This page is dedicated to getting BOINC running on an ODROID-U2 unit. It covers using Debian "wheezy" as the operating system as opposed to Android. The reason for this is that Android comes installed by default, if you get the SD card from HardKernel, and NativeBOINC is readily available if you want to go down that path.


To get you started, I suggest you use this Debian image on your U2 for running BOINC:


It's very similar to that of the Raspbian build which makes life easier for us when attaching projects.

You'll need an 8GB MicroSD card for it to fit. I suggest getting a class 10. Either use dd or your favourite image loader to push it to the SD card.

Some additional things you'll need to do after loading the image is configure your timezone and locale.

For getting BOINC going, you can follow the same instructions for attaching project binaries as at http://burdeview.blogspot.com.au/p/raspberry-pi-boinc-project-ive-created.html#quickstart

Build Details

More to come....


  1. Hi Daniel. I seem to recall you asked me about powering 2 U2s. I lost that thread due to recent manflu but here is some advice I have from running 4 x U2's & 1 X ...

    Are fewer USB ports better?

    The X/X2 has 6 USB ports +1
    The U2 has 2 USB ports +1

    The X/X2 must be a better* device, right? More USB ports 'n all.

    Read on ...

    As shown hereabouts & elsewhere:- the more drain applied via the onboard USB ports means that the overall 5v boad-level voltage droops.
    Read ... >5V (onboard voltage) causes instability of the SoC. It's true - I know from practical experience.

    Better ...

    Make sure any USB device is powered from an off-board supply.

    That keeps the onboard voltage at =/= 5V whatever the USB power demand.


    Take an X.
    Add a WiFi USB dongle. The power demand is variable.
    Add a KB/M USB adapter. The power demand is variable.
    Add an external SD card+reader. The power demand is variable.
    Add a USB powered cooling fan. The power supply must be constant (under-voltage = reduced cooling, over-voltage = over-revving = reduced lifetime/reliablity).

    How to achieve consistent onboard 5V?

    Use a powered USB hub.
    Make sure that the powered USB hub is a Hi-Speed device.
    Then connect all USB devices via that powered hub - NOT the onboard USB sockets.

    One onboard USB sockets are all that is required.
    Two or more is asking for trouble.

    * Beware this bogey word ... no-one has ever told me what is meant by "better".

  2. Also - I found that the quickest way to get BOINC running on (any) ODROID device is to use Android then use the free, no-ads NativeBOINC app.

    Once installed add a BOINC project of your choice from the NINE (31/3/2013) available with Manage Clent / Add BOINC project.

    NativeBOINC has tons of one-click options available and can even move the entire BOINC data repository to an external SD card (and back!) just by selecting that option. (Something that e.g., Raspbian requires a complete understanding of Linux in order to sudo/chown).

    All simple clicks, no ubergeeks.

    Very best regards, Ray

  3. Hi again Daniel. It's April! And the sun is out here in the UK!!!
    (Sorry - got a bit carried away there after hibernation.)

    Sent you an update on my 5V 10A PSU experience. Hope you got it.

    Am expecting 2 million BOINC/NativeBOINC/ODROID credits muchly soon - say 4 days?

    The RPi is also crunching BOINC per your SubsetSum tarball after a full SD card rebuild. (Mysterious dis-graceful degredation/sector faults? Who knows.)

    Word is the RPi (MALI) GPU is a lot more powerful than it's CPU.

    Is it worthy as a BOINC cruncher tho' ?

  4. Hi Daniel.

    OK - I kmow you're primarily a Linux guy.

    This is bit off-topic but ... I'm going 100% Android and dumping ODROID & Raspberry Pi.


    Wiring, plain & simple.

    I have 5 ODROIDS. I wired them up "as they arrived" - think "mess".
    Then there was the issue over Keyboads/Mouse. Special cables - done.
    Then there were 6 HDMI feeds into one monitor.
    And then there was the PSU thing.
    And tiny cooling fans.

    All sorted.

    Finally, there's the powered USB ports and specific Wifi-chipset dongles for the ODROIDS.
    But that gave me an even bigger wiring mess. Think gigantic!

    I spent some time rationalising all the wiring with power from 2 5V10A PSUs for everything.


    But some 6 months after the RPi & the 1st ODROID arrived I'm still left with big, big desk acreage (40cm x 60cm = 240 cm2 and 30cm tall for the wifi ariels!) a big keyboard/mouse/HDMI switcher area making 55cm x 80cm x 30cm) mainly covered with neatly arranged, black wires. Loads of them.
    I can't move! And the flat-screen monitor is more space to add.

    So I'm going 100% tablet. Quad-core @ 1.6ghz for now.


    Integrated screen/keyboad (no mouse), integrated wifi and only one power cable per device.
    5 tablets, 5 PSU wires, stackable horizontally (or vertically!).

    Neat. Period!

    Cooling can be added if necessary.
    Each tablt can connect to a HDMI screen. Expandable and rootable if necessary.

    I know the ODROIDS and the RPi give flexibility e.g., replace SD / upgrade O/S, almost any screen will do, any Kb/M + adapter will do and any

    (suitable) Wifi dongle will do. And if anything fails - just get a new part cheap.
    Whereas if a tablet part fails it's a bin job/new tablet.

    What do you think?

  5. Daniel.

    Just got this from odroid ... "If your software utilize [sic] the NEON instructions, you have more computing performance."

    Any idea what this is about (link http://www.arm.com/products/processors/technologies/neon.php, context "Albert@Home-app runs with NEON."

    1. By the way, you should try your ARMv6 tablets on POGS. The new binaries now support ARMv6. :)

  6. This is true, but NEON is only supported on newer ARM platforms and I'm not entirely sure how well the current GCC compiler optimises for NEON instruction set at the moment. I think most keen developers write the machine code manually for NEON at present. I'm sure writing code to use the Mali GPU set on the ODROID would also yield some decent crunching power as well. This stuff is a little beyond me at present. Maybe I'll have to look into it soon. I'm hoping that we'll start seeing OpenCL SDKs to code for some of the coprocessors available on ARM boards these days.



    1. Looks like they've wrapped up something for the newer Mali GPU chipsets:


  7. Great.

    So NEON = OpenCL on MALI (but increases heat according to odroid. Expected.
    JagDoc reports "If i run the U2 without fan it becomes hot and the time to finish a WU increase about 15%.". I'm guessing that's NEON-enabled.)

    Performance-wise JagDoc sees:-
    "The old Albert-app without NEON take 50h to finish a WU.
    The new app with NEON take 8.5h to finish a WU on the U2."

    Given that an Albert NEON WU on the;-
    RPi takes 13.5hours for 63 credits (waiting for validation) vs
    U2 takes 8.5 to 11+hours for the same 63 credits

    Seems there's room for improvement on the U2vsRPi?

    These figures need cross-checking, of course.

    1. That sounds like a very decent improvement going from just using VFP to NEON. I can believe it though.

      The question is if they reduced the workload when they optimised for NEON? I.e. Did the update consist of optimisation as well as reduction. Raspberry Pi has no NEON support but one can efficiently use hard float ABI which means floating point parameters are directly passed in VFP registers (I think).

      I might have to re-look at compiling in NEON support for theSkyNet POGS. I suspect, however, that I'm going to get a butload of FP problems as NEON is not IEE754 compliant and POGS ways heavily on double floats. Also have to think about the problem of falling back to using VFP if NEON set is not available (older units). Might dig into the Albert source code to see what they're doing.

    2. Hi Daniel.

      Thought that would grab your interest.

      That and more NEON stuff here ... http://forum.odroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=1458 (see mainly the latest few posts).

      Cheers, Ray

  8. Update for your U2 knowledgebase ...
    After a LOT of faffing I now have 2x U2s again running O/C'd to 2ghz running 24/7, stable.

    Long story cut short:- ensure 5V solid input.
    Failure to supply 5V WILL result in SD card destruction, instability and much time lost searching down blind alleys.

    HTH, Ray

  9. Just about to get 3 million BOINC credits.
    JagDoc is currently getting nearly 1 million credits per MONTH using a slightly bigger ODROID farm than me.

  10. Just got 3 million BOINC ARM Android credits (http://nativeboinc.org/site/user_stats).

    In about 6 months.

    Mostly ODROID-U2 crunching, one ODROID-X and some other cheap tablet gear I'm evaluating pending Parallela etc.

  11. Update for your U2 knowledgebase ...

    JagDoc is today going to get top spot on NativeBOINC (Android/ARM) total credits ... from me, sob, blubber!

    JagDoc appears to be running 12 U2s, 11 standard clock, 1 OC'd to 2ghz.
    JagDoc is about to hit 1 million credits per MONTH.


    JagDoc has donated the odd U2 to BOINC projects for evaluation. Nice guy.

    Going on JagDoc stats and I'm assuming some U2s are fitted with eMMC memory:- if used just for Albert /w NEON (and WUprop) 12 U2s would do ...
    48k credits per day. ----> that's better than my ancient HD3850 (AGP).
    Equivalent to 336K credits a week.
    Or 1.344 million credits a month.
    If all 12 U2s ran eMMC & aforementioned BOINC projects ... maybe 1.5 million credits a month?


  12. Another U2 info update FWIW:-

    Some time ago I stuck a Peltier unit onto one side of the heatink of an U2 running at 2ghz ... got condensation on the U2 heatsink!

    Ambient 20.5C

    The Peltier unit came from one of those uber-cheap USB beer can coolers like this ... http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/96b3/ and I only paid a fiver for it! Easy to remove, comes complete with USB lead & plug 'n all :-)

    Hilarious or what?

  13. Hardkernel seems to be playing Hardtoget at the moment ... http://forum.odroid.com/ is unavailable "Too many connections [1040]"

    So if it's OK with you ...

    For some time I've been saying the ODROID-XU/XU+ is a crippled beast IRO the CCI400 bug.
    Some have said - when I mentioned the CCI400 issue, the required chip upgrade and then cancelled my $300+ order for crippled XU's - "it's funny".

    Look now:-


    ... etc, etc

    Who's laughing now?

  14. Brief update on the 10A 5V PSU topic:-
    Both still work 100% after 5 months running the U2's etc @100%.
    Seems like the original that blew up was just a duff unit.

    Brief update on the XU CCI400 topic:-
    Still no official word on the "true octa" but this thread might help ... http://forum.odroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=55&t=1960

    About parallela ... meh!

  15. See http://forum.odroid.com/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=2468&p=19328#p19328 (yay).