News archive

ATLAS/LHC@Home consolidation
Hi all,

As you may know we are working on putting all LHC-related projects under the combined LHC@Home project. The idea is to provide a single entry point for everyone who wants to participate in helping CERN research.

We have now set up a beta app for ATLAS on LHC@Home so we invite you to try it and provide feedback on the ATLAS message board. You need to enable beta apps in your project preferences to get these WU.

Currently the WU there are just for tests and we don't use the results but soon we will proceed with real WU. Once everything is working well there we will ask everyone to migrate over to LHC@Home and stop sending work to the ATLAS@Home project.

Credit will not be lost! We will move all the credit accumulated here to LHC@Home once all the remaining tasks are finished. To make this easier it would be very helpful if your email address you register with is the same on both projects, since this is the only way to match the accounts on each project.

Happy continued crunching,
The ATLAS@Home team
23 Jan 2017, 11:55:08 UTC · Comment

Seasons greetings
Hi everyone,

Thank you all for your contributions to ATLAS@Home this year! It is due to you that ATLAS@Home is one of the most important resources for ATLAS simulation. The project team wishes you a happy holiday and successful 2017!

Most of us will be away for the next two weeks so response to any problems will be slow. However we have loaded up the system with WU so hopefully there is enough to crunch on until the new year.

Best wishes,
The project team
23 Dec 2016, 8:42:51 UTC · Comment

New single-core tasks
Thanks for all your feedback on the future of the single-core app. We have seen that it is useful to keep it, especially for less experienced volunteers who don't want to write xml files to configure how many tasks to run.

Therefore we are directing some of the multicore WU into the single core app. These WU will use only one core but process the same number of events (100) as the multicore WU, so will run for a few hours longer than the previous single-core WU.

We have also cancelled the remaining single-core WU which were faulty or stuck on non-responding hosts. Apologies if you were actively crunching one of those.

In addition we have applied the same restrictions to the single-core app as we have on the multicore app: the minimum version of virtualbox required is 5.0.0 and there is a check that virtualisation is possible on your PC before sending WU. So if you have an old virtualbox or a PC not configured for virtualisation then you will not receive any more WU. Please see Yeti's checklist for more information in case of problems.

Thanks again for your continued contribution!
22 Nov 2016, 20:44:43 UTC · Comment

Single core tasks finished
You may have noticed that there are no single core tasks left in the queue. This is deliberate as part of our aim to simplify things by having a single app which is multicore only.

We know that there are people who like to run only single-core WU but it is possible to run multicore WU in a single-core mode through the use of app_config.xml. (set


This is not a perfect solution so if there are serious objections to deprecating the single core app we can do some tricks to send multicore WU to the single core app which will then run in single-core mode. Please let us know what you think. 10 Nov 2016, 10:50:14 UTC · Comment

New multi-core version 1.05
The new batch of multicore WU that we have require a new version of ATLAS simulation software so we had to release a new version of the multicore application. The only change is the VM image which unfortunately has grown in size to 2.3GB with the new software. 6 Oct 2016, 11:45:32 UTC · Comment

Changes to the multicore app configuration
After analysis of results from the multicore app (see this thread) we have made the following changes

- Minimum VirtualBox version required is 5.0.0
- Maximum cores reduced from 12 to 8 (this can be overridden in app_config.xml but we have seen severe performance issues above 8 cores)
- Enforced that hardware acceleration is enabled on the host. This should stop the -148 ERR_EXEC errors because WU will not be sent to these hosts.

Please continue to provide your feedback on changes we make.
13 Sep 2016, 8:09:56 UTC · Comment

Tips on how to gain better performance on the ATLAS_MCORE app
According to our test, the CPU performance (We measure the CPU performance by seconds of CPU per event. For example, the current ATLAS job running on the ATlAS_MCORE app processes 100 events, if the overall CPU time for this job is 30000 seconds, then the CPU performance is 300 seconds/event) varies to the number of cores of the vm.

In the test, we also compared the CPU performance on different Virtualbox versions.

The test result can be seen here:

The above test is done on 2 hosts, HOST1 has HT(HypherThreading) enabled, while HOST2 has HT disabled. The test result is consistent despite of whether disabling/enabling HT of the CPU.

Also, we conclude a result from the ATLAS job statistics based on the jobs from over 1 month period. The following result shows the average CPU performance on different number of cores. (ATLAS_MCORE supports up to 12 cores for now).

The benefit of using more cores in one vm is to save memory usage, but using big number of cores can also significantly reduce the CPU performance. Our test result also concludes this is a case in all cloud computing platforms, not just on ATLAS@home.

In order to have a good tradeoff between memory usage and CPU performance, we advise that you configure the cores to each ATLAS_MCORE job(VM) according to the overall cores and memory allocated to BOINC.For example,if your host allocates 12 cores to BOINC, by default, ATLAS_MCORE creates a vm with 12 cores with 12.1GB memory, but if the host has enough memory, you can customize the usage with the app_config.xml file, i.e. each vm uses 6 cores with 7.3GB memory, so that your host runs 2 vms, and the overall memory usage is 14.6GB.

You can limit the MultiCore-App by using the app_config.xml (This file needs to be put in your project/ directory).

Below is an example to limit each ATLAS_MCORE job to use only 6 Cores:

<app_config> <app_version> <app_name>ATLAS_MCORE</app_name> <avg_ncpus>6.000000</avg_ncpus> <plan_class>vbox_64_mt_mcore</plan_class> <cmdline>--memory_size_mb 7300</cmdline> </app_version> </app_config>

You should change these two lines to your needs:

<avg_ncpus>4.000000</avg_ncpus> <cmdline>--memory_size_mb 7300</cmdline>

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

memory = 2500 + (800* NumerOfCores)

so it is 7300MB for 6 cores.

We will also make some changes on the server side very soon:
1. Require a minimum version(5.0.0) of Virtualbox for the ATLAS_MCORE app.
2. Limit the ATLAS_MCORE app to use at most 8 cores. 6 Sep 2016, 1:23:31 UTC · Comment

Performance issues with older Virtualbox
We recently noticed that with the ATLAS Multi Core application, there is a HUGE performance difference between the old and new version virtualbox, and this is especially obvious with big multi core (Core number >4 ).

As shown in this host with 12 Cores allocated to BOINC, the older version of virtualbox (4.2.16) uses almost 3 times of CPU time compared to the newer version(5.1.2) with the same kind of jobs.More results of other hosts from our database confirms this difference. And our database also shows around 7% of hosts still use older virtualbox(version<5.00). In order to avoid wasting the CPU, we advise that you upgrade the virtualbox to the most recent ones (5.1.2 or 5.1.4).

Also, in a few days, we shall setup a requirement on the server, so that hosts with older virtualbox(version<5.0.0) no longer receives the ATLAS Multi Core jobs.

Test results can be seen here

1 Sep 2016, 8:46:48 UTC · Comment

Moving multicore out of beta on Mon 29th August
We intend to move the multicore app out of beta on Monday the 29th August. This means that by default everyone will get both singlecore and multicore WU.

The main motivations for this are that multicore provides better CPU and memory efficiency, and we only have to manage a single stream of tasks instead of two.

If you do not want to run multicore you can disable it in your ATLAS@Home preferences in the option "Run only the selected applications"

By default the tasks will use as many cores as you have allocated to BOINC. For tuning the number of cores that the tasks will use you can create an app_config.xml file as described in this thread

At some point we plan to discontinue the singlecore app and run only multicore. The multicore app will also run on 1 core so you can still continue with ATLAS even with a single core.

Happy crunching!
The ATLAS@Home team
26 Aug 2016, 11:27:51 UTC · Comment

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

ATLAS@home releases a beta application for the multi core jobs
We have released a beta application named "ATLAS_MCORE" for the ATLAS multi-core jobs.

If you are interested in testing it on your machine, you need to allow test task in your project preference to receive jobs from this new application.

This can be enabled by login to your account on the atlasathome webpage, then click on "Your account", then click on "ATLAS@Home preferences", then check the box next to "Run test applications".

The multi-core version will check the BOINC client for both the available CPU cores(the number of CPU cores the client is configured to give to BOINC to use) and available memory size(the number of memory size the client is configured to give to BOINC to use) to decide how many cores will be allocated to one virtual machine which runs the ATLAS job.

For the ATLAS multi-core job, the relation between memory size and number of CPU cores is defined in this formula:


For example, a 1 core job requires 2300 MB memory, and a 2 core job requires 3300 MB memory.

The number of CPU cores which will be allocated to the virtual machine is also calculated according to this formula.
The minimum number between Number_of_CPU_cores and the available CPU cores from the client is used to allocate to the virtual machine.

Currently, this test app can utilize from 2 to 8 cores of the client depending on the available CPU cores and memory size from the client.

By using multi-core jobs, we expect the runtime of jobs is close to runtime_of_single_core_job/number_of_cores, and it can significantly saves the usage of memory for clients which offers multi-cores to BOINC.
11 Jul 2016, 15:51:59 UTC · Comment

Disk space limit decreased to 4GB
Hi all,

To make more effective use of volunteers running ramdisks we have reduced the disk space limit from 6.5GB to 4GB. See thread here

We see that most tasks use at most 2.2GB so this should be safe, but please notify us of any problems related to this change.[/url]
24 Jun 2016, 7:30:30 UTC · Comment

WU running out shortly - more on Monday 6th
Hi all, just a heads up that we will likely run out of WU in the next few hours. We should get some more back in the system on Monday. 4 Jun 2016, 18:23:12 UTC · Comment

ATLAS@Home in CERN Bulletin
ATLAS@Home features in this week's CERN Bulletin (CERN's internal bi-weekly newspaper):

Here you can read about the achievements of ATLAS@Home as well as related LHC@Home projects. Happy reading!
18 May 2016, 10:34:54 UTC · Comment

Can we beat the ATLAS record?
Hi all,

Next week (starting 22 Feb) our ATLAS colleagues in the US will get their hands on 100,000 CPU cores from Amazon EC2 for a few days to run ATLAS simulation. In combination with this we are going to push all the other ATLAS resources we have in order to break the record of concurrent simulation tasks running. Can you guys spread the word around to get people to contribute a bit more to ATLAS@Home next week?

You can see the number of tasks running per site for the last month on this page: (ATLAS@Home is "BOINC"). Thanks in advance for your help!
18 Feb 2016, 9:02:37 UTC · Comment

Short downtime
Dear volunteers,

there will be a short intervention of ATLAS@Home this morning, of about 1 hour, due to the upgrade of the shared filesystem.

Best regards,
9 Feb 2016, 7:57:25 UTC · Comment

New application version - 1.46
Dear All,

This new application version is the same as 1.44.
We had an issue with the latest task (some jobs were failing), that was the reason of version 1.45 (with more VM memory).
In version 1.45 the image memory was increased, yesterday we found the real reason of the failing jobs.
We reverse the version since there was no need to have more memory and larger image.

Thank you!
6 Feb 2016, 8:11:31 UTC · Comment

New application version - 1.45
Dear all,

The new version will be available soon.

In this version:
---> Updated job XML.
---> Image with slightly more memory.

Thank you,
28 Jan 2016, 8:41:26 UTC · Comment

New logo
You may notice a slight change to our logo on the ATLAS@Home pages. This new version was created by Chilean, and is a welcome improvement on the previous version. Thanks very much Chilean! 21 Jan 2016, 13:17:18 UTC · Comment

New record! more than 10.000 concurrently running WUs
Dear all,

Today ATLAS@home reached a new record of 10.000 running WUs!!!!

Please have a look at the announcement on the public site :

A big THANK YOU to all the volunteers participating to the ATLAS simulation effort!
12 Jan 2016, 21:10:43 UTC · Comment

Service interruption on Saturday
Dear all,

on Saturday, 19th of December, the ATLAS@Home services experienced difficulties due to a major issue with the NFS servers. The volume holding the boinc project was offline till late in the evening. Everything is back to normal since then.

Sorry for inconvenience and thank you for your support.

20 Dec 2015, 7:10:15 UTC · Comment

No new WU available at the moment
Dear All,

Currently there are some problems with the ATLAS production system.
As a result, no new WUs are available for ATLAS@home project.

Thank you for your cooperation,
18 Dec 2015, 10:27:50 UTC · Comment

New application version - 1.44
Dear All,

The new version will be available soon.

In this version:

---New vboxwrapper (version 26178).

4 Dec 2015, 10:52:38 UTC · Comment

New application version - 1.43
Dear all,

The new version will be available soon.

We had some memory issues with the previous version.
In this version the update is in the job XML.

Thank you,
3 Dec 2015, 9:18:11 UTC · Comment

New application version - 1.42
Hi All,

New application version with new image will be available soon.

30 Nov 2015, 14:55:48 UTC · Comment

New Task + New application version 1.41
Dear all,

The new task uses a new software version and therefore a new image was created.

Please let us know if you are having any problems with this version.

Thank you for your cooperation and support!

25 Nov 2015, 13:18:08 UTC · Comment

New task
Hi All,

We ran out of WUs and it will take some time to get new tasks defined for ATLAS@home.

The new task will be available ASAP.

Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your support!

23 Nov 2015, 8:31:29 UTC · Comment

Unexpected downtime
Dear volunteers,

the atlasathome server was unexpectedly reset today, and was then unavailable for few hours. It's up and running again now.

Sorry for inconvenience.

Best regards,
19 Nov 2015, 15:46:47 UTC · Comment

Over 8.000 concurrent WUs : a new record!
Dear all,

a new record for ATLAS@home,
over 8.000 active WUs !

Thank you to all the volunteers participating in the ATLAS simulation effort!
10 Nov 2015, 0:04:32 UTC · Comment

Short database intervention Nov 10
Due to database maintenance ATLAS@Home will be unavailable for up to one hour from 6.30 to 7.30 UTC on 10 November. Thanks for your understanding and continued contributions! 9 Nov 2015, 8:32:06 UTC · Comment

New application version - 1.40
Dear All,

Since we had a validation issue with version 1.39, we downgraded to the previous image.

This version, 1.40, is the same as 1.38.

Thank you!
2 Nov 2015, 10:07:01 UTC · Comment

New application version - 1.39
Dear All,

In the next hour a new application version for all platforms will be released.

This version will include a new VM image that will support the following improvements:

Multiple Console Support
The image now supports multiple (5) consoles.
They are organized as follows:
tty1: runtime_log ---> This is the job log
tty2: runtime_log.err
tty3: cron.out ---> This is the log of the cron job that starts the job
tty4: cron.err
tty5: top

From the BOINC manager, you should choose the ‘Show VM console’ option (in order to have this option you should install the Virtual Box extension and you have to have remote desktop installed).

To switch between console you should press Alt+F1—>F5

Graphics Support
A Web sever has been configured in the image to support the BOINC graphics function. For now only a default index page is provided that shows a log directory where the logs shown in the consoles can be downloaded.

From the BOINC manager, you should choose the ‘Show graphics’ option.

Your inputs are important,
Please let us know if you are having problems.

Thank you all
30 Oct 2015, 14:40:04 UTC · Comment

No WU available : issue with production system
We are since yesterday experiencing problems with the ATLAS production system.
As a result no WUs are available for ATLAS@home !

We'll keep you informed

30 Oct 2015, 7:41:07 UTC · Comment

Issue with data transfers, no more WUs available
Dear all,

The ATLAS data management system used to transfer data is experiencing issues since a couple of days. The consequence is that outputs of WUs processed since a few days cannot be registered, they are buffered.

As a side effect, no additional WUs are created until buffers are cleared.

24 Oct 2015, 8:15:07 UTC · Comment

New task
Hi All,

We ran out of WUs and it will take some time to get new tasks defined for ATLAS@home.

The new task will be available ASAP.

Thank you for your support!
29 Sep 2015, 9:01:04 UTC · Comment

Validation errors - FIXED
Dear All,

As some of you may notice we had some upload issues this morning.
This issue was fixed and everything should work correctly again.

Please let us know if you still experience any problems.

22 Sep 2015, 9:13:36 UTC · Comment

New application version - 1.38
Dear All,

In the next hour a new application version for all platforms will be released.

The update in this version is:

--The latest BOINC vboxwrapper that supports Virtual box 5.0

Your inputs are important,
Please let us know if you are having problems.

Thank you all!
10 Sep 2015, 8:52:12 UTC · Comment

Database intervention on 9 September
Dear all,

There will be a scheduled intervention on the database behind ATLAS@Home on the 9th September from 6:00 - 8:00 UTC. During this time the ATLAS@Home services including this forum will be unavailable. Sorry for the inconvenience.
8 Sep 2015, 9:00:11 UTC · Comment

Task progress
Hi All,

Thanks to your great support our tasks are almost done.

We may run out of WUs soon, since it can take some time to get new tasks defined for ATLAS@home.

Hopefully, new WUs will be submitted soon.

Thank you for your support in the ATLAS production effort!

31 Aug 2015, 8:59:51 UTC · Comment

Short BOINC service interruption on Monday
Dear volunteers,

there will be a short BOINC service interruption at 14:00 CERN/Geneva time today for storage backend maintenance. The services will be stopped for a short while, so there might be connectivity glitches during the maintenance period.

Best regards,
24 Aug 2015, 8:12:33 UTC · Comment

New task defined

we ran out of WUs and it took sometime to get new tasks defined for ATLAS@home.

Good news, new WUs should flow now.

Thank you for your support in the ATLAS production effort!

18 Aug 2015, 13:05:14 UTC · Comment

ATLAS@home badges
We recently implemented a new badge system for ATLAS@home, and details for the ATLAS@home badge system can be found here.

Excited about this? Check your profile and see what Particle you are now!

Or curious to see what badges our top users have?
2 Jul 2015, 2:09:27 UTC · Comment

New application version - 1.37
Dear All,

In the next hour a new application version for all platforms will be released.

The updates in this version are:

--New vboxwrapper version.
--Changes in the vbox_job.xml

The image will remain the same as in the old version.

Your inputs are important,
Please let us know if you are having problems.

Thank you all!
24 Jun 2015, 9:49:46 UTC · Comment

Maintenance starting June 18, 10:30 CET
Dear all,

There will be a maintenance operation to get a separate NFS
server VM for ATLAS and Sixtrack tomorrow at 10:30 CET.

We will take care of starting and stopping BOINC. Normally this should
take less than 30 minutes (time to change a DNS alias.)

17 Jun 2015, 17:12:04 UTC · Comment

Issues with server infrastructure
Dear volunteers,

CERN has issues with part of the infrastructure, serving the ATLAS@Home disk space. One of the file servers is unreachable, which affects the WU processing.

Sorry for the inconvenience,

11 Jun 2015, 9:49:53 UTC · Comment

Status of W boson simulation campaign
Dear volunteers,

As of today 40% of the initial campaign of W boson simulation has been completed. The first sample of the campaign contained 80.000 WUs. Thanks to the many volunteers a bit of over 7.000 Wus are concurrently processed; the total of completed WUs is a bit over 30.000.

many thanks!
8 Jun 2015, 15:08:27 UTC · Comment

About new WUs (since v1.35)
Dear all,

The new bunch of WUs released a couple of days ago with the new application are quite different than the previous ones which were submitted for some months.

Within previous WUs production of top quark within the ATLAS were simulated (you can have a look at our public web page : ). Within recent WUs, W boson decays within the ATLAS detector are simulated (we are preparing a detailed article to be posted on our public site).

As the W boson mass is 1/2 the mass of a top quark it produces much less activity in the detector through its decay. It is faster to simulate a W boson event than a top quark. As the number of events to be simulated per WU is fixed, each WU of a W boson takes less CPU cycles. That is less credit per WU for the newly released WUs.

I hope it helps volunteers understanding some the behaviours of the new bunch of WUs.

Thank you again for your help in the ATLAS simulation effort!
3 Jun 2015, 10:15:41 UTC · Comment

LHC has restarted !
Follow us on 3 Jun 2015, 9:51:40 UTC · Comment

New application version for Windows
Dear All,

A new application version (1.36) is now available for Windows only.

The new application version is tuned to the upcoming data taking of LHC at 13 TeV collisions.
A lot of changes have been done to the software and the workunits so there might be unexpected issues with the execution. Please, let us know if you observe problems or failures of the WUs.

Thank you all!
1 Jun 2015, 12:09:18 UTC · Comment

New application version
Dear All,

A new application version is now available.

The new application version is tuned to the upcoming data taking of LHC at 13 TeV collisions. A lot of changes have been done to the software and the workunits so there might be unexpected issues with the execution. Please, let us know if you observe problems or failures of the WUs. More news next week.

Thank you!
30 May 2015, 8:21:50 UTC · Comment

Updates on ATLAS@home project
Dear volunteers,

First of all we would like to warmly thank all the volunteers how have contributed to the ATLAS@home project; below a few news and prospects for the next weeks.

o The BOINC server is experiencing load issues since several days which are being addressed by CERN IT. It is hoped that a the situation will be back to normal in the next days.

o BOINC results have passed ATLAS validation. It took longer than expected for various reasons : a dedicated sophisticated procedure has been developed to ensure that statistically BOINC simulation does not introduce any bias, in the course of the validation procedure several issues were found in the validation tools themselves. Now we are happy to announce that BOINC is fully validated for ATLAS simulation.

o As you may know, the LHC is about to deliver collisions at an increased energy. We have stopped submitting WUs, waiting for the queue of tasks to drain. In the next days, a new version of the ATLAS simulation will be used and a campaign of simulation corresponding to the new accelerator conditions will be launched. We shall keep you informed!

o Taking advantage of the new simulation campaign, a updated version of the vboxwrapper will be introduced as well.

Again thank you to all of you for your contribution to the ATLAS simulation effort.

26 May 2015, 19:48:57 UTC · Comment

Upload server
Dear All,

In the past few days there were some load issues with the upload server and therefore it took some time for tasks to upload the results.

We handled this and it's working fine now.

22 May 2015, 12:10:19 UTC · Comment

New bunch of Wus available in the next days
Dear all,

we are currently running out of WUs, a new bunch will be made available in the next days.

Thank you again for participating to ATLAS@home.

28 Apr 2015, 12:29:11 UTC · Comment

Beam is back in the LHC
Dear all,

a major milestone has been achieved today. One beam has circulated around the LHC after 2 years of maintenance for upgrade. Follow us on :

Thank you to all the volunteers contributing to ATLAS simulation!

5 Apr 2015, 15:33:59 UTC · Comment

Server maintenance today
Dear volunteers,

we are migrating part of server infrastructure today, which will take few hours. In the meantime there might be a lack of workunits to send and the boinc server will be unavailable for an hour or so. We will let you know when the maintenance is over.
1 Apr 2015, 6:48:07 UTC · Comment

Change in disk space needed
Dear all,

This morning we have reduced the disk space needed to run the simulation.

The updated disk space is 4.5GB.

24 Mar 2015, 13:37:15 UTC · Comment

5000 concurrent running jobs - milestone !
Dear all,

We would like to share with you the exciting news of reaching a significant milestone of more than 5000 concurrent running jobs!

Thank each one of you for her/his contribution!

ATLAS@home team.
9 Mar 2015, 9:55:18 UTC · Comment

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

Validation close to finished, new WU next week
Thank you all for your efforts over the last few weeks. The urgent validation WU are very close to being completed and we will run out of new WU in the next few hours. There should be more coming next week. 28 Nov 2014, 18:16:10 UTC · Comment

database down on 17 Nov 2014
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 :

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 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.

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

ATLAS@Home maintenance on 23 Sep
ATLAS@Home will be under maintenance for a short period of time around midday European time tomorrow 23rd September, in order to move to a new disk server. 22 Sep 2014, 13:59:03 UTC · Comment

Hardware issues on the ATLAS@home server
Dear all,

The ATLAS@home server is experiencing hardware issues for several days now. We are actively seeking a solution with the help of CERN IT division.

5 Sep 2014, 14:08:27 UTC · Comment

ATLAS@home running again
It took a lot longer than we thought, but finally we have managed to create the new image we needed to get ATLAS@home running again. The server was started again one hour ago. Sorry for the long delay. 25 Aug 2014, 11:52:33 UTC · Comment

ATLAS@home in maintenance mode
All recent work units in the last few hours have been failing after one or two minutes. While we work out a solution to this problem (hopefully by tomorrow morning European time) we have put the project in maintenance mode so no new work units are dispatched. Sorry for the inconvenience. 12 Aug 2014, 20:59:00 UTC · Comment

enabled BOINC wide team
The BOINC wide team feature is enabled, so users with the same email address registered to teams through other projects can be imported to the old teams automatically. 24 Jul 2014, 2:29:02 UTC · Comment

reduce disk_bound from 15GB to 5GB
disk_bound(required disk space for each job slot) was previously set to an aggressive value of 15GB, and it caused trouble to a lot of clients. Based on the estimation of previous jobs, we reset this value to 5GB which means each job slot will require maximum 5GB harddisk space.
Related Thread

Sorry for the caused inconvenience!
24 Jul 2014, 1:35:15 UTC · Comment

High memory jobs incorrectly submitted to BOINC clients
We incidentally discovered that at regular time intervals, a few high memory ATLAS test jobs were also submitted to BOINC causing several issues on the client side. The submission of these pathological jobs has been canceled.

We apologise for the inconveniences caused.
22 Jul 2014, 16:49:42 UTC · Comment

ATLAS simulation V1.22 released
V1.22 is released to change the virtualbox snapshot taking frequency from 1 hour to 15 minutes. If volunteers do not feel comfortable with this frequency, one can also change this value in their computing preferences via the website interface. 16 Jul 2014, 3:48:40 UTC · Comment

Longer jobs coming and problems in the last 24h
Due to a problem in the submission system that injects ATLAS tasks into Boinc there were no new tasks submitted for around 16 hours until ~9 UTC today. The tasks are now slowly ramping up. Apologies for the inconvenience.

We also expect soon some longer tasks which should bring increased CPU efficiency.
11 Jul 2014, 14:49:42 UTC · Comment

Work units limited
For technical reasons we have had to limit the total number of concurrent running work units to 2000. This means that work may not always be available. Apologies for the inconvenience and we hope to resolve this problem soon. 5 Jul 2014, 18:20:50 UTC · Comment

ATLAS Simulation v1.20 released
The Boinc developers have provided a new virtualbox wrapper which should hopefully fix the issues seen with endless work units. This has been incorporated into release 1.20. Please let us know if you still see work units which hang at the end of execution. If you have work units like this from previous versions please abort them. Apologies for the waste of CPU time.

Big thanks to the Boinc developers for their help with this problem!
3 Jul 2014, 18:59:30 UTC · Comment

Server restarted
Server has restarted. New software version in preparation to deal with hanging VMs (symptom is WUs running beyond 100% estimated time). 2 Jul 2014, 7:04:32 UTC · Comment

Submission stopped
Some issues again with the server (which sometimes show up as 'Error while computing'). Submission has been stopped while the server is reconfigured. 1 Jul 2014, 6:46:32 UTC · Comment

Issues over the weekend
The BOINC server experienced some issues over the weekend which caused many secondary problems. It is now back in production.
We are still working on optimizing the workflow and performances.
30 Jun 2014, 10:07:15 UTC · Comment

ATLAS@home credit merge
For the volunteers who used to be registered to the old ATLAS@home server(, the credit they gained from the old server has been merged into the new server ( identified by the user's email address. 26 Jun 2014, 10:00:16 UTC · Comment

Activity has restarted on ATLAS@home. Many thanks to the many volunteers who have joined in the recent days. There are still some performance issues that we are trying to fix. ATLAS@home is still in BETA stage. 25 Jun 2014, 14:15:10 UTC · Comment

More work coming on Monday
Greetings to the many users who have signed up to ATLAS@home in the last few days! Due to a technical hitch there is very little work available this weekend. We expect a lot more to come in on Monday. 21 Jun 2014, 17:03:05 UTC · Comment

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