What exactly am I folding?

So you’re on-board, you’re folding, and you’re excited to help – but you simply must know, what ARE you folding? What are the technical processes going on back there, and how does the science get done?

Dan Ensign has written a great piece called “Runs, Clones and Gens” on the Folding@Home Wiki that gives great detail about how work is generated.

Can I dump slow work units to increase my PPD?


Dumping Work Units is hurtful to the Folding@Home project. Orphaned work is “lost” until the units time out and re-enter a work queue. This slows down the overall progress of the Folding project.

Work Units are assigned according to the “luck of the draw.” Some will be a bit faster, some a bit slower. The Stanford Team tries to balance the speed of units with the points rewarded to keep things fair and worthwhile, and in the end it all balances out.

Attempting to shortcut your way to faster/more valuable work will NOT work, short or long term. Please, just accept the Work Units you are assigned and only drop units if there is a technical reason (hardware malfunctions, hung units, etc).

Remember that an integral part of CureCoin is to help Folding@Home complete valuable research. Be a conscientious folder.

View the Folding@Home Best Practices.

Folders must maintain an 80% submission ratio to earn Bonus Points! Dumping Work Units will prevent you from earning the expected PPD.

Troubleshooting your Folding Setup

Low Performance on GPUs

First, Calculate and Verify your PPD to see if there really is a problem. If you’re running on a lower performance CPU, disable CPU folding, as this can often reduce the effectiveness of GPU folding.

Low Performance on Headless GPU

In some cases, Headless GPUs on Windows 7 or XP will be in a “disabled” state in Catalyst Control Center (for AMD devices). Adding a Dummy Plug or powered KVM will resolve this by showing the GPU a connected device.

Devices Not Present

Select “Configure” in the Folding@Home client and check the “Slots” tab. If necessary, add GPU slots for additional devices that are not yet present.

Work Unit hangs at 99.9%

If you’re overclocking your GPUs, remove the overclock, or gently underclock. In most cases the 99.9% hang occurs due to a driver crash or other GPU error. Stock clocks, or a slight underclock, seem to resolve this in most cases without affecting PPD.

Can I Calculate or Verify my Points Per Day?

If you believe your client is showing incorrect PPD for a given slot, or just want to verify, you can use this Calculator from Linux Forge.

PPD is calculated as the median of the last 3 frames.

To Calculate for each device, you’ll need the Project Number and the Estimated TPF.



Note: TPF is sometimes displayed incorrectly. Check the Logs in the Folding@Home Client and find two to three consecutive “Completed” messages for the Slot you’re evaluating. Calculate the time between them to discover your true TPF.

When will I Start to Earn CureCoins?

Each Work Unit can take hours to days to finish. After finishing, the work is sent to the Folding@Home servers where it undergoes a verification process. Only after this are your Points officially scored.

The CureCoin pool located at CryptoBullionPools.com checks the servers once a day for the latest information and calculates your 24-hour average and estimates your payouts.

You can find the pool-side points under “Your 24 Hour Folding Points” in the left-hand sidebar of the pool website. NOTE: The “Team Points” section shows “0” at all times, so don’t be alarmed.

Additionally, the Stats page will show 0 PPD and 0.000 CUR/Day(est). This can also be ignored.

Below this you’ll find “Current Payout Est.” and “Account Balance.” Current Payout Est. updates when the 24-Hour Points update, once a day, and will reflect your portion of the daily CureCoin payout.


Typical flow is as follows:

3 PM EST – Stats Update, CureCoins pay from pool Account Balance to Wallet

3:30-4 PM EST – Payout Estimate pays into Account Balance

IMPORTANT: YOU MAY NOT EARN CURECOINS FOR UP TO 72 HOURS AFTER WORK UNITS ARE ACCEPTED! This is a much longer period of time than you might be expecting if you’re from a background in GPU Mining. Be patient. Once the points begin accruing on a regular basis, they should reflect your total PPD as estimated in the Folding@Home Client. If you’d like to be sure the Folding Points are being credited to your account, check the Folding@Home Donor Stats page.

If you’d like to estimate your CureCoin payouts, see this KB article to better understand the daily distribution.

How do I set up BigAdv folding on Amazon EC2?

While folding on GPU hardware is a great way to earn Folding@Home points for protein research, if you do not have GPUs, or want to do a lot of folding, EC2 can be an alternate option to rack up those folding points.

For this tutorial, you need an amazon EC2 account, and a computer. This tutorial is done at a keyboard of a Windows computer. Linux and Mac OS X are extremely similar. This will be using the Oregon region. You can select other regions to test pricing. Each region requires the creation of a different private key.

Step 1:   
Log in to your EC2 account. Click on “Request Spot Instance”.

Step 2: 
Click “Select” for Ubuntu Server 14.04 LTS (PV). HVM will also work, but will perform about 1%-2% slower.

Step 3:
Choose the c3.8xlarge instance type (108 ECUs).

Step 4:
Enter the maximum per-hour price you are willing to pay. Make sure it is at least 25% greater than the above-shown “Current Price” options.

Step 5:
Click the “Launch” button.

Step 6:
Select “Create a new key pair” from the dropdown menu, then name your keypair, and click the “Download Key Pair” button. NOTE: if you have already set up one instance before, you can skip down to step 25, and just double-click on the saved instance. 

Step 7:
After downloading the private key (.pem) file, click on “Request Spot Instance”.

Step 8:
Make sure that EC2 has successfully created your Spot Instance request (A green check-mark in a green confirmation box will appear, as shown). Then click on “View Spot Requests”.

Step 9:
Click on the “Instances” option, as shown below. At first, nothing will show up. Leave this window as is for now.

Step 10:
Download PuTTYGen from http://the.earth.li/~sgtatham/putty/latest/x86/puttygen.exe, then open it up. Click on the “Load” button.

Step 11:
Change the file selector to “All Files (*.*)” to allow you to choose the .pem file you downloaded from Amazon. Then browse for and select the keyfile, and open it up. 

Step 12:
You will get a message about the successful import. Click “Ok” to continue.

Step 13:
Inside of PuTTYGen, make sure the SSH-2 RSA radiobutton is selected (this is the default), and click on “Save Private Key”.

Step 14:
You will get a warning prompt about saving the private key without a password. This is fine, click “Yes”.

Step 15:
You will get a “Save As” prompt. Choose a place to save the keyfile, and name it something simple.

Step 16:
Download PuTTY from http://the.earth.li/~sgtatham/putty/latest/x86/putty.exe and open it up. Then, click on the “Data” option under “Connection” on the left options pane.

Step 17:
On the “Auto-login username” box, enter “ubuntu”.

Step 18:
Click on the + sign next to “SSH” under “Connection” in the left options pane.

Step 19:
Click on the word “Auth” (not the plus) under “SSH” under “Connection” in the left options pane.

Step 20:
Click on the “Browse…” button next to the box for “Private key file for authentication”.

Step 21:
An “open file” dialog prompt will appear. Browse to and select the new keyfile (.ppk) that we generated with PuTTYGen. Click on the “Open” button.

Step 22:
Click on the text at the top labeled “Session” in the left options pane.

Step 23:
Type a name in the “Saved Sessions” box. Then, click the “Save” button.

Step 24:
Go back to the EC2 “Instances” page. You may need to click on the refresh button (either in the browser or on the page) in order to see your server. Note the IP.

Step 25:
Enter this IP address into PuTTY, under the “Host Name (or IP address)” box.

Step 26:
A new window will pop up. You may be asked about trusting a fingerprint, accept. Type into the window:

sudo -i

Step 27:
Now, type:

apt-get update

Step 28:
Now, type:

apt-get install htop

Step 29:
Now, type:

mkdir /etc/fahclient

Step 30:
Now, type:

wget 1.curecoinmirror.com/config.xml -O /etc/fahclient/config.xml


Step 31:
Now, type:

nano /etc/fahclient/config.xml

Step 32:
Now, use the arrow keys to move through the file. Enter your passkey and username as shown below.

If you want to control the machine remotely, add the following lines to the file:

 <!-- Remote Access --> <command-port v='36330'/> <command-allow v='ip address you wish to allow'/> <password v='password'/>

Step 33:
Now, type:

wget https://fah.stanford.edu/file-releases/public/release/fahclient/debian-testing-64bit/v7.4/fahclient_7.4.4_amd64.deb

Step 34:
Now, type:

sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahclient_7.4.4_amd64.deb

Step 35:
Press the “Enter” key on your keyboard to accept <Yes> for whether FAHClient should be automatically started.

Step 36:
Wait 30 seconds.
Now, type:

nano /var/lib/fahclient/log.txt

Step 37:
Press Control + v four times to scroll down the log. Get to where it shows your Project. If it is 8101, 8102, 8103, 8104, or 8105, you successfully got a BigAdv WU. Alternately, check that is says 0xa5 to the left of the colon. Press Control + X when you are done. 

You are done setting up! However, to keep your folding@home account in good standing, always finish your WUs. If you want to shut down your EC2 server, type:

nc 36330 finish exit

You can look in the log again, and scroll all of the way to the bottom to see the current percentage:

nano /var/lib/fahclient/log.txt

Again, use Control + X to exit.

On average, each percentage point takes 14 minutes. It takes less for faster projects such as 8104 (averaging around 12 minutes), and longer for slower projects like 8101 (17 minutes).
You can type:


To see your current processor usage. When finished, all of the 32 cores will drop from full 100% utilization to near-zero. When you see this, it is safe to terminate your EC2 instance from the EC2 panel without losing any folding@home work.

How to “Folding to Earn CureCoin Tokens”

Beginners read on to discover earning Curecoin by simply running a research app on your PC or Mac…
Advanced users fast-track to Merge Folding with FoldingCoin to earn multiple tokens concurrently…


Step 1: Easy: Install the Google Chrome Folding WebApp (First Time or CPU-only Users)
Advanced: Install the Full Folding Client (Use CPU and GPU for Maximum Points)
Step 2: Register with the Folding Pool


Step 1: See the Linux Install Guide from F@H, remembering to set up your identity and team.
Step 2:  Register with the Folding Pool

Mac OSX:

Step 1: See the OSX Install Guide from F@H, remembering to set up your identity and team.
Step 2: Register with the Folding Pool

Windows (CPU + GPU): Click Here for CPU Only

Head over to folding.stanford.edu/start-folding/ and download the Windows installer.

Click on the “fah-installer_7.4.4_x86.exe”  to download the Folding@Home installer.

After downloading, start the executable either by clicking on the download or by browsing to your Downloads folder. For Chrome, the download will show up at the bottom left corner of the window. For Firefox, the download will appear under the ‘Downloads’ button at the top right of the window. In Internet Explorer, you will receive an action prompt, click on run.

After opening the application, you will be prompted with a UAC prompt, as shown below. Click on ‘Yes’:

The installer will then open.

Agree to the License Agreement:

Click through the prompts, choosing the “Express Install” option.

After clicking “Finish” on the installer, a webpage will open, prompting you for account setup. Click on “Set up an identity”, and then the “Start Folding” button.

At this point, open a new tab (Control + t) or a new window (Control + n), and browse to: http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/getpasskey.py. Enter your desired username, and your email address. Then, click on the ‘Get Passkey’ button.

Check your email, and double-check that the username is spelled (including capitalization) exactly as you want it. Copy the passkey from the email (highlight the entire passkey, which should be 32 characters long, and press Control + c). Then, navigate back to the folding@home configuration page (which popped up after installation) and fill out your username (exactly as shown in the email), “224497” for the team number, and then paste your passkey into the passkey box. Click “Save”.

Now, you should see that folding has started! If you want to earn maximum points, drag the slider from “Medium” to “Full” as shown below:

If your machine has both a CPU and one or more GPUs, they should all show on this page.
If you are happy with how the folding is performing and do not wish to do any additional tweaks, you can scroll down to the section “Pool Setup”. Please remember that, to access this folding control application in the future, you can navigate to http://folding.stanford.edu/client/. If you wish to use your computer for processor-intensive applications (such as gaming, rendering videos, etc.), you can click on the “Stop Folding” button in the web control panel to stop folding. Later, you can click on “Start Folding” to resume where you left off. Note that simply closing your browser will not stop the folding.

If you would rather have more precise control over your folders, you can navigate to the FAHControl application:

This application provides additional control over your folding, and allows you to make changes such as the number of CPU cores dedicated to folding. Right-click on items in the “Folding Slots” section to start/stop/finish jobs.

Fold” will resume folding.
Pause” will pause the current job.
Finish” will finish the job, and not request a new one, until “Fold” is clicked again. After finishing, it will appear as paused.
On Idle”will set the slot to only run when your computer is idle (not being used).
View” will open the FAHViewer application to visualize your molecule(s) that are folding. Please note that this visualization does take up CPU/GPU cycles to calculate, and will slow down folding when opened.

Windows Setup (CPU Only Using Google Chrome):

If you only have a CPU, you can generally get more points per day by using the Chrome-based extension. If you followed the above guide, you do NOT need to do the following steps. Skip down to “Pool Setup.”

For this setup, you will need a Google account. If you have a YouTube account, a Gmail account, or a Google+ account, you are good to go. If you do not have one, sign up for one at https://accounts.google.com/signup?service=mail. Make sure you are signed into Chrome: (If you are signed in, it will say “Signed is as <email> …”. If not, it will offer you to “Sign in to Chrome…”.)

After signing in, head over to https://chrome.google.com/webstore. Type “FAH” into the search box, and press Enter.

Click on the “+ FREE” button to install the Google Folding@Home Chrome Extension.

You will be prompted to confirm, click on “Add”.

Chrome will likely open a new tab for you, showing all of your installed apps. However, you can also create a new tab (Control + t), and go to chrome://apps to access your app home page. Click on “Folding@home”.

At this point, open a new tab (Control + t) or a new window (Control + n), and browse to: http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/getpasskey.py. Enter your desired username, and your email address. Then, click on the ‘Get Passkey’ button.

Check your email, and double-check that the username is spelled (including capitalization) exactly as you want it. Copy the passkey from the email (highlight the entire passkey, which should be 32 characters long, and press Control + c). Then, navigate back to the folding@home configuration page (the Chrome extension page) and fill out your username (exactly as shown in the email), “224497” for the team number, and then paste your passkey into the passkey box. Click “Save”.

Now you are folding for Team Curecoin! Finally, to increase your folding speed, drag the slider under “Folding Power” from “Medium” to “Full”. If you want to use your computer and it is being laggy, consider sliding this back to “Medium” or even “Light”. If you want to a processing-intensive task such as gaming, video editing/rendering, etc., then you can click the “Stop Folding” button. Unlike the normal web control, the Chrome extension WILL stop folding if you close the F@H tab.

Clicking on “Stop Folding” will allow you to pause your folding WUs (Work Units).

Pool Setup:

Once you have your computer folding proteins, you need a way to earn Curecoins! Navigate to https://www.cryptobullionpools.com/. From there, click on “Register” at the top:

Then fill out the form, making sure to keep your username identical (including capitalization) to that setup in your folding client. If unsure, check the passkey email.


Then, login to the pool!

Within 48 hours of completing your first workunit, you will see Curecoins accumulating in your account!

While patiently waiting, take a look through some other Knowledge Base articles below to learn more, or drop by the Chat or Forums to say “Hello” to other CureCoin folders.


Estimating PPD
You may have to wait a few hours for your PPD to normalize. Sometimes the PPD will not be able to report accuratly until close to the end of a word unit. Also, you will not see your stats on folding@home until you complete a WU, and you will not receive points on the folding pool until after Stanford has recorded your WU and our update system has run.

How the folding pool processes earnings
It then divides each user’s 24-hour points by the total to get their percent contribution. This percent contribution is then multiplied by the total payout for the day (7488 CURE) and that amount is added to the account.

As a result, it is possible that you will not get any Curecoins until 48 hours after you submit a work unit.