You can specify preferences that limit when and how BOINC uses your computers. There are two kinds of preferences:
- General preferences
- These apply to all projects. Example: whether BOINC should compute while you're at your computer.
- Project preferences
- These apply only to one project. Example: the color scheme used in the SETI@home screensaver.
There are two different ways to set and change your preferences. Here's how they work; you can decide which is best for you.
On the web: You can edit preferences on the web site of any project in which you participate. If you do this, then:
- The changes will take effect on ALL the computers attached to that account; this is handy if you have a lot of computers.
- The changes will take effect on a given computer the next time that computer contacts the project's server. This typically happens automatically every day or so. You can do it manually by selecting the project in the BOINC Manager (Advanced View) and clicking Update.
In the BOINC Manager: You can edit general preferences using a dialog in the BOINC manager. Use the Advanced/Preferences menu item in the Advanced View, or the Preferences button in the Simple View. These bring up different dialogs - the Advanced version displays more preferences. If you use this approach, then:
- Changes will take effect immediately upon clicking OK in the dialog.
- Changes will affects ONLY the local computer
- Settings override preferences set on the web.
Editing preferences on the web
Click on 'Your account', then 'View or edit general preferences' (Note: these links may be different on some projects. For example, on Climateprediction.net you must click 'My CPDN', then 'BOINC CPDN', then 'Your account', and 'View or edit general preferences'.) This shows you the preferences. If you want to change anything, click on 'Edit preferences'. When you change your preferences on the web, the changes won't take effect immediately on your computer; they'll take effect the next time your computer connects to the project's server. If you want this to happen immediately, bring up the BOINC Manager on your computer, select the project, and click 'Update'. If you're running BOINC on several computers, preference changes will eventually propagate to all of them.
If you have computers at several locations (e.g. home, work and school) you may want to use different preferences for different locations. The preferences editing system (see above) lets you create (or delete) separate preferences for home, work, and school.
Each computer attached to your account has a location. To view this, go to the project's web site, then click 'Your account' and 'View Computers'. Click on the ID of the computer you're interested in. At the bottom of the page there's a popup menu that lets you see or change the location. A change to a computer's location will take effect only when that computer contacts the server; you can make this happen immediately using the BOINC Manager's Update command.
If a computer has its location set to 'home' (for example), and you've defined separate preferences for home, it will use those preferences. Otherwise it will use your default preferences.
Your account has a 'default location' (home, work, or school). New computers attaching to your account will be given the default location. The default location is part of your project preferences, so to change it, edit your project preferences.
General preferences apply to all BOINC projects in which you participate. They include:
- When to work
- You can specify whether computation should be done if the computer is in use (i.e. during keyboard and mouse input) and if the computer is being powered by batteries (for laptop users). You can also specify a range of hours when work should be done.
- Leave applications in memory while preempted
- If yes, applications will be preempted by suspending and resuming, rather than quitting. This uses more virtual memory, but uses CPU time more efficiently.
- Switch between applications every X minutes
- This determines how often BOINC switches between projects.
- Maximum number of processors to use
- On a multiprocessor, this limits the number of processors that BOINC will use. As of 6.1, the option works as a % selector of total available processor cores.
- Use at most X% of CPU time
- It you specify 50%, BOINC will compute only every other second. This reduces the heat output and energy usage of your CPU chip.
- Suspend work if no mouse/keyboard activity in last X Minutes
- Allows for the processing to stop when input and navigation is ceased and facilitates for a host to enter sleep/standby/hibernation mode as can be defined in Operating Systems and hardware BIOS. Function available since version 5.10.14 and controlled with the global_prefs_override.xml with the <suspend_if_no_recent_input>0.0</suspend_if_no_recent_input> setting. The value 0.0 equals Never. N.B. Setting is not available in GUI preferences interface, but is in project web site device profiles / venues.
Disk and memory usage
- Usage limits
- You can limit the disk space used by BOINC in any of three ways: 1) Maximum disk space used by BOINC; 2) Maximum percentage of total space that can be used by BOINC. 3) Minimum disk space to keep free. The Default is 10.0 GB
- Access interval
- A suggested interval between disk accesses. Useful on laptops where the disk may be spun down for long periods. Default is 60 seconds, maximum 999 seconds
- Use at most X% of page file
- Maximum percentage of your virtual memory page file (also called 'swap space') used by BOINC. The Default is 75%.
- Use at most X% of memory when computer is in use
- Limits the amount of RAM used by BOINC applications when your computer is in use (i.e. when there has been recent mouse or keyboard activity). Setting this to a low value lets you run BOINC all the time without impacting your computer's performance. The Default is 50%.
- Use at most X% of memory when computer is idle
- Limits the amount of RAM used by BOINC applications when your computer is not in use. The Default is 90%.
- Time of day limits
- Limit the hours during which BOINC will do network communication.
- Bandwidth limits
- Limit the number of bytes per second uploaded or downloaded by BOINC.
- Network connection preferences
- Whether to wait for confirmation before making network connections, and whether to disconnect when done.
- Time between network connections
- Target time between network connections. When your computer asks a server for work, it will try to get enough work to last for this long.
There is a separate set of project preferences for each project in which you participate. These include:
- Resource share
- If projects contend for resources, the amount allocated to a project is proportional to this number. The Default is 100.
- Email prefs
- Whether the project should send you newsletters by email.
- Hide computer information
- Whether the project should show information about your computers (their CPU and OS type, benchmark ratings etc.; not their names or addresses) on its web site.
- Default computer location
- The location assigned to computers that attach to this account.
- Project-specific preferences
- Defined by the project; e.g., to specify graphics color schemes.