Running Rosetta (COVID-19 workunits) on Raspberry Pi 3B+ (how to guide)

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Hello guys,

I would like to make a guide for getting the Rosetta to run on Raspberry Pi 3B+, or probably any other board with 1GB and more RAM. It seems like many people are struggling with it.

My set up:

– HW:

– Raspberry Pi 3B+

– No name USB charger 5V 1A with a very short cable

– SD Card 16GB

– The newest version of Raspbian

Beginning state:

I assume that you have Raspbian installed and BOINC running. I set up my BOINC client to use 100 percent RAM available and 90 percent swap.

  1. In case you have less than 500MB of RAM per core (definitely applies to RPI 3B+), set up ZRAM (follow the guide in the readme):

  1. Increase swap size – I set it to 2048MB. I am not sure how much is needed and how exactly it works in combination with ZRAM, I simply went with the biggest value, since I have enough free space on the SD card.

  1. Put your kernel into 64bit mode and set up BOINC client to receive 64bit work:

  1. Now you should be able to download tasks and run them on 2-3 cores

3 tasks running at once

  1. (Optional) In case you are fine using only SSH, decrease the amount of RAM available to the GPU to 16MB. This will give you a few more MB of RAM. 32MB seems to be enough for 720p.

sudo raspi-config

– Advanced Options – Memory split – 16MB

  1. (Optional) Decrease the consumption of the chip and reduce temperatures:

– Disable USB hub and Ethernet:

echo 0 | sudo tee /sys/devices/platform/soc/3f980000.usb/buspower >/dev/null

– Disable HDMI:

sudo tvservice –off

These commands need to be reapplied after each reboot.

In the beginning, only 3 tasks were able to run at the same time. However, after a few hours of run time, my Raspberry pi managed to turn on all 4 tasks. While doing so, 1,3GB of data was stored in the swap. It seems like sometimes the WU can get initialized/deinitialized multiple times in a row. I guess that the RAM space is simply quite on the limit.

4 WUs running at the same time.

The speed of calculations seems to be OK compared to my Android Huawei Honor 8 (I am using only the efficient A53 cores on it). RPI 3B+ might even turn out a bit faster? Maybe there are fewer background processes…

If you have any questions, just ask.