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.

On this page you can see ATLAS monitoring of the tasks running on ATLAS@Home, as well as how ATLAS@Home ("BOINC") compares to the other sites on the WLCG.

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.

Please consult or post to the message boards to learn more about the work currently available or in case of problems.

The Physics of ATLAS@Home

No knowledge of particle physics is required, but for those interested in the physics processes simulated in ATLAS@Home as well as the ATLAS experiment itself visit our public page.

ATLAS@Home tasks progress, for each task (number of jobs done/total number of jobs):

  • Task mc15_13TeV CFilterBVeto_qsf4.simul (9160450): 8112/80000
  • Task mc15_13TeV CFilterBVeto_qsf025.simul (9160442): 19195/100000
  • Task mc15_13TeV CFilterBVeto_renorm4.simul (9160434): 64244/100000
  • Task mc15_13TeV CFilterBVeto_renorm025.simul (9160424): 77591/80000

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
    • VirtualBox 5.0 or 5.1 are the recommended versions, but note that 5.1 is not yet supported for the multi-core app.
  • 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

User profile Profile [SG]MichaelR.
I bin da Michl, und do bin i dahoam


Multi-core version 1.04 with support for VirtualBox 5.1, OS X and graphics
Version 1.04 of the multicore app has been released with the following improvements:

- support for VirtualBox 5.1
- support for OS X (finally!)
- graphics (same as single core app)

Thank you for your continued support of ATLAS!
23 Aug 2016, 11:27:04 UTC · Comment

Version 2.01 with VirtualBox 5.1 support
We have released v2.01 of ATLAS@Home (single-core) with updated vboxwrappers to support VirtualBox 5.1. This should help with the large number of STATUS_ACCESS_VIOLATION errors that happen with v2.00. Please let us know if you still have problems running with VirtualBox 5.1. 4 Aug 2016, 11:46:21 UTC · Comment

ATLAS@Home version 2.0 with graphics
Today we have released version 2.0 of ATLAS simulation. The main addition to this version is a graphical interface which can be launched with the "show graphics" button on the BOINC manager. The interface explains a bit more about why we do ATLAS@Home, some background information on basic particle physics, some examples of what simulation looks like and links to where you can find out more about the ATLAS experiment.

Please allow the task to run for up to a minute before launching the graphics as it requires some processes to start inside the virtual machine. The interface was created by Giulio Isacchini, a student at the University of Oslo in collaboration with the rest of the ATLAS@Home team. Please ask questions, give comments and suggestions for improvements, extra features etc on the Graphics forum. The graphics are currently only available on the single-core version, we will add it to multi-core soon.


EDIT:There is a small configuration issue stopping the pages loading on Mac hosts and possibly Windows hosts too. This problem will go away in the next 3-4 hours.
2 Aug 2016, 11:29:02 UTC · Comment

New multi-core application version 1.03
A new version of the multi-core app was released this morning which fixes the issue with the bootstrap script only setting up one core for each WU. It is recommended to abort older tasks using v1.01 if you want to take advantage of the fully working multi-core version. 18 Jul 2016, 9:45:05 UTC · Comment

How can the BOINC client allocate customized CPU/Memory resources to specific applications
Some of the users might only want to give a certain ratio of their CPU/Memory to a specific application. Take the ATLAS@home Multiple core application ATLAS_MCORE for example, if you want to this app to use less than the CPU/Memory that you allow the BOINC client to use, you can do it through creating a configuration file app_config.xml in your project directory:

You can limit the MultiCore-App by using an app_config.xml.

Below is an example to limit ATLAS_MCORE to use only 4 Cores:

<app_config> <app_version> <app_name>ATLAS_MCORE</app_name> <avg_ncpus>4.000000</avg_ncpus> <plan_class>vbox_64_mt_mcore</plan_class> <cmdline>--memory_size_mb 5300</cmdline> </app_version> </app_config>

You should change these two lines to your needs:

<avg_ncpus>4.000000</avg_ncpus> <cmdline>--memory_size_mb 5300</cmdline>

Memory usage calculated by the ATLAS_MCORE app is by this formula:

memory = 1300 + (1000* NumerOfCores)

so it is 5300MB for 4 cores.

Thanks to Yeti for giving this recipe. 14 Jul 2016, 8:42:51 UTC · Comment

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