Posts by Richard Haselgrove

1) Message boards : The Lounge : That traveling Dutchman is coming back to Britain (Message 91161)
Posted 19 hours ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
You'll be glad you missed this on your last visit to Richard's part of the country. Ilkley Moor fire: Crews battling 'intense' moorland blaze
Haven't been up there to investigate yet - it's centred on the other side of the moor from me - but we often see small columns of smoke from up there. Bradford Council has banned game shooting on the public parts of the moor, but the private parts are actively managed for, I think, grouse, and the old heather is burned off in late winter to encourage new ground cover for the young chicks in spring.

As usual, the media is getting over excited about their 'dramatic' pictures: Notre Dame it ain't. A few years ago (2006), we had Aftermath of moor fire will be felt for years, with supposedly centuries of peat below the heather destroyed for ever. It was back to normal within a couple of years, with a bit of normal winter rainfall and regrowth. The fire crews will have a bit of extra overtime because of some silly picnicker, and then it'll be forgotten when the regular news cycle picks up again. Check LBA current conditions for a more realistic view.
2) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91140)
Posted 3 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
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.
3) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Limit Work By CPU Core Temperature (Message 91108)
Posted 5 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
Take a look at TThrottle, which has been written independently to work alongside BOINC and do what you suggest.
4) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91098)
Posted 6 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
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.
5) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91096)
Posted 6 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
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.
6) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91095)
Posted 6 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
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).
7) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91092)
Posted 6 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
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?
8) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91087)
Posted 7 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
Richard, thanks for the link to the SETI discussion.
The discussion has moved on since you read it, and we've had quite a discussion about root and sudo. I'm clearer now, and I've taken the liberty of reposting your ITMOTB link.

I think it's worth reposting part of my latest thoughts here too.

I think the proposal which led to this discussion came from the Debian stable, which I think counts as "real *nix"? The originator's actual words are:

by default on Linux BOINC runs as a service, the GUI must not stop it.
(my emphasis). He seems to be envisaging a situation where an individual using the computer has access to BOINC Manager and can use the tools therein, but doesn't have access to any tool (whether root or sudo) which can restart the service once stopped.

We don't know what any such user might be using the computer for. We do know from discussions here some reasons why a user might wish to stop or snooze BOINC (and I'll come back to the distinction later)

- passive video display (watching a film, without mouse or keyboard activity)
- active video, such as gaming
- thermal control, including reducing noise from the cooling system
- foreground computing tasks requiring fullest resource utilisation

Most of these can be managed automatically by preference settings such as 'suspend while computer is in use' and '[don't] leave tasks in memory while suspended' - which a user with full GUI access can fiddle with. They also have access to daily schedules, so they can set 'BOINC all night, but not when I'm working' or similar.

They can also suspend all projects indefinitely, without limit of time - which might be almost as bad as stopping the service.

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.
9) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91078)
Posted 8 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
Yes, Gary has identified the correct precursor that led to this discussion (and - when this one got off to a slow start - a parallel discussion at SETI).

It seemed to me that the proposed change - removing, for example, the tools to stop a running client - came from a contributor who was firmly in the 'Linux as multiuser' camp, who had failed to consider the wider environment.

Computer science is evolving all the time. When the Linpack top-500 list was first compiled in June 1993, the top-10 page contained Cray supercomputers with 16 cores, and NEC machines with just four cores. The current (November 2018) top 10 still contains Crays, but the smallest has 387,872 Intel Xeon cores and an unknown number of Tesla P100 GPUs. I think I'd call that a cluster, rather than a computer.

Similarly, operating systems keep evolving. I think that it's wrong to characterise Linux as multiuser and Windows as single user: Gary has made the case for the single-user mode of operation with Linux, but Windows is multi-user, too.

Windows is commonly installed in corporate settings where individual nodes run under group policies centrally set by a Windows server running as a Domain Controller. That even allows features like hot-desking - an individual user with access rights controlled by an administrator can log on to any node on the system, and find that their installed programs, data folders, and even desktop appearance follow them from place to place. But they still wouldn't have the power to install BOINC on any of them. An IT support worker with the (jealously guarded!) master password would have to do that for them. I'm always amused when a public display screen, ticket machine, or bank ATM is stuck on a Windows XP boot error message.

I think that BOINC should be as flexible as possible, and that contributors from one particular historical background shouldn't mould it too rigidly into their particular world-view. But I started this thread to gather alternative opinions, aware that I shouldn't be too rigid about my own world-view, either.
10) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91075)
Posted 9 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
It would be a nightmare for a BOINC developer to maintain all those possibilities.
Would it be possible for BOINC (centrally) to define a name for a script to be run, and for the package maintainers to define the contents of the named script for their distro?
11) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91074)
Posted 9 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
Therefore the ability to stop the Client should be removed. There are clear alternatives to just removing the option and I now wonder why they where never mentioned in the github PR or issue.
Here, here. That's why I got involved, and why we're having this discussion.

My feeling is that the advocates of the current issue / PR had a particular (and narrow) view of 'the typical Linux user' - probably guided by the Linux users in their personal workspace - and proposed solutions that seemed natural for that particular stereotypical user.
12) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91072)
Posted 9 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
...there is a different "UAC" system (visual sudo) in every distribution...
Users say they only know of gksudo, and it was deprecated in Ubuntu from 18.04

Ubuntu forums suggest sudo -H

Ideas?

Edit - https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/umit/+bug/1740618
13) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91071)
Posted 9 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
But surely that's something the package preparer (repo manager) can configure for the distro they're in charge of? That's where this whole subject originated.
14) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91069)
Posted 9 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
@ Christian,

I think things have moved on a little since the situation you describe. I used to run BOINC in service mode under Windows XP, but all my recent installations have been in user mode because of the Windows 7 (and later) restrictions on GPU drivers.

So today, as part of this enquiry, I installed BOINC in service mode on a newish, cleanish machine running Windows 10 Pro v1809. I took the plain vanilla installer for v7.14.2 from the download page here. Everything worked as I remembered, and all the stop/start/snooze/suspend/resume controls worked as normal.

Except for one. I could shut down the connected client immediately, but when I tried to restart the Client from the Manager, I had to acknowledge a Windows UAC dialog confirming that I wanted to make changes to the system.

I think that highlights that all communications between the Client and the Manager (information display in one direction, command and control in the other direction) are handled by network RPC protocols: these bypass all the user account and security sandboxes, and explain why you can manage a remote machine in exactly the same way as you manage your local machine (the only possible block is at the firewall level).

Starting the client in service mode, under a different user security regime, is the only time that the Manager has to work with operating system security protocols - and I think that applies equally to Windows and Linux.
15) Message boards : BOINC Manager : Opinions requested from home Linux users (Message 91056)
Posted 10 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
I'm a user of BOINC under Windows. I'm familiar with the the separate Client and Manager components; the difference between Service mode (runs when no user is logged in) and User mode (required under Windows for GPU computing, because of driver restrictions); how to stop, pause, snooze and restart the client; and much else.

All of these apply to the Linux version of BOINC as well. I think the only significant change to what I've just said is that GPUs can be used in Service mode under Linux.

Because Windows is controlled centrally by Microsoft, there are few active versions in circulation at any one time, and it is relatively easy for the BOINC developers to manage 'one size fits all' in the Windows desktop environment. But Linux is available in multiple different flavours, and with multiple alternative desktop environments (or so I understand - I don't pretend to know the details).

For this reason, BOINC distribution has been largely delegated to the distribution managers who maintain the software installation packages. By default, these distributions of BOINC are installed in Service mode.

There is a move to make the Linux version of BOINC effectively 'Service Mode Only', and to remove certain controls which a Windows would expect to find in their user-mode interface: the ability to snooze the client from the system tray icon, for example, and to 'Shut down the connected client' (local or remote) from the main BOINC Manager menu.

I'm in regular contact with BOINC developers, but I'm not competent to debate the merits or de-merits of this particular proposal. Hence this consultation thread. Please add your comments, and perhaps indicate your particular Linux flavour, and your level of experience with it (advanced, intermediate, beginner, or refugee from Windows...)
16) Message boards : Questions and problems : Presence of "Ghosts Tasks" prevents Downloads ? (Message 91054)
Posted 10 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
The original statement you queried was "Checking presence of 572 project files". Note the word 'files'. These are data files stored on the hard disk of your computer by the project - they include the application programs used to run the tasks, graphics used in Simple View, the buttons in advanced view to link to different pages on the project website. They will also include any data files used for any of the tasks, but there isn't a 1-to-1 correlation between 'files' and 'tasks'.
17) Message boards : Questions and problems : Presence of "Ghosts Tasks" prevents Downloads ? (Message 91052)
Posted 10 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
I'd also say that those messages don't look like standard BOINC messages. WCG uses different server code from the rest of BOINC, so it's probably better to ask on the WCG forums as well.
18) Message boards : The Lounge : The Seti is Down Cafe (Message 91041)
Posted 11 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
Well, I saw that can't be found message too and it loaded instantly indicating no entry. About 5 seconds later if found the Beta webpage. Took me another few seconds to retry main and it was back. So transient here and I'm using Google public DNS, not the flaky ISP's DNS.

As several people are reporting it, I'm wondering if there is an update to the DNS records for berkeley.edu being propagated.
Seems you've hit the nail on the head:

Start: 2019-04-10 12:32:00 PDT
End: n/a
Severity: Minor Performance Issue
Status: Identified
The network team has received reports of DNS lookup issues which may impact off campus users attempting to access campus web sites and other applications.

The team is currently investigating.

CMR: INC0847343
http://systemstatus.berkeley.edu/incident/detail?i=20508
19) Message boards : The Lounge : The Seti is Down Cafe (Message 91037)
Posted 11 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
Well, your list is more up to date.
It's only the dates that were updated, the last time I gave it a thorough test - I didn't need to update the IP addresses. Just added the web server for completeness.
20) Message boards : The Lounge : The Seti is Down Cafe (Message 91032)
Posted 11 days ago by Richard Haselgrove
Post:
My current list is

# 208.68.240.118	setiboincdata.ssl.berkeley.edu	# upload server Aug 2017
# 208.68.240.110	boinc2.ssl.berkeley.edu		# download server Aug 2017
# 208.68.240.126	setiboinc.ssl.berkeley.edu	# scheduler Aug 2017
# 208.68.240.127	boinc2.ssl.berkeley.edu		# download server Aug 2017
# 208.68.240.110	setiathome.berkeley.edu		# website Aug 2017
You only want to un-comment one of the two download servers at a time.


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