Free BOINC credits for little effort :)

Anything "BOINC" specific can be commented on here...such as Project news and announcements etc. Also: any problems with BOINC or maybe you have found something interesting, tell us about it. Chat about the various 3rd party client applications used for some of the projects such as optimised clients.
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UBT - Timbo
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Free BOINC credits for little effort :)

Post by UBT - Timbo »

Hi all

There are a few BOINC projects where you can earn some credits that are pretty much "for free" as these are essentially non-computationally intensive tasks and use very little of your CPU power, but which earn you credits.

1st choice: *UPDATED*

2nd choice:

3rd choice:

Obviously, every little helps, so please join up (by cutting and pasting the above links into your BOINC Manager "add new project" tab) and add to your BOINC total for little effort or hassle. Make sure you join our Team too and then the team also benefits as well.

Also: You can add one, two or all three of these NCI projects and it will hardly affect your main crunching ability, as they all require very few CPU resources :-)

EDIT: A quick way of earning some extra credits, esp with the above projects is to invest £0 in a Google Cloud or Microsoft Azure account and rent some data processing "power" via their free trials. Once the trial is over, you can delete the account and it won't cost you a penny.

So, see the tips that follow to set these up :-)


(I am indebted to UBT - Chris for suggesting this posting - a pack of choccy Hobnobs will be heading your way soon ;) )
UBT - Timbo
UBT Forum Admin
Posts: 9679
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:00 am
Location: NW Midlands

Re: Free BOINC credits for little effort :)

Post by UBT - Timbo »

Microsoft Azure trial server:

You'll need - a Microsoft email address (Hotmail, Live, Outook), a credit or debit card (claimed to only be charged with a $1/90p deferred charge to prove it's valid although nothing showed up on mine), your selected project URL and your account details plus your favourite SSH programme.

1) Go to and sign up for your free trial.

2) Navigate to the dashboard and select 'New'
Select 'Compute'
Select one of the 'Ubuntu Server' options. Personally, I go for the 14.04 LTS as it's what I have installed on my Linux machines and I'm used to it but since you have very little interaction with the actual operating system, any Linux will do.
Leave all the defaults and select 'Create'

3) Name your instance.
Change the 'VM disc type' to HDD (you won't need the speed of SSD and it's a lot more expensive)
Pick a username (this is what you'll use to SSH into your instance later)
Change 'Authentication type' to 'Password' and enter a password containing three from uppercase, lowercase, number, punctuation and at least 12 characters long (You'll need this for your SSH login after)
On your first pass through, create a resource group. Pick this resource group for subsequent instances (keeps all your instances grouped together)
Pick a location. Different location cost different amounts, cheapest for the instance we're going to be using is West US 2 or East US 2, then West Europe then North Europe. You're limited to four instances per location but apparently, as many locations as you like. I have a list of prices for them all if you're trying to use up your entire £125 in one day :D

4) Once completed, you need to size your instance. You'll be presented with Microsofts recommendations but you don't want those. Click on 'View all' and scroll down to 'A1 Basic'. This is a single core with 1.75 Gbytes of RAM which is enough for running Boinc. The 'A0 Basic' is a bit cheaper but only a quarter of a core while the 'A1 Standard' is about 30% faster but over twice the price. Also, unlike Google cloud, Microsoft instances scale badly with more cores, a two core set up is almost three times the price of a single core.
Click on it then click 'Select'

5) Again, first pass through, create a storage account name, subsequently, use the one you've created.You'll need a different storage account for each location you use.
Leave the rest of the settings as they are except for 'Monitoring' Disable that unless you're really interested in the details of your instances inner workings, no point in wasting disc space and adding extra disc accesses to your instance otherwise.

6) Click 'OK' then 'OK' and go and make a cup of tea, it takes 5 - 10 minutes to initialise :shock:

7) Once it's initialised, you'll be presented with a view of it's properties.You need to note the 'Public IP address' so you can connect to it next to set it up. (You can get the details again later from your dashboard if you forget)

8 ) Fire up your SSH programme (I use PuTTY as I'm used to it but any will do) and enter in the IP address from earlier (step 7) Login using the username and password also from earlier (step 3)

9) Same Linux set up as Google:
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install boinc and accept disc space
boinccmd --project_attach project_URL account_key
boinccmd --set_run_mode always
boinccmd --set_network_mode always

10) watch the credits roll in, an A1 Basic is about 70% of a Google cloud CPU :)

11) Subsequently, go to to check on your progress

As you're given £125 of free credit, only a month to use it in and each instance is £10 - £12, you're going to need at least 12 instances to make sure it all gets used up in time, more if you wait before creating further ones (you get a month from when you register, not from when you create your first instance) Just repeat as necessary with a different instance name and you'll be allocated a different public IP address each time. You can use a common username and password.

Any questions, just ask.

With thanks to Mark (aka Woodles)
UBT - Timbo
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Posts: 9679
Joined: Mon Mar 13, 2006 12:00 am
Location: NW Midlands

Re: Free BOINC credits for little effort :)

Post by UBT - Timbo »

Google Cloud trial server:

Create a Gmail account (assuming you don't have a Gmail email address already)
Sign in to Google Cloud Computing (

Set up the free trial:
Select "Try Computing Engine"
Pick a zone (I chose us-central as it was the cheapest)
Select 2 vCPUs, 1.8 GB memory (you can run up to 8 CPU's eg 2 x quad cores, or 4x dual cores)
Leave the rest as default (Disc size, operating system etc)
Enable: HTTP and HTTPS through the firewall
Click "Create"

Once it was created, open a SSH terminal (via the Cloud admin page) and issue the following commands:

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install boinc

boinccmd --project_attach authenticator_ID_string

boinccmd --set_run_mode always

boinccmd --set_network_mode always

boinccmd --project update


The Rosetta project is shown as an example - use other project URL's as per their respective websites and via your specific project login, you can then add your respective authenticator ID's for each project - I used Notepad to create the correct commandline "string" and then copied that into SSH and hit return.

You might find that only ONE core works to begin, you might be best advised to do the following:

Open an SSH window then:

sudo nano /var/lib/boinc-client/global_prefs_override.xml

Edit the XML file by adding: (note: this is for a dual core - change max_cpus to 4 or 8 for quad/octo cores):


Then write out the file with Ctrl+O and exit nano with Ctrl-X

You can then edit the following file:

sudo nano /var/lib/boinc-client/cc_config.xml


Again, write out the file with Ctrl+O and exit nano with Ctrl-X

Then issue:

boinccmd --read_global_prefs_override

That should be it !!

With thanks to Mark (again)
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Re: Free BOINC credits for little effort :)

Post by Woodles »

Hi Tim,

That looks like very well written and explained process :D

Just to point out that the aforementioned project URL and login in credentials can be found on the "Your account" page of the project under "Account Keys". You want the information between the <master_url> and <authenticator> tags.

Note, don't post them here as they allow anyone to login to your account and operate it.


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