eFMer BoincTasks

RFGuy_KCCO

DCOTM x4, [H]ard|DCer of the Year 2019
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I wanted to make my fellow teammates aware of the excellent free program "BoincTasks," which allows you to remotely monitor and control all of your BOINC crunchers very easily and, IMHO, provides a much better interface than provided by the standard BOINC Client. I have been using this program for about a year now and consider it an indispensable tool for serious and casual crunchers alike.

Website/Download location: http://efmer.com/b/boinctasks

This program does everything the standard BOINC client can do, plus much more. If you have multiple crunchers, this program is essential for keeping track of things on all your machines.

I am just going to include several screenshots below, as most BOINC crunchers should see the benefits of this program just by looking at the screenshots. However, feel free to ask me any specific questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them.

Please note, I have no vested interest in this program or developer whatsoever. I am merely a satisfied user of the program and I wanted to share my experiences with my teammates.

Computers-1.jpg~original


Projects.jpg~original


Tasks.jpg~original


Messages.jpg~original


History.jpg~original


Notices.jpg~original
 
Last edited:

RFGuy_KCCO

DCOTM x4, [H]ard|DCer of the Year 2019
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I copied this post to that thread. Had that thread come up in my search, I would have just posted there instead of creating this thread.

There are some pretty good install/setup instructions on the eFMer website, but I can work on something better.
 

Gilthanis

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Naw, I think it gets more attention here. I just figured adding it to the other thread will help keep it relevant. After a while...there is only so many programs that are found helpful. So, that other thread can get buried.
 

texinga

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
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182
Though found on this link as well http://boinc.berkeley.edu/addons.php with other BOINC addons. You might want to add this gem to the following thread:
http://hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1768577 and even possibly do an install/setup guide that is "Grandpa" proof. ;)

+1 on the "Grandpa proof". While installing the software is relatively easy, getting through the changes to make your various PC's seen by the BoincTasks Tool was quite a project for me. I'm not a network guru (or even the guy that is worthy to shine their shoes), so it took a lot of Googling, reading various posts in different forums for me to get my Windows rigs seen. I have yet to go down the path of installing Wine on my Ubuntu rig so that I can try to get it seen too.
 

EXT64

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You only need BoincTasks on the computer you are doing the viewing/control from, not on every one of the computers you are controlling. (So I would recommend having a windows computer (that has BoincTasks) to view/control all of the others).
 

texinga

Limp Gawd
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Dec 5, 2011
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182
EXT, yes you are right and I figured that out today. I don't need Wine installed on my Ubuntu rig because I don't need to install/run BoincTasks on that rig. I already have BoincTasks setup on one of my Windows rigs as the "Host". As with my other Windows machines, on my Ubuntu rig, I edited the "remote_hosts.cfg" file to add the IP address of my Host Windows PC (running BoincTasks) and also put a decent password into the "gui_rpc_auth.cfg" file.

I can see all of my machines now with BoincTasks. :D The ability to see all of them on my network from a single PC is very welcome. I especially like being able to easily see a count of how many tasks are queued for each PC since I'm running several days worth of cached WUs on each rig.

Thank-you for the reply too.
 

texinga

Limp Gawd
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Dec 5, 2011
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182
I just got this running and it is fairly fresh on my mind. So, I thought maybe it could help someone else to share what I did to get this great Tool running/seeing all my PCs. I also give credit to many other people on the net who posted responses to people in my situation who couldn't seem to get their PCs showing in BoincTasks.

Caveat: I'm not an expert on these things and others (who are experts) may have a better way of accomplishing the same thing. So, use what I'm sharing with your discretion. :D

Setting-up BoincTasks for Multiple PCs

BoincTasks appealed to me as a useful tool for monitoring and controlling BOINC across multiple PCs on my network from a single PC. I have it installed on my SR2 PC and run it there to look at my 2600K PC and 4P-6180 PC.

Aside for installing the BoincTasks software (which is easy to do), here are some points about the larger need of getting BoincTasks to see and report the Tasks on the other (remote) PCs.

  • First, you only need to install the BoincTasks software onto (1) of your PCs (whichever one that you will be using to monitor your other PCs).
  • So, there is one “Host” PC (with BoincTasks installed) and all of your remote PCs (running BOINC) can connect to it. BoincTasks seems to have no problem identifying and communicating with the Host PC where this software is installed. So, I did not have to do anything with the (2) files (listed below) on my Host PC. It was good to go.
But, on the remote PC’s there are a couple of important files to check and edit (where necessary). Also, these files may or may not exist on your Remote PCs and may have to be created:
  • gui_rpc_auth.cfg - This file contains an authentication password that BOINC can use. This password is used with BoincTasks when you add a Computer to be monitored/controlled. In some cases, there is already a long password in this file that BOINC created. You can either use that password or remove it and create on of your own choosing.
  • remote_hosts.cfg – This file is where you put the IP address of your “Host” PC that is running the BoincTasks software. It is a single line entry (such as 192.168.x.x). You'll need to find that exact IP address for your Host PC.
  • In Windows 7, these files (if they exist) are located in: C:\ProgramData\BOINC\
    You can use Notepad to edit these files, just make sure that when they are saved, the .cfg extension is retained and not changed to .txt.
  • In Ubuntu, these files are located in: /var/lib/boinc-client/
  • You can use these commands to edit each file:
  • Sudo gedit /var/lib/boinc-client/gui_rpc_auth.cfg
  • Sudo gedit /var/lib/boinc-client/remote_hosts.cfg

Firewall Rules that may be needed

In my situation it was necessary to create a Rule in my Firewall for each Remote Windows PC to allow both directions of communications to Port 31416. In that Firewall rule, I also had to point the rule to the BOINC.exe file as being the application where this rule applies. BoincTasks uses that port to communicate to BOINC.exe running on your other PCs.

I did not find it necessary to setup a Rule on my Ubuntu PC (just the Windows PCs).

These two screen shots are from the Firewall running on my Windows PCs and your Firewall Rules section may look very different. But the elements used should be similar. So, here are (2) screen-shots of the two tabs (“General” and “Local”) that I had to modify in the Firewall Rule that I created. I did not need to make any changes in the “Remote” tab.

Rules-1_zps5b4de0f7.jpg


Rules-2_zps8b1ca733.jpg


Adding a Computer with BoincTasks

After you have setup your (2) .cfg files on your Remote PCs and created any Firewall Rules needed, you will want to find the PCs using the BoincTasks “Find Computers” from the top menu bar as shown below.

Adding-a-PC_zpse2436a22.jpg


After you have selected “Find computers”, the screen below will open up to allow you to:
  1. Scan your network’s address range for Computers.
  2. List the PCs (or their IP Addresses) on screen and allow you to select the PCs.
  3. Allow you to add the PCs to your list for monitoring/control by the BoincTasks application.

Finding-PCs_zpsdbb4d6b9.jpg


Don’t be surprised if your “finding efforts” don’t show up as connected/working when you are returned to the Main BoincTasks screen. It can take 10-20 seconds for things to show up as connected with Tasks information, etc. In a few cases, I found it necessary to stop and restart the BoincTasks application (especially if a Firewall Rule was changed) to get a particular PC to show-up as connected.

Viewing your PCs with BoincTasks

When you first start-up the BoincTasks application you may see some of your Remote PCs show up like this on the screen (with a red lightning bolt next to the PC name).

Viewing-PCs_zps9dadf355.jpg


Just give it 10-20 seconds to connect and the screen will change to this showing that your Remote PCs are properly communicating with BoincTasks.

Viewing-PCs-2_zpse9a7df8e.jpg


Hope this helps someone. After all the help I've gotten from HardOCP over the years, I wanted to give something back if possible. :cool:
 

Gilthanis

[H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014
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You might even want to create a post in our Guides section so that it is easily found in the future.
 

texinga

Limp Gawd
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Dec 5, 2011
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Gil, I was thinking that it should be added here because I thought this was the thread on this Tool. :D Is there a way to put this whole thread into the guide section? I don't know the particulars of how things are setup here, but am glad to do whatever is best.
 

Gilthanis

[H]ard|DCer of the Year - 2014
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You would have to ask a mod to move it. Otherwise just copy and past your part into a new on in the Guide section.
 

RFGuy_KCCO

DCOTM x4, [H]ard|DCer of the Year 2019
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Sep 23, 2006
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Excellent job on that guide, texinga! That's awesome. Very much appreciated.
 

Linden

[H]ard|Gawd
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Sep 8, 2005
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Thankyou, Texinga. I'll be installing it later this week when I have time.
 

WesM63

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Aug 29, 2004
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You don't need to modify any firewall rules or anything manually. Copy bonictoolbox64.exe from the machine that has BonicTasks installed (C:\Program Files\eFMer\BoincTasks) and run it on one of the clients. (Yes if prompted and accept on the firewall prompt) Then back on the machine with BonicTasks installed, hit find computers. Done.
 

texinga

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
182
Thanks guys, this tool is really useful for me and I thank RFGuy for posting about it which is what led me to trying it.

Wes, I'd read about BoincToolBox on the BoincTasks website and attempted to use it on my Remote Win7 PC. It would not work as described with my Firewall, so that is why I went in and created a rule that solved the need. It may work for others and I'm glad you brought it up because it should be mentioned in this thread. Here's a link to the page that speaks about using BoincToolBox:

http://efmer.com/b/?q=boinctasks_manual_net
 

texinga

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 5, 2011
Messages
182
I created a new thread over in the DC Guides with just a brief intro and a link that points back to this original thread. That way, we can leave this thread in tact, don't have to ask a Mod to do anything and can also have visibility to it over in the DC Guides section. I have gone to the Guides section many times for info about various Tools, so thank-you Gil for suggesting having something there.
 
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