Opinions requested from home Linux users

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floyd

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Message 91088 - Posted: 14 Apr 2019, 17:50:22 UTC - in response to Message 91085.  

I think you're conflating multi-user with multi-tasking.
I don't think so, it's just that we mean different things when we say "user". To you it means the physical persons using a computer, to me it means (to make it short) something different. But back to the original statement. You said that, after your definition, most current Linux systems are single-user. We already agreed on that, let's not fight over words.

I can't imagine a significant need to take that action from within boincmgr (or boinccmd). Anybody and anything can suspend boinc without any privileges and if it really needs to be stopped or (re-)started, the "responsible" people already have other ways. I would strongly advise against making changes in this sensitive area just to add some rarely used shortcut.
I really don't understand your point here. I thought the purpose of this whole thread was to garner user feedback about a proposal to remove some existing functionality from the manager that allowed a user to stop a boinc client under circumstances where they wouldn't be able to restart it without the ability/knowledge to re-launch the service mechanism that started boinc in the first place
Yes, either that or to add the counterpart, the ability to start the boinc client from the Manager in any operation mode.

Please correct me if I'm not understanding the purpose of this thread.
We were asked for our opinions. You told yours, I told mine, they were different and it seems they remain different. There's nothing wrong here.

If an ordinary 'buntu (or derivative) user needed to restart a client killed through the current manager functionality, all they would need to do is run the command
sudo systemctl restart boinc-client
or something like that.
That wouldn't work for me on Debian because sudo isn't installed by default. But of course I have a way to do something like that. Everybody who could possibly use such function of BM can already do it without and they should know best how to do it on their system. There is no need to add such functionality to BM just because something like that has always been there.

I'll skip over the rest of your post where you again describe the possibilities of your farm. I'm sure it's evolved over years, you've put a lot of work in it, carefully configured it to you needs and you know what you're doing. Please stop taking that as an example of what is possible, you can't expect anything like that on the systems we're talking about. Most of what you describe won't be available at all, or in an unknown state, and you can't hope for any help from the administrator.
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Les Bayliss

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Message 91091 - Posted: 14 Apr 2019, 23:20:40 UTC
Last modified: 14 Apr 2019, 23:23:09 UTC

Stepping carefully into this heated discussion:

I have 3 computers running Linux Mint 18.3. They all run on their own, with the only connection being a router to get to the internet.
I guess I'm an intermediate user.

Currently they are using Wine to get a "Windows" version of BOINC, because that's all that's available at present at cpdn.
On the rare occasions that Linux models are available, I install whatever the latest BOINC is from the Ubuntu repo in service mode.
This ends up where ever "they" decide it should.
(edit: Unless it's still there from the last time.)

The only fiddling that I do, is to run "Files" to look into the folders and see how deep I can get.
Then I use a terminal window to go to that spot, and sudo chmod to create an "Other" user with read only permissions.
I do this until I can get to the project's folder, and then Exit from terminal.

Now I can see the project's files, and the time that they were created, while just an ordinary user.

If something goes wrong and everything locks up, (not often), I Suspend models and BOINC, Exit BOINC, and then reboot.

I also don't use Snooze.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 91092 - Posted: 15 Apr 2019, 7:08:24 UTC - in response to Message 91091.  

If something goes wrong and everything locks up, (not often), I Suspend models and BOINC, Exit BOINC, and then reboot.
That's the bit where your experience overlaps into this enquiry. When you say 'Exit BOINC', can you confirm whether your intention is to exit the Manager, the service, or both? What control do you use to effect the Exit?
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floyd

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Message 91093 - Posted: 15 Apr 2019, 8:01:28 UTC - in response to Message 91091.  

Stepping carefully into this heated discussion
Gary and I have repeatedly tried to explain our views which are so fundamentally different that they're only partly understood by the other side. From my side there's no need to continue this and I was just about to say that more opinions are very welcome. I'm not likely to change mine though. ;-)
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floyd

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Message 91094 - Posted: 15 Apr 2019, 8:38:44 UTC - in response to Message 91087.  

They can also suspend all projects indefinitely, without limit of time - which might be almost as bad as stopping the service.
Isn't that just what people try to achieve when they stop the service? Or do they also want to remove the applications from memory? Could't that be done without actually stopping the client? In that case it wouldn't be a problem to simply resume.

The 'snooze' action is distinctively different, because it sets a 60 minute timer: BOINC restarts even if the user has left the building. And it's relevant here, because the same Debian developer has also proposed "Disable BOINC Manager system tray icon on Linux platforms". And 'snooze' can only be invoked from the system tray icon.
I'm using Debian and the icon always seemed useless. It appears when the manager is started (and it usually isn't) and it disappears when the manager is stopped. I always thought it was just a shortcut to the running manager and it never occurred to me that it could do something that I couldn't do directly from the manager. But no, I don't need that snooze function. And to be useful the icon would have to always be there, without the running manager, and also allow suspend and resume. Some independent Manager Light somehow. But as I said, I don't need it and I wouldn't mind if it was removed.

Now that I've for the first time tried to use the icon I notice confusing interactions between the icon and the manager GUI. Is there any documentation on what the icon is supposed to do in detail?
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 91095 - Posted: 15 Apr 2019, 8:53:01 UTC - in response to Message 91094.  

I'm not immediately aware of any formal documentation on the tray icon, but I'll have a look later. Also, I'm a Windows user, so not all features may be identical: but from memory, the tray icon actions are:

double-click: restores a minimised Manager to its previous on-screen position.
right-click: context menu including suspend, snooze, about, exit.
hover (no click): tooltip with current activity status.
no action: alert for new arrivals in the 'notices' tab.

The tray icon is displayed by the main BOINC Manager application, not (as is frequently misunderstood) by the separate windows 'boinctray.exe' applet which monitors mouse and keyboard activity to detect when the computer is "in use" (as BOINC defines it).
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 91096 - Posted: 15 Apr 2019, 9:08:22 UTC - in response to Message 91094.  

They can also suspend all projects indefinitely, without limit of time - which might be almost as bad as stopping the service.
Isn't that just what people try to achieve when they stop the service? Or do they also want to remove the applications from memory? Could't that be done without actually stopping the client? In that case it wouldn't be a problem to simply resume.
I think that 'active users' more often use the 'shut down connected client' or 'stop service' tools prior to carrying out configuration, maintenance, or upgrade changes which can only be carried out when the client is inactive. For computers which are shut down at certain times of day for energy conservation reasons (either overnight when the user is asleep, or during the heat of the day where air conditioning is in use), some long-running project applications are felt to be sensitive to abrupt closedowns and are better handled with a deliberate BOINC 'stop' before the computer shutdown. Les runs one of those projects - note how his troubleshooting/maintenance routine involves a triple action - suspend, exit, reboot. That comes from experience with his favoured project.
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robsmith
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Message 91097 - Posted: 15 Apr 2019, 11:29:08 UTC

...and brings to the fore the difference in behaviour between projects that the BOINC developers must bear in mind when changing the way things works (and this applies to just about any operating system one cares to mention).


Thinking back to something Keith(?) said - Would it be possible to have an install-time option that gave something along the lines of a "deferred or instant" start. This option being to allow the installing user to either have BOINC start instantly on computer start, or controlled by the user to start sometime later.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 91098 - Posted: 15 Apr 2019, 12:39:43 UTC - in response to Message 91097.  

Cogent reasons for something like 'delayed start' have been expressed at SETI - in particular, to allow time to ensure that video drivers, and hence GPU runtime components, have initialised and are ready for use.

It's on my ToDo list to pass those back to the developers in the context of this service discussion, but I want to get the fine-tuning of the available controls across first.
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Jim1348

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Message 91100 - Posted: 15 Apr 2019, 15:01:56 UTC

I am not sure what the question is, but I know what the answer is. Create a "User" installable BOINC that runs in the Home directory. Apparently that raises some security concerns. By whom? Not I. I am a home user behind a firewall and would get rid of a lot of the Linux restrictions if I could (I run Ubuntu 16.04/18.04). If they ever want to make it user friendly (not the issue here I know), they will do a UAC like Microsoft, but that appears beyond them.

The number of people running BOINC on secure corporate, government or military systems is probably vanishingly small. I think you would gain far more users by making it easy to use than satisfying some hypothetical security concerns.

By the way, I have learned how to grant all the necessary permissions, and use the Locutus of Borg repository to get the latest version. As for the Manager in Linux, I don't use it, since I have never found anything useful it can do. I use BoincTasks remotely over the LAN, if that helps to answer your original question. So I can live with anything you do with the Linux version, but don't know why I have to.
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Les Bayliss

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Message 91101 - Posted: 15 Apr 2019, 22:52:09 UTC - in response to Message 91092.  

If something goes wrong and everything locks up, (not often), I Suspend models and BOINC, Exit BOINC, and then reboot.
That's the bit where your experience overlaps into this enquiry. When you say 'Exit BOINC', can you confirm whether your intention is to exit the Manager, the service, or both? What control do you use to effect the Exit?


Ah, silly me. I mean/intend both, but it seems from reading this thread that might not be the case.

Exit is there in the Manager's menu, so I use it.
I'm not sure now if I always tick the 1st box in the pop up, (something about "stopping the tasks"), but I think so. Not the "Remember" box though.

But the models have all been individually Suspended, as has BOINC, so I assume that nothing is running, and it's safe to power down the computer without crashing any of the climate models.
I haven't had problems doing it this way yet, but then I've had power failures that haven't taken out any models, (and a couple of occasions when it has), so it may be over kill, but some of these little monsters are definitely touchy.
And getting worse.

Just had a thought: Is there any reason NOT to have redundancy in how some things are done?
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Gary Roberts

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Message 91104 - Posted: 16 Apr 2019, 3:48:40 UTC - in response to Message 91093.  
Last modified: 16 Apr 2019, 3:50:05 UTC

Stepping carefully into this heated discussion
Gary and I have repeatedly tried to explain our views which are so fundamentally different that they're only partly understood by the other side. From my side there's no need to continue this and I was just about to say that more opinions are very welcome. I'm not likely to change mine though. ;-)
A couple of small points for anyone reading.

There is no heat in this discussion. The points of view may be different, but not fundamentally so. It's really just a 'debate' with the ultimate view of providing any reader with the various points from which they can make their own judgements about the matter. Both sides in a debate will inevitably make their points as strongly as possible. There should be no animosity involved. I have detected none and I'm not trying to deliver any.

I fully agree with Floyd's final comment - we've made our respective opinions known, we've shaken hands and agreed to differ, and we respect each others' opinions and the right to hold them. People can take from it whatever they wish.
Cheers,
Gary.
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Gary Roberts

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Message 91105 - Posted: 16 Apr 2019, 4:48:12 UTC - in response to Message 91087.  

The discussion has moved on since you read it ...
If by that you mean garnered more replies, then certainly yes, but if you mean the mood has changed or the overall opinion is different, I didn't see that.

I find myself very much agreeing with Raistmer's views, as stated in a series of posts, starting with this one. I also agree with Keith's stated views both at SETI and in the github thread. I'm not trying to single anyone out. There were many other comments that I could have mentioned.

Without really understanding the complexities that might be involved, I think Raistmer's suggestion of two separate scenarios (as mentioned in the message I linked to) would be the way to go. It should be possible to have just one complete source tree with full functionality and leave it up to the individual distros to configure the separate styles of use if they so desired. I imagine it could be just up to the package maintainer to tweak certain config options before building. Individuals building for themselves could get what is currently available with nothing removed by using defaults for those options.
Cheers,
Gary.
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Profile Dave

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Message 91106 - Posted: 16 Apr 2019, 5:04:33 UTC

My situation, Xubuntu 19.04 having just upgraded. When tasks for my main project are available natively under Linux I run them. However, when not available I run Windows tasks using WINE.

If the choice to stop the client using the manager goes, I then will start using sudo kill xxxx where xxxx is the process number of the client. Not a great hardship but I would much refer to do this via the manager.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 91140 - Posted: 18 Apr 2019, 13:19:11 UTC

We've just finished the developer conference call, and we reached a consensus that the proposal to remove the menus items from Linux will be shelved for now - the menus remain unchanged for general users. It's possible that they might still be removed from the service installs made from repository distributions, but that would be selective and wouldn't impact home users building from source.

Later, we'll try to find time to investigate the whole Linux situation - User / Service modes, and starting / stopping the client in each mode - in more depth. Your comments here will be most useful, but in the meantime, please considered the first phase of this consultation closed. Thanks for your input.
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Specter7

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Message 91844 - Posted: 15 Jun 2019, 9:00:49 UTC - in response to Message 91056.  
Last modified: 15 Jun 2019, 9:02:37 UTC

Hello,

I'm using what I believe is the latest BOINC Manager (7.9 something) on my old Sony VGN-FZ150E laptop running Lubuntu 18.04 LTS. I'm a beginner to Linux and definitely an unwilling refugee from Windows, since support for Windows Vista, the original OS that came with this laptop, ended.

I for one need the manual suspend activity function in the BOINC Manager, since I'm unable to save any performance changes in preferences. The window form doesn't allow for mouse-clicked corner resizing to show the off-screen save button for changed settings nor does the maximize button on the top right corner function to show the hidden, off-screen save button. The unchangeable, for me at least, default preferences in BOINC eat up my computer resources causing my computer to slow to a crawl, thus requiring me to manually suspend activity to actually use my computer. If novice Linux users like me have less control with the proposed changes, then we will have to remove BOINC in order to use our computers when we hit unfixable or unchangeable performance snags.

As a side note, I can only access the preferences in advanced view, since the default simple view shows a blank form (window) when accessing preferences. It took me awhile to realize this.

Oops, sorry. I didn't realize this was closed.
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floyd

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Message 91845 - Posted: 15 Jun 2019, 10:43:37 UTC - in response to Message 91844.  

Specter7,

that is not the topic of this thread. If your problem persists you should start a new one.

I use BOINC Manager 7.6.33 on Debian + Xfce and I can't confirm any of your observations except the Preferences window not being resizeable. But then the initial size is just right to show all contents. I think you should first delete or rename ".BOINC Manager", just in case anything is messed up in there. Then check your window manager's settings for anything that affects window size or placement. If nothing helps I think you should be able to get something later than BOINC 7.9 for Ubuntu. Search these forums for "Locutus" for more information.

You should also be able to use keyboard shortcuts. Alt-O for OK and Esc for Cancel work for me, Alt-C doesn't. This may also be subject to window manager settings.
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braiam

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Message 92428 - Posted: 9 Aug 2019, 0:42:10 UTC - in response to Message 91088.  
Last modified: 9 Aug 2019, 0:43:02 UTC

That wouldn't work for me on Debian because sudo isn't installed by default. But of course I have a way to do something like that


Systemd has a way to do activate the polkit authorization dialog box. Most software that wants to start/stop services, could just ask systemd to ask permission in their behalf. I'm not sure if systemd has an api, most Gnome software I have use dbus calls. And despite all these solutions, I recommend the manager to not have those, since there's no guarantee that the manager and client would run in the same system (bare metal or virtualized one).

Personally, I think the manager should become instead a GUI interface to an RPC listener. Deluge is an excellent example of that. There's a single paragraph about the way deluged built their gui https://dev.deluge-torrent.org/wiki/Development/1.3/UIClient but it's enough to know what they are doing in high level.
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Profile Dave

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Message 92432 - Posted: 9 Aug 2019, 6:27:59 UTC

Just re-read all/most of thread. Like Les, I run both the Windows and Linux versions of BOINC on my Linux machines. I stop the running client before exiting because otherwise the Windows one doesn't start and I get a message saying, "unable to connect to running client" or something like that. As has been noted, the way manager and client are integrated in the windows version means if I exit BOINC, stopping the running client it starts again when I next run the manager while running the Linux version I have to use the command,

sudo systemctl restart boinc-client
It is to saving having to use the kill command that makes me glad that the idea to get rid of stopping the running client has been shelved. It would be nice if there were a gui way to start it again though! Not a big issue for myself but sometimes I install Linux on machines for people who don't want to use Windows for ideological reasons but who wish to use their computers in a largely set and forget way just as they would have with Windows. For them remembering commands to type in a terminal just isn't going to happen!
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Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users

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