Installing BOINC

Jump to: navigation, search


Microsoft Windows

Download the installer, then double-click the installer icon.

You can set install options by clicking the "Advanced" button on the configuration screen. The options are:

  • Program directory - where BOINC's program files will be stored.
  • Data directory - where BOINC's data files will be stored. This will be a hidden directory. Where it is is shown in the BOINC start up messages.
  • Use BOINC screensaver - Use the BOINC screensaver for the current user.
  • Protected application execution - Run project applications under an unprivileged account. This provides increased protection against faulty applications, but it prevents BOINC from using your GPU, and it may cause graphics to not work with older applications.
  • Allow all users on this computer to control BOINC - If selected (public mode), all users can control BOINC (attach/detach projects, etc.). If not selected (private mode), the only users who can control BOINC are: the installing user, members of the Administrator group, and members of the 'boinc_users' group. When other users run the BOINC Manager, they'll be shown a dialog saying to contact the administrator to add them to the 'boinc_users' group.

To run BOINC invisibly, choose the "Protected application execution" option, then delete the BOINC shortcut from the Start/Programs/BOINC and Start/Programs/Startup menus (locate BOINC in each menu, right-click, select Delete). You can still run the BOINC Manager by going to C:\Program Files\BOINC and double-clicking on boincmgr.exe

Mac OS X

  • Download the installer.
  • If your browser has not already done so, expand the zip archive by double-clicking on it in the Finder.
  • Double-click on the BOINC Installer application to run the installer, then follow the prompts.
  • Close the installer when it is finished. This will automatically launch the BOINC Manager.
  • If you want BOINC to be your screen saver, open System Preferences from the Apple menu. Select Desktop & Screen Saver and select BOINCSaver.
  • The default location for data directory of BOINC is /Library/Application Support/BOINC Data. You may want to exclude this folder from Time Machine backup system to prevent increase of backup data size.

Several tools for Mac OS X are available to:

  • Automatically run BOINC as a daemon or system service at boot time.
  • Improve security for stand-alone clients.
  • Prevent BOINC Manager from launching automatically when selected users log in.

Building from Source

BOINC is open source software, so you can obtain the source code and build the client software yourself if you wish. It is not as easy as simply installing from the package installer, as described above, and doing so requires both the developer tools and some additional third-party tools and libraries. Detailed instructions may be found on this separate page:


You can install BOINC on a Linux computer in any of three ways:

  • Use the package management system of your Linux distribution;
  • Use the "Berkeley installer" provided by BOINC (a self-extracting archive, not distro-specific);
  • Build directly from source code.

Installing BOINC as a package

Some Linux distributions (Fedora, Ubuntu, Debian, Gentoo, possibly others) have BOINC packages that you can install using your your distro's package manager. Compared to using the Berkeley Installer, this has several advantages:

  • The resulting BOINC installation runs applications under an unprivileged account, and is therefore more secure.
  • The BOINC binaries are dynamically linked, therefore they require less memory than the binaries in the Berkeley Installer.
  • The package manager checks for dependencies and installs any additional libraries required to run BOINC on your Linux distro.
  • BOINC is installed as a daemon (BOINC runs automatically at boot time even if no user is logged in).
  • BOINC updates can be automated if your Linux distro has automated package update capability (most popular distros do)

If you want to use the packages from repositories, take into account that there are two packages that can be installed separately, one for BOINC Client and another for BOINC Manager. Only the client part is required but you will likely want to install the manager as well unless you intend to manage the client from a remote host.

Here are instructions for several well known Linux distributions:

The Berkeley Installer

The Berkeley Installer is available directly from the BOINC project. It is a self-extracting archive. This type of installation requires that you be familiar with the UNIX command-line interface. The download files have names like After downloading the file, you'll need to be in the directory where you download the archive to unpack it.

Here is an example. The archive is downloaded to the desktop. It is then moved to the home directory (~). Finally BOINC is unpacked and installed. All of this can be done within a regular user account; root privileges are not needed.

$ mv ~/Desktop/ ~
$ cd ~ 
$ sh  

This creates a directory called BOINC/ under the home directory containing the following files:

The BOINC core client.
The BOINC Manager.
A command line tool for controlling a running core client.
A script that cd's into the BOINC directory and runs the core client.
A script that cd's into the BOINC directory and runs the manager.

To start the client manually enter the following terminal commands:

$ cd ~/BOINC  
$ ./run_client --daemon
$ ./run_manager

The BOINC working directory can be moved elsewhere as you like, and can even be renamed. One common choice is ~/.boinc, since files and directories with names that begin with "dot" do not show up by default in Unix directory listings. Whatever the name, everything related to the BOINC client is contained within that directory, and you should always run the client and the manager from that working directory.

Build from Source

BOINC is open source software. You can download the source code and build your own BOINC client, if you so desire. It's not as easy as either of the two methods above, but it may turn out to be more interesting. And some people might even be interested in contributing to the ongoing BOINC development efforts.

If you want to build BOINC on Linux, you need to keep in mind that BOINC consists of both client software and project server software. To run BOINC on your own Linux computer and contribute to existing projects you only need to build the client software.

Instructions for building BOINC from source code are in a separate developer's wiki. You will need to start with these pages:

There is also useful documentation on other web sites:

64 Bit Considerations

If you are running 64 bit Linux, you might have a problem with projects that issue 32 bit applications rather than 64 bit applications. To allow 32 bit applications to run on 64 bit Linux you must install 32 bit versions of certain shared libraries. The names of the packages containing the 32 bit libraries is different for each distro.


Three packages are required for 64 bit compatability.

Name Description
compat-libstdc++-296.i686 Compatibility 2.96-RH standard C++ libraries
compat-libstdc++-33.i686 Compatibility standard C++ libraries
compat-libstdc++-33.x86_64 Compatibility standard C++ libraries

Install all 3 packages at once, by opening a terminal and typing:

su -c 'yum install compat-libstdc++-296.i686 compat-libstdc++-33.i686 compat-libstdc++-33.x86_64'


Four packages are required for 64 bit compatability.

Name Description
ia32-libs description is unavailable
libstdc++6 description is unavailable
libstdc++5 description is unavailable
freeglut3 description is unavailable

Install all 4 packages at once with the following steps:

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Enter
sudo apt-get install ia32-libs libstdc++6 libstdc++5 freeglut3

Ubuntu ISO image

Dotsch/UX is an ISO-format Linux distribution, based on Ubuntu Linux. It lets you easily install and boot from a USB stick, hard disk and from diskless clients, and it also has some interfaces to set up the diskless server and the clients automatically. The current version (1.2) has the 6.10.17 BOINC client pre-installed.


  1. go to /usr/ports/net/boinc-client/, open the Makefile in a text editor
  2. change the CONFIGURE_ARGS=--disable-server as follows:
    1. on 32 bit FreeBSD change it to
      CONFIGURE_ARGS=--disable-server --with-boinc-platform=i686-pc-freebsd --with-boinc-alt-platform=i686-pc-linux-gnu
    2. on 64 bit FreeBSD change it to
      CONFIGURE_ARGS=--disable-server --with-boinc-platform=x86_64-pc-freebsd --with-boinc-alt-platform=i686-pc-linux-gnu
  3. do make install clean
  4. if you receive an error like "ELF 0 ....", make sure you have installed
    1. /usr/ports/emulators/linux_base-fc4 or higher
    2. sysctl kern.elf32.fallback_brand=3

There is additional information on installing, configuring and running BOINC on FreeBSD.


Refer to this page: OpenBSD.

Personal tools