Version 11 (modified by davea, 11 years ago) (diff)


Instructions for alpha testers

Becoming an alpha tester

The BOINC testing program helps us find and fix bugs in the BOINC software before we release it to the public. Testing is vital to the success of BOINC. If you're a tester, then:

  • You'll need to spend about 1 hour per week doing testing;
  • You'll run experimental versions of BOINC that may crash or cause jobs to fail.
  • You may be asked to assist, via phone or email, in troubleshooting.

If you are OK with all this and want to help test BOINC, send email to David Anderson or Rom Walton, and we'll give you an account in the BOINC Alpha test project

The BOINC Alpha project

Testers must log in to the BOINC Alpha project to report test results. It'a also a BOINC project, but usually it doesn't have any jobs, and you don't need to attach your client to it.

The BOINC Alpha email list

Testers must subscribe to the boinc_alpha email list. (You don't need to be a tester to subscribe to this list).

When to test

Periodically (every couple of weeks, sometimes more) we'll send an announcement on the email list, asking alpha testers to download and test a specific new release of BOINC. You can find these releases on the BOINC download page. Please try to report test results within two days of receiving the email.

How to test

See the set of test cases?. For each release, please try to do all the General tests. Please try to do as many of the other tests as your time and computer environment permit.

If you experienced problems with BOINC that are not exercised by any of these tests, please post to the [email protected] email list.

The client software under test may have bugs that wipe out tasks in progress, so consider using a different data directory when you install the test software.

How to report test results

Report results through the web-based interface.

If you find a bug or unexpected bahavior in the BOINC client, it will help us a lot if you can tell BOINC to generate more detailed messages, and then post a message to boinc_alpha describing the problem and including the message log. To do this, use a text editor like Notepad to create a file cc_config.xml in your BOINC data directory. It has the following form:


The work_fetch_debug flag tells BOINC to generate detailed messages about how it decides when to ask projects for jobs. There are lots of other flags for other types of problems.

For more details on reporting bugs, see Reporting Hard Bugs.

If you're not sure whether something is a problem, post to the [email protected]… email list.

If a problem persists across multiple releases, you can submit bug reports to the BOINC bug database, or send email to the relevant area owner.


Windows users: if you have install/uninstall problems, you may need to use the Windows Installer CleanUp Utility