Thursday, December 3, 2009

BOINC Portable Beta


The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is a system that allows users to volunteer CPU time to various projects. The idle CPU time is used to help discover new drugs, search for extraterrestrial intelligence, solve mathematical problems, predict climate changes etc.

Normally you install BOINC on your computer and then subscribe to different projects. Now you can run it from your USB flash stick or from your desktop without the need for an installation.

This is a beta version and I release it hopping to get some feedback.

You should be aware of the following problems:
  1. If you download a job on an Intel CPU and then continue running it on an AMD CPU (or perhaps on a different Intel CPU too) it might corrupt the results so try not to do this.
  2. Because of the limited space on flash drives some projects might reject you.

It would be a good idea to attach to a project and then edit the local preferences to make it write to the disk every ten minutes or even more and also not download data for many days ahead. Finally it would be better to use it more like an install-less version rather than a portable one.

Download BOINC Portable Beta from here and please leave comments!

PS: After I made my portable version I found another portable version made by another guy here.

PS2: You can find the source code for the launcher in the Data directory. It's an AutoIt3 script. Feel free to do whatever you like with it.

PS3: I forgot to add this to the readme:
You can find the source code for BOINC here.

PS4: I tested the other guy's portable version and it lack some features compared to my own. For example it doesn't seem to save the registry settings of BOINC Manager.


  1. Great work! The best BOINC Portable that I have tried out. It is able to utilize all cores on Computer A regardless of I have fetch/send work unit through Computer B (Single Core). Hope to see more updates from you

  2. Thank you. :-) It contains an old version of BOINC but I suspect that the wrapper will work for newer versions too. Perhaps I will make a version including a newer client soon. ;-)

  3. WOW! Great work, thanks a lot! :-D
    After unpacking it to my usb-stick BOINC doesn't start because "BOINC already running ..." (installed but not running). So I had to kill the process boinctray.exe manually by task manager.
    The good point is, it executes everytime startup cpu benchmark , so it doesn't matter which cpu is used at that time. I tested it succesfully with AMD XP2600, AMD Dualcore and Intel Pentium M 1,7 GHz.
    I hope it really doesn't save any registry data to the machine running on, just by file?!?
    How can I load WUs for GPU work with a pc doesn't have capable graphics card?

  4. Would you please update the portable BOINC software to the latest version? Thanks in advance! I wrote you another message abaout my opinions to BOINC around christmas, didn't u receive it?

  5. Hi Haubi. Sorry I must have somehow missed the last comment. I accept it now as well. The benchmark is running every time intentionally so that changing system shouldn't be much of a problem. I understand that you had no problem with damaged workunits when running them in different architectures (running the same unit on AMD64 and Intel32 for example).

    There is nothing you can do to force BOINC to use your GPU. Try looking into each projects settings, there should be an option to enable GPU usage. Also take a look at the general settings, there is an option there too about using the GPU even when the CPU is active or something like that. BOINC is supposed to detect a CUDA capable card and use it automatically. It will not load GPU work units if you don't support CUDA or if you don't have enough graphics memory.

    As for the registry settings here is how the portable wrapper works if I remember correctly.
    1. It copies the current registry settings to a file (let's call it old.reg).
    2. It clears the current registry settings from the registry.
    3. It load into the registry the file portable.reg.
    4. It runs BOINC portable. BOINC WILL store new settings in the registry. If at this point you end BOINC Portable abnormally (like closing the wrapper from the task manager) those setings will remain in the registry. If that happens try rerunning BOINC portable. I think I had added some code to handle abnormal terminations next time you run it.
    5. When you close BOINC Portable it will move the new (portable) registry settings to the file portable.reg. In the process it will delete some settings. For example a setting to make BOINC Portable run on startup will get deleted, or the CPU benchmark results, etc...
    6. It will restore the old registry settings from the file old.reg.

    I will try to update it to the latest version but I don't know exactly when since the exam period is starting in a week or so and I somewhat busy. If you fancy an estimation, I guess I'll post a new version in less than a month.

  6. Thanks for your answer! No damaged WUs here.
    I want to ensure that no information is being left in the windows registry. I found too much: There is every setting even the e-mail address by searching with regedit! :-(
    Is it possible to delete the changes made by BOINC Portable in the registry at closing the boinc manager like uninstalling the whole application?
    It's done, when it's done! :-)

  7. I am making a new version right now. Look for newer posts about BOINC Portable. :-) I will try to fix the problems with the left over information too...

  8. Thanks for the new version. It works fine with i5 (4 cores) and cuda support. Boinc is running in projekt Collatz Conjecture 4 sse tasks and 1 cuda23(6 times faster than sse) together. The overall performance ist 2,5 compared to cpu without cuda.
    And all without installation and admin rights...
    Congratulation to Tritonio

  9. Glad you liked it rag. :-) BTW there Is a newer post about BOINC Portable.

  10. Thanks a lot for your update, appreciate if you could also state the BOINC version used in this page so we will know if it is updated.

  11. Hi anonymous. I don't remember which version I was using when I first wrote this article. If you look at the categories that this article belongs and go to the BOINC category you will be able to read a newer post that states the version. I used the same url for the zipfiles of both versions so you always get the newest no matter when you got it from.

  12. Is there anyway of making boinc portable autostart when booting up? I am running it from a USB on my friends computer. At the moment, I have to keep messaging him to start it!

    1. Just put a shortcut for the portable wrapper in the Startup folder in Start menu.

      BTW I tried to make a newer version of BOINC Portable but it looks like there are more changes than I thought...

  13. Is there anyway of making boinc portable autostart when booting up? I am running it from a USB on my friends computer. At the moment, I have to keep messaging him to start it!

  14. Great. That was so simple. I don't know why I didn't think of that!

  15. I'm assuming there isn't a more recent update?

    1. There is not. Too little time to make one and last time I tried to make one I had someone weird issues. I think I've included the source code though so someone else might want to pick it up. If I haven't just contact me and I can find it (most likely).


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