v7 Client Reaches Open Beta

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At long last, after many months of development and testing the new version 7 Folding@home client software is now available for open-beta testing. The V7 client is a complete rewrite of the previous client for Windows, OS-X and Linux with the following goals:

  • To make the installation and startup user-friendly for the novice. (before the project consumes their life and they become FAH-Addicts ;) )
  • To integrate the user interface into a single Monitor/Control program that manages the functionality previously contained in separate clients.
  • To create a forward-looking design that can be readily expanded to incorporate new Folding Cores without the need to issue new client releases.
  • To greatly improve previously problematic aspects including support for SMP, GPU, and the 3D viewer.

Getting Started
Please consider reading one of the guides listed in the documentation section, but if you want to dive right in you can start by downloading and installing the new client.

Install and user guides can be found here:

There are also some additional quick start FAQ items here

The new client has too many features to list but here are some of the highlights:
  • Improved Windows installer with support for Windows XP, Vista, 2008 and Windows 7.
  • 64-bit OS-X install package. (32-bit in the works).
  • Debian/Ubuntu and RedHat/Fedora/CentOS 32-bit and 64-bit Linux packages.
  • Low priority background operation has very little impact on your computers usability. You should hardly notice Folding@home is running when using other applications.
  • A more compatible and stable 3D protein viewer with several view modes, rotation, zoom, online help and interpolated protein animations.
  • Separate but integrated console client (FAHClient), user interface (FAHControl) and 3D protein viewer (FAHViewer).
  • Novice, Advanced & Expert user interface modes. (See drop down list in FAHControl.)
  • Support for more than one Folding Slot (UNI, SMP or GPU).
  • Ability to monitor, configure and control many remote folding clients from a single computer.
  • Very low CPU overhead for FAHClient, FAHControl and FAHViewer. 3D viewer overhead can be minimized by disabling rotating and protein animation.
  • Single client for normal (Uniprocessor), SMP (Multiple CPUs) and GPU (Graphics Processors) folding.

The V7 client has undergone months of testing but due to the complex nature of distributed computing, the many features provided by the Folding@home client and the difficulties of simultaneously supporting software on Windows, OS-X and Linux there are still some open bugs, feature requests and likely other as of yet undiscovered issues. The beta testing process will help the Pande Group test new features and fix any remaining bugs before a full public release is made. That said the open-beta V7 client is very usable and has many advantages over the previous client releases.

In an effort to increase the transparency of our development process it has been decided to open read-only access to our bug tracking system. The system chosen for this purpose is Trac, a Web based system which, among other things, manages a database of tickets. Each ticket represents either a bug or feature request of some component of the Folding@home client software. You can view the list of open tickets here:

Getting Help
The documentation remains the best place to get help but if you still run into trouble further assistance is available from one of the v7 client forums:

Final Notes from Vijay Pande
We are very excited to see this software make its way around the world improving and expanding Folding@home and thereby increasing our understanding of how proteins fold and ultimately helping to find cures for some of our societies scariest diseases. We greatly appreciate your participation and understand that without your generous contributions of time and computing resources there would be no Folding@home.

Note: The ATI/AMD core 16 is to be released seperately at a later stage.

Note 2: Currently only FAHControl can monitor v7 clients... 3rd party software needs updating to use the new monitoring methods used by v7.

Source: Vijay Pande's blog