Android x86 app

Coleslaw
Coleslaw
Joined: 2 May 07
Posts: 4
Credit: 281,458,690
RAC: 647,792
Topic 197367

Berkeley released Android version of BOINC 7.2.39 which now supports x86 processors. Since more devices and virtual machines may start using Android as a platform, it would be nice to have a working app.

AMD will be adding ARM processors to Opterons http://www.amd.com/us/press-releases/Pages/amd-to-accelerate-2014jan28.aspx in servers soon that will also support 64bit. It is only a matter of time before there is a 64 bit version of Android. Many may find this as an attractive option over other Linux installs. BOINC updates much easier in Android and can do so automatically.

I currently have Android 4.2 in a VM for testing and can confirm BOINC installed just fine as intended.

type x86-android-linux-gnu

[link=http://join.worldcommunitygrid.org?recruiterId=338542&teamId=BP5XNJBR9N1][/link]

Bikeman (Heinz-Bernd Eggenstein)
Bikeman (Heinz-...
Moderator
Joined: 28 Aug 06
Posts: 3,522
Credit: 692,133,747
RAC: 44,814

Android x86 app

Hi!

We are always a bit reluctant to add just-another-app-version to our zoo, especially if the number of hots that is targeted by the app version will be really small (I don't think that the market share of x86 Android devices is more than a few percent, right?).

OTOH I see the problem that it's not a good thing to have BOINC support these devices but then have no project actually generating work for them.

I cannot promise anything but my idea is that we will have a look at x86 Android app version in the next few weeks and put something on Albert@Home for testing. If tests go well, we can get it into production rather soon, but if there are problems, I doubt we will have time to invest much effort in hunting down subtle issues.

As for the 64 bit ARM based Opterons by AMD that you mentioned: those should be able to run our 32 bit ARM Linux app version just fine.

Quote:

Many may find this as an attractive option over other Linux installs. BOINC updates much easier in Android and can do so automatically.

But note that Android, at least in the current form, is not ideal for floating point number crunching as compared to Linux on the same hardware because Android uses an ABI (=calling conventions etc) that does not make full use of floating point registers in ARM CPUs. This might change with a future 64 bit version of Android, but for the moment, if you have some ARM based hardware and you want to use it for BOINC in projects that do a lot of floating point calculations, it's always better to run a Linux with "hardfloat" ABI and not the "softfloat ABI" Android.

Cheers
HBE

ExtraTerrestrial Apes
ExtraTerrestria...
Joined: 10 Nov 04
Posts: 770
Credit: 544,734,037
RAC: 182,053

RE: RE: Many may find

Quote:
Quote:

Many may find this as an attractive option over other Linux installs. BOINC updates much easier in Android and can do so automatically.

But note that Android, at least in the current form, is not ideal for floating point number crunching as compared to Linux on the same hardware because Android uses an ABI (=calling conventions etc) that does not make full use of floating point registers in ARM CPUs. This might change with a future 64 bit version of Android, but for the moment, if you have some ARM based hardware and you want to use it for BOINC in projects that do a lot of floating point calculations, it's always better to run a Linux with "hardfloat" ABI and not the "softfloat ABI" Android.


That's a shame, although it might be different for x86. Well.. generally I think trying to support all these new systems and various OS's is quite a madness (unless it works really well). Yet.. a simplified installation might be a tempting advantage of android over linux for dedicated cruncher operated by linux-novices.

Personally I found it to be a huge pain to setup BOINC in a distro which doesn't provide it via package management. I always end up just copying some ancient version 6 installation which I know will work. But then it sometimes doesn't start and such.. but I digress.

MrS

Scanning for our furry friends since Jan 2002

Coleslaw
Coleslaw
Joined: 2 May 07
Posts: 4
Credit: 281,458,690
RAC: 647,792

RE: RE: RE: Many may

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:

Many may find this as an attractive option over other Linux installs. BOINC updates much easier in Android and can do so automatically.

But note that Android, at least in the current form, is not ideal for floating point number crunching as compared to Linux on the same hardware because Android uses an ABI (=calling conventions etc) that does not make full use of floating point registers in ARM CPUs. This might change with a future 64 bit version of Android, but for the moment, if you have some ARM based hardware and you want to use it for BOINC in projects that do a lot of floating point calculations, it's always better to run a Linux with "hardfloat" ABI and not the "softfloat ABI" Android.


That's a shame, although it might be different for x86. Well.. generally I think trying to support all these new systems and various OS's is quite a madness (unless it works really well). Yet.. a simplified installation might be a tempting advantage of android over linux for dedicated cruncher operated by linux-novices.

Personally I found it to be a huge pain to setup BOINC in a distro which doesn't provide it via package management. I always end up just copying some ancient version 6 installation which I know will work. But then it sometimes doesn't start and such.. but I digress.

MrS

This is the huge draw for me. I wanted a version of Linux that is easy to install and run BOINC that will also automatically update (Android is the only OS that has a BOINC client that will do this) easily. I run most projects and know that some projects perform better under the 64bit Linux. That is why I'm hopeful that Google will get off their butts and release a 64 bit version. The advantages I mentioned above is the draw to using it for BOINC not to mention that Android uses a very small amount of Ram compared to many GUI Linux distros. This makes it a pretty good candidate for VM's.

I am also aware that the 64bit Opterons could handle 32bit apps, but since there is no 64bit Android, you are stuck with ARM Linux distros that aren't as simple as Android. Again...Google get off your butts.

As far as FP's you are probably right. I don't have enough knowledge on your apps to even debate what is good or not in that regard.

[link=http://join.worldcommunitygrid.org?recruiterId=338542&teamId=BP5XNJBR9N1][/link]

Alex
Alex
Joined: 1 Mar 05
Posts: 451
Credit: 502,608,318
RAC: 56,461

I like the discussions

I like the discussions here!
I installed the virtual machine, added some apps from google play and found it very interesting, that apps, written for arm devices, work perfect in an x86 enviroment.
This raises the question: why do we need a special version of wu's for android x86 while other apps still work?

Beside that: I agree to the ideas from MrS, other activities are more important. I'm looking forward to the Cuda 5.5 apps which should be up to 15% faster and were announced to be available end jan/begin feb @Albert, the new grp#3 apps for gpu's and I like the idea to use AVX, which could bring an additional boost.
I can remember that some months ago somone posted that the project requires 'unlimited crunching power'. I do not think, that the android x86 devices will be a big step in that direction. And there is still the idea with the wisdom file for all apps; for the arm linux apps it reduced the crunching time by ~7%.
And in addition: in two weeks or so the new GTX750ti should be available which is said to be 20% faster than GTX650ti (inofficial gaming benchmarks) and has no extra power connector! But no one knows which problems will arise with that new maxwell chips.

Alex

ExtraTerrestrial Apes
ExtraTerrestria...
Joined: 10 Nov 04
Posts: 770
Credit: 544,734,037
RAC: 182,053

RE: I installed the virtual

Quote:
I installed the virtual machine, added some apps from google play and found it very interesting, that apps, written for arm devices, work perfect in an x86 enviroment.
This raises the question: why do we need a special version of wu's for android x86 while other apps still work?


ARM binaries can't work without some binary translation, which is usually very slow. What can work are Java programs - that's what Java was made for, anyhow! And since there are regular x86 smartphones with the previous Atom running Android it could well be that those apps have already been compiled for x86. The store would take care of sending you the correct version. I can vaguely remember some test of such a device many months ago where they said >90% of all apps worked (with Intel doing something behind the scenes to help with compatibility).

MrS

Scanning for our furry friends since Jan 2002

Coleslaw
Coleslaw
Joined: 2 May 07
Posts: 4
Credit: 281,458,690
RAC: 647,792

Well... SETI BETA is working

Well... SETI BETA is working on an app for it, so I guess that will be my test bed for now. So, hopefully I can test this out soon. :)

http://setiweb.ssl.berkeley.edu/beta/forum_thread.php?id=2080&postid=49177#49177

[link=http://join.worldcommunitygrid.org?recruiterId=338542&teamId=BP5XNJBR9N1][/link]

Jord
Joined: 26 Jan 05
Posts: 2,952
Credit: 5,779,100
RAC: 0

Or run it through BlueStacks

Or run it through BlueStacks its player.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.