ATLAS@Home

ATLAS@Home is a research project that uses volunteer computing to run simulations of the ATLAS experiment at CERN. You can participate by downloading and running a free program on your computer.

ATLAS is a particle physics experiment taking place at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, that searches for new particles and processes using head-on collisions of protons of extraordinary high energy. Petabytes of data were recorded, processed and analyzed during the first three years of data taking, leading to up to 300 publications covering all the aspects of the Standard Model of particle physics, including the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.

Large scale simulation campaigns are a key ingredient for physicists, who permanently compare their data with both "known" physics and "new" phenomena predicted by alternative models of the universe, particles and interactions. This simulation runs on the WLCG Computing Grid and at any one point there are around 150,000 tasks running. You can help us run even more simulation by using your computer's idle time to run these same tasks.

The program you will download runs simulation software inside a virtual machine hosted by your computer. The virtual machine image is ~500MB but is only downloaded once. Each workunit downloads a small set of input data and runs for approx 1 to 2 hours depending on the computer's processor speed.

THE ATLAS@Home PROJECT IS STILL UNDER DEVELOPMENT, and it cannot be guaranteed that jobs will be free from errors or that there will always be work available, but do not hesitate to contact us at atlas.home@cern.ch

The Physics of ATLAS@Home

No knowledge of particle physics is required, but for those interested in more details, at the moment we simulate the creation and decay of supersymmetric bosons and fermions, new types of particles that we would love to discover next year, as they would help us to shed light on the dark matter mystery!

For more information on the physics processes simulated in ATLAS@Home as well as the ATLAS experiment itself visit our public page.

Join ATLAS@Home

  • Read our rules and policies
  • This project uses BOINC. If you're already running BOINC, select Add Project. If not, download BOINC.
  • This project also requires VirtualBox to be installed.
    • Windows: VirtualBox is included in Windows distributions of Boinc and so does not have to be installed separately.
    • Mac and Linux: VirtualBox must be installed separately
  • In case of problems using the latest version of VirtualBox try using version 4.2.16.
  • After choosing Add Project in Boinc Manager, choose ATLAS@home from the list of projects
  • Then either enter details for to set up a new account, or if you have previously registered enter the existing account details.
  • IMPORTANT:
    • A reasonably powerful modern 64-bit computer with at least 4GB of memory is required to run ATLAS@Home. Enabling 64-bit virtualisation may require some changes in BIOS settings.
    • In Boinc Manger set the % of processors used to be at most 50%, otherwise your computer may run out of memory.
    • The work units may use a lot of network bandwidth, so a slow internet connection may reduce work unit efficiency
    • The work units contact servers at CERN and outside CERN. If you are behind a firewall you will need to open access to these servers. Please contact us for details.
  • If you're running a command-line version of BOINC, create an account first.
  • If you have any problems, get help here.

User of the day

User profile Profile Ray Murray
I've been Boincing since 2004 after graduating from Seti Classic. The avatar picture is of the plaques that are on the Pioneer 10 and 11 probes...

News

database down last night
Due to a technical problem the database behind the ATLAS@home boinc server was unavailable from around 14:30 UTC on Sunday until 9:00 UTC this morning. It is back up and running ok now. Apologies for the inconvenience. 17 Nov 2014, 9:21:59 UTC · Comment


Request for more crunching in next week or two
The current set of ATLAS@Home work units are quite important to the experiment and would like to get them finished as quickly as possible. Therefore if you have more CPU to donate to ATLAS@Home over the next couple of weeks to crunch through these WU it would be very much appreciated! There are currently around 7000 WU left to crunch in this set and we will provide regular updates of how many are left to go.

Many of the server-side scalability issues have been addressed and we are confident that we can handle more concurrent WU at this time. However the vboxwrapper is still having issues in some cases, so if you notice that you have WUs that are stalled or WUs that consume very small amount of cpu for more than 30 minutes, please abort them since they will most likely not succeed. The expected cputime usage of the WUs varies from 6 to 36 hour, so please ignore the WU progress as reported by the client.

Thank you in advance for your help!
15 Nov 2014, 14:38:35 UTC · Comment


ATLAS 1.29 is released, it has a minor change to increase the virtual machine memory from 1.5GB to 2GB as we notice some job failures due to memory limits. 3 Nov 2014, 10:15:37 UTC · Comment


v1.28 and validation sample
A new sample of tasks was launched, and there is a mixture of short and long jobs. The purpose of those tasks is to do a validation of samples that run through Boinc against the standard ATLAS sample to verify that physics results do not differ. So far ~2k jobs (out of 3.6k) have terminated successfully.

Monitoring of ATLAS simulation jobs on BOINC against WLCG is available on our test server :
http://boincai04.cern.ch/Atlas-test/atlas_job.php

Also, the logic of launching the jobs was changed drastically to minimize the downloads of input files. Please, report if you notice something non-optimal with v1.28.

A new thread is being created for this purpose.
28 Oct 2014, 20:06:54 UTC · Comment


Server replaced
The main server broke and needed to be replaced by a new one. The outage was few hours long, but everything should be back to normal now. 23 Oct 2014, 16:56:25 UTC · Comment


... more

News is available as an RSS feed   RSS