What is BOINC?

software that supports volunteer computing. BOINC was developed under a National Science Foundation grant at the University of California, Berkeley and is used for many different volunteer computing initiatives. It consists of software that a user downloads and runs on their computer, as well as server components that handle distributing work units and receiving results.

World Community Grid uses BOINC as a key part of its infrastructure in order to help support research for multiple institutions. Volunteers participate in World Community Grid either by downloading the World Community Grid branded version of the BOINC software, or the BOINC software itself, available directly from BOINC's website.

More information about BOINC can be found here.


What operating systems are supported by World Community Grid on BOINC?

World Community Grid currently supports the operating systems listed in our System Requirements FAQ, which you can find here. Although they are not supported by World Community Grid, some of our members have had success using other platforms found here.

Where may I get the BOINC client for Windows, Linux, or Mac?

If you are a new member and do not currently have a World Community Grid member name, you may register and download the BOINC client here. If you are currently a World Community Grid member and want to download the BOINC client to a new, or additional computer(s), you may download the BOINC client client here.

I'm using the BOINC agent, how do I choose which project or projects my device processes work for?

You may select which projects you participate in using the My Projects page. This will set the projects you participate in for all of your devices. To set projects to run on certain device profiles, go to the Device Profiles page on our website. From there you can set each of your BOINC device profiles to run a different set of projects.

What is my BOINC account key and where do I find it?

The BOINC Account key is a unique identifier that is used by the BOINC client and the BOINC server to uniquely identify you and the devices registered under your member name. You may find your BOINC account key on your My Profile page.

I know that my device has returned several results. Where can I check the status of those results?

You may check your World Community Grid results by logging into our website using your existing member name. On the left hand menu on your "My Contribution" page, select "Results Status". You may access this page here. A detailed description of the various statistics may be found here.

How can I prevent the BOINC client from receiving new work units, but still finish the work units that are in progress?

You may complete the work units currently in progress, and prevent the BOINC client from downloading any new work units by taking the following steps:

  • Open your BOINC Manager window (make sure that you are in 'Advanced' view and not 'Simple' view)
  • Click on the 'Projects' tab
  • Select the BOINC project you no longer wish to receive work units for
  • Click on the 'No new tasks' button on the left hand side  

What is the address or URL to type when attaching to World Community Grid via BOINC?

Use to attach to World Community Grid via BOINC.

How do I set up my device so that it will download enough work to keep my device working for several days?

You may set up the BOINC agent so that it will keep a cache of work units to keep your device busy. You can do this on the website by going to your Settings page, and then selecting Device Manager. This screen will show you a list of your active devices. Associated with each device is a device profile. Click on the device profile associated with the device you want to cache additional work units on. On the Device Profile screen select 'Custom Profile' and then find the field labeled 'Work Unit Cache Settings', change the fields to meet your requirements and save the profile. Please do not use values longer then 4 days, as the scheduling algorithm in the client may prevent you from getting as much work as you would like.

Why do I have a message that says my Account Key is missing?

When you installed our application, the Account Key was not properly assigned. Please take the following action:

  • double left click on the World Community Grid or BOINC icon in your system tray
  • click on "advanced view" (if not already in advanced view)
  • click on your "projects" tab
  • click on World Community Grid and then on the left hand menu select "detach"
  • now, go to menu's at the top of your screen and select Tools -> Attach to Project
  • this will bring up a panel that asks you to enter in a project URL. Please use:
Then you will be asked for your member name and password. Once you complete these steps, your account key should be properly assigned.

How do I make World Community Grid run while my computer is on batteries?

You may change your preferences to allow World Community Grid to run while you are on battery power as follows:

  • To change your preferences for all computers under your member name, sign on to our website and go to your “Settings" page. Select “Device Manager”, then “Device Profiles" from the left hand Navigation. Click the Profile Name that you want to alter and select “Custom Profile”. Under “Processor Usage” change your setting to reflect: “Do work while computer is running on batteries: Yes” and select “save”. The new settings will take effect when the agent software next communicates with the servers.
  • To change the preferences for a particular computer under your member name. Double left click on the World Community Grid, or BOINC, icon in the system tray of the appropriate computer. Select Preferences from Simple View. Then check “I want to customize my preferences for this computer only” and then click “Do work while on battery” and “save”. The setting changes made here take effect immediately and override those in the device profile above.

Does World Community Grid offer a 64 bit version of the BOINC software?

No. Our recommended BOINC agents are those of the 32 bit variety because even though the client is 32 bit, it will run 64 bit applications. The agent does not do anything that requires 64 bit execution at this time, thus recommending a version that works on both makes life easier. The science applications are available in both 32 bit and 64 bit. A 64 bit science application can run on 32 bit BOINC client. The opposite is also true, a 32 bit science application can run on a 64 bit BOINC client.

In Advanced View, on the BOINC Manager, under Statistics, what do the figures on the y-axis represent?

The figures represent BOINC credits. A BOINC credit is equal to 7 Points on our website. Additional information on the BOINC Manager - Advanced view may be found here.

In Advanced View, on the BOINC Manager, under Transfers, why is this page blank for me?

This tab shows pending or in progress transfers only. Once a transfer is complete it is removed from the view.

Is there any way we can find a history of how much data has been sent to and received from the World Community Grid server?

No. At this time there is no way to see how much data has been actually transferred by a given client.

In Simple View, on the BOINC Manager, do the green buttons on the project tabs change color if the processor is busy on some other task?

The presence of the green button indicates that the task is currently running. If it is not running, then the green button is not present. Additional information on the BOINC Manager - Simple view may be found here.