Folding@home’s software consists of five key components

  • Web Control
    • is a simple web-based page with high-level controls for managing the Folding@home software
  • Advanced Control
    • formerly known as FAHControl, is a detailed interface aimed at more technical users
  • FAHScreensaver
    • is a screensaver that waits for the system to become idle, then activates FAH and a simple visualization
  • FAHClient
    • is the behind-the-scenes manager of the folding process. It processes commands, and communicates with the servers when receiving and sending Work Units.
  • FahCores
    • any of a series of underlying highly technical and scientific programs that performs the molecular dynamics simulations such as protein folding.

FAHClient is the central piece of software. Web Control and Advanced Control are graphical interfaces on top of it, and they as well as the FAHScreensaver communicate with FAHClient. FAHClient downloads Work Units and needed FahCores from the servers, and uploads completed WUs when the FahCore finishes its work. For new installs, FAHClient will now start off paused while it waits for you to either tell it to fold anonymously or configure a name and/or a team and/or passkey before the first Work Unit is downloaded.

In Windows, FAHClient has gained its own system/notification tray icon which now has features found previously in Advanced Control. This allowed us to run FAHClient behind the scenes in Windows, just like it does in Linux and OSX, yet still give you control over the process without having to run a low-level tool like Task Manager. It has a popup menu which allows you to quickly control folding or shut it down completely. Please note that in Windows 7 and above, system/notification tray icons automatically go in to the overflow area after 45 seconds. This is a “feature” of Windows and Microsoft has intentionally made it very difficult to get around this. You can configure Windows to always show the icon or you can find it again easily by opening the icon overflow area.

FAHClient can be run in the command-line; this means that is possible to run Folding@home without Web Control or Advanced Control. FAHClient has an API for third-party applications and can be controlled via Telnet. For documentation on all of these things, see the V7 Advanced page.