BOINC Menubar

BOINC logo


BOINC Menubar is a graphical interface for BOINC. It does not have a main window, application menu, or dock icon. Instead, everything is controlled from a small icon which appears in the upper right hand corner of your screen. Clicking on this icon produces a menu which provides access to all the features of BOINC Menubar.

(Figure 1)

Getting Started

First-time BOINC Participants

If you are new to BOINC, then you need to create accounts for projects in which you would like to participate. Please visit the main BOINC site ( for a list of popular projects.

When you create an account, you will be sent an email containing a URL and Account Key. Collect this information and skip down to the 'Project Manager' section for information on how to set up BOINC Menubar to run these projects.

Returning BOINC Participants

If you already have a BOINC account and have run the 'boinc' command-line program on this computer, you will need to move files to a new location. Locate the folder which served as the launch path when you ran the 'boinc' command. It should contain such files and folders as 'client_state.xml', 'slots', and 'projects'.

Copy all these files (not the enclosing folder itself) into '~/Library/Application Support/BOINC Data/'

Now when you run BOINC Menubar and select 'Manage Projects...' from the status menu, you should find a list of the projects in which you are currently participating.

Managing Projects

Adding Projects

Before adding projects, collect the emails containing the URLs and Account Keys for each project.

Select 'Manage Projects...' from the status menu.

(Figure 2)

This will open up the 'Project Manager'.

(Figure 3)

Click the 'Add' button. This will produce a new sheet in which you can paste in a URL and Account Key.

(Figure 4)

After you have finished, click 'OK' and the project will be added.

Note: Please be patient as it can take a few moments for a project to be added.

Updating, Resetting, and Removing Projects:

Select 'Manage Projects...' from the status menu (Figure 2). This will open up the 'Project Manager' (Figure 3).

Highlight the project you wish to update, reset, or remove by clicking its name. The 'Remove', 'Reset', and 'Update' buttons at the bottom of the project manager window will be enabled.

(Figure 5)

Clicking 'Update' causes BOINC to contact a project's web site to obtain new preferences. This will also report completed results and get new work if needed.

Clicking 'Reset' clears all pending work for a project. Use this if there is a problem that is preventing your computer from working.

Clicking 'Remove' will remove the selected project.

Hint: As indicated in the project manager, double clicking a project's name or URL will take you to a projects web site. This is particularly convenient if you want to change a project's preferences or view statistics.

The Status Menu

(Figure 6)


Controlling BOINC Using BOINC Menubar

Once BOINC Menubar has some projects to run, you can now use the menu to start and stop BOINC.

To start BOINC running, simply select 'Start' from the status menu. BOINC will start running in the background.

If you wish to see exactly what BOINC is doing while it is running, select 'Display Log' from the status menu. This will display a window containing all the output produced by BOINC.

(Figure 7)

If you want to stop BOINC running for any reason, simply select 'Stop'. Quitting BOINC Menubar automatically stops BOINC if it is running.

You may force BOINC to run CPU benchmarks by selecting 'Run CPU Benchmarks' from the status menu. Note that you only need to do this if you have recently modified your computer's hardware.

Menu Statistics

The status menu contains four pieces of information:

The 'Current Project' is simply the project or projects currently being run by BOINC. The current project will change from time to time as BOINC stops and starts other projects.

The 'Work Completed' indicates what percentage of the current work unit has been completed for the current project.

The 'Project Credit' is the amount of credit you have received for the project which is currently running. This is the same amount as appears on the project's web site and includes credit which you have received by running BOINC on other computers as well.

The 'Total Credit' is the amount of credit you have received for all projects which BOINC Menubar knows about. That is, if you are participating in four projects on this computer, then the total credit will be the sum of all four project credits.

Note: The amount of credit displayed by BOINC Menubar may not be exactly the same as you find on project web sites. This is because credit is only updated when a computer contacts the projects web site to send results or receive new data. If the amount of credit differs from what you see on the web, the amount will be updated next time the project contacts its web site.

Menubar Statistics

The menubar contains two pieces of information:

A small icon indicates the current project or projects. Listed below are the most common projects and their corresponding icons.


- Einstein@home

- Predictor@home

- SETI@home

- Default icon for all other projects

The menubar also displays a graphical representation of the completed percentage of the current work unit as a vertical 'progress bar'.


(Figure 8)

General Settings:

Select 'Start BOINC On Application Launch' if you want BOINC to start running every time you open BOINC Menubar. You might find this particularly useful if you want BOINC to be running all the time.

Hint: You can set BOINC Menubar to auto-launch whenever you login by adding BOINC Menubar to the login items in the 'Accounts' pane in 'System Preferences'. Combining this with 'Start BOINC On Application Launch' will ensure that BOINC is running at all times.

Select 'Display Log On Application Launch' if you wish the Log window to open automatically every time you open BOINC Menubar.

Select 'Share Data With Other Users' if you wish data to be shared with other users running BOINC Menubar on your computer. The data will be moved to a location where other users can access and contribute to it.

Note: Only administrative users can set up BOINC Menubar to share data with other users, but all users can contribute.

Select 'Unlimited Scrollback' if you would like to keep all the output produced by BOINC. By default, the BOINC Menubar keeps the last 10,000 lines output by BOINC.

Proxy Settings:

If you need to use a proxy, first select the type of proxy you are using: HTTP or SOCKS. Next, enter the address of the proxy. If the proxy requires a username and password, click the "Set password..." button. This will produce a new sheet in which you can enter your username and password (Figure 9).

(Figure 9)

Click "OK" to save

Return to BOINC main page

Last modified 7:14 PM UTC, April 05 2016.
Copyright © 2018 University of California. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.