File-Select Computer

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Profile adrianxw
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Message 95883 - Posted: 17 Feb 2020, 20:09:23 UTC

I have two machines under my desk, both run BOINC 24/7. Until just now, if I wanted to see what the other machine was doing etc. I'd press a button on a box on my desk which "shares" the keyboard and mouse between the two machines. It can also switch the screen IF the screen is connected with VGA connectors, mine is not. So I switch the desktop devices, and move the screen plug between the two machines by hand. This situation has been the case for years.
I saw, a few minutes ago, on the "File" tab of BOINC Manager, there is an item called "Select Computer". I wondered, not unreasonably I think, if this could be used to allow me to monitor both machines, one at a time, without needing to do the current switching. Since both machines are connected to ports on the same desktop router, this did not strike me as unreasonable.
It asked for the computers name and password, okay, fair enough, I entered those, and it replied:
The password you have provided is incorrect, please try again.
The BOINC Manager window cleared. Trying to connect to back to the first machine, are, exactly the same. Now, I cannot see what is going on with either machine.
Wave upon wave of demented avengers march cheerfully out of obscurity into the dream.
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Message 95884 - Posted: 17 Feb 2020, 22:10:41 UTC - in response to Message 95883.  

To see what happens on remote machines, you need a little more work: https://boinc.berkeley.edu/wiki/Controlling_BOINC_remotely
Your present problem can probably be fixed by exiting & restarting the clients and managers.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 95885 - Posted: 17 Feb 2020, 22:15:44 UTC - in response to Message 95883.  

1) The box under your desk is known as a KVM, or 'keyboard-video-mouse' switch. They are available for VGA, DVI and (probably) HDMI - I've only used the first two. And the KM part might be PS/2 or USB.

2) For the "Select Computer" part, read Controlling BOINC remotely. The 'password' in question is the contents of gui_rpc_auth.cfg on the remote computer. The default values are empty (Linux) or a random 32-character string (Windows). Neither is very helpful. This value is only used for controlling BOINC, and for any domestic home network is not a high-security item. My own is an eight character string, starting with 'p' and ending with 'd'.

To get control of your primary machine back, use the menu item for 'select computer', and leave both boxes blank. That should give you control of the local machine.
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Message 95888 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 7:37:11 UTC
Last modified: 18 Feb 2020, 7:39:53 UTC

Thanks Richard, the "leave it blank" method worked and I can, once again, see the BOINC manager window on here. I'll try setting a password, sorry, I mean p******d, up, the replugging of the monitor cable is the only part under the desk. As I get older, the pains in my back increase, so being able to switch from the desktop would be a definite bonus.
Jord, your method would probably also have been fine, but Richards was a little easier. Cheers mate.
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Bryn Mawr
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Message 95898 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 13:33:47 UTC

I’ve tried this and not yet managed to get it to work.

Are the contents of gui_rpc_auth.cfg just the characters of the password or do you need, for example, password=xyz.

Is the system name literally the pc’s hardware name or it’s IP address or ...

And coming in from a different location do you have to set up a hosts file or is it better to leave that blank (for dynamic ip addressing).

Tia
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Message 95900 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 14:09:10 UTC - in response to Message 95898.  
Last modified: 18 Feb 2020, 14:16:34 UTC

I just entered the text string I wanted, worked fine - after a while. I tried this earlier and it did not seem to work, but came back after lunch and all seemed to be working. I don't know if there is a time element, or possibly a reboot of the "to be controlled" system - I did that, for an unrelated reason, but it is something I did.
At the prompt, I enter the system name, and the password I'd put there, both plain text.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 95906 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 14:46:00 UTC - in response to Message 95898.  

Are the contents of gui_rpc_auth.cfg just the characters of the password or do you need, for example, password=xyz.
Just the password. Best not even to have an end-of-line character.

After changing the contents of the file, you should restart the BOINC client so it's expecting the new password in the future. That explains adrianxw's point as well (no waiting time, just the restart).

Is the system name literally the pc’s hardware name or it’s IP address or ...
Can be either - I prefer to use the hardware name.

And coming in from a different location do you have to set up a hosts file or is it better to leave that blank (for dynamic ip addressing).
Whatever suits your networking setup. I prefer to use DHCP. Because IP addresses can change on a dynamic network, it's easier to allow remote control via cc_config.xml, rather than listing them all, or a wildcard, in remote_hosts.cfg

I see the cc_config option is missing from the 'remote control' page - see Client configuration - Options instead. I suppose we should update that doc - the option may be more recent.
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Message 95907 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 14:51:21 UTC

I wanted to replace a fan, hence a quick shutdown, replace, restart, coincidence.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 95908 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 15:03:55 UTC - in response to Message 95906.  

I see the cc_config option is missing from the 'remote control' page - see Client configuration - Options instead. I suppose we should update that doc - the option may be more recent.
It's there now.
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robsmith
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Message 95917 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 15:58:27 UTC

They are available for VGA, DVI and (probably) HDMI

Having a different collection of monitors to you I would say VGA, HDMI and maybe DVI ;-)

Very useful devices, and well worth having at least one if you have multiple computers as they can save a lot of grovelling around in the backs of racks, under desks etc.
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Message 95919 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 16:11:12 UTC - in response to Message 95917.  

If you saw how much my 8-port DVI model cost (GBP 'ouch'), you'd know why I keep using it, with HDMI <--> DVI adapters as needed (free with some card models, a few years ago - never throw anything away!)
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Message 95921 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 16:24:57 UTC

Only "ouch"?
So glad I skipped DVI and went from VGA to HDMI.....
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Bryn Mawr
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Message 95926 - Posted: 18 Feb 2020, 17:14:08 UTC

Many thanks both, I’d used read config files rather than do a full restart which might explain why it did not work.
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Message 95950 - Posted: 19 Feb 2020, 10:46:07 UTC
Last modified: 19 Feb 2020, 10:50:46 UTC

When I see the BOINC Manager window here, it says at the top "BOINC Manager". If I do a "select computer" and choose, for example, my "Frogmore" machine, it then says "BOINC Manager - (Frogmore)". If I then do a select, and leave the fields blank, it returns to this machines info and the title returns to the original. Would it not be a good idea if the window heading ALWAYS showed the name of the computer to which the info presented described?
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Bryn Mawr
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Message 95951 - Posted: 19 Feb 2020, 11:10:01 UTC - in response to Message 95926.  

Many thanks both, I’d used read config files rather than do a full restart which might explain why it did not work.


It was, a reboot and the job’s a good’un :-)
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Message 95953 - Posted: 19 Feb 2020, 12:36:22 UTC - in response to Message 95950.  

BOINC Manager when it first starts (in the day) just reads the information from the gui_rpc_auth.cfg file which either holds a password or not. It doesn't hold the machine's name.
I suspect that the machine's DNS name was added to the remote_hosts.cfg file, and that's why you get to see the name for the remote computer populated in the Select Computer drop down.
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Message 95956 - Posted: 19 Feb 2020, 13:09:51 UTC
Last modified: 19 Feb 2020, 13:32:27 UTC

The name of the current host can be obtained using the function gethostname.

int gethostname(
char *name,
int namelen
);

I would expect Linux/MacOS to have a similar function, it is a reasonable thing to want after all.
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Richard Haselgrove
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Message 95959 - Posted: 19 Feb 2020, 16:28:54 UTC

I currently have five different BOINC Manager windows available on this machine - one for the local host, and four for different remote machines on my network (two Windows, two Linux). When I reboot locally (perhaps once a month), I re-setup those connections by computer name - BOINC Manager (I presume) gets the IP addresses from the DHCP or DNS servers in my router.

Once set up, I can see the computer name for each instance in three places - the title bar of the main window on screen, the miniature image popped up from the Windows task bar, and the tray icon balloon in the notification area. It's one of the subtle little touches that the early developers were quite good at embedding in BOINC - and it makes life a lot easier.
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Message 95962 - Posted: 19 Feb 2020, 19:09:03 UTC
Last modified: 19 Feb 2020, 19:15:53 UTC

Interesting Richard. How did you do that? If I try to start another boincmanager, it closes and sets focus to the one already on the screen. If I copy the executable and try to run it, it fails due to sqlite3.dll etc. being missing, copying the dlls into the same directory fixes that, but gets me no further.
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Message 95963 - Posted: 19 Feb 2020, 19:34:25 UTC - in response to Message 95962.  

It's not running a whole new copy of the Manager - it's just a new window spawned by the already-running app.

File menu, top item: "New BOINC Manager window..."
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Message boards : BOINC Manager : File-Select Computer

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