BOINC screensaver

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Contents

Introduction

The BOINC client software on Windows and Mac OS X includes a screensaver program, which you can select as your screensaver.

On Windows:

  • Right-click on the desktop.
  • Click Properties, select Screen Saver, and select BOINC.

On Mac OS X:

  • Under the Apple menu, select System Preferences.
  • Click on Desktop & Screen Saver.
  • Select BOINCSaver from the list of screen savers.

On Linux:

This is a XScreenSaver compatible BOINC screensaver for Unix/X11.

To use this screensaver, please add the following to the 'programs' preference in your .xscreensaver file:

  • GL: boincscr -root \n\

If your BOINC directory differs from /var/lib/boinc, you can use the -boinc_dir command line argument.

When run, this screensaver connects to the BOINC client via RPC, asks for graphics providing tasks and starts a random graphics application. The window created by the graphics application is then searched for using X11 window properties, such as "WM_COMMAND". Not every graphics application seems to support this, but this method has been successfully tested with Einstein@Home and Climateprediction.net. When the graphics application window has been found, it will be embedded into the XScreenSaver-provided fullscreen-window, the root window, the preview window or a newly created window, depending on the environment, using the XEMBED method.

NOTE: BOINC runs even if you don't use the screensaver.

Screensaver Modes

The BOINC screensaver has 3 modes:

  • The overview screensaver displays general information, such as the BOINC status, a list of projects, etc.
  • The project graphics display the graphics for one of the currently running tasks, e.g., SETI@home. However, many projects do not have screensaver graphics.
  • The screensaver coordinator controls the screensaver, selecting either the default screensaver or project graphics. It appears when neither the overview screensaver nor project graphics are available, and displays a moving BOINC logo with messages such as "Connecting to BOINC application" or "BOINC screensaver loading."

Screensaver Settings

By default, the screensaver switches among the overview screensaver and project graphics periodically. The overview screensaver also runs when no project is contemporaneously running (e.g., if BOINC is suspended), or when none of the currently running projects supports screensaver graphics.

You can control how the BOINC screensaver switches among its modes.

  • On windows, click Settings in the Screen Saver Properties window.
  • On Mac OS X, click Options in the Screen Saver control panel.

The settings are:

  • Blank screensaver after: To reduce the processing power used by the screensaver, you can set it to blank the screen after the specified number of minutes. Reducing the processing power used by the screensaver makes more processing power available to BOINC projects. If you choose never, the screensaver will continue displaying graphics indefinitely.
  • Run overview screensaver for: selects the number of minutes to run the overview screensaver [overview screensaver duration] in each cycle. If you choose never, the overview screensaver will run only when no project graphics are available.
  • Run project screensavers for: selects the number of minutes to run the project graphics [project graphics duration] in each cycle (assuming project graphics are currently available). If you choose never, project graphics will never be shown. Note: if you set the overview screensaver duration to never, this setting is ignored and project graphics will be shown whenever available (i.e., project graphics duration is effectively infinite).
  • Switch between project screensavers every: selects how often to switch among project graphics within the project graphics duration. This has an effect only if it is shorter than the project graphics duration and only if your computer can run multiple BOINC tasks simultaneously (e.g., if the computer has multiple processors). If you choose never, the project graphics for just one task will be shown for the entire project graphics duration of each cycle, switching only if that task stops running.

Disabling screen saver

On Windows:

  • Right-click on the desktop.
  • Click Properties, select Screen Saver

Here you can disable the screen saver by reversing your choice of using BOINC as the screen saver.
Either set it to None for no screen saver at all, or use another (Windows) screen saver instead.

On Mac OS X:

  • Under the Apple menu, select System Preferences.
  • Click on Desktop & Screen Saver.
  • In 10.4/10.5/10.6/10.7, drag the Start screen saver: slider to Never.
  • In 10.8, from the Start after: drop-down list, select Never.
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