BOINC and SETI@Home Data Output with Conky

Posted by on Mar 11, 2008 in Conky, Programming, Technology, Ubuntu6 comments

BOINC Statistics output to ConkySince my previous article about Conky, Conky on Ubunty 64 Bit – .conkyrc, I’ve been playing around with trying to get Conky to output some BOINC (SETI@Home data), and through a little digging, found a couple of very useful resources. The first being BOINC’s own client_status.xml file, located on Ubunutu in /var/lib/boinc-client/client_status.xml, which contains a lot of information about BOINC projects, Work Units, Status and so on. The second being a command line application, again built into BOINC – boinc_cmd. boinc_cmd can be executed with a bunch of parameters, such as –get_simple_gui_info and –get_project_status which output to the Terminal a lot of information about Projects and Work Units.

To output BOINC data via Conky, it’s possible to call the boinc_cmd in .conkyrc and strip down the information with grep and sed etc:

${execi 10 boinc_cmd --get_simple_gui_info | grep -m 1 "fraction done:" | tail -n 1 - | sed -e 's/ fraction done: //'}
${execi 10 boinc_cmd --get_simple_gui_info | grep -m 2 "fraction done:" | tail -n 1 - | sed -e 's/ fraction done: //'}

…and so on for each piece of data required for output, but this is pretty labourious, and makes for a rather ugly .conkyrc, so I’ve written a really quick and dirty Perl Script (it’s not pleasant to look at, and needs a LOT of work, so it’s more of a pre Alpha-Alpha! I’m not sure how, or if it will work with multiple projects, since I only have SETI@HOME installed…) – which actually retrieves all the data from the client_status.xml file. The (archived) script, can be downloaded here (and viewed below – just copy and paste the text into a file, and save it as “” if the download doesn’t work for you). It’s also posted over at the Ubuntu Forums. I’ve called it in .conkyrc by adding one simple line:

${color lightgrey}${execi 10 perl ~/ConkyScripts/boinc/}

OK, so that’s actually two lines, but the first line doesn’t really do anything except output the text “BOINC:” to Conky, so it doesn’t count – but it’s much cleaner than potentially dozens of lines, right? The script itself is in my ~/ConkyScripts/boinc directory and has been made executable:

sudo chmod a+x

Here’s the script so far – it’s VERY much Work In Progress, but it outputs the data as shown in the image above:

Edit 15/03/08: I’ve updated the code, so hopefully it’ll work with multiple projects:



open(INFO, $StateFile);
@lines = <INFO>;
sub strip_tags($);

sub convert_time_to_string($);
sub estimate_time_remaining;
$projectCount = 0;
$wuCount = 0;
$wuActive = 0;
$wuActiveTask = 0;

foreach $line (@lines) {

   if ($line =~ /<master_url>/) {
      $projectMasterURL[$projectCount] = strip_tags($line);

   if ($line =~ /<project_name>/) {
      $projectName[$projectCount] = strip_tags($line);

   if ($line =~ /<workunit>/) {

   if ($line =~ /<active_task_state>1/) {

   if ($line =~ /<active_task>/) {

   if ($line =~ /<result_name>/) {
      $wuName[$wuActiveTask] = strip_tags($line);

   if ($line =~ /<fraction_done>/) {
      $wuPercent[$wuActiveTask] = strip_tags($line) * 100;

   if ($line =~ /<project_master_url>/) {
      $wuMasterURL[$wuActiveTask] = strip_tags($line);

   if ($line =~ /<current_cpu_time>/) {
      $wuCPUTime[$wuActiveTask] = convert_time_to_string(strip_tags($line));
      $wuCPUTimeRaw[$wuActiveTask] = strip_tags($line);


print "No. Work Units: ".$wuCount.", Active WU: ".$wuActive."n";

for($i = 0; $i <= $projectCount; ++$i) {
   print $projectName[$i];
   for ($j = 1; $j <= $wuActiveTask; ++$j) {
      if($projectMasterURL[$i] eq $wuMasterURL[$j]) {
         print "WU ".$j.": ".$wuName[$j];
         $estTime = convert_time_to_string(estimate_time_remaining($wuCPUTimeRaw[$j],$wuPercent[$j]));
         print "CPU Time: ".$wuCPUTime[$j]." Time Remaining: ".$estTime."n";
         print $wuPercent[$j]."% Completen";

sub strip_tags($) {
   my $string = shift;
   $string =~ s/<(.*?)>//gi;
   $string =~ s/ //gi;
   return $string;

sub convert_time_to_string($) {
   $cpuTime = int($_[0]);
   #Calculate the number of days
   if ($cpuTime > 86400) {
      $timeDays = $cpuTime/(24*60*60).":";
   } else {
      $timeDays = "";

   #Calculate the number of hours and minutes
   $timeHours = ($cpuTime/(60*60))%24;
   $timeMinutes = ($cpuTime/60)%60;
   $timeSeconds = $cpuTime%60;
   $cpuTimeString = $timeDays.$timeHours.":".$timeMinutes.":".$timeSeconds;

   return $cpuTimeString;

sub estimate_time_remaining {
   $cpuTime = $_[0];
   $currentPercent = $_[1];
   $onePercentTime = $cpuTime/$currentPercent;
   $totalTime = $onePercentTime * 100;
   $estimatedTimeReminaing = $totalTime - $cpuTime;
   return $estimatedTimeReminaing;
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