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

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.
    • 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

Profile firstomega
I started to work for distributed computing in 2003, when I payed attention in the SETI@home project. In the same year I recognized the community of...


Screen saver
Dear all,

to answer some questions raised several times.

We are working on a new version of the software that will allow volunteers having access to information about the executing WUs.

One of the feature will be do have a screensaver and/or page displaying events as they are produced. A preview of a typical view of event is attached. There are still issues with the various type of operating system used by volunteers and it might require a few more time of debugging unfortunately.

We would be very interested to know which informations volunteers would like to be displayed or having access to. Your inputs are more than welcome.

6 Feb 2015, 15:06:03 UTC · Comment

Issues with a bad payload definition in the past few days
Dear volunteers,

in the past few days, most of you have been experiencing difficulties with the massive WU failures. This was caused by one task with 20k WUs, which was badly defined and 80% of the WUs failed. We did not spot this immediately due to a lacking functionality of our monitoring system which still needs to be adapted to BOINC workloads. The corresponding task was aborted yesterday, so the things should be back to normal. In addition, all of us have been traveling and we did not have much time to follow the message boards. We have now assigned a dedicated person who will track the issues, so we hope for a much better response time in the future.

Apologies for the issues you have been experiencing lately, and thank you for your patience and efforts to help us.
21 Jan 2015, 13:15:51 UTC · Comment

New campaign starting

a new campaign has just been released, a large variety of WUs are being created.

Thank you for contributing to ATLAS simulation!
12 Jan 2015, 2:53:57 UTC · Comment

No new WU available
We currently have a shortage of WU to put into ATLAS@home which we hope will be resolved in the next day or two. 11 Jan 2015, 8:27:31 UTC · Comment

New tasks have been released
Dear all,

The migration of ATLAS production system is almost complete, for a week now test tasks have been submitted with success.

We are currently resuming normal production rate with task of almost equal duration length.

We have noticed an increase of ~20% of the activity on the ATLAS@home project and would like to warmly thank all the volunteers for their contribution.

After Xmas we shall release a new version of software that includes a new version of vboxwrapper.

Best regards
18 Dec 2014, 8:31:54 UTC · Comment

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