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BOINC logo
Developer(s) University of California, Berkeley
Stable release 6.10.18 / November 9, 2009; 4 month(s) ago (2009-11-09)
Preview release 6.10.37 / March 11, 2010; 8 day(s) ago (2010-03-11)
Operating system Linux, Windows, Mac OS X
Type Grid computing and Volunteer computing
License LGPL

The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is a non-commercial middleware system for volunteer and grid computing. It was originally developed to support the SETI@home project before it became useful as a platform for other distributed applications in areas as diverse as mathematics, medicine, molecular biology, climatology, and astrophysics. The intent of BOINC is to make it possible for researchers to tap into the enormous processing power of personal computers around the world.

BOINC has been developed by a team based at the Space Sciences Laboratory at the University of California, Berkeley led by David Anderson, who also leads SETI@home. As a "quasi-supercomputing" platform, BOINC has about 612,000 active computers (hosts) worldwide processing on average 4.812 petaFLOPS as of Mar 18th 2010[1], which tops the processing power of the current fastest supercomputer system (Cray XT5 (Jaguar), with a sustained processing rate of 1.759 PFLOPS).[2] BOINC is funded by the National Science Foundation through awards SCI/0221529,[3] SCI/0438443[4] and SCI/0721124.[5]

The framework is supported by various operating systems, including Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and various Unix-like systems including Linux and FreeBSD. BOINC is free software which is released under the GNU Lesser General Public License.



BOINC was originally developed to manage the SETI@home project.

The original SETI client was a non-BOINC software exclusively for SETI@home. As one of the first volunteer grid computing projects, it was not designed with a high level of security. Some participants in the project attempted to cheat the project to gain "credits", while some others submitted entirely falsified work. BOINC was designed, in part, to combat these security breaches.[6]

The BOINC project started in February 2002 and the first version was released on 10 April 2002. The first BOINC-based project was Predictor@home launched on 9 June 2004.

Design and structure

BOINC is designed to be a free structure for anyone wishing to start a volunteer computing project. Most BOINC projects are nonprofit and rely heavily, if not completely, on volunteers.[citation needed]

In essence BOINC is software that can use the unused CPU and GPU cycles on a computer to do scientific computing—what one individual doesn't use of his/her computer, BOINC uses. In late 2008, BOINC's official website[7] announced that NVIDIA (a leading GPU manufacturer) had developed a system called CUDA that uses GPUs for scientific computing. With NVIDIA's assistance, some BOINC-based projects (e.g., SETI@home, Milkyway@home) now have applications that run on NVIDIA GPUs using CUDA. Beginning in October 2009, BOINC added support for the ATI/AMD family of GPUs also. These applications run from 2X to 10X faster than the former CPU-only versions.

BOINC consists of a server system and client software that communicate with each other to distribute, process, and return workunits.


User interfaces

BOINC Manager icon - Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC), originally developed to support SETI@home, became useful as a platform for several distributed applications in areas as diverse as mathematics, medicine, molecular biology, climatology, and astrophysics.[8]

BOINC can be controlled remotely by remote procedure calls, from the command line, and from the BOINC Account Manager.

BOINC Manager currently has two "views": the Advanced View and the Simplified GUI. The Grid View was removed in the 6.6.x clients as it was redundant.

The appearance (skin) of the Simplified GUI is user-customizable, in that users can create their own designs.

Account managers

("Main article" is scheduled for deletion.)

The account manager concept was conceived and developed jointly by GridRepublic and BOINC. Current account managers include:

  • BOINC Account Manager (The first publicly available Account Manager)[citation needed]
  • GridRepublic (Follows the idea of keep it simple and keep it neat when it comes to account management)

The account managers are the unifying points for all the BOINC projects. They create a site that one can find and manage project settings with a single log in and password.

Credit system

The BOINC Credit System is designed to avoid cheating by validating results before granting credit.

  • A credit management system helps to ensure that users are returning results which are both scientifically and statistically accurate.
  • Online distributed computing is almost entirely a volunteer endeavor. For this reason projects are dependent on a complicated and variable mix of new users, long-term users, and retiring users.
  • There is no single generic reason why someone chooses to donate his or her computing resources to any given project.

Projects using BOINC framework

See also



External links

Study guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiversity

w:Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing

Open-source software for volunteer computing and desktop grid computing. The project aims to use the idle time on volunteers' computers (Windows, Mac, or Linux) as a resource to compute a variety of projects agreed to be beneficial to the community at large. Examples may be projects to control disease or various scientific research.

See also

External link to BOINC homepage


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:





  1. (sciences, computing) Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing.

External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

Volunteer Computing with BOINC



Daniel Lombraña González, July 14 2007 ("teleyinex")

The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) is a middle-ware system for volunteer computing. The goal of this project is to harness the idle CPU cycles of desktop machines for running scientific applications.

Volunteer Computing

BOINC Infrastructure

The client

Building the client

The server

Getting the source code

Software prerequisites

Building on GNU/Linux

Building BOINC examples

Porting scientific applications to BOINC

Simple English

File:BOINC logo July

Developer:University of California, Berkeley
Latest release:6.10.36 / March 1, 2010; 11 month(s) ago (2010-03-01)
OS:Linux, Windows, Mac OS X
Use: Grid computing and Volunteer computing


BOINC, or The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing, is an organization that lets ordinary people to use their computers to do scientific work. SETI, or Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, is the most famous of the BOINC programs. SETI searches for radio signals from outer space that might be a sign of alien life and worlds. BOINC involves other scientific work. For example, it allows individuals to use their computer to find the structures of proteins, a cure for the disease malaria or the very structure of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

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