Installing BOINC on Debian

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Basic installation

Open a terminal and enter the following command:

sudo apt-get install boinc-client boinc-manager

Non-graphics installation

If you have a "headless" computer with no graphics then you do not want or need the BOINC Manager. In this case just install the client by itself, with the command

sudo apt-get install boinc-client

See also the page Stop or start BOINC daemon after boot for helpful commands for controling the daemon.

What the installer does

  1. Creates the daemon script at /etc/default/boinc-client.
  2. Puts the BOINC binaries (boinc_client, boinc_cmd and boincmgr) in /etc/boinc-client/.
  3. Creates /var/lib/boinc-client/ for BOINC data files and the slots and projects directories.
  4. Names the daemon boinc-client.
  5. Creates a user named boinc. For security, boinc owns the BOINC data directory (/var/lib/boinc-client/) and all the data files and sub-directories it creates in the data directory.

Verify the installation

  1. If you elected to have Linux start the daemon at boot time (see step 4 in section Basic installation), logout and reboot Linux now and login under your normal user account.
  2. If you elected to not have Linux start the daemon at boot time, start the daemon manually with /etc/init.d/boinc-client start
  3. Open a terminal and enter ps aux | grep boinc to print a partial list of running processes. You should see boinc_client --daemon in that list, if not then something went wrong in the steps above.

Optional setup hints

For more information about configuring BOINC in Linux, see Linux file permissions

Splitsection.svg It has been suggested that this section be split into a new page. (Discuss)

If you do only the basic installation as described above, BOINC manager will not be able to automatically connect to the client. To connect the client you will be required to give the GUI RPC password every time you start BOINC manager. That is not a bug, it is a security feature to prevent other users from using the manager to manipulate the client, changing your projects, etc. Another inconvenience is that boinc (the user named boinc) owns /var/lib/boinc-client/ and all the files and directories in it so you will not be able to edit those files from your regular user account unless you add your username to the boinc group and adjust some permissions as follows, substituting your username for <username>:

  1. Open /etc/group in a text editor.
  2. Look for the line starting with boinc:x:<group ID number>:
  3. Edit the line to look like boinc:x:<group ID number>:<username> (<group ID number> will be a number, do not change it)
  4. Save the file and close the editor.
  5. Open a terminal and enter the following commands, substitude your username for <username>:
    1. sudo ln -s /etc/boinc-client/gui_rpc_auth.cfg /home/<username>/gui_rpc_auth.cfg
    2. sudo ln -s /etc/boinc-client/gui_rpc_auth.cfg /var/lib/boinc-client/gui_rpc_auth.cfg
    3. sudo chown boinc:boinc /home/<username>/gui_rpc_auth.cfg
    4. sudo chown boinc:boinc /var/lib/boinc-client/gui_rpc_auth.cfg
    5. sudo chmod g+rw /var/lib/boinc-client
    6. sudo chmod g+rw /var/lib/boinc-client/*.*


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