How Your Home Lab Can Help Fight COVID-19

I was scrolling through Twitter a few days ago when I saw a couple Tweets about Folding@home. Having never heard of it before, I went to their website to see what it was all about.

This is a quote from their website: “While you keep going with your everyday activities, your computer will be working to help us find cures for diseases like cancer, ALS, Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, Influenza and many others.”

Another quote from their website: “The Folding@home software allows you to share your unused computer power with us – so that we can research even more potential cures.”

I thought that was pretty awesome. I had a bunch of lab computers just sitting around while I’m going through a SANS class so I had to try it out.

Here’s how to get started:

Go to and download the appropriate FAH software.

If you’re using Linux, the CLI installation instructions are located under FAQ here (thank you @InfoSecMBz).

After the installation, you should see the setup wizard. If not, click on the Folding@home icon that should appear in the task bar.

The following was the setup process:

I chose Express install

After clicking finish, you can access the web control at:

You can fold as Anonymous, or you can create a username and get a passkey to earn points. Points are just for fun, friendly competition.

You can also join a team. SecKC has an awesome folding@home team by the way. Team: 237210

To create a username and get a passkey, click on “Change Identity” under I’m folding as Anonymous.

For the passkey, click the “Get a Passkey” link and it will be emailed to you.

I had ten computers to set up with folding@home. I waited until I got the passkey to set up my first one and used the same Name, Team Number and Passkey for all ten computers.

After you click the Save button, your all set!

This is what it looks like when it’s running and you start racking up points.

There is also a VMWare Appliance for Folding@home.

For some articles about Folding@home, check out:

In addition, there is an Extreme Overclocking site for Folding

There is also a similar program called Rosetta@home.

Happy folding!