportunity to choose if you want to run or not multi-core work units.

Right now the multi-core feature is disabled for everyone, so your next work unit will have only one core. If you want to run two core WUs, and you have enabled in your BIOS the virtualization extensions, go to the project preferences, and change the answer to this question from yes to no: Use only one single core?

If you were having problems with the multi-core feature this should fix your problems, as by default now you have to ask the project to give you jobs for two cores. This will help all the users with a multi-core processor but without the VT extensions or those with VT extensions but disabled in the BIOS.

As usual, let us know if this is failing for you.

Best regards,

The team!
18 Jan 2012, 16:16:43 UTC · Comment


Multi-core, Headless mode and web application finally relased!
Dear all,

We are really happy to announce that we have finally released the "last" new version of our wrapper with a new virtual machine.

The new version finally enables all the following features:


  • Multi-core: the wrapper will be able to create a two core VM if you have two or more cores available for the VM. This will only work if you have the Virtualization extensions enabled in your BIOS, so if you experience problems with this feature, please check your BIOS configuration.
  • Headless mode: by default we will be keeping the full mode enabled, but you can change this set up for all the new work units checking your project preferences. If you edit the preferences you will see a new option that says: Run virtual machine in headless mode: no. Change it to true, click update in your BOINC Manager button, and restart BOINC. From that moment the VM should be running in headless mode.
  • See the results in real time in your browser: this release finally includes the t4t-webapp that we showed you last week. The application is installed directly in the new virtual machine (version 2.4.1), so you only have to wait for the VM to load and establish connection to CERN. After that you just need to open this URL in your browser to see the results in action: http://localhost:7859. Hopefully you will be able to test a Firefox and Chrome extension pretty soon, stay tuned!


As usual, you can get the latest version canceling the running WU or waiting for the new one. Remember that if you cancel the running WU you will lose the credit.

EDIT: 7.05 has been released as version 7.04 had some minor bugs. The fixes are:


  • Backup of VirtualBox.xml file, so you can recover your default configuration if something goes wrong.
  • New set up procedure to make more robust the creation of Virtual Machines. This method should improve the problems where the wrapper fails to remove the VM.



Edit 2: In order to benefit from the Headless Mode in Windows machines, you need to have the latest available stable version of VirtualBox (Thanks to Kasuha for reminding me this issue!)

Best regards,

The team! 16 Jan 2012, 13:51:57 UTC · Comment


Viewing the simulation output of your virtual machine
Dear all,

We have been working pretty hard to give you an interesting tool to see what is going on in your virtual machine. Nowadays everything is web based and with the introduction of HTML5, new exciting and high end applications are blooming every day.

In T4T we love these technologies as they are open source and widely spread in modern, free and open source web browsers like Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.

For these reasons, we have created a web application that will be installed in the virtual machine BOINC_VM and that will allow you to see the progress of the experiments from the comfort of your web browser.

We have a demo and live site where you can see the web application, and play with it. As you will see the web application will give you direct access to the simulations, and also some information about your BOINC credit and stats. You will have access also to all the LOGs, so sharing feedback about bugs in Co-Pilot, the experiments, etc. it will be easier than ever: you will be able to copy and paste text directly from the VM, no more screenshots!

The application is open source, so feel free to download it, modify it, etc. and give us feedback in the issues repository or this thread.

We hope you like it, as we are really very happy with it.

Best Regards,

The team!

PS: next week you will see this in your next work unit, so stay tuned!!
13 Jan 2012, 10:02:36 UTC · Comment


Evaluating and stimulating learning and creativity in projects like T4T
Hi!

I'd like your feedback on the following idea.

With colleagues at the Citizen Cyberscience Centre, we are preparing a proposal for an EC project to evaluate and stimulate learning and creativity in citizen cyberscience projects.

Basically, volunteers like you do a lot of great work in projects like T4T. Sometimes what you do is very creative. And by participating, some of you also learn new skills.

So the idea is to find ways to measure and validate your creative contributions and your learning, and improve the software that allows you to do that. For example, this could be by introducing transferable badges or other forms of 'education credit' that could be used more widely – maybe even transferred to University credits or used in CVs in some cases.

What do you think of that idea?

Just so you know, we'd like to include any useful feedback in the proposal, to illustrate that volunteers actually care about this sort of issue and have good ideas and suggestions about how to handle it.

Thanks in advance!
3 Jan 2012, 13:26:28 UTC · Comment


CERN end of year shutdown
Starting tomorrow, December 22nd, CERN closes for the holiday period and reopens on January 5th, 2012. During this time, our project will operate on a "best-effort" basis. No special action is needed by volunteers but the flow of jobs may be interrupted and the T4T web site itself may not respond in the case of power cuts.

We send our holiday and New Year greetings to all our volunteers and thank everyone who contributed to T4T's very successful first year of growth and development. We have a New Year present ready to announce when we come back: a major T4T revision including much more detailed information for volunteers on the CERN jobs they are running.

See you next year,

The team!
21 Dec 2011, 14:25:20 UTC · Comment


REMINDER: CERN Power cuts again this weekend
As we warned everyone recently, there are currently power cuts at CERN that may affect some of the services of our T4T project (Co-Pilot, web pages, etc.)

No special action is necessary for volunteers to take, but the flow of CERN jobs may be interrupted.

The reason for the power cuts is that every winter CERN makes a switch between French and Swiss electricity suppliers, and before the switch is made CERN engineering services perform a series of tests at weekends which involve power outages.

Thanks a lot for your understanding.

Best regards,

The team!
17 Dec 2011, 17:16:59 UTC · Comment


Dr. Peter Skands, science project leader of T4T, is interviewed by the BBC
Dear all,

Dr. Peter Skands, the science project leader of the project, and the former CMS spokesman Jim Virdee have been interviewed by the BBC Radio 4. You can listen the interview in this link. Enjoy!

Regards,

The team!
16 Dec 2011, 9:27:44 UTC · Comment


Google+ Hangout less than 2 hours
Dear all,

Update:

We are setting everything up!!! For the web chat, please, click in the following link and enter a username and a password (they can be fake, no problem ;)):

http://test4theory.talkerapp.com/r/7c57f6

For joining the Hangout, visit Daniel's Google Profile and click in join the hangout when available.

Cheers!!

The team!!
16 Dec 2011, 9:21:43 UTC · Comment


CERN Power restored
Power is back and CoPilot is restarted - sorry for the alarm for such a short outage but we could not predict the time it would take as it was unscheduled.

All is back to happy crunching (:-))
14 Dec 2011, 17:17:46 UTC · Comment


Unscheduled CERN Power Cut
Dear all,

There has just been an unannounced power cut at CERN affecting our CoPilot service. The supply of new jobs and uploading of completed job results will be delayed.

NOTE: no special action needs to be taken by volunteers. We will advise you when power gets restored.
14 Dec 2011, 16:54:19 UTC · Comment


Power cuts affecting the project
Dear all,

The next two weekends (i.e. December 10-11 and 17-18) there will be power cuts at CERN that may affect some of the services of the project (Co-Pilot, web pages, etc.)

We will do our best to keep the services up and running, but no warranties, sorry.

The reason for the power cuts is that every winter CERN makes a switch between French and Swiss electricity suppliers, and before the switch is made CERN engineering services perform series of tests which involve power outages.

Thanks a lot for your understanding.

Best regards,

The team!
7 Dec 2011, 14:13:50 UTC · Comment


Join us in a Google+ Hangout!
Dear all,

Write down the following date in your agenda: the 16th of December of 2011 at 12.00 noon (Geneva time) we will be hanging out with you using Google+ Hangouts.

Google+ Hangouts is a live video where 10 people can video-chat directly from their browsers. In this Google+ Hangout you will have the chance to meet some of the developers and researchers of the project in person and more importantly: to talk with them.

If you want to meet us, ask us questions about the future of the project, complain about why is failing so much (we are still in beta ;D ), etc. you will only need a Google+ account (they are free!) and visit Daniel Lombraña González profile page (he will be the host). Then the 16th of December you will see in your stream (if you have added him to your circles) or in Daniel's public profile that Daniel has started a hangout and that you can join it. Remember only the first 10 persons will be able to join (sorry, maximum capacity set by Google).

Regards,

The team!
29 Nov 2011, 15:15:24 UTC · Comment


Upgrade BOINC client to version >= 6.12.34
In the last days we have upgraded the server to benefit from some of the new features related to virtual machines included in the BOINC server.

The BOINC client has been also improved with new features for virtual machines and we want to test them (detection of VirtualBox, installation, etc.), for this reason we want you to upgrade to the latest stable version of the BOINC client.

Meanwhile, we will add more WUs for the old BOINC clients, so you can keep working with the project. However, we will be moving forward gradually tothe latest stable versions of BOINC as this will help everyone to have a more stable work flow, so if you can, upgrade your BOINC client.

Regards,

The team
15 Nov 2011, 9:48:01 UTC · Comment


Test4theory is fully opening up for new volunteers!
We have finally reached a point where the system seems to be very stable (thanks to all the volunteers that have collaborated!), so we are opening up Test4Theory again: the invitation code is no longer necessary for joining the project.

Please, remember that this project is still in beta, and we may close the registration if we detect a problem due to a large influx of new volunteers. Thanks for your understanding!

The Team!
14 Nov 2011, 11:58:12 UTC · Comment


And now Facebook!
Dear all,

We have new Like buttons to share news content in your Facebook walls. If you like the posted new, click on the button and you will have helped to spread the word about Test4Theory in other social network.

Regards,

The team!
11 Nov 2011, 16:15:20 UTC · Comment


Version 7.03 released!
Dear all,

We are very happy to announce a new release of the wrapper!

This new version has the following improvements:


  • New logic for starting/stopping the VM (it should remove the double read registry problem).
  • BOINC clients only receive a task if the user has VirtualBox installed, instead of crashing the WU.
  • Due to this requirement, instead of trying to grab the VirtualBox installation path via Windows Registry, the wrapper checks if the default location: C:\Program Files\Oracle\VirtualBox, exists; else it will try to read the Windows Registry. This method should reduce Windows Registry problems.
  • New GNU/Linux 64 bits wrapper client. Please, if you want to test it, stop your 32 bit BOINC client, and try the new one.



As usual, any comments, failures, suggestions will be welcome!

Regards,

The team!! 31 Oct 2011, 8:46:46 UTC · Comment


New navigation bar!
Dear all,

The server upgrade has been completed. With the upgrade, we have included a new navigation bar for the web, so it should be easier to browse the project.

If you think that something is missing, please, let us know!

Regards,

Daniel
27 Oct 2011, 9:34:59 UTC · Comment


Upgrading the BOINC server
Dear all,

The 25th of October (7:00 am UTC) we will start to upgrade the BOINC server to the latest available version of BOINC.

The goal is to fix several errors of the server (i.e. credit cheating), as well as to benefit from new Virtual Machine features included in BOINC.

Therefore, since tomorrow morning 7:00 a.m. UTC the server will be in maintenance mode. Sorry for the inconveniences.

Regards,

The team!
24 Oct 2011, 7:25:22 UTC · Comment


Introducing LHC@home 2.0 Test4Theory volunteers map
Dear Volunteers,

We have put together a map where one can see from where in the world did volunteers connect:



Click here to see the map

The slider on top of the page can be used to modify the length on the time frame for which the connections are displayed. The map is data is refreshed every 10 minutes.

Volunteers which are located close to each other are grouped into clusters, which are generated dynamically depending on the map zoom level. This is done in order not to overload the map, as well as to ensure fast loading of the page and the low response time. Clusters' icons are color coded (depending on the size of the cluster), and are labeled with the number which shows how many individual volunteers they contain.

The resolution of geographic coordinates is done based on volunteers' IP addresses, and since we use the free version of GeoIP database the location of the points on the map is not always very precise (for example CERN users end up somewhere in downtown Geneva). The volunteers whose location could not be determined are scattered around the center of the Bermuda Triangle.

Individual volunteers are displayed using the light blue icon. By hovering over the icon one can see the name of the place from which the connection was made, the Jabber ID of the Co-Pilot agent, as well as the time when the connection was made. The name of the location is also determined using GeoIP database, in case when it is not possible to resolve it the default value (NOVILLE) is used.

We hope you like it, and I will of course appreciate your feedback!

Artem,
on behalf oh LHC@home 2.0 Test4Theory team.
18 Oct 2011, 14:29:37 UTC · Comment


Google+1 and Twitter buttons for news!!
Dear all,

Since yesterday we have included the Google +1 Button and the Twitter buttons to promote Test4theory in those social networks. Thus if you like one new, just click the button!

Regards,

The team!
18 Oct 2011, 10:06:07 UTC · Comment


CernVM Wrapper 7.0 is out!!
Dear all,

We are very happy to announce that a new version of the wrapper has been released!!

The new version has several major improvements:


  • Windows Registry access has been improved.
  • Graceful error handling: several tries before canceling WU.
  • CernVM Graphics application support. The graphics application has to be tested a bit more before releasing it.



In order to get the new version you can wait until your running WU finishes or you cancel it and get the new one if you do not mind the credits.

Please, as usual, let us know any problems with this new version in the forums.

Regards,

The team! 17 Oct 2011, 11:44:17 UTC · Comment


CERN at the Frankfurt Book Fair of 2011
Dear all,

If you have the chance to visit the 2011 Frankfurt Book Fair of 2011 this weekend, you will have the opportunity to visit the CERN stand (with information about LHC@Home) and attend a press conference about the Large Hadron Collider from the Director-General of CERN.


Regards,

The team!
12 Oct 2011, 12:37:28 UTC · Comment


Graphics Application preview!!
Dear all,

We are very happy to show you the first working version of the graphics application that will show the progress of the simulations in the virtual machine.

In this Youtube video the graphics application shows live histograms from the running experiments within the virtual machine, so you can see the actual progress of the simulated events and how they look like.

We hope to have a stable version soon, so stay tuned!!

The team.
10 Oct 2011, 10:59:54 UTC · Comment


URL change: lhcathome2.cern.ch
Please use the URL: http://lhcathome2.cern.ch/test4theory to connect to this project from now on.

The old link: http://boinc01.cern.ch/test4theory that has been used in the beta test phase will still work for a while, but you are recommended to change the to the new URL as the old one is to a test server and the old link will not be maintained.

Many thanks for your collaboration!

The team.
27 Sep 2011, 11:27:50 UTC · Comment


Server intervention Tuesday 20/9 at 13:30 CET
The BOINC server hosting the Test4Theory project will be unavailable for about 1/2 hour tomorrow Tuesday 20/9 13:30 CET for an intervention on the server.

This implies that the forums and project web-site also will be unavailable during the intervention. Thanks for your understanding and welcome back soon!

Greetings, Nils [LHC@home server support team]
19 Sep 2011, 14:09:04 UTC · Comment


New Virtual Machine released
Dear all,

We are very happy to announce a new version of the virtual machine: 2.4.0.

This new virtual machine comes with the new version of Co-Pilot plus some other enhancements that should improve the stability of the project.

In order to test the new virtual machine, you can cancel your running work unit or wait to its completion. Bear in mind that the queue had some work units with the old version, so you may not get the first time the new virtual machine.

Regards,

The Team!
13 Sep 2011, 12:30:16 UTC · Comment


Reset the virtual machines
Dear all,

We have released a new Co-Pilot that can be tested by rebooting/resetting the virtual machine. This new version should improve the action of requesting an output directory, solving some of the issues reported by you (thanks for your help!!).

You can also help us debugging the new code reporting any error or issue related to the output request folder action on this thread, after rebooting/resetting the VM.

Thanks in advance,

The team!
12 Sep 2011, 16:31:31 UTC · Comment


Test4theory is opening up for new volunteers!
We've recovered from the initial tsunami of volunteer support last month – thanks, everyone, for your enthusiasm and patience! So now Test4Theory is opening gradually to new volunteers using invitation codes.

If you want to test the project, please, sign up for an invite!

If the number of requests remains very high, we won't be able to accommodate everyone, so we'll be picking users randomly each week and sending them invitation codes – an invitation lottery. Thus, if you want to try the project and help debugging it sign up and good luck!
8 Sep 2011, 8:07:54 UTC · Comment


Help us promoting the project - helfen Sie uns, bitte!
Dear all,

The 12th of October of 2011 T4T will be promoted in the international Frankfurt Book Fair, in connection with the launch of a major book about CERN.

We will have a booth with some computers showing the project, our new graphics application (it is on the testing phase right now!!) for showing the results, fliers, etc. However, we think that one of the most valuable items could be your collaboration, as you are the "power" in this project :)

The idea is the following: record yourself with a video camera and answer the following question, why do you participate in this project?

You can answer the question in your own language, making the video internationally available. We particularly want to make sure there are lots of German-language contributions, as most of the people visiting the book fair, especially on the public open days, are German.

We would love it if you also send us your answer in text, so we can add the subtitles to the video very easily. With all your videos, we will create a video collage with all of you explaining and promoting why the project is important for you.

The video should be short, 30 seconds or less, as we want a lot of people involved. Try to be creative!!! and the most important thing: try to have fun recording it!!!

The final video will be released with a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA), so everyone will be able to copy, tweak, distribute, translate it to their language, and add it to their blogs, theaters, schools, etc.

The deadline for submitting the videos is the 23rd of September. The videos can be in any format, but please use codecs like XVID or AVI and try to avoid if possible wmv. You can send us the videos via: dropbox links, free online storage services, e-mail if it is less than 5MB, etc.

Cheers and vielen Dank,

The team!!
8 Sep 2011, 7:55:09 UTC · Comment


Server intervention Tue 6 Sept at 13:00 CET
The Boinc server hosting Test4Theory will be unavailable for a short time around 13:00 CET today due to a system update.

You should be able to reconnect again shortly after.

Sorry for the interruption caused by this intervention.

Best regards, Nils (on behalf of the CERN Boinc service team)
6 Sep 2011, 7:56:32 UTC · Comment


Version 6.05 released
Dear all,

Some of you can be running right now the cernvm wrapper 6.04. This version has a bug in it, so we have downgrade it to the previous version (which works well), renaming it to 6.05. Thus, if you are running a task with that version, please, cancel the WU and get the new wrapper.

The bug does not store correctly the data in the Progress File, causing to finish the WU in less than a second in Windows platforms (in GNU/Linux and Mac OS X works well). We are trying to fix this error, in order to give you the new wrapper as soon as possible.

Regards,

The team!
22 Aug 2011, 10:52:48 UTC · Comment


WOW!
We are flabbergasted! Interest in LHC@home 2.0 has exceeded our wildest dreams, following the huge press coverage that a brief mention in a CERN press release got us. Thank you, everyone!

Yesterday we reached nearly 8000 registered volunteers, which pushed the number of computers simultaneously connected to our server well over 1000. To give you an idea, with just 100 simultaneous connections we had already reached the equivalent of all the computing power at CERN that Test4Theory project physicists have access to. So getting more than 10x that in just a few days boggled our minds - and also bogged down our servers!

Since yesterday, we had to put further eager participants on hold while we sort out how to handle this huge amount of support. You can read a more detailed technical summary of the problems we encountered - and how we are fixing them - here. We're going to open gradually to more participants in the near future. We'll then stabilize for a while before further increases.

This was announced as a beta-test to explore the limitations of our system, and we certainly succeeded in doing that, thanks to your support. Particular thanks to all our experienced BOINC users in the forums who have been patiently explaining to newcomers that this sort of thing is normal in a beta-test. And hats off to our technical crew (which is basically just Artem and Anton in Geneva and Daniel in Madrid) who have been working literally around the clock to get the system running smoothly again.

In the meantime, if you are new to the field of volunteer computing, we warmly encourage you to browse here some of the many other exciting science projects you can contribute to, using the same BOINC platform that LHC@home is running on. And if you'd like to be kept up to date on LHC@home 2.0 progress, so you can be first in line when we are ready to accept more volunteers, just subscribe to the RSS feed for this News list.

The LHC@home 2.0 Team

12 Aug 2011, 18:25:22 UTC · Comment


Postmortem report: technical summary of problems encountered on 11.08.2011
Dear All,

Following unexpected posts on major news sites on 11th of August we have started seeing the exponential growth of number of connected virtual machines. Every minute several new virtual machines were popped up. Just to give you a rough idea, before, when we were only on major tech blogs and news sites the shape of the curve which was showing the number of active virtual machines looked like this, after BBC and MSNBC wrote about LHC@home the shape of the curve in no time became like this.

Some of connected virtual machines apparently had problems with the application software (causes are still under investigation), and so they were getting jobs from our queues, were failing to run them, were reporting them back and were asking for more jobs. CernVM Co-Pilot (the framework that we use to distribute jobs from CERN into Virtual Machines and gather the results back) normally takes about a couple of seconds to generate a job request in a Virtual Machine, send it over to the server, pick the waiting job from the queue, prepare it, send it for execution, and start running it in the Virtual Machine. So, as you can imagine, with about 1000 active virtual machines, out of which several were 'rogue' and were basically doing nothing but draining the job server, our queues became empty very fast. We quickly ended up with queues, which were draining faster than our scripts could possibly feed them.

Normally, this would not have not been a problem at all: Virtual Machines were not supposed to jump on servers all at once when the queues were empty. There is a built-in mechanism which would make them exponentially back off, precisely for the reason of not overloading our servers. Everything would have been good, if we did not have a bug which prevented our exponential back off algorithm from working, and instead turned all our virtual machines into cannons which were firing at our server hundreds of requests in a second. Because of that we had to turn our servers down and empty the BOINC server queue (has nothing to do with the Co-Pilot queue). This meant that BOINC clients would not pop up new Virtual Machines anymore.

It took a while to figure the problem out, the updated code was pushed into CernVM File System repository about 2AM on August 12th (GMT +2), and the server was configured to prevent agents with the buggy code from connecting at about 10 AM on August 12th (because the bug is still there and they would still be flooding us). We put an announcement on the forums asking users to reboot (to make sure they pick up the updated code). After that the system started working again. Currently there are about 300 concurrently active machines. These are the users who got virtual machines before we emptied BOINC server queue and who rebooted them after our announcement. We are currently planning to slowly start adding new Work Units to BOINC server queue (100 at a time), which means that virtual machines should start to pop up on registered users' machines soon.

Our initial goal was to recruit about 2,000 volunteers (remember, we just wanted to do a Beta test) so that several hundreds of them would be active all the time. We carried out alpha tests with about 300 registered volunteers (which would peak up to 100 online volunteers). As you will soon read in the other, more general announcement that we are about to publish on our main page, we are already very close to having 8,000 registered volunteers. We will try to slowly ramp that number up to 10,000 after which we plan to stabilize for a while before future increases.

We would like to ask everyone to remember that we are still in Beta testing phase. Which means that outages like this are likely to happen again, in fact we do expect them to happen again. To discover and eliminate bugs we together with you are intentionally pushing the system well beyond its limits.

Last but not least, we would like to thank you all of you again, for your enthusiasm, help, patience and understanding!!!

Artem,
on behalf of LHC@home 2.0 Team.
12 Aug 2011, 18:07:08 UTC · Comment


PLEASE REBOOT YOUR VM NOW
We are working hard to understand and fix our job supply problem. We have made some code changes which will be automatically activated if you please REBOOT YOUR VM.

To do this, using the VirtualBoxVM Manager, select the tab "Machine" and do a Reset. This should be done with the BOINC T4T task running (not suspended) so the VM is running, not Saved or Powered Down.

Results may be slow to appear so please be patient once the reboot is done. "Resending 'want_getJob'.." messages may last for a while.

We will continue to give information as we have it. We are very sorry that the extremely fast ramp-up of users under Beta test has over-stressed our system for now.
12 Aug 2011, 3:16:13 UTC · Comment


PROBLEM WITH JOB SUPPLY FROM CERN
WE HAVE A PROBLEM. WE BELIEVE SOME "ROGUE" SYSTEMS ARE SUCKING OUR QUEUES DRY AND THUS OVERLOADING THE SUPPLY OF JOBS TO EVERYONE ELSE.

Please be patient - we will try and fix this as soon as possible.

Until this problem is understood, we have disabled the creation of new jobs and users for the moment. As soon as the system is recovered, the work units flow will be restored.


LHC@home 2.0 team
11 Aug 2011, 16:54:42 UTC · Comment


FAQ
Please, visit the official FAQ section if you have problems with the project.

Regards,

The team.
11 Aug 2011, 9:27:23 UTC · Comment


Version 6.03 released
Dear all,

We are very happy to announce a new version of the wrapper. This new version has two new improvements:


  • A Windows performance improvement, and
  • A Separate preference for setting how much CPU should use the VM.


The first item fixes a performance issue reported by several volunteers in the Windows platform, and the second one, adds a new preference to the project.

We have included a specific project preference to set up how much CPU time will be used by the VM. This will allow you to choose how much CPU the VM should use in your computer without affecting at all your other BOINC projects (this was the previous behavior).

In order to change this preference, go to your account, and change the Preferences for the project. The item is called: Maximum CPU % for Virtual Machine below Maximum CPU % for graphics.

After changing the value, you have to update the project, and restart BOINC.

As usual any comments, suggestions, bug reports, etc. will be welcome!!

Regards,

The Team 9 Aug 2011, 9:06:17 UTC · Comment


Test4Theory goes BETA today !!
We are very happy to announce our advance from Alpha-test level to Beta.

This means no more need for an invitation code to join the project, so please tell your friends that we are now open to everyone. We aim to accept about 1000 active Beta testers, with about 2000 PC's running.

During the Beta period we will be introducing a graphic display to show volunteers what is happening with the CERN jobs that their Virtual Machine is running.

We are also working on a longer-term enhancement to allow volunteers to get more directly engaged with the science - stay tuned!

Congratulations and thanks to all our Alpha testers for your patience and help, and welcome to Beta...

The LHC@home 2.0 team
1 Aug 2011, 7:58:16 UTC · Comment


Virtual atom smasher in LHC@Home 2.0
Dear all,

We would like to share with you a press release in the International Science Grid this Week, a weekly online publication that provides international coverage of distributed computing and the research it supports.

The report: Virtual atom smasher in LHC@Home 2.0 summarizes the origins of the project in October of 2010, and explains the goals of the project.

Read the report, share it if you like it (Twitter, Facebook, Google+, etc.), and use the comments to let us know what do you think about it.

Regards,

The team
28 Jul 2011, 7:43:50 UTC · Comment


Version 6.02 released
Dear all,

We are pleased to announce that a new version of the wrapper has been released!

This new version uses again the command:

VBoxManage unregistervm BOINC_VM --delete

That was not working on Windows 64 bits versions. Thanks to the great community of T4T we have tested that command successfully, so we wanted to test it with the wrapper.

In order to get the new version you only have to wait to finish your running WU and the next one will get it. If you want to test it immediately: cancel the WU and update the project.

VirtualBox 4.1 is required for running this wrapper, so please, upgrade first VirtualBox.

As usual any comments, suggestions, etc. are welcome!

Regards,

The Team!!
27 Jul 2011, 9:11:35 UTC · Comment


New Virtual Machine released
Dear all,

Thanks to your feedback, the team has fixed the problem of the file system corruption and a new virtual machine has been released.

This new version is a downgrade but with some of the new features of the latest VM. The goal is to keep the system as stable as possible, while we benefit from the last changes in the Co-Pilot and CernVM file system software.

As the previous version was failing for several people, we decided to cancel all the running WU as they were no longer usable due to this bug.

Your running WU will be aborted automatically and a new one will be assigned to you in the next update of your BOINC client (if you don't want to wait, just update it manually).

As usual, any comments, suggestions, feedback, etc. are welcome.

Best regards,

The Team
21 Jul 2011, 7:25:21 UTC · Comment


Help testing VirtualBox 4.1
Dear all,

Oracle has released a new major upgrade of VirtualBox, and we wanted to test if this new version fixes the problem of removing virtual machines in Windows 64 bit platforms.

Therefore, we would love to know if by running the following command:

VBoxManage unregistervm --delete

The VM is completely removed from VirtualBox or if it fails as in previous releases.

You do not need to remove the BOINC_VM virtual machine, you can create a VM just for this purpose (you don't need to install any OS in it either) with a virtual hard disk, and then run the command and see what happens.

It is important that you access the folder where VirtualBox is installed for running the command, as by default is not included in the Windows path.

If you test this, please, let us know the output and if the VM and most importantly the virtual hard disk is completely removed.

Regards,

The team.

20 Jul 2011, 9:03:51 UTC · Comment


New Virtual Machine released
Dear all,

We are happy to announce that we have released a new version of the virtual machine (2.3.3) with several improvements!!

The main changes are:


  • Better output information.
  • New Co-Pilot version relaying on CernVM File System.
  • From now on bug fixes on Co-Pilot can be done without releasing a new VM thanks to CernVM-FS.
  • Co-Pilot uses a new share load method, distributing the work between two servers (or more in the future).
  • Several bug fixes in general.



The new virtual machine has been deployed, however you will only get the new version when all the old WUs have been processed, so the upgrade will be done slowly in your computers.

If you find a bug, have a comment, or suggestion, please, use the forums!

Regards,

The Team. 12 Jul 2011, 9:10:31 UTC · Comment


Version 6.01 released
Dear all,

We have just released a few minutes ago the new version 6.01.

This version fixes the pausing-save-stage bug.

Please, cancel your running WU and update to the latest version as soon as possible.

As usual, comments, bugs, etc, will be welcomed!

Regards,

Daniel
17 Jun 2011, 8:15:09 UTC · Comment


New version released!
Dear all,

We are really happy to announce a new version of the wrapper, the 6.00 branch. This new version supports the BOINC CPU usage preferences, throttling the CPU usage of the VM accordingly.

By default the VM runs 100% of CPU time, but if you change this parameter in your BOINC preferences, the next time you start BOINC, the VM will have the same CPU usage as the one specified in BOINC.

You can upgrade to the new version, once you have finished your currently running WU. If you want to test it as soon as possible, just cancel the WU and update the project.

As usual, any comments, suggestions, bugs, etc. are welcomed!

Regards,

The team.
9 Jun 2011, 10:55:17 UTC · Comment


Version 5.10 minor release
Dear all,

Today we have released a new version of the wrapper. This version addresses a problem when the computer had an unexpected reboot or a power surge. The new wrapper flushes the content in memory of the running time of the VM into the hard disk each five minutes, minimizing in this way the impact of a power surge or a unexpected reboot.

It is not necessary to update right now, as the next WU will do it, so if you want, you can wait until your running WU finishes.

Regards,

The team.
6 Jun 2011, 11:18:50 UTC · Comment


Code of Conduct
Dear all,

T4T community is growing, and we wanted to keep the good atmosphere of collaboration, work, etc. that we already have. For this reason, we have decided to publish a Code of Conduct for the old and new members of this incredible community.

The goal is to have a set of rules for interacting with each other respectfully, and pursuing a good environment for enjoining, sharing ideas, comments and working together in this project.

The Code of Conduct is published here, and we hope that you like it as much as we do.

Regards,

The team!
2 Jun 2011, 12:34:14 UTC · Comment


News from the project in your BOINC client
Dear all,

The latest version of BOINC 6.12.26 enables to get News directly in your BOINC client, showing a pop up balloon in Windows Systems (in GNU/Linux and Mac OS X does not show the pop-up, you have to check it in the manager).

You will get notices from the News feed, private messages sent directly to you and also message board threads that you are subscribed to. Hence, you will have more information without visiting the web.

Enjoy this new and interesting feature from the BOINC community!

Regards,

The team!
19 May 2011, 8:37:45 UTC · Comment


New VirtualBox version released
Dear all,

The 16th of May Oracle released a new version of VirtualBox: 4.0.8. The new version has several patches that can improve the behavior of our project, so please upgrade when you can.

Additionally, we have increased the maximum disk space of WUs to 8GB, after asking for this information in the forums. With this new bound, the WU should not be canceled, however if you have an error like this, please send us an e-mail or create a thread in the message boards.

Regards,

The team!
18 May 2011, 8:24:28 UTC · Comment


Version 5.09 minor release
Dear all,

A new version has been released. This new version adds more control for the debugging output (removing user names, so now privacy is respected ).

These changes add more information to the log, so we can check why is failing the wrapper in your computers more easily.

Additionally, when creating a new VM, the wrapper tries also to release previous hard disks, removing another possible point of failure.

Please, if you find an error, let us know in the forums.

Regards,

The team.

UPDATE: the version 5.08 didn't work in Windows machines due to a bug in the code. Your machines should update to 5.09 right now, and everything should be working again.
13 May 2011, 9:06:30 UTC · Comment


Version 5.07 minor release
Dear all,

We have released the version 5.07 of the wrapper, which fixes the problem of the large times reported by Windows computers. Additionally, we have increased the maximum space that the VM can grow, so your BOINC client should not cancel the running WU anymore because of this reason.

As usual, comments, reports, problems, etc. about this version in the forums.

Thanks a lot for your support!

Regards,

The team.
12 May 2011, 13:13:06 UTC · Comment


Version 5.05 released
Dear all,

Today we have released a new version of the wrapper. This version finally solves the problem of tracking the running time of the WU. Thus, if you quit BOINC after one hour, the next time you launch BOINC, the wrapper will not start from zero the T4T WU (please, report any problems in this new feature). The wrapper has also been improved from the point of view of running critical sections of the VM. From now on, those sections should not crash anymore.

Additionally, we have updated the cernvm.vmdk.gz VM. This version solves several issues related to the network and Co-Pilot. We have included in this new version a new system that should auto-fill the queues, so you will never should see again the ACK message.


Finally, the update process has been improved too. You only have to click in Update Status in BOINC Manager and the new VM as well as the new wrapper will download (check that the new cernvm.vmdk.gz includes now the version 2.3.0).

As usual, report any problem in the forums!

Regards,

The team.

PS: You can have a look at the source code in Google Code and also in the BOINC SVN repository.
10 May 2011, 12:35:24 UTC · Comment


VirtualBox 4.0.6 released!
Dear all,

Oracle has released a new version of VirtualBox with several fixes.

You can upgrade to this version if you want.

Regards,

The team.
29 Apr 2011, 11:40:36 UTC · Comment


Limited support for next two weeks
Dear all,

The next two weeks the project will be semi-paused due to several of the members of the development team of the project are participating the first week of May in a international conference where the project will be presented.

Even though we will not be active 100% of the time, we will try to answer your questions, issues, etc. as soon as possible, but please, be patient if you see that we do not refill the queues as fast as usual, or the question is not answered. If you want, you can pause the project until the 9th of May, when we will be back.

Best regards,

Daniel
21 Apr 2011, 9:54:59 UTC · Comment


Version 5.04 released
Dear users,

Today we have released a new version of the wrapper, that hopefully it will fix the problem of removing virtual machines (VMs) from VirtualBox in all the systems.

The new version only uses system commands for deleting the VMs, and cleaning the environment for registering a new VM, so VirtualBox problems and internal bugs should not affect this new version.

By default, the wrapper checks if there is a registered VM, consulting the VirtualBox.xml file. If the wrapper finds the BOINC_VM, it will get the path of where it is installed, and it will delete it, else, it will clean standard places where VirtualBox by default store them (VirtualBox VMs folder since version 4.x).

Please, update the project in your BOINC clients, and let us know if this new version fixes the problem for all of you.

You can also check the new code, here.

Regards,

The team!

Update: The version 5.03 had a small minor bug, just only when resetting the project. I have released a new version, 5.04, that should solve it, so please, again, cancel the WU, and get the new version, and let me know if it works well or not.

Regards!
14 Apr 2011, 9:42:58 UTC · Comment


New version released!
A new version of the wrapper has been released. This version, v5.02, tries to address the 64 Windows system problems when deleting the virtual machine.

The new version handles it by removing directly the BOINC_VM folder from your systems. This is working well on GNU/Linux, Windows 32 and Mac OS X. However, there is one step that stills relying on VBoxManage command.

Even though the wrapper deletes the folder, the VM has to be unregistered, so the VBoxManage command is used for this purpose. If this command also fails on 64 bit Windows systems, this version will not fix the problem. However, we have in mind the next steps to solve this problem, if this version does not completely solve it.

Additionally, we want to announce that the source code of the wrapper is publicly available in Google's repository. You can find there other projects, as well as specific documentation of the CernVMwrapper application. Thanks to this publication, you will be able to find more bugs in the code, send patches, and trust the application you are running, as the source code is available. Patches, comments, suggestions are welcomed!

In the repository you can also add bugs, or issues, so we can centralized the wrapper problems, bugs, patches, etc. in a bug track system. This will make easier to follow the evolution of the problems, bugs, patches to volunteers and developers.

You can still free to report about bugs, suggestions, comments, etc. on the forums, but we encourage you to use the issue system if you have found a bug.

Enjoy the new version and happy testing!!
6 Apr 2011, 13:20:37 UTC · Comment


OK to crunch more now...
The queues are refilled - some of us even work weekends (:-)) ... 3 Apr 2011, 14:00:10 UTC · Comment


Crunching too fast?
Sorry, all the work has been done and the job queue is empty. We will notify you when it is refilled. Have a restful Sunday... 3 Apr 2011, 6:54:56 UTC · Comment


CERN problem resolved
The CERN problem this morning was only a network glitch.

Please reboot your VM to restore job flows. No need to touch BOINC.
31 Mar 2011, 6:41:37 UTC · Comment


CERN problem again, no jobs for now
Unfortunately CernVM and Co-Pilot are down.

News will follow... but no more jobs for now.

(This is unrelated to the upgrade of wrapper software yesterday)

Ben
31 Mar 2011, 4:39:49 UTC · Comment


New version released!
Dear all,

Today we have released the version 5.01 of the CernVMwrapper. This new version has several improvements/fixes that should provide a better user experience.

The new features are:

1.- The credit system is completely based on BOINC mechanisms, not using any more the the trickle messages.
2.- The running time for obtaining credit has been reduce to 12 hours, so your progress bar should be updated faster.
3.- The time to complete the WU has been extended to one month, so the WU should not be running in high priority mode, unless you have a really old machine.
4.- The VM->poll() function has been removed, providing a better user experience by not polling each 5 seconds the Virtual Machine (additionally this change should fix some problems with some users).
5.- The previous versions did not cleanly removed the VM when canceling the WU through BOINC manager. This new version has fixed this bug too.

Please, wait until the running WU finishes, or if you are experiencing problems, cancel the WU, remove the BOINC_VM by hand using VirtualBox Manager, and ask for new work in BOINC.

If you have any problems, let us know.

Regards,

The team.
30 Mar 2011, 13:40:08 UTC · Comment


Power restored
Co-Pilot servers are up and running again. Please, reboot your virtual machines, so the process can start again without problems.

29 Mar 2011, 12:16:59 UTC · Comment


CERN POWER CUT - NO MORE JOBS FOR NOW
Unfortunately CERN has had a power cut (!!) so CernVM and Co-Pilot are down.

News will follow... but no more jobs for now.

Ben
29 Mar 2011, 9:58:25 UTC · Comment


JOB QUEUES REFILLED AGAIN, PLEASE REBOOT YOUR VM


We ran out of jobs from CERN again this morning, and have just refilled the queues. Your system(s) may now be waiting for new jobs. Sorry, but to restart your job flow, you will need to reboot the VM on each of your machine(s). You do not need to restart BOINC tasks.

(We will fix this restart bug in the next CernVM release).

27 Mar 2011, 14:07:45 UTC · Comment

JOB QUEUES EMPTIED AGAIN, PLEASE REBOOT YOUR VM

We ran out of jobs from CERN again last night, and have just refilled the queues. Your system(s) may now be waiting for new jobs. Sorry, but to restart your job flow, you will need to reboot the VM on each of your machine(s). You do not need to restart BOINC tasks.

(We will fix this restart bug in the next CernVM release).

We are working on an automatic job generator which should be ready soon and will also avoid this problem.

25 Mar 2011, 5:35:47 UTC · Comment


RAN OUT OF JOBS AGAIN, SORRY, PLEASE REBOOT YOUR VM


We ran out of jobs from CERN again last night, and have just refilled the queues. Your system(s) may now be waiting for new jobs. Sorry, but to restart your job flow, you will need to reboot the VM on each of your machine(s). You do not need to restart BOINC tasks.

(We will fix this restart bug in the next CernVM release).

We think perhaps some people are accidentally draining the job queue by letting failing tasks run too long - please check that events are being processed in your VM.

21 Mar 2011, 10:42:06 UTC · Comment

Presentation of the project at Asia@Home workshop
The 20 of March, the project has been presented in the workshop Asia@Home in Taipei, Taiwan.

You can find the slides of the presentation here. A similar hackfest will be also held in Beijing, China, where hackers and scientists will try to solve different challenges.
20 Mar 2011, 6:40:30 UTC · Comment


PLEASE REBOOT YOUR VM IF JOBS ARE NOT COMING

We ran out of jobs from CERN last night, and have just refilled the queues. Your system(s) may now be waiting for new jobs. Sorry, but to restart your job flow, you will need to reboot the VM on each of your your machine(s). You do not need to restart BOINC tasks.

We will fix this restart bug in the next CernVM release.

17 Mar 2011, 13:51:04 UTC · Comment


CernVMwrapper 4.7 released
Today a new version of the CernVMwrapper has been released.

This new version addresses the problem of suspending a task, as in the previous versions this feature didn't work very well. The VM was paused, but the wrapper was using the CPU. The new version solves this problem, so please if you find that this feature is not working for you, let us know in this thread.

Additionally, the ethernet card of the server has been changed, so the download rate problem should be gone, as the new card supports at CERN gigabit connections.

To update to the newer version, you have to cancel the running WU of your client, then BOINC will download the newer version.
14 Mar 2011, 11:12:15 UTC · Comment


VirtualBox in 64 bits Windows 7/XP
Dear users,

According to VirtualBox bug system, there is a bug in VirtualBox 4.0.4 that does not allow to cleanly delete the BOINC_VM virtual machine.

There is a fix, but Oracle has not yet published it, so until a new major update, users running a 64 bit Windows 7 system have to delete the VMs by hand, using the VirtualBox Media Manager.

However, this bug may be also affecting the Media Manager, so if you cannot delete the VM using the Media Manager you have to do it by hand. The VM usually is stored in

C:\users\'your name'\VirtualBox VMs

under a folder called BOINC_VM. Please delete it if you cannot remove the VM using the Media Manager. If after that you are still having problems, please delete the VirtualBox VMs as well as .VirtualBox folders.
14 Mar 2011, 9:34:34 UTC · Comment


New Virtual Machine released
A new version of the Virtual Machine has been released today. This new version solves the problems that we already have during this week, so the new version should work fine with your computers.

The MD5SUM of the new cernvm.vmdk.gz file is:

ba78022f562c65e8f57d205c56e14263 cernvm.vmdk.gz

In order to upgrade it, you have two options:


  • Deattach and attach again (this method should download only once the VM), or,
  • Reset the project twice: in the first reset you have to wait to download the new VM, then BOINC will raise an error about the check sum. Next, reset again the project and this time everything should be fine.


It is also recommendable that you cancel your running tasks of T4T before resetting the project, so everything is properly cleaned up. The CernVMwrapper 4.6 should be able to remove any old BOINC_VM instance (VirtualBox 4.0.4 required), so everything should start and work well.

If you have any problems, please report them here.

Regards,

Artem, Ben and Daniel 11 Mar 2011, 11:14:40 UTC · Comment


BREAKING NEWS
We seem to have solved our serious problems of the last 2 days.

Most people now should just find their systems running decently again, and if this is not the case then a simple reboot of your VM should help you.

Tomorrow we will be issuing an updated wrapper-task and an improved cernvm image to consolidate things.

Artem, Daniel and Ben
10 Mar 2011, 17:14:03 UTC · Comment


CernVMwrapper 4.6 released
A new version of the CernVMwrapper has been released for all platforms. This new version fixes a bug preventing the VM from being started or registered on Windows machines.

Additionally, this version is adopting VirtualBox 4.x as the default hypervisor, so if you are using an old version, please upgrade to the latest available VirtualBox version.

To update the wrapper you only have to cancel the running work unit, and update the project, so you can get the newer version.

If you have any problem, please report it here.

Regards,

Daniel
10 Mar 2011, 13:02:54 UTC · Comment


CernVMwrapper 4.5 released
Today a new version of the CernVMwrapper has been released. The new changes are:


  • The wrapper now can remove old registered cernvm.vmdk virtual hard disks. Users will not have to do it manually again.
  • The progress bar will not be increased when the task is paused. Thus, WU will not be completed while working on other projects.



Please upgrade, so you can have the latest version.[/list]

Warning: We are still working in fixing the problems with Co-Pilot job scheduler. Please be patient. 9 Mar 2011, 10:07:05 UTC · Comment


New Virtual Machine released
Dear users,

Today we have released a new version of the virtual machine. The new VM can be downloaded by resetting the project twice.

The MD5SUM of the new VM is:

6d1d764d5a95b83e718ac2e3c22970ec cernvm.vmdk.gz

Please reset the project. This new version should fix the problems that the last days you were reporting (network problems and the Error 1 issue).

If you have any problems, please, report them in the forums as usual.

Regards,

Daniel
8 Mar 2011, 8:05:38 UTC · Comment


UPDATE: Major upgrade
UPDATE: A new VM has been released again to address some minor bugs. Please, if you have followed the below instructions, you have to reset the project again two times, else follow them.

Dear users,

We are happy to announce that a new major update has been released. Today, the CernVMwrapper, the Virtual Machine and VirtualBox can be upgraded.

The new release addresses the problems related to network connectivity in the VM, the Windows progress bar bug and several fixes in Co-pilot's client and server. Additionally this release supports the latest version of VirtualBox 4.0.4.

To start using this new release, you have to:


  • Upgrade VirtualBox to the latest stable version. You can download it here
  • Launch BOINC, the project will cancel your running WU, and request a new one.
  • Reset the project. Wait until the new VM has been downloaded. After that, you will get an error related to the checksum of the VM, don't worry, just reset the project again. The VM will start to download again, and this time everything should start working



After all those steps have been completed, you should have a running BOINC project with the latest versions of VirtualBox, the VM and CernVMwrapper.

The new VM has changed the default terminal that you will when booting the VM. Instead of the log in terminal, you will see the output of the Co-Pilot daemon, so the terminals have changed to this new set up:


  • alt+F1 shows output of the Co-Pilot agent (which gets the jobs from CERN).
  • alt+F2 shows output of each actual running job
  • alt+F3 shows Co-Pilot agent error output (if any)
  • alt+F4 shows job error output (if any)



If you have problem, please report it so we can help you. 3 Mar 2011, 12:17:20 UTC · Comment


UPDATE!!!!: CERN server scheduled downtime
UPDATE!!!: the downtime will be extended to 12 am UTC time.

Dear users, tomorrow 2nd of March of 2011, the CERN server that communicates with your Virtual Machines will be upgraded at 8 am UTC time. The CERN server will be down two hours, so at 10 am UTC your clients should be able to get new jobs.

At 10 am UTC you should reboot the virtual machine, so all the communications will be reseted and started again. In order to reboot the virtual machine you should click in the menu of the virtual machine:

VM->Reboot

Alternatively you can press the following keyboard shortcut:

Host key + R

Sorry for the inconveniences.
1 Mar 2011, 16:27:29 UTC · Comment


Work Generator for running jobs
Since a few minutes ago, the project is using a work generator to have the queue always full with new jobs to process. Additionally, some parameters have been tuned in the WUs, so volunteers should have a better experience. 28 Feb 2011, 11:32:39 UTC · Comment


New version released!
Today a new released of the CernVMwrapper has been released. This new version has changed how the WU is treated in the clients.

The new version reduces the delay bound to 14 days instead of one year. Additionally, the VM will be closed when the week has been completed, uploading an input file to the BOINC server, completing the normal task handling in any BOINC project.

Update your projects, and if you have problems, please, remove the BOINC_VM by hand in VirtualBox as well as the cernvm.vmdk hard disk in the Media Manager.
24 Feb 2011, 11:57:01 UTC · Comment


Debugging the application
If you want to know what is going on within the virtual machine, please,visit the debugging web page. 22 Feb 2011, 8:45:39 UTC · Comment


CernVMwrapper v4.0
A new version of the wrapper that sets up the virtual machine for running the experiments has been released.

In order to get everything working, you have to reset the project in your BOINC client, and then remove from VirtualBox the previous virtual machine:

BOINC_VM_yearmonthdayhourminuteseconds

You should also remove the associated hard disk: cernvm.vmdk through the VirtualBox Virtual Media
Manager. Please, delete the disk as a new one will be created.

If you have any problems, please report it in the forums or Q&A boards.
7 Feb 2011, 13:08:53 UTC · Comment


New work unit released
In our effort to test the system with new users, we have cancelled the prueba05 work unit, creating a new one called test06 that substitutes the old one. If you have any problem with the process, let us know. 1 Feb 2011, 11:41:48 UTC · Comment


Alpha-testers forum available now
As of today we have 25 alpha testers, on a variety of Windows, Linux and (just beginning) MacOSX platforms. We would like you to share your experiences on the "Questions and Answers" forum. We welcome your bug reports as well as news of your success or failure in testing the system. Daniel and myself, as well as some of our more experienced testers, are available to try and answer your questions... 31 Jan 2011, 14:18:51 UTC · Comment


Are you having problems with the project?
If you are having problems with the project, please use the help desk forums for posting your problems. If you want to know more details about the project, just go to the forum index and post your doubts, comments and suggestions. 31 Jan 2011, 12:33:06 UTC · Comment




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