Setting Up Distributed Computing in a FreeNAS Iocage Jail to Contribute to COVID-19 Research

I’m not going to say much about COVID-19 and I won’t need to explain what it is because we have all been affected by this in some way. However, over the weekend I decided to do something positive by donating spare processing power from my FreeNAS server towards Distributed Computing which is actively contributing in COVID-19 research.

In this tutorial, I am going to show you how you can setup Boinc, in order to donate that spare computing power to aid The National Up-cycled Computing Collective (NUCC, Inc.), which is a non-profit organisation, who is working on distributed computing projects with Rosetta@Home, which is focused solely on COVID-19 research at the time of this writing.


My translation of this tutorial is based on the original work by EvilMoFo, subsequently posted via belle, book and code. I make no claims to this work what-so-ever, however, I would suggest that as a way to say thank you please go and visit their site.

Tuning FreeNas

Before we start, we will need to make some configuration tweaks to FreeNas in particular, the /etc/rc.conf and the /etc/sysctl.conf. This can easily set by navigating to System/Tunables within FreeNas. Click on the Add button and you will see the following.

Now enter the first tuneable configuration values are listed below and click on the Save button.

Variable: linux_load
Value: YES
Type: rc.conf
Description: This variable loads the linux kernel modes
Enable Checkbox: Checked

Now click Add and enter second tuneable configuration variables are listed below. Again click on the Save button to save the settings

Variable: security.bsd.unpriviledged_idprio
Value: 1
Type: sysctl
Enable Checkbox: Checked

To enable these tuneables without re-booting FreeNAS, got to the root shell bu clicking on the >_ Shell link and entering the following commands.

  • kldload linux
  • kldload linux64
  • sysctl security.bsd.unprivileged_idprio=1