Optimizing Boinc on Ubuntu VM

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brett8181
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Optimizing Boinc on Ubuntu VM

Unread post by brett8181 » Thu Nov 16, 2017 5:58 pm

Well....long time team member, not a great contributor.....working on changing that.

I have several old servers laying around, and one in service, that I would like to dedicate to processing. I am not a tech guy, just the guy who has to get the tech done, if that makes sense. So, I am looking for some hand-holding, after googling. I am running a Hyper-v host on a machine with 4 quad core processors and 144g of RAM. The host runs a few important VM's, but spends most of its time with low utilization. I'd like to change that!

So, I installed Ubuntu and gave it 12 processors and more memory/storage than it is currently using. While it seems like it is doing work, it isn't fully utilizing the VM, and therefore not the bare metal capabilities. Not even close.

I was wondering if there is anyone on the forum who might have a few ideas on how to optimize my setup. If so, that would be great.

As for me, I'm in the US. Very proud of my Scottish surname, with dubious ancestry. I've heard Sutherland's aren't well thought of in Scotland. Not sure how true that is. Perhaps I'll change my name when I come to visit one day.

Thanks for reading, and for any future help. Best wishes to all, Brett, N7kg



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scole of TSBT
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Re: Optimizing Boinc on Ubuntu VM

Unread post by scole of TSBT » Thu Nov 16, 2017 6:48 pm

First, welcome to the forum. Second, it doesn't matter if you run 1 core or a 100 cores, we're all here to have fun and crunch what we each wish.

I've not run anything under Hyper-v before, just VirtualBox, so I'm not sure how everything is configured or resources allocated to the VMs. I can tell you that VMs do suffer performance loss compared to running on the native OS. What metrics or info are you looking at to measure utilization?
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Bryan
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Re: Optimizing Boinc on Ubuntu VM

Unread post by Bryan » Thu Nov 16, 2017 7:07 pm

Hi Brett and welcome. I'm not sure I can help since I've never run a baremetal HyperVisor. I run Linux (Mint) but natively. I have run VMs on both Windows and Linux but I use Oracle VBox which is no where near as sophisticated as HyperV and probably no where near as efficient.

There are some settings in the BOINC manager/client that can affect the resource utilization. Are you running a version of Linux in your VM that has a GUI or are you command line only. If the latter I honestly have never changed the settings that way. It would be done by invoking BOINCCMD and issuing commands to the client. If you have a graphical interface it is very easy to accomplish.

So let us know some info:
1. GUI or command line
2. What version of BOINC
3. How many cores/threads are available (ie are you over-committing resources)
4. What project are you running
5. What is TOP or HTOP showing

Most projects on BOINC will run 95-100% core/thread utilization. There are a few projects that only use 90% and some of the "multi-threaded" applications that are worse than that.
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brett8181
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Re: Optimizing Boinc on Ubuntu VM

Unread post by brett8181 » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:27 pm

Thanks for the responses. In response, after posting I thought, why don't I just run the app on the host rather than in a vm. Empirically, that has worked wonders overnight with 6 times the credits in the same time period.

1. For the linux guest, I am running it graphical. I can use a command line, but am slow at it :).
2. 7.6.31 in the guest machine, 7.8.3 in the bare metal install
3. I don't think I am over-committing resources, either bare or virtual. The machine is doing more than idling now, judging by the memory and processor usage as well as the fans kicking on to cool it down!
4. I am running Seti and Climateprediction
5. I've been just using the system monitor, but download htop. The utilization is running about 20%. Before I install Boinc on the host, it the guest was running about 80%. I wondered about the efficacy of running so many virtual cores. I'm certainly no expert on hyper-v. I deployed on a couple of other machines as well. Empirically I am at about 15k new credits in the last 2 days. And I was wrong on the machine processors. There are 24 logical processors in the machine. That's why I hate to let it just idle :).

Thanks for the responses. I'm learning in the process and appreciate the help. Brett, N7kg

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Bryan
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Re: Optimizing Boinc on Ubuntu VM

Unread post by Bryan » Fri Nov 17, 2017 5:45 pm

No problem Brett and I'm glad you are making progress. I know for a fact that running "native" versus as a VM there is a performance penalty. Hyper-v is better than the VBox which most of us use but there is still a reduction in performance. Quite a while ago I was told that there was something like a 2% hit with Hyper-v and VBox is 10% upwards ... it really doesn't handle multiple CPUs well. Since you have the capability to run native Linux I would definitely recommend doing that.

In the BOINC Manager, select options-->computing preferences. Then set computing to use BOINC at all times etc etc. Set the HDD tab so you allow the memory and HDD space you want to use. The stuff is rather intuitively obvious on what needs to be set.
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brett8181
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Re: Optimizing Boinc on Ubuntu VM

Unread post by brett8181 » Fri Dec 01, 2017 10:14 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I went feral for a bit. I ended up installing native on extra machines, as well us bumping resources up for the vm and running native on the HV. Combined it is working. Probably not optimal, but much better than I ever did before :). I'll never catch up with the top guys, but I like it! Thanks again.

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