BOINC on Mac/Intel
In Jan 2006 Apple introduced Intel-based Macintoshes,
which will eventually replace their PowerPC models.
Intel Macs can run PowerPC executables in an emulation mode.
There is also a 'universal binary' format
containing separate PowerPC and Intel executables in one file;
These programs can run on either type of hardware;
the Macintosh OS automatically selects the appropriate executable
for the computer.
BOINC will support Mac/Intel as follows:
Participants will see a Mac OS/X as a single platform;
there will be a single client download,
so they won't have to know which type of computer they have.
Starting with version 5.4, the BOINC client software
(manager, core client, and boinc_cmd) will be in universal binary format.
Internally to BOINC, however, Mac/PPC and Mac/Intel will be separate platforms.
When communicating with servers,
the core client will identify its platform as either Mac/PowerPC or Mac/Intel,
depending on the type of machine on which it is running.
Projects will provide work to Mac/Intel hosts only if their
database includes work for that platform.
Applications will typically not use universal binary format
(this will minimize bandwidth for application download).
To support Mac/Intel hosts,
projects should immediately create a database entry
for the Mac/Intel platform (instructions below),
and should create new application versions for this platform,
using their existing PowerPC applications.
This will allow Mac/Intels running the 5.4+ client
to get work from the project
(these tasks will run in emulation mode;
this is about 3X slower than native mode for typical applications).
As soon as they are able to,
projects should build separate application executables for Mac/Intel,
and should add new application versions for them.
Mac/Intels running the 5.4+ client will then be issued these executables.
Some Macintosh users will switch from a PowerPC to an Intel-based Mac,
and will copy their filesystem from the old to the new machine.
BOINC will handle this transition fairly seamlessly:
- The first time BOINC runs on the new new (Intel) hardware
it will notice that its platform differs from that
in the client state file,
and it will reset all projects
(this deletes all applications, files, and tasks).
The client will then contact projects and fetch more work;
it will get Intel versions of applications.
Thus, the only side-effect of the transition is that
tasks that are in progress, or completed but not reported,
will be lost.
To create the Mac/Intel database entry,
add the following to your project.xml file
<user_friendly_name>Mac OS X (Intel)</user_friendly_name>
and run xadd
Add new application versions using
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Last modified 8:52 PM UTC, October 17 2012.
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