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 Plšák Ráďa @ home.cz
Zdravím všechny příznivce ATLAS@home. Jmenuji se Radim a žiji na Jizní Moravě. Poprvé jsem se seznámil s tímto projektem počínaje dnem...

News

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


Server migration completed
The migration to the new Boinc server was completed successfully. We hope you like the new look, those of you familiar with LHC@home should already know it. Please let us know if you see any problems with your work units. 15 Oct 2014, 12:17:40 UTC · Comment


ATLAS@home server migration on Oct 15
In the morning (European time) of 15th October we will move ATLAS@home to a new Boinc server. This means there will be a short maintenance period of around one hour. All existing users, results, credits etc will be moved to the new server and so no client changes are required. The DNS alias atlasathome.cern.ch will change to point to the new server and this could take a few hours to propagate through the system. In case of any problems try removing and re-attaching the project.

This move is part of integrating ATLAS@home into CERN's existing infrastructure for LHC@home apps, and so the appearance of ATLAS@home webpages will change to match the LHC@home style. All the content in the old site (message boards etc) will still be available but the look and feel will be different.
14 Oct 2014, 10:03:42 UTC · Comment


ATLAS@home discussions at the 10th BOINC workshop
The 10th BOINC workshop was hosted in Budapest this early Oct, ATLAS@home has a few issues discussed with the BOINC developers and other projects.

Outreach:
1) With help from the BOINC side, ATLAS will provide a quick button on the website which can detect the OS of the volunteer host, and choose the right BOINC client and VitulBox bundled package for the volunteer host to install.
2) We will work on merging the current ATLAS@home BOINC website and the outreach website

Tech issues:
1) addressed the stale virtualbox issue in which the vmwrapper lose communication with the virtualbox. The BOINC developer will consider implementing the vmwrapper with the Virtualbox native API which could possibly avoid this situation.
2) discussed the issue of the file system inside virtual machine becoming readonly. It might have something to do with not enabling the cache of the physical machine, but so far no clear conclusion for it yet.
3) ATLAS@home will release a new image which adds more debug information and requires less software downloading during the job running.
4) vmwrapper will impose a minimum checkpoint interval (5 minutes) to prevent user from setting up too frequent checkpoint interval (such as 1 minute) which crashes the virtual machine eventually.
8 Oct 2014, 12:48:30 UTC · Comment


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