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Platform: ALL Follow @NUCC Inc. on Twitter Tweet about this Project

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NUCC Distributed Computing to Aid in COVID-19 Research

Latest Update: August 10, 2020

Join The National Upcycled Computing Collective (NUCC) in a collaborative effort to combine our resources in order to aid in COVID-19 research. This project draws heavily from BOINC's default Docker configurations. The difference is that without registering for any accounts or sharing any personal information, you will automatically be connected to NUCC's ongoing Rosetta@home folding research team that is actively processing COVID-19-specific workloads.

The fastest and easiest way to contribute if you already have Docker installed:

Copy/paste the following one-liner to get started immediately on MacOS or Linux:

docker run -d --restart always --name boinc -p 31416 -v "${HOME}/.boinc:/var/lib/boinc" -e BOINC_GUI_RPC_PASSWORD="123" -e BOINC_CMD_LINE_OPTIONS="--allow_remote_gui_rpc --attach_project 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec" boinc/client:baseimage-alpine

The fastest and easiest way to contribute on MacOS if you already have Homebrew installed:

brew tap nuccinc/nucc && brew install nucc

The fastest and easiest way to contribute if you already have BOINC installed natively:

  • Windows:
    • C:\PROGRA~1\BOINC\boinccmd.exe --project_attach 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec
  • MacOS:
    • (/Applications/ -redirectio "/Library/Application Support/BOINC Data/" --daemon --allow_remote_gui_rpc --attach_project 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec &) >/dev/null 2>&1 && open /Applications/
  • Linux:
    • boinccmd --project_attach 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec

Note: If you don't have things configured exactly right, you may have to pass the password located in gui_rpc_passwd.cfg in the command line to boinccmd.

Example: boinccmd --passwd <yourpassword> --project_attach 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec


Automated Linux and MacOS Native Installation

  • Supported Operating Systems:
    • MacOS
    • Ubuntu
    • Debian
    • Fedora
    • CentOS/RHEL/Amazon Linux
    • Kali
git clone
cd nucc

Automated Linux and MacOS Docker Installation

If Docker is not already installed, the script will install Docker via The Almost Universal Docker Installer, then pull the official boinc/client image from DockerHub (base-alpine by default).

You can run a custom image by running IMG=boinc/client[tag-name] ./ --docker (see Supported Architectures and Tags).

  • MacOS 10.8+
  • Ubuntu
  • Debian 8+
  • Raspbian 8+
  • CentOS/RHEL/Amazon Linux
  • Fedora 30+
  • Arch
  • Kali 2018
git clone
cd nucc
./ --docker

If you already have a team or want to specify an alternate project, don't be discouraged -- you can still use! Simply speficy your project URL and/or weak key in the supported environment variables:

Environment variable Default value if unset
$IMG boinc/client:baseimage-alpine
$VOLUME $HOME/.boinc
$WEAK_KEY 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec
$BOINC_CMD_LINE_OPTIONS --allow_remote_gui_rpc --project_attach ${PROJECT_URL} ${WEAK_KEY}

Firewall Caveats:

If you are running firewalld or ufw or something like that, you will need to either create a rule for the docker0 interface on port 31416.

Alternately, you can disable the service altogether by running systemctl disable firewalld (etc.), and then rebooting.

This is necessary to be able to resolve DNS inside the containers.

If you have already installed and spun up a container via, just implement the firewall rules and run docker restart boinc.

If you disable the firewall completely, the boinc container should spin up immediately after reboot and will be able to process workloads successfully.

Automated Windows Native Installation:

  • Download the zip file of the repository
  • Navigate to your Downloads folder, and unzip
    • Open the nucc-master folder
    • Right click on quickstart.bat, and click Run as Administrator
      • Agree to the firewall notice if it pops up

Alternatively, if you have git installed, launch an elevated (Administrator) command promt and run the following:

git clone
cd nucc

This will install the Chocolatey package manager, which will then install BOINC.

It will automatically connect to the correct project and start processing workloads immediately.

I find it easier to view and manage by going to View > Advanced, as things appear to be more organized.

Windows Docker Installation:

Download the zip file of the repository, unzip it, and run quickstart.bat --docker from an elevated (Administrator) command prompt.

Alternatively, if you have git installed, launch an elevated (Administrator) command promt and run the following:

git clone
cd nucc
quickstart.bat --docker

This will install the Chocolatey package manager, which will then install Docker Desktop.

When Docker Desktop is launched for the first time, you will need to log out and log back in for it to finish starting up.

  • Right-click the Docker icon in the taskbar
  • Go to Preferences > Resources > Filesharing
  • Check to enable the C drive
  • Click "Apply and Restart"
  • Wait for Docker to completely finish restarting
  • Run quickstart.bat --docker again from an elevated prompt to start processing workloads immediately

When running the Docker image for the first time, Windows will ask to confirm if Docker can access your C drive.

FreeBSD/FreeNAS Jail Installation

Documentation for FreeBSD (specifically, FreeNAS) can be found in this blog post.

If you have any trouble, reach out to me on Discord (if you know me), submit an issue, or leave a comment on the post.

Manual Installation

Follow the official instructions to install BOINC locally.

After starting BOINC, cancel out of the "Select a Project" window if it pops up, and run the command below to start choochin':

boinccmd --project_attach 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec

If running on Linux or MacOS, you may find it easier to go to View > Advanced to monitor things.

Note: boinccmd is typically only in your $PATH on Linux.

Docker Supported Architectures and Tags

Not all of the BOINC images below are compatible with the COVID-19 Rosetta@home workloads. To be perfectly clear, Rosetta@home is only handing out processor-focused workloads. This means if you want to take advantage of your beefy GPU, you will be better off focusing on something like Folding@home, which can take advantage of that.

The current issue with Folding@home is that the number of servers sending data back is causing a DDOS on their systems as they are receiving the folded results. As a result of this, the work units aren't finishing, and no work can be handed out. They have engaged several companies to help, but this is the primary reason for NUCC choosing to work with Rosetta@home for the COVID-19 research in particular, as they are handing out 100% COVID-19-specific work units immediately and efficiently.

NUCC will have additional projects in the future with Folding@home and GPUGRID, and we will continue to update this page with instructions on how to connect to those particular projects.

However, in the meantime, Rosetta@home remains the best possible solution for continuously receiving and processing workloads that specifically target COVID-19 in particular, which is why NUCC has chosen the current solution.

BOINC's default image is baseimage-ubuntu or latest, which uses glibc, however NUCC's default image from the quickstart scripts is baseimage-alpine, which uses musl instead. If this causes any issues with future projects, we will change to the Ubuntu base image, but for now, Alpine is working perfectly with our Rosetta@home workloads, and the image itself is much leaner, which was our reason for choosing it as our default.

If you wish, you can specify the boinc/client image with any of the tags below in order to use one of the specialized versions instead of baseimage-alpine.

These can be used in the Linux/MacOS one-liner at the top of this page or passed as the $IMG environment variable to

  • IMG=boinc/client:[image-name] ./ --docker

They can also be passed as a command line argument to to quickstart.bat:

  • quickstart.bat --docker --image boinc/client:[image-name]


Tag Info
latest, baseimage-ubuntu Ubuntu based BOINC client. All of BOINC's x86-64 images are based on this.
baseimage-alpine Alpine based BOINC client, wich is much slimmer and used by default with quickstart.bat and
amd AMD GPU-savvy BOINC client. Check the usage below.
intel Intel GPU-savvy BOINC client. It supports Broadwell (5th generation) CPUs and beyond. Check the usage below.
intel-legacy Legacy Intel GPU-savvy BOINC client (Sandybridge - 2nd Gen, Ivybridge - 3rd Gen, Haswell - 4th Gen). Check the usage below.
multi-gpu Intel & Nvidia-savvy BOINC client. Check the usage below.
nvidia NVIDIA-savvy (CUDA & OpenCL) BOINC client. Check the usage below.
virtualbox VirtualBox-savvy BOINC client. Check the usage below.


Tag Info
arm32v7 ARMv7 32-bit savvy BOINC client. Check the usage below.
arm64v8 ARMv8 64-bit savvy BOINC client. Check the usage below.

AMD GPU-savvy BOINC client usage

  • Install the ROCm Driver.
  • Reboot your system.
  • Run the following command.
    • Linux: IMG=boinc/client:amd ./ --docker
    • Windows: quickstart.bat --docker --image boinc/client:amd

Intel GPU-savvy BOINC client usage

  • Install the Intel GPU Driver.
  • Run the following command:
    • Linux: IMG=boinc/client:intel ./ --docker
    • Windows: quickstart.bat --docker --image boinc/client:intel

Legacy Intel GPU-savvy BOINC client usage

  • Install the Intel GPU Driver.
  • Run the following command:
    • Linux: IMG=boinc/client:intel-legacy ./ --docker
    • Windows: quickstart.bat --docker --image boinc/client:intel-legacy

Multi GPU-savvy BOINC client usage

  • Make sure you have installed the NVIDIA driver.
  • Install the NVIDIA-Docker version 2.0 by following the instructions here.
  • Run the following command:
    • Linux: IMG=boinc/client:multi-gpu ./ --docker
    • Windows: quickstart.bat --docker --image boinc/client:multi-gpu

NVIDIA-savvy BOINC client usage

  • Make sure you have installed the NVIDIA driver.
  • Install the NVIDIA-Docker version 2.0 by following the instructions here.
  • Run the following command:
    • Linux: IMG=boinc/client:nvidia ./ --docker
    • Windows: quickstart.bat --docker --image boinc/client:nvidia

VirtualBox-savvy BOINC client usage

  • Install the virtualbox-dkms package on the host.
  • Run the following command:
    • Linux: IMG=boinc/client:virtualbox ./ --docker
    • Windows: quickstart.bat --docker --image boinc/client:virtualbox

ARMv7 32-bit savvy BOINC client usage

ARMv8 64-bit savvy BOINC client usage

Docker Swarm Mode

You can use a Docker Swarm to launch a large number of clients, for example across a cluster that you are using for BOINC computation. First, start the swarm and create a network,

docker swarm init
docker network create -d overlay --attachable boinc

If you want, you can connect other nodes to your swarm by running the appropriate docker swarm join command on worker nodes as prompted above (although you can just run on one node too).

Then launch your clients:

docker service create \
  --replicas <N> \
  --name boinc \
  --network=boinc \
  -p 31416 \
  -e BOINC_CMD_LINE_OPTIONS="--allow_remote_gui_rpc --attach_project 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec" \

You now have <N> clients running, distributed across your swarm. You can issue commands to all of your clients via,

docker run --rm --network boinc boinc/client boinccmd_swarm --passwd 123 <args>

Note you do not need to specify --host. The boinccmd_swarm command takes care of sending the command to each of the hosts in your swarm.

Docker Swarm does not support pid=host mode. As a result, client settings related to non-boinc CPU usage or exclusion apps will not take effect.

Viewing and Managing Workloads

You have a couple of good options here:

  • Best Option: BOINCTASKS
  • View tasks from the native BOINC Manager

For various Linux distros, there is also the boinctui package which allows you to view and control local or remote tasks from the command line. Addtionally, for BSD, there is the boinc_curses TUI application, which is similar to boinctui, although not as polished (yet still very nice and useful).

For basic tasks, you can refer to Boinc Commands and Shortcuts.

BOINCTASKS (Download Here)

This is honestly the best option, especially if you are running BOINC from multiple machines on the same network. The thing I like most about it is that it doesn't require a native BOINC installation if all you need is the BOINC Manager, like if you are running the BOINC Client via Docker or from a different machine on the network. One of the best features is its ability to scan your network for BOINC clients and automatically add them to the management interface. BOINCTASKS is the only option if you want to manage multiple clients from a GUI interface without having to disconnect between viewing each individual client. It's a Windows program, but is FULLY-COMPATIBLE with *nix hosts via Wine. It literally took me less than a minute to get it fully-installed on my Ubuntu laptop, after which I was able to see all the clients on my local network running BOINC, and remotely manage their tasks.

Native BOINC Manager (Official Installation Instructions)

If you are running BOINC via Docker, it's a little redundant to download BOINC natively, but you can do so if you want to view and manage the tasks running from a GUI interface.

  • Launch BOINC
  • If the "Select a Project" pops up, just cancel out of it if you're connecting to a remote BOINC client or Docker container.
  • File > Select Computer
    • Enter the computer's IP/hostname and password from gui_rpc_auth.cfg, and Click "OK".

If you are running BOINC via Docker on your local machine, the IP address will be Otherwise, enter the IP of the HOST that Docker is running on (not the IP of the container from the docker0 interface). By specifying -p 31416 in the docker run command, we mapped the communication port used by the BOINC client in the Docker container to the host machine.

Boingmgr should have no trouble connecting to any Docker container on the network unless prohibited by firewall rules on operating systems such as CentOS or Fedora, in which case, you should consult the [#firewall-caveats](Firewall Caveats) mini-section for more information.

BOINC Commands and Shortcuts

Two very good boinccmd references:


boinccmd.exe is located in C:\Program Files\BOINC

You can run boinccmd commands from a command prompt by running C:\PROGRA~1\BOINC\boinccmd.exe [args]

Acces the shell on the Docker container:

docker exec -it boinc /bin/sh

This will allow you to be on the machine and run boinccmd commands directly.

Execute a specific boinccmd command inside local docker container directly from the host:

docker exec boinc boinccmd --command-arguments-here

Attach to NUCC's Rosetta@home Project (this is done automatically in the quickstart scripts):

Native Installation:

boinccmd --project_attach 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec

Docker Installation:

docker exec [container-name] boinccmd --attach_project 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec

For simplicity, the commands below will be listed as local commands. This means 1 of 3 things:

  • You should execute them as-is if running the BOINC client on the host
  • You should execute them as-is if you have already exec'd into the Docker container
  • You should prepend them with docker exec [container-name] if running them against the Docker container with the BOINC client installed.
    • If BOINC was installed via Docker and one of the quickstart scripts, the container name is boinc.
    • Example: docker exec -it boinc boinccmd --get_state

Request no more work after current Rosetta@home tasks finish:

boinccmd --project nomorework

This is a "graceful stop" and could take up to 24 hours for workloads to completely stop processing:

Later, you can substitue nomorework with allowmorework to start pulling tasks again

Suspend all tasks for the Rosetta@home project:

boinccmd --project suspend

Resume all tasks for the Rosetta@home project:

boinccmd --project resume

Stop or Start the BOINC Docker container:

docker stop boinc and docker start boinc

This is not recommended, as your current tasks will be abandoned.

Best practices would be as follows:

docker exec boinc boinccmd --project suspend
docker stop boinc
docker start boinc
docker exec boinc boinccmd --project resume

Docker Helper Script (nuccd):

The nuccd helper script will be added to /usr/local/bin/nuccd as part of the install script for Docker-based installations on MacOS and Linux:


usage() {
  echo '
USAGE: nuccd [ARGS]

allowmorework    requests more work from current project.
nomorwork        requests no more work after current work units finish.
suspend          suspends all current tasks.
resume           resumes all current tasks.
[boinccmd args]  execute any boinccmd arguments.
start            starts to boinc docker container.
stop             stops the boinc docker container.
remove           removes the boinc docker container.
uninstall        stops and removes container, removes all boinc/client images, and deletes nuccd.
help             shows this help dialog

if [[ $1 = "allowmorework" ]]; then
  docker exec boinc boinccmd --project allowmorework
elif [[ $1 = "nomorework" ]]; then
  docker exec boinc boinccmd --project nomorework
elif [[ $1 = "suspend" ]]; then
  docker exec boinc boinccmd --project suspend
elif [[ $1 = "resume" ]]; then
  docker exec boinc boinccmd --project resume
elif [[ $1 = "stop" ]]; then
  docker stop boinc
elif [[ $1 = "start" ]]; then
  docker start boinc
elif [[ $1 = "remove" ]]; then
  docker stop boinc 2>/dev/null
  docker rm boinc
elif [[ $1 = "uninstall" ]]; then
  docker stop boinc 2>/dev/null
  docker rm boinc 2>/dev/null
  docker images | grep boinc | awk '{print $3}' | xargs docker rmi 2>/dev/null
  sudo rm -f /usr/local/bin/nuccd
elif [[ ($1 = "-h") || (-n $(echo "${@}" | grep help)) ]]; then
  docker exec boinc boinccmd "${@}"
  if [[ $? -ne 0 ]]; then

Additional NUCC Projects

Listed below are the current projects that NUCC is involved in. While we urge that everyone contribute to the default Rosetta@home project for COVID-19 research, whenever there are a shortage of work units, or if you feel like your powerful GPU could be put to better use in a project that doesn't solely rely on CPU processing, please feel free to help contribute to our other projects.


Project URL Weak Key
Rosetta@home (Default) 2108683_fdd846588bee255b50901b8b678d52ec
GPUGRID 557786_557339997aa264af08d60b87d63b87bf
World Community Grid 1106753_8497a4536b5fd28c9ba92b2e5370f680


Project URL Weak Key
Asteroids@home 451292_98c21ef402d851077468889c8e4eb195
Cosmology@home 1573916_4e7dff029d28e6412d4f867cedc24a9d
Einstein@home 1024046_72abcfafd8b4bc3b9044122bb38cb8bc
Milkyway@home 1376257_e6829810b2778a51599c59eb026ff7d4
Universe@home 209514_cc1405976c0bc31b292c6875c7517274


Project URL Weak Key
NFS@home 485489_09087b82f39f88c873fc0d4337303f21
Primegrid 485489_09087b82f39f88c873fc0d4337303f21

Connecting to Additional NUCC Projects

You can connect to different projects on MacOS and Linux by runnning the following:


On Windows, you can manually edit quickstart.bat to set the %PROJECT_URL% and %WEAK_KEY% variables.

If running with Docker, you will probably want to specify the $IMG or %IMG% variables as well, to best suit your specific setup, as listed in Docker Supported Architectures and Tags.

Refer to the example below:

Example - Connecting to GPUGRID and utilizing NVIDIA CUDA:

Docker Installation:

  • Make sure you have installed the NVIDIA driver.
  • Install the NVIDIA-Docker version 2.0 by following the instructions here.
  • Run the following command:
    • IMG=boinc/client:nvidia PROJECT_URL= WEAK_KEY=557786_557339997aa264af08d60b87d63b87bf ./ --docker

Native Windows Installation:

Manually edit quickstart.bat, and set the %PROJECT_URL% variable to and %WEAK_KEY% variable to 557786_557339997aa264af08d60b87d63b87bf.

Then, just run quickstart.bat with Administrator privileges.

If BOINC is already installed, you can simply run the following:

C:\PROGRA~1\BOINC\boinccmd.exe --project_attach 557786_557339997aa264af08d60b87d63b87bf

Native Linux Installation:

For native installations, Ubuntu and Kali support the option to choose to install the boinc-client-nvidia-cuda package:

PROJECT_URL= WEAK_KEY=557786_557339997aa264af08d60b87d63b87bf ./

For other distributions, refer to the Manual Installation instructions, and then run the following:

boinccmd --project_attach 557786_557339997aa264af08d60b87d63b87bf


  • Migrated from to official NUCC account
    • All code written and recently migrated to official NUCC repository by phoenix.
    • Please submit an issue if you have any problems after the repository migrations
  • BSD documentation is back online.
  • Fixed logic causing Linux native installations to fail.
  • Fixed auto-installation for Docker on Kali Linux.
  • Added better instructions for connecting to additional projects.
  • Changed functionality of, where native installation is default, and --docker must be supplied explicitly.
  • Improved Homebrew installation for MacOS.
  • Updated instructions for automated native Windows install for less tech-savvy people:
    • Right-Click > Run as Administrator will execute native installation as opposed to Docker installation, same as if run without arguments.
    • quickstart.bat now requires the --docker argument for Windows Docker installations.


  • Automated native installation for Arch will come last (sorry, but you guys should already know what you're doing)
  • Will eventually additional parameters to quickstart.bat in the future to specify custom project URL and weak key for both native and Docker-based installations.

About The National Upcycled Computing Collective

The National Upcycled Computing Collective, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization [NTEE U41] Computer Science, Technology & Engineering, Research Institute (EIN 82-1177433) as determined by the Internal Revenue Service. Our mission is to find new uses for technology, thereby extending life cycles with an intent to re-purpose electronic devices responsibly. For more information, please visit


COVID-19 research via distributed computing in collaboration with The National Upcycled Computing Collective.







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