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Julien Simon for AWS

Posted on • Originally published at Medium on

Running Folding@home on Amazon EC2 instances

Folding@home is a long running project focused on disease research using distributed computing, and they recently launched a number of projects related to COVID-19.

This blog post will show you how to use Amazon EC2 GPU instances with Folding@home. This is a great way to help researchers, so please consider donating some GPU time. If you have AWS credits about to expire, why not burn them for a good cause?

Initial setup

First, I fire up an Amazon EC2 P3 instance, which hosts an NVIDIA V100 GPU. I use the NVIDIA Deep Learning AMI 19.11.3 in order to make sure that I have the latest NVIDIA drivers. This should also work on other AMIs, but your mileage may vary.

Then, I simply follow these instructions to manually install the Folding@home client. Here are my exact steps:

wget [\_7.4.4\_amd64.deb](

wget [\_7.4.4-1\_all.deb](

sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahclient\_7.4.4\_amd64.deb

sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahcontrol\_7.4.4-1\_all.deb
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Once I’ve completed the wizard setup, the client starts automatically. ‘htop’ confirms that the ‘a7’ Folding@Home core is crunching data.

By default, training is only running on the CPU. Let’s put that GPU to work!

Enabling GPU training

I need to edit /etc/fahclient/config.xml (sudo required):

 <! — Client Control →
 <fold-anon v=’true’/>

<! — Folding Slot Configuration →
 **<gpu v=’true’/>**

<! — Slot Control →
 <power v=’full’/>

<! — User Information →
 <user v=’JulienS’/>

<! — Folding Slots →
 <slot id=’0' type=’CPU’/>
 **<slot id=’1' type=’GPU’/>**
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Then, I just stop and start the client:

sudo /etc/init.d/FAHClient stop

sudo /etc/init.d/FAHClient start
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This fires up a GPU-optimized Folding@home core (core ‘22’).

Pretty soon, nvidia-smi tells me that the GPU is now crunching as well.

Take that, COVID-19. Your days are counted.

Again, please consider donating some GPU time if you can. Thank you.

Top comments (5)

scriptautomate profile image
Derek Ardolf
juliensimon profile image
Julien Simon

Thanks !

andrewbrown profile image
Andrew Brown 🇨🇦

Very interesting. What is the cost calculation on that?

suboptimal profile image
Frank Dietrich

Maybe the numbers on the page of the mentioned AMI could be used as reference.

rwthompsonii profile image

To save everyone else the trip, it's at least $3/hr. Yikes.