Tech Solvency: Hash Crackers United (against COVID-19)

Folding@home Team: Hash Crackers United

A Folding@home team for the password-cracking / hashing community (and anyone else who wants to help!).

Update: You may want to throw your GPUs behind a larger geek team, r00t folds, which is in the top 100 at this writing (2020-06-16)

Want to help? Start folding now and join us! (And if you join our team, let me know!)

Here are some tips and references to help you ramp up.


Our goal is to use our spare hashing/cracking/crypto compute to support the Folding@home effort to combat COVID-19 by identifying a therapeutic antibody.

And since SETI@home has recently announced that their project is sunsetting, it's a way for me to transition from my previous labor of love. :)

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Linux micro-howto

(Focused on Ubuntu/Debian; see the main Linux installation guide if you're running a different distro)

Optional: create your passkey (so you can track your individual stats)

mkdir -p /usr/local/src/sci/foldingathome
cd /usr/local/src/sci/foldingathome

Find latest client in the download area under fahclient/debian-stable-64bit/, might be here (latest.deb)

wget '/path/to/fahclient_[latest]_amd64.deb'
sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahclient_[latest]_amd64.deb

Answer the prompts. Be sure to use our team ID (236327). Then edit your config to use all GPUs and not CPU (one core per GPU needed to feed work to GPU; tune accordingly - see my sample config.xml)

sudo service FAHClient stop
sudo vi /etc/fahclient/config.xml
sudo service FAHClient start
tail -f /var/lib/fahclient/log.txt

You might also find my crude shell script handy for watching status/progress from the command line (assumes NVIDIA).

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Notable Folding@home projects for our effort.

COVID-19 projects

As of 2020-03-08, upcoming Folding@home GPU projects that tackle COVID-19 appear to include:

CPU projects:

I'm not aware of a way to explicitly opt into these yet.

(Thanks to cvsi and @billycontra for spotting these!)

Non-COVID-19 projects (that you may commonly see):

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Web Console issues

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Web Console in action

The web server listens on TCP 7396. Don't be alarmed if it comes up with blank info for a minute or two after start/restart. But if it takes more than a couple of minutes, you may need to stop and start the client (or if you're using Chrome, troubleshoot with the 'Web Console Oddities' info above)

Adding a 'just work on COV-19' option requires a new version of the client (which seems short-sighted, TBH), so to support the COVID-19 effort, selecting 'Any disease' for the 'I support research fighting' is probably best.

UPDATE - a new version of the client supports selecting related projects!. Thanks for the tip, @s31nlc!

Web interface for Folding@home

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Join us!

Every little bit helps - thanks for joining! And if you join, let me know!
(And if you're already doing Folding@home for another team - awesome, keep going! :D )