Getting started

How to join the experiment

Taking part involves a number of steps – please follow these instructions to get started:

1. Background Information

Please read this background information before you begin:

2. Download the BOINC client runs on the BOINC client – this is a generic platform for distributed computing, which you can use to run a number of different projects. In order to run our project, you will need to go to the BOINC website and download the client.

Follow this link to the BOINC website: Download BOINC (the website automatically detects which operating system you are running)

Click on the link “Download BOINC + VirtualBox”:

BOINC download website

Save the file to your computer.

3. Install the BOINC client on your computer

Open the installation file and follow the instructions to install BOINC:

  • Click “yes” to allow this software to make changes on your computer
  • Click “next” to begin installation
  • Accept the license agreement, and click “next”
  • Keep the installation folder settings, and click “next”
  • Click “install”
  • Finally, keep the tick in the box to launch the BOINC manager, and click “finish”

Your computer may need to restart during installation

4. Launch the BOINC client and add as a project

Now that you’ve installed the BOINC client, it should launch itself, and you can pick as the project you will run:

  • Choose “add project”, click “next”
  • Scroll down the list and select “” from the list. This will run all of our experiments, including weather@home experiments. Click “next”:

BOINC choose a project

  • You will need to wait for a moment while the client contacts our server.
  • It will say “Project added” once it has set it up, click “finish”

5. Create an account

Now you’re running on the BOINC client, you need to set up an account (if you don’t already have one), so you can manage your preferences and so the project can keep track of the models you’ve run.

  • If you are a new user, select “No, new user” and enter your email address and choose a password. We won’t use your email address to send you unwanted emails, and we won’t give your email address to any third parties, click “next”.
  • The client will now take you to our BOINC user pages.
  • Fill in the form with your name and country, and hit “OK”:

Finish account setup

  • You will then be taken to the “Find a Team” page. Teams are a fun way to engage with the project, but are not required. If you want, you can just hit the “I’m not interested in joining a team right now” link for now. You can always join a team later.
  • You will now be taken to your user home page, where you can see your project settings.

6. Tweak your settings

  •  There are 2 ways to change your settings with BOINC: in the BOINC client, or from your user page. If you change settings in the BOINC client, then those changes will only be for that client on that computer; if you make changes on your user page, then those changes will be for every computer that you install BOINC on, and log in with that user account. For many users, these 2 options will amount to the same thing.
  • The main setting you might want to change is when BOINC runs models – you can change this so it suspends while you’re using your computer (this helps prevent your computer from running really slowly when you want to use it for other things)
  • To do this from the user page on the website:
    • Scroll down and click on “Computing preferences”
    • Scroll to the bottom of this page and click “edit preferences”
    • On the 2nd option from the top, “Suspend work while computer is in use?”, change the option to “yes”
    • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “update preferences”

7. Get help, and get involved!

If you have any problems with setting up BOINC and running the project, please read our Technical FAQ to see if we have already answered your question.

If not, why not visit our participant message boards, where you can see if someone else has had this problem before, or you can ask a new question to the other volunteers. The message boards are also a great place to get more involved with the project by discussing your model and other climate change news with the other participants.

You can also keep in touch with the project on Twitter and Facebook.

Seeing your model

You can see a visualisation of your model in the BOINC client – in the advanced view, go to the “Tasks” tab and click on a running model. To the left, there is a “Show graphics” button. Click on this to see a visualisation of this model.

There’s also a BOINC screensaver, which will show you the visualisation when you’re not using your computer. In Windows 7, right click on your desktop and select “Personalize” and then select “Screensaver” from the bottom right of the window that pops up. “BOINC” should appear as an option when you choose a screensaver.