Setting up Folding@home on Centos7

At vScaler, we're imploring anyone that has compute resource to spare, to donate it towards research efforts into COVID-19 (Coronavirus). To find out more about the Folding@home initiative, read our blog post here.

For HPC administrators wishing to rollout the application on Centos7, we have documented the instructions below. For those non HPC admins and anyone using SLURM, we've documented instructions here.

To start with, we have spun up a HPC cluster on vScaler, for anyone wishing to do the same here is our video on how to do this. Otherwise, the below instructions pick up after we SSH into the head node.

To begin, lets pull down the RPMs from the folding@home website.
These links were correct at the time of writing – please visit the folding@home website for up to date installation instructions

wget https://download.foldingathome.org/releases/public/release/fahclient/centos-5.3-64bit/v7.4/fahclient-7.4.4-1.x86_64.rpm
wget https://download.foldingathome.org/releases/public/release/fahcontrol/centos-5.3-64bit/v7.4/fahcontrol-7.4.4-1.noarch.rpm
wget https://download.foldingathome.org/releases/public/release/fahviewer/centos-5.3-64bit/v7.4/fahviewer-7.4.4-1.x86_64.rpm

Now you can install the RPMs. In this example we have stored the RPMs in a shared location across the cluster.

pdsh -w node00[00-02] rpm -ivh --nodeps /opt/ohpc/pub/apps/fah-install-rpms/fah*rpm

Let's stop the client for the moment to update the configuration file

pdsh -w node00[01-02] /etc/init.d/FAHClient stop

And now we can update the Configuration file - the main thing to note is to set the power v=full to use all cores

[root@vscaler-head ~]# cat /etc/fahclient/config.xml
<config>
  <!-- Folding Slot Configuration -->
  <gpu v='false'/>

  <!-- Slot Control -->
  <power v='full'/>

  <!-- User Information -->
  <user v='vscaler'/>

  <!-- Folding Slots -->
  <slot id='0' type='CPU'/>

</config>

Now we can sync that file across the rest of the cluster nodes

pdcp -w node00[01-02] /etc/fahclient/config.xml /etc/fahclient/config.xml

Now we can start the service back up

pdsh -w node00[01-02] /etc/init.d/FAHClient start

Lets jump over to one of the nodes to check things out. Starting with the CPU utilisation. Note these nodes are 72 core Xeons 8176 dual socket nodes.

top - 23:11:44 up 42 days,  7:08,  2 users,  load average: 30.13, 17.39, 8.84
Tasks: 676 total,   2 running, 674 sleeping,   0 stopped,   0 zombie
%Cpu(s):  0.0 us, 15.0 sy, 85.0 ni,  0.0 id,  0.0 wa,  0.0 hi,  0.0 si,  0.0 st
KiB Mem : 39463936+total, 25307000 free,  9180968 used, 36015139+buff/cache
KiB Swap:        0 total,        0 free,        0 used. 38385616+avail Mem

   PID USER      PR  NI    VIRT    RES    SHR S  %CPU %MEM     TIME+ COMMAND     
307957 fahclie+  39  19 4972900 270856   6956 R  7196  0.1  29:44.34 FahCore_a7                             
308034 root      20   0  162556   2876   1580 R   0.7  0.0   0:00.17 top                                    
   204 root      rt   0       0      0      0 S   0.3  0.0   0:17.97 watchdog/39                            
 67779 zabbix    20   0   83812   6440   5624 S   0.3  0.0  98:29.71 zabbix_agentd                          
     1 root      20   0  193812   6800   4036 S   0.0  0.0   0:58.89 systemd                                
     2 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:01.18 kthreadd                               
     3 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.68 ksoftirqd/0                            
     5 root       0 -20       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 kworker/0:0H                           
     8 root      rt   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:07.41 migration/0                            
     9 root      20   0       0      0      0 S   0.0  0.0   0:00.00 rcu_bh         

We can check the logs to see how things are progressing

[root@node0002 ~]# tail -f /var/lib/fahclient/log.txt
23:11:18:WU00:FS00:0xa7:       Mode: Release
23:11:18:WU00:FS00:0xa7:************************************ Build *************************************
23:11:18:WU00:FS00:0xa7:       SIMD: avx_256
23:11:18:WU00:FS00:0xa7:********************************************************************************
23:11:18:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Project: 14182 (Run 7, Clone 5, Gen 105)
23:11:18:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Unit: 0x0000007c0002894b5cf684c1e093d5ee
23:11:18:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Digital signatures verified
23:11:18:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Calling: mdrun -s frame105.tpr -o frame105.trr -cpi state.cpt -cpt 15 -nt 72
23:11:18:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Steps: first=262500000 total=2500000
23:11:19:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 197572 out of 2500000 steps (7%)
23:11:25:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 200000 out of 2500000 steps (8%)
23:11:57:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 225000 out of 2500000 steps (9%)

Now give yourself a pat on the back - you're doing your bit to help out! 🙂

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