I am sure that most of you are aware of various ways in which you can use your space CPU cycles to help science and all that, but I recently discovered that I am the founder for the rosetta@home Ubuntu Linux team (it transpired that I founded the team a few years ago and sort of, forgot.. about it). so if you have always thought about dedicating your spare system resources but never got around to it, here’s your perfect chance.
all you have to do is, sudo apt-get install boinc-manager boinc-client and it should be able to handle setting up your account for you, here’s some more information https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BOINC
you then need to pick a project to ‘attach’ to, you can attach to more than one if you wish; you can find a list here: http://boinc.berkeley.edu/projects.php. Personally I would go for a ‘proper’ project, in that its one thats worth dedicating your CPU you to, rather than something like SHA-1 Collision Search Graz (which attempts to find collisions in the SHA-1 hash code) or SETI@home (which tries to find signs of life in the rest of the universe), but that’s just my personal choice. i would recommend the following, World Community Grid – Rosetta@home – Climateprediction.net.
once you are setup with a project and its all running nicely don’t forget to sign up to a team! its nothing more than a bit of fun but its nice, of course if you happen to run Rosetta@home like I do then I would suggest joining the Ubuntu Linux team :)
Finally just a quick note; these projects use your spare CPU cycles, that is that they run at a higher ‘nice’ value than your normal programs (a larger nice value means that the program will sit back and let another program take all the CPU cycles it needs) so your performance should not be affected in a meaningful way, these programs do take up ram though so i would recommend having at least 256MB ram above the Ubuntu minimum suggested ram (for your version, whatever that is).