23 February 2020

23rd of February

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All off

Nvidia GPUs
Had all of then doing Einstein and Milkyway work

Raspberry Pis
All running Einstein BRP4 work

For news on the Raspberry Pis see Marks Rpi Cluster

Other news
I had a couple of wins this week. Firstly I managed to get Debian Buster to work on the Nvidia GPU machines and second I got some work from GPUgrid after almost a year of not processing anything from them.

While it may seem to be a repeat of my last post, after getting the upgrade to Buster working I went and wiped the machine and re-did it. That failed again. Then the 5.4.13 kernel got released which seems to have got it going again.

Debian Buster
There were two issues with Debian Buster.

The 4.19 kernel locks up at boot time due to needing entrophy. That was addressed by none other than Linus Torvalds in the 5.4.8 kernel. The buster-backports repo has the 5.4.13 kernel as I write this.

The other was the need to explicitly install the nvidia-driver package to be able to display in the monitors native resolution otherwise the desktop its stuck at 1024x768. Once installed it will display properly. This didn't need to be done under Stretch.

GPUgrid work
GPUgrid have been trying different apps in order to get one that would work with modern graphics cards (ie the Turing architecture). It has taken them almost a year to sort out. They now have a large batch of work that uses the new app.

The download was huge, one of the many files is 100MB but after you have got it on the machine it doesn't need to download them again. Once running they immediately take the GPU up to 99% load and its power cap (120 watts on my GTX1660Ti cards). Run time is around 90 minutes on the GTX1660Ti. You'll need a CUDA 10.0 or a later driver to be able to run them.

Seti woes
Dispite the recent fund-raising drive to replace the hard disks in their database server they're still having issues with supplying enough work due to the database not fitting into memory. It was suggest years ago that they should shorten the deadlines but they haven't tried that yet. Generally I can't get work from them so have been concentrating on other projects.

Also in the news this week was Breakthrough Listen released 2PB of data, most of which we don't process at all. They're being handled by the Seti institute which is not related to the Seti@home project.

16 February 2020

Mid February

Farm status
Intel GPUs
All off. Have been doing bursts of work

Nvidia GPUs
All off. Had 3 doing bursts of Seti and Milkyway work

Raspberry Pi
Running bursts of work as weather permits

For news on the Raspberry Pis see Marks Rpi Cluster

Buster and Nvidia-driver
After updating one of the Nvidia GPU machines to Debian Buster and trying all sorts of things to get it to display properly (it would only do 1024x768 resolution) I have finally got it going.

Under Stretch (the release prior) I install nvidia-kernel-dkms, nvidia-opencl-icd and nvidia-smi and it installs the glx driver as well as the CUDA and OpenCL components. Not so under Buster. You have to install nvidia-driver in order to get the glx driver. It seems the packaging has changed with Buster for some reason.

Now that I have worked that out I can now look at upgrading the other machines. I raised a bug with Debian in September 2019.

Weather news
Or Weather or not to run. We've gone from bush fires to floods. The weather is presenting challenges hence the bursts of work when I can. Typically it will be just a few hours so I will run Seti and Milkyway as their work units are fairly short (an hour or two on the CPU and minutes on the GPU). If it looks like it will be cooler for longer I will run Einstein CPU work which takes 7 to 14 hours depending on how many I run at once.