Message boards : Number crunching : Priorities?
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Message 32480 - Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 1:40:50 UTC

After a long delay and a new machine, I'm back running the LHC VitrualBox applications. And they're not working the way I remember them working.

The machine has a 4 core Xeon with hyperthreading and 24 GB memory.

Traditionally, the whole point of BOINC was that the BOINC tasks run one step above idle priority, so that anything else running on the machine take precedence and the machine can be used for other things while BOINC tasks run in the background.

That isn't the way the VirtualBox tasks are working. They are all running at Normal priority. And when 4 or more a running, the machine in mostly unusable even for simple interactive tasks like web browsing.

Is there a way to get these tasks to run at Low priority?? If not, is this an LHC problem or a BOINC problem?

Thanks
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Toby Broom
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Message 32481 - Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 5:16:03 UTC - in response to Message 32480.  

Its a BOINC problem as this manages the launching vor VirualBox, LHC only provides the image for VBox to run.

You can feedback on the main BOINC website

I limit the number of task to less than the max number to have a responsive machine.
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Crystal Pellet
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Message 32482 - Posted: 21 Sep 2017, 5:44:33 UTC - in response to Message 32480.  

Oracle's VirtualBox decided several versions ago that the user (so also BOINC) cannot change the priority
of a running VirtualBox process needed for a VM like VirtualBox.exe or VBoxHeadless.exe.
This is done for security reasons.
However the priority of the main process VBoxSVC.exe, responsible for launching VM's, can be changed and will give his priority to the childs.
Before starting any VM, you can start VirtualBox Manager and then change the priority of VBoxSVC.exe to 'lower than normal'.
Keep VirtualBox Manager running when the VM's are starting else VBoxSVC.exe could stop too early.
I also change the priority of BOINC's vboxwrapper to 'lower than normal'.
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Message 32504 - Posted: 23 Sep 2017, 7:09:17 UTC - in response to Message 32482.  

That works, thank you.

Rather than have to manually keep VirtualBox running and change the priority I created a Powershell script to set the priority on VBoxSVC.exe to Low, then created a task scheduler entry to run the script one an hour. It looks like this is working fine.

I'll need to do some experimenting to see how many tasks I can now run before the machine gets bogged down.

Again, thanks.
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Message boards : Number crunching : Priorities?


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