Distributed computing in the service of COVID research

Cycles for Science

© Lead Image © Sean_Gladwell, Fotolia.com

© Lead Image © Sean_Gladwell, Fotolia.com

Article from Issue 253/2021

Linux and the BOINC distributed computing platform help researchers fight the COVID-19 virus.

COVID-19 has had a dramatic impact on countries around the world. Researchers are continuing their work to develop vaccines and explore other ways of containing the virus. Many research projects require enormous computing capacities, but expensive supercomputers are not always available. Thanks to the concept of distributed computing, you can support research efforts by providing the computing power of your home PC.

The concept of using home computers to assist with research projects has been around for several years. The SETI project (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) has offered home users a chance to process radio telescope data since 1999. IBM launched the World Community Grid [1], a central platform for managing volunteer distributed computing projects, in 2004. Since 2005, the World Community Grid has used BOINC [2], a software tool developed by the University of Berkeley for supporting distributed computing.

BOINC (Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing) separates the computational framework from the scientific content, which makes it quite easy to adapt to a specific research project.


Use Express-Checkout link below to read the full article (PDF).

Buy this article as PDF

Express-Checkout as PDF
Price $2.95
(incl. VAT)

Buy Linux Magazine

Get it on Google Play

US / Canada

Get it on Google Play

UK / Australia

Related content


    Grid computing lets little PCs work on big problems. You can use the grid system of the famous SETI@home project to build your own grid computing solutions.


    Want to participate in the scientific revolution? BOINC lets you lend your spare computer cycles to data analysis efforts for NASA and other science institutions.

  • Free Software Projects

    The free high-end game, Yo Frankie, in which players steer a flying squirrel through a colorful 3D world, is almost finished. KI Research still faces major issues, but FreeHAL, a dialog program, gives users a behind-the-scenes look at the current state of affairs.

  • XtreemOS 2.0 Manages and Mounts in Grid

    The European Union has virtually placed "Building Grids for Europe" on its banner. The XtreemOS project promoted by the EU has assembled version 2.0 of its grid operating system and made it available to the general public.

comments powered by Disqus

Direct Download

Read full article as PDF:

Price $2.95