VBox/Multi-process task issues; 0 CPU usage / 1 CPU usage out of 8 / 16.

Message boards : Questions and problems : VBox/Multi-process task issues; 0 CPU usage / 1 CPU usage out of 8 / 16.
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Message 106223 - Posted: 28 Nov 2021, 19:58:16 UTC
Last modified: 28 Nov 2021, 20:01:00 UTC

Win 7; Boinc 7.16.20 x64 (current).
Hardware: Ryzen 16 core (8 physical); 16GB Ram

I've been using BOINC intermittently for ~10 years, usually over winter ("free" heating), and the last ~4 years on this computer.
Today I've installed and started BOINC but I'm seeing very low CPU usage for LHC@Home and Cosmology@Home.


LHC@Home has a task:
"Running (8CPUs)" - but it's only running a single task on a single CPU (via VBox).
I aborted the task and another one started: Same problem.
Negligble RAM usage


Cosmology@Home ("camb_boinc2docker 2.05 vbox_mt"):
"Running (16 CPUs) - there's no task for this anywhere and it's not using any CPU at all, but Adv Boinc Manager is quite clearly thinking it's running. Progress is at 0.100% and not going anywhere.

Aborted and started another one: Does nothing; Jumps to 0.100% but no CPU usage.


I installed the regular BOINC, not the VBox one; I already have a VBox installed (5.2.8).

I know there's negligible CPU for lots of reasons:
* Fans aren't spooling up.
* I have a hardware monitor that tells me the power draw etc for the CPU
* Process explorer

Regular Multi-process tasks (Number@Home, Cosmology@Home legacy) stuff is working 100% fine.

What's going on here? How do I filter out the vbox stuff given it's not working? Are there any other CPU-bound projects?
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Harri Liljeroos

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Message 106225 - Posted: 28 Nov 2021, 22:47:43 UTC - in response to Message 106223.  

On LHC there are project settings which allow you to select which subprojects to run. Sixtrack is the only one that does not use VBox but currently it does not have any tasks available apart from some re-sends.

Atlas is the only one of their VBox tasks that is using multi threading. Note that it needs a lot of RAM if you use 8 CPU cores, the formula to calculate required RAM is 3000 MB + (n * 900 MB) (for 8 CPUs that is 10200 MB). So you cannot run much anything else at the same time on that computer. On LHC project preferences you can limit the number of CPUs to reduce the memory requirements. There is an excellent VBox checklist at LHC site that you should checkout: https://lhcathome.cern.ch/lhcathome/forum_thread.php?id=4161&postid=29359#29359

Theory and CMS tasks at LHC use only single CPU core per task on VBox. Their memory usage is also smaller (Theory ~ 700 MB and CMS ~ 2800 MB per task).

I encourage you to ask your questions at the projects number crunching or Atlas/Theory/CMS forums as there is the best knowledge about them. Anyway the LHC VBox tasks are notoriously tricky to get running correctly and sometimes they will stop working without any warning, so they are not for the faint-hearted.
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Profile Bill Freauff

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Message 106240 - Posted: 30 Nov 2021, 3:30:19 UTC

The Rosetta project has started to use VBox on their rosetta python projects app. It still has some infancy issues but is getting better. Again it uses a lot of Ram. If you don't have enough you will see messages to that effect in your event log. I am successfully running one at time on a Dell laptop.

Bill F
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Message 106241 - Posted: 30 Nov 2021, 7:42:25 UTC

To clarify regarding Rosetta VBox tasks, they reserve 8GB of RAM but don't actually use loads.

Hopefully the Rosetta tasks are being remade to reserve less RAM so more can run in parallel.
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Message boards : Questions and problems : VBox/Multi-process task issues; 0 CPU usage / 1 CPU usage out of 8 / 16.

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