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Folding @ Home F.A.Q.


Well-known member
Dec 2, 2006
Okanagan Falls, British Columbia
Edit on May 1, 2010 by chriskwarren:

An updated FAQ can be found here:

It has a list of current guides, and a list of current terms. Please use the above FAQ.

Chriskwarren Way To Fold

This is a copy of a FAQ I did for another team so it's a little outdated, I have changed the team nubers and the links so far but will have to redo most of it to bring it up to date.

HCF Team#54196

You can also get tons of info about folding from Stanford’s FAQ page HERE

FAQ What is this Folding @ Home Anyway?
[email protected] is a distributed computing project by Stanford University that studies protein folding, misfolding, aggregation, and related diseases. In short, they’re trying to find cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s, Mad Cow, Parkinson’s, CJD, and ALS.

How do I get started?
All you need is a computer and an Internet connection. Just go to the STANFORD SITE, download the appropriate client and install it on your computer. Installation varies by client type and is covered below.

Which client should I use?
The graphical client is the easiest to install and to manage. It has a graphics window available that allows you to see the protein being simulated. It is installed via a simple installation wizard that asks you all relevant configuration questions. During installation, it will create a shortcut to the exe and place it in your startup folder so that it launches when you login. It will also put an icon in your system tray so you can minimize, maximize or configure the client. On the down side, the graphical client is known to interfere with some games.

The text only console provides information about the simulation in a text format. It runs in a terminal window and minimizes to your taskbar. You can use an app like Trayit to minimize to your system tray. You will need to create a shortcut manually and install it in your startup folder. The text console can also be installed as a service so it launches with Windows and will run in the background regardless of which user is logged in.

The screen saver works pretty much like any other, except that your computer begins folding when Windows activates the screen saver.

Which client is fastest?
Console > Graphical > ScreenSaver

Downloading the [email protected] software

To join the [email protected] public distributed computing effort, simply click on a link appropriate for your computer's operating system below. Check out the notes below for help in deciding what type of client (console, graphical, or screensaver) to run and in choosing a user name if any (certain characters are reserved).

How do I choose a user-name?

To check if a name is already being used, do a search below.
Type your name (where it says "Your-Name") to see if the name you've chosen is already being used. You can also choose not to have a user-name and just donate your CPU time anonymously.

You can choose any name you like, as long as it contains only letters or numbers (to insert a space, you can use the underscore "_" character). If you choose your email as your user-name, we will NOT print your full email. Instead, just the part before the @ sign will be used in any stats listing, etc.

Installing The Client

Graphical Client – Download the Graphical Client HERE double click and follow the installation wizard.

Screen Saver - Download the Screen saver HERE double click and follow the installation wizard.

Text Console - Download the Text Console HERE with built-in Windows-service-install option

pk's [email protected] Service Config Tool

This tool is for changing the parameters passed to the console client when it is started by the service functionality of the v5 console client.


Download, extract and run yellowpkfsct.exe
Click the "Choose client" button, navigate to the directory where you installed the [email protected] client then choose the client exe (eg FAH502-Console.exe)
If the service exists then the parameters that are currently applied to the client will be displayed
Make changes to the parameters as required then hit the "Update registry" button to save the changes
Click the "Restart service" button to restart the client
More Info @ Blue Tentacle

What are flags?

Flags are special instructions given to the client at launch

Console Client Configuration Options ( Flags )

Allows users to change their configuration information. This includes user & team names (reflected in the stats), whether or not to ask before a network connection is made to fetch/send work, set up proxy servers, preferred work unit type (Folding/Genome), process priority, CPU usage requested (5-100%), whether or not to use assembly loops, whether or not to use deadline information, and Machine ID changes.

Same as above, but quit following configuration instead of beginning work.

-delete x
Delete item #x from work queue. This option should only be used if there is a serious error with the current unit that the client does not automatically recover from (e.g. crash-inducing). This should not normally happen, and if it does, we would be grateful if you could send us the FAHlog.txt file from the unit that causes the error.

Displays the end-user license agreement

Get information on queued work units. Includes for each unit the status (READY/FINISHED/EMPTY), unit type (Folding/Genome), originating server, and date when the unit was received (local time in GMT), as well as deadline if the server sent that information.

-send x
Send result #x back to server. Exits after trying to send unit (successfully or unsuccessfully). Use "-send all" to send all results outstanding. If unit x is not a completed work unit then the client exits without doing anything.

-verbosity x
Sets the output level, from 1 to 9 (max). The default is 3. This option should be used if the user wishes to see more detailed client output, particularly useful if there is a problem which needs to be reported to the [email protected] client development team.

Instruct the client to quit following the completion of one work unit.

Instruct the core to use SSE/3DNow assembly instructions if possible, even if it has previously made the determination that the machine may not be handling this well.

Request to be assigned work units from new projects, before they are broadly released to the rest of [email protected] As among the first to try out new advanced simulations, you may wish to post any observations (positive or negative), questions, or issues at the user Forum.

Use configuration files from local directory. This option has no meaning on Linux, but is vital on Windows and Macintosh for running multiple clients on a machine. It instructs the client to read its config information from the client.cfg file in the current directory rather than, on Windows, from the installation directory specified in the registry, or, on Macintosh, the Library/[email protected] directory. Information such as the user name, team name, proxy information, machine ID are maintained in the client.cfg file. The flag ensures that work does not conflict. Use "-local" only if you are planning on running more than one instance of [email protected] on the same machine (this is only useful if you are running on a multi-processor machine). Create as many directories as there are processors on the machine, copy the exe files and client.cfg file into each of these directories, run "FAH3Console -local -config" on each and specify unique machine IDs for each directory (under the Advanced Settings option). From then onwards you may run each copy by switching to its directory and running with the -local flag.

Print out the command line flags available and then exit.

Windows Specific

Pause after finishing and trying to send current unit. Allows a user to shut down after finishing a unit, by pressing Ctrl-C, without then getting new work to process. This is recommended if you are planning on shutting down your machine for a long time (e.g. for a vacation), or are planning to un/re-install [email protected] after finishing the currently processing work unit.

Run in service mode (for programs such as firedaemon). This prevents the client from exiting when it detects the current user is logging out. If this option is used when the client is not run as a service then it will run normally, but will not shut down automatically if the user logs out, and a "Wait for program to close." dialog box will be displayed.

This flag is used if you configure the console client to be run as a service (through the standard client Configuration). The user should NOT give this flag manually, it is automatically given by the Windows scheduler and is just listed here for information.

Linux Specific

For use by those wishing to use the Linux client on a machine running FreeBSD. See our FAQ for details on how to do this, but with this flag, all Cores downloaded will automatically be branded as being a Linux executable.

[email protected] Client Do's and Don'ts

The console is not an installer, but the actual [email protected] client executable. In general, just download it, run it, and don't worry about it. However, if you like to be "hands on" with [email protected], please keep in mind:

Each different running copy of [email protected] has to have its own Machine ID number. If you download each copy of [email protected] from the web site and configure fresh, there will be no problems.

Please don't manually retry to send WUs soon after a netsend failure. The netsend failure means that the server was probably overloaded and retrying will just make things worse.

Do not run multiple copies of FAH from the same directory

We have seen some issues with running the Windows console client with the service option and the Windows GUI version simultaneously. While we debug this, we recommend not combining these two options simultaneously.

What should I know about my FAH directory?

Work Folder – Contains the files your FAH client is currently working on or waiting to upload.

client.cfg – Contains the configuration information for your client. You can edit this with a text editor. If you delete it and are using the text console, the console will run through the configuration process the next time you launch it.

FAHlog.txt – This is the log file of your clients activity. The “-verbosity 9” flag adds details to the log.

unitinfo.txt – This gives you the progress your client has made on the current WU.

queue.dat – This dat file is the que of WUs waiting to be turned in plus info on your current WU

How do I check my score?

You can check the official Stanford stats HERE

Where did all my WUs go?

It sometimes takes a few hours to a day or so for WUs to make it into the stats.
Double check your user name and team number and just be patient.

My log file says I can’t send/receive WUs, What do I do?

If everything is working on your end, check your log file for the IP address of the server your client is trying to connect to. Then check HERE

My current WU is corrupt How do I delete It?

- Close FAH
- Delete the Work folder and queue.dat file in your FAH directory
- Restart F
Last edited by a moderator:


Fallen Folder
Mar 24, 2007
folding in GTA
I would suggest avoiding the gui client ... it is the easiest to setup for new folders, but is a pita after a while since it usaully ends up with open g/l issues depending on what else the user runs on their rig. It is also a bif of work to get it completely removed from a rig so that it doesn't interfere with other clients you may switch to.

Also, the windows smp public beta is reasonably stable now, and if people have dual core windows rigs, that is definitely the best producer atm.

next best producer if you have single core cpu but have an ati x19xx video card is the GPU client. only problem with it is it can't really run while you are doing heavy video/gaming on your rig.

Or if you like linux, and have a 64 bit capable dual core rig then run the linux 64 bit smp client ... it is actually the best producer atm ... better than the windoze one.

Another alternative is to run linux-64 under windoze ... more complicated than the win smp client tho and probably about the same production. But it does let you get your feet wet with linux. Needs a vmware capable rig (intel VT capable or newer amd dual cores).

Next down the list is the 'no nonsense' text-only windows console - I like to run mine from the desktop by most like to run it as a service to make it automatic and keep it off the desktop,

Not sure if there are many mac or linux users around here but there are similar clients to the windows console for those too.

If there is interest, i can post some other links to useful folding stuff.


Well-known member
Dec 2, 2006
New Brunswick
So- If I'm going to fold using the SMP public Beta- is there a quick 1,2,3 step easy process to do it? Can someone just post the links in order of operation for me?


Well-known member
Mar 12, 2007
I never really understood what was Folding @ Home.
I read all the thread and still i don't get it. So, you install the client thing and it "folds" your computer ? But how can that help find cures for medical diseases ?

Im clueless

Maybe im just too stupid to get this.


Well-known member
Jan 10, 2007
Montreal south shore
Thanks Shack- Do we have a new folding Captain? We should get you a tag!
np! i'd need to push more on my production to deserve the title :)

Patriote, it doesn't fold your computer but rather proteins. Understanding how they fold and reacts can help in discovering new remedies for various disease... basically! It's so complex that a lot of raw processing power is required, that's why they rely on home computers around the world.

Good place to leech some info :

Science of [email protected]

In other words you are helping a great cause while having a friendly competitions among the enthusiast community.


Well-known member
Mar 12, 2007
np! i'd need to push more on my production to deserve the title :)

Patriote, it doesn't fold your computer but rather proteins. Understanding how they fold and reacts can help in discovering new remedies for various disease... basically! It's so complex that a lot of raw processing power is required, that's why they rely on home computers around the world.

Good place to leech some info :

Science of [email protected]

In other words you are helping a great cause while having a friendly competitions among the enthusiast community.
Ah i see. So, basically they need mucho processing and thats why we gotta install a program and i suppose transmit data online ?

Ill have a look at the link. Thanks for it.


Well-known member
Jan 10, 2007
Montreal south shore
Yes, the client will download WUs (Work units), once you're done it will upload the results to standford, give you some points and than download another WU.

Join in patriote, you know you want to :)

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