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Instructions Page
The IsraAliens SETI@home Team

Most all of the info here is outdated. for more updated info about the BOINC SETI@home client, see here.

How to install and run the SETI@home client

While installing the screen saver is as easy as installing any other program you download from the 'net, installing the text client is a little more complicated.

Installing the Screen Saver client

SETI@home screen saver screenshot

Installing the screen saver is quite easy. Double click the file you downloaded from the SETI@home site, and follow the directions on the screen.
The first time you run it, you'll be asked to log in.

  • If you are not connected to the Internet, connect now.
  • Enter your name and e-mail. your e-mail will be used to identify you when you want to retrieve your personal statistics.
  • After log in, the client will start downloading the first Work Unit. When it is done, you can disconnect from the Internet.

TIP: drawing the graphics takes up to 40% of the CPU time. To shorten the processing time significantly, disable the graphics by right-clicking on your desktop → Properties → Screen Saver → Settings... button. there, check the Go to blank screen after [] minutes check box, and enter a value of up to 5 minutes. it's best to enter 0. While you're there, make sure your screen saver is set to Seti@home.

Installing the text-based client (MS-Win)

Text client screen shot

The text based client download usually consists of only the client running file, so all you have to do is create a new directory and copy the file to it. double click on it to start it.
The text client runs in a DOS window (in Windows machines) that can be minimized to the task bar. It is possible to use one of the third party programs specially designed for the SETI@home client, that can hide the window and the task bar icon, so it doesn't interfere with the usuall work. These programs can usally run the client when they are started. Some of these programs can also show variouse information on your current and/or past Work Units, just like the graphic client, without using exsesive CPU time. Links to some of these programs' home pages can be found in the Links section, or the SETI@home site's Related Web Sites page. Windows 95 users: If you use a dial-up connection to the Internet, you'll need to upgrade your winsock software to WinSock2 from Microsoft.

System Requierments
Pentium 100MHz and better CPU or equivalent
256 colors display (for the screen saver version)
operating systems:
Win9x/NT/Me; MacOS; Linux; UNIX; OS/2; VMS; BeOS and others


Work Unit A packet of data, approximatly 340kB in size, downloaded from the SETI@home server. The client downloads one Work Unit each time, processes it, and retunes the results to the SETI@home server.

Client The program that downloads and analyzes the Work Units. There are versions of the client for most common operating systems, including for servers. most versions are text based, but Win9x/Me and MacOS also have a graphic version, that can work as a screen saver.

Buffering The client can only download one WU at a time. Third party software programs can create a buffer, a stack, of Work Units on your computer, that will reduce the need to contact the SETI@home server to only every few WUs. This is usefull if you don't have permanent Internet connection, or if the SETI@home data server crashes (which happens every few weeks).