Version 97 (modified by davea, 11 years ago) (diff)


Project configuration

The following elements in the <config> section of your config.xml file control various aspects of your project. All booleans can be expressed as

<tag>1</tag>  (true)
<tag>0</tag>  (false)
<tag/>        (true)




If set, send at most one instance of a given job to a given user. This increases the effectiveness of replication-based validation by making it more difficult for hackers to get all the instances of a given job.


If present, send at most one result of a given workunit to a given host. This is weaker than one_result_per_user_per_wu; it is useful if you're using homogeneous redundancy and most of the hosts of a particular class belong to a single user.

<min_sendwork_interval> N </min_sendwork_interval>

Minimum number of seconds between sending jobs to a given host. You can use this to limit the impact of faulty hosts.

<max_wus_in_progress> N </max_wus_in_progress>
<max_wus_in_progress_gpu> M </max_wus_in_progress_gpu>

Limit the number of jobs in progress on a given host (and thus limit average turnaround time). Starting with 6.8, the BOINC client report the resources used by in-progress jobs; in this case, the max CPU jobs in progress is N*NCPUS and the max GPU jobs in progress is M*NGPUs. Otherwise, the overall maximum is N*NCPUS + M*NGPUS).

<gpu_multiplier> GM </gpu_multiplier>

If your project uses GPUs, set this to roughly the ratio of GPU speed to CPU speed. Used in the calculation of job limits (see next 2 items).

<max_wus_to_send> N </max_wus_to_send>

Maximum jobs returned per scheduler RPC is N*(NCPUS + GM*NGPUS). You can use this to limit the impact of faulty hosts. Default is 10.

<daily_result_quota> N </daily_result_quota>

Each host has a field MRD in the interval [1 .. daily_result_quota]; it's initially daily_result_quota, and is adjusted as the host sends good or bad results. The maximum number of jobs sent to a given host in a 24-hour period is MRD*(NCPUS + GM*NGPUS). You can use this to limit the impact of faulty hosts.


By default, results are not sent to hosts too slow to complete them within delay bound. If this flag is set, this rule is not enforced.


Any host for which os_name<tab>os_version matches the given regular expression will not be sent jobs. This is a POSIX extended regular expression.


Any host for which p_vendor<tab>p_model matches the given regular expression will not be sent jobs. This is a POSIX extended regular expression.


Do a simulation, based on current client workload, in deciding whether a job's deadline can be met.


If zero (default) don't use the homogeneous redundancy mechanism. Otherwise, specifies the granularity of host classification (1=fine, 2=coarse).


If set, user application selection applies to beta test applications as well as others.

<nowork_skip> 0|1 </nowork_skip>

If the scheduler has no work, it replies to RPCs without doing any database access (e.g., without looking up the user or host record). This reduces DB load, but it fails to update preferences when users click on Update. Use it if your server DB is overloaded.


Set this if some of your hosts run multiple BOINC clients simultaneously (this is the case on projects that use Condor and/or grid resources, which require each client to use only 1 CPU). If set, the scheduler will skip a check that tries to locate the host based on its IP address.


An upper bound on NCPUS (default: 8)


If true, ignore duration correction factor. Use this temporarily if you've made a major change to your workunit FLOPS estimates.

Job-cache scheduling

This is the default. The feeder (a daemon program) maintains a cache of jobs in shared memory. Instances of the scheduler get jobs from this cache, reducing their database access overhead.


The size of the job cache. Default is 100 jobs.


The size of the feeder's enumeration query. Default is 200.

Matchmaker scheduling

This is a variant of job-cache scheduling. The job selection policy is determined by a "score function"; this highest-scoring jobs are sent to the client.


If set, enable matchmaker scheduling.


Specify the min and max number of jobs to scan for a given client request. Defaults are 20 and 50.


If set, include a term in the score function that favors sending large jobs to fast hosts. To use this, you must run the census program as a periodic task to maintain statistics on the distribution of host speeds.

Accelerating retries

The goal of this mechanism (which works with job-cache and matchmaker scheduling, but not locality scheduling) is to send timeout-generated retries to hosts that are likely to finish them fast. Here's how it works:

  • Hosts are deemed "reliable" (a slight misnomer) if they satisfy turnaround time and error rate criteria.
  • A job instance is deemed "need-reliable" if its priority is above a threshold.
  • The scheduler tries to send need-reliable jobs to reliable hosts. When it does, it reduces the delay bound of the job.
  • When job replicas are created in response to errors or timeouts, their priority is raised relative to the job's base priority.

The configurable parameters are:


Results with priority at least reliable_on_priority are treated as "need-reliable". With matchmaker scheduling, they'll be sent preferentially to reliable hosts; with job-cache scheduling, they'll be sent ONLY to reliable hosts.


Hosts whose average turnaround is at most reliable_max_avg_turnaround and whose error rate is at most reliable_max_error_rate are considered 'reliable'. Make sure you set these low enough that a significant fraction (e.g. 25%) of your hosts qualify.


When a need-reliable result is sent to a reliable host, multiply the delay bound by reliable_reduced_delay_bound (typically 0.5 or so).


If reliable_priority_on_over is nonzero, increase the priority of duplicate jobs by that amount over the job's base priority. Otherwise, if reliable_priority_on_over_except_error is nonzero, increase the priority of duplicates caused by timeout (not error) by that amount. (Typically only one of these is nonzero, and is equal to reliable_on_priority.)

NOTE: this mechanism can be used to preferentially send ANY job, not just retries, to fast/reliable hosts. To do so, set the workunit's priority to reliable_on_priority or greater.

Locality scheduling


When possible, send work that uses the same files that the host already has. This is intended for projects which have large data files, where many different workunits use the same data file. In this case, to reduce download demands on the server, it may be advantageous to retain the data files on the hosts, and send them work for the files that they already have. See Locality Scheduling.

<locality_scheduling_wait_period> N </locality_scheduling_wait_period>

This element only has an effect when used in conjunction with the previous locality scheduling element. It tells the scheduler to use 'trigger files' to inform the project that more work is needed for specific files. The period is the number of seconds which the scheduler will wait to see if the project can create additional work. Together with project-specific daemons or scripts this can be used for 'just-in-time' workunit creation. See Locality Scheduling.

Job retransmission

<resend_lost_results> 0|1 </resend_lost_results>

If set, and a <other_results> list is present in scheduler request, resend any in-progress results not in the list. This is recommended; it may increase the efficiency of your project. For reasons that are not well understood, a BOINC client sometimes fails to receive the scheduler reply. This flag addresses that issue: it causes the SAME results to be resent by the scheduler, if the client has failed to receive them. Note: this will increase the load on your DB server; you can minimize this by creating an index:

alter table result add index res_host_state (hostid, server_state);

If set, and the client is processing a result for a WU that has been canceled or is not in the DB (i.e. there's no chance of getting credit), tell the client to abort the result regardless of state. If client is processing a result for a WU that has been assimilated or is overdue (i.e. there's a chance of not getting credit) tell the client to abort the result if it hasn't started yet. Note: this will increase the load on your DB server.

Data distribution


OUTDATED: BERND, PLEASE UPDATE. When the scheduler sends work to hosts, it replaces the download URL appearing in the data and executable file descriptions with the download URL closest to the host's timezone. The project must provide a two-column file called 'download_servers' in the project root directory. This is a list of all download servers that will be inserted when work is sent to hosts. The first column is an integer listing the server's offset in seconds from UTC. The second column is the server URL in the format such as The download servers must have identical file hierarchies and contents, and the path to file and executables must start with '/download/...' as in 'http://X/download/123/some_file_name'.

<cache_md5_info> 0|1 </cache_md5_info>

When creating work, keep a record (in files called foo.md5) of the file length and md5 sum of data files and executables. This can greatly reduce the time needed to create work, if (1) these files are re-used, and (2) there are many of these files, and (3) reading the files from disk is time-consuming.


The contents of the scheduler log file is controlled by the following:


Explain app version selection.


Explain the sending of assigned work.


Show the propagation of global prefs.


Explain the sending of jobs.


Show HTTP request headers.


Show messages we're sending to the user.


Show details of request message.


Show the handling of reported jobs.


Show the initial conditions of EDF simulation


Show the details of EDF simulation


Show locality scheduling debugging info.

The overall verbosity is controlled by the following:

<sched_debug_level> N </sched_debug_level>

Log messages have a "level": 1=minimal, 2=normal, 3=debug. The messages enabled by the above flags have level=2. If you set this option to N, only messages of level N or less will be written.

Client control


In each scheduler reply, tell the clients to do another scheduler RPC after at most X seconds, regardless of whether they need work. This is useful, e.g., to ensure that in-progress jobs can be canceled in a bounded amount of time.


Before starting or restarting an app, check contents of input files and app version files by either MD5 or digital signature check. Detects user tampering with file (but doesn't really increase security, since user could also change MD5s or signatures in client state file).


URL of your project's symbol store, used for debugging Windows applications.

<min_core_client_version_announced> N </min_core_client_version_announced>

Announce a new version of the BOINC core client, which in the future will be the minimum required version. In conjunction with the next tag, you can warn users with version below this to upgrade by a specified deadline. The version number is encoded as 10000*major + 100*minor + release.

<min_core_client_upgrade_deadline> N </min_core_client_upgrade_deadline>

Use in conjunction with the previous tag. The value given here is the Unix epoch returned by time(2) until which hosts can update their core client. After this time, they may be shut out of the project. Before this time, they will receive messages warning them to upgrade.


If present, check the msg_to_host table on each RPC, and send the client any messages queued for it.

<non_cpu_intensive> 0|1 </non_cpu_intensive>

If this flag is present, the project will be treated specially by the client:

  • The client will download one result at a time.
  • This result will be executed whenever computation is enabled (bypassing the normal scheduling mechanism).

This is intended for applications that use little CPU time, e.g. that do network or host measurements.

Deprecated options


Don't issue work to clients with AMD K6 processors. Equivalent to

<ban_cpu>.*AMD.*\t.*Family 5 Model 8 Stepping 0.*</ban_cpu>

Upload certificates


Don't put upload certificates in results. This makes result generation a lot faster, since no encryption is done, but you lose protection against DoS attacks on your upload servers.


If upload certificates are not generated, this option must be enabled to force the file upload handler to accept files.

Default preferences

<default_disk_max_used_gb> X </default_disk_max_used_gb>

Sets the default value for the disk_max_used_gb preference so it's consistent between the scheduler and web pages. The scheduler uses it when a request for work doesn't include preferences, or the preference is set to zero. The web page scripts use it to set the initial value when displaying or editing preferences the first time, or when the user never saved them. Default is 100.

<default_disk_max_used_pct> X </default_disk_max_used_pct>

Sets the default value for the disk_max_used_pct preference so its consistent between the scheduler and web pages. The scheduler uses it when a request for work doesn't include preferences, or the preference is set to zero. The web page scripts use it to set the initial value when displaying or editing preferences the first time, or when the user never saved them. Default is 50.

<default_disk_min_free_gb> X </default_disk_min_free_gb>

Sets the default value for the disk_min_free_gb preference so its consistent between the scheduler and web pages. The scheduler uses it when a request for work doesn't include preferences. The web page scripts use it to set the initial value when displaying or editing preferences the first time, or when the user never saved them. Also, the scheduler uses this setting to override any smaller preference from the host, it enforces a 'minimum free disk space' to keep from filling up the drive. Recommend setting this no smaller than .001 (1MB or 1,000,000 bytes). Default is .001.


(See also the command-line options of the validator).

<fp_benchmark_weight> X </fp_benchmark_weight>

The weighting given to the Whetstone benchmark in the calculation of claimed credit. Must be in [0 .. 1]. Projects whose applications are floating-point intensive should use 1; pure integer applications, 0. Choosing an appropriate value will reduce the disparity in claimed credit between hosts. The script html/ops/credit_study.php, run against the database of a running project, will suggest what value to use.



File deletion policy


Wait X hours before deleting files. This provides a 'grace period' during which late results will still get credit.


The user name under which the web server runs. As a safeguard, the file deleter skips files not owned by this user.

Server status page options


Host name of web server.


Host name of scheduling server.


Host name of upload/download server.


pid file of upload/download server (default: /etc/httpd/run/


path to ssh (default: /usr/bin/ssh).


path to ps (which supports "w" flag) (default: /bin/ps).

Web site features


If present, don't show profile pictures until they've been screened and approved by project admins.


Enable web site features that show results (per user, host, etc.)


Disable forum post rating.

<akismet_key> 1234567890ab </akismet_key>

If set, is used to check post contents to protect forums from spam. See Protecting message boards from spam for more information.


Number of entries per page for top users/teams/hosts. Default is 20.


Enable the use of Recaptcha for profile creation/editing; see Protecting message boards from spam for more information.


The minimum amount of credit to create or edit a profile.


If set, team message boards are visible only to team members.


If set, banishments require a majority vote among moderators.


If set, web pages have no references to computing (tasks, credit etc.). For projects that are using Bossa or Bolt.


<min_core_client_version> N </min_core_client_version>

If the scheduler gets a request from a client with a version number less than this, it returns an error message and doesn't do any other processing. The version number is expressed as an integer with the encoding 10000*major + 100*minor + release. You can also specify this separately for each application.


Project has permanently ended. Tell clients so user can be notified.


If present, disallow account creation.

<min_passwd_length> N </min_passwd_length>

Minimum length of user passwords. Default is 6.


If present, the scheduler will tell clients (via scheduler replies) to upload (via scheduler requests) their time stats log (which contains records of when the client started and stopped running).

<fuh_debug_level> N </fuh_debug_level>

Verbosity level for file upload handler log output. 1=minimal, 2=normal (default), 3=verbose.


If present, don't store the stderr log in the database for successful workunits. May be useful to save on database size. Available since r18528.

Hosts, directories, and URLs

(These are created by make_project; normally you don't need to change them.)


name of project's main host, as given by Python's socket.hostname(). Daemons and tasks run on this host by default.


Database name.


Hostname of the database server.


Hostname of a replica database server, which is used for read-only queries. (optional)


Database user name.


Database password.


ID of scheduler shared memory. Must be unique on host.


URL of data server for download.


absolute path of download directory.


fan-out factor of upload and download directories (see Hierarchical upload/download directories).


URL of file upload handler.


absolute path of upload directory.


URL of scheduler.


absolute path of logfile directory.

<bin_dir>relative-path</bin_dir>      <!-- relative to project_dir -->
<cgi_bin_dir>relative-path</cgi_dir>      <!-- relative to project_dir -->

Enables scheduler locking (recommended) and specifies directory where scheduler lockfiles are stored. Must be writable to the Apache user.

Parsing project options

A program or script can access project options as follows:

  • C/C++: use the SCHED_CONFIG class (sched/sched_config.C,h)
  • PHP: use the get_config() and parse_config() functions in inc/
  • scripts: use the bin/parse_config program