You are reading the guide to run Folding@Home in the
Azure-cloud. Click here to see my guides for
mining cryptocurrency in the azure-cloud.
How to Run Folding@Home in the Azure-cloud
If you have a MSDN-subscription Microsoft will give you up
to 150$ monthly credit for the azure-cloud. You can use
these credits to run folding@home
in the azure-cloud (150$ is enough to run 20 cores for one
month, which will net you around 150.000
folding@home-points per day).
When you are folding you are helping to fight diseases, but the
folding@home-points themselves have no monetary value. However,
there are some ways how to get a direct reward from folding, e.g.
through bananominer.com, curecoin or foldingcoin.
It is your responsibility to comply with Azure's ToS. You will be
banned very quickly if you do something that Azure does not like. You
should only use free credits from legitimate sources
(e.g. if you have a MSDN-subscription from your day-job).
You can see a screencast of the required steps in the video
below (switch to fullscreen-mode with the button in the
bottom-right corner to see it properly):
To start, enter your Folding@Home-Team-ID, User-ID and
Passkey in the fields below (all entered data is processed
through the internet):
Enter your Folding@Home User-ID here:
Enter your Folding@Home Team-ID here. You can leave this
field empty if you are not associated with a team.
Enter the passkey for your Folding@Home User-ID here. You can
create a passkey here.
You can leave this field empty if you don't have a passkey
(you will get a lot less points without a passkey, though!)
Now continue with creating a storage-account and a batch-account in
Click on 'Review+Create at the bottom and then 'Create'
on the following page to create the storage-account.
Once you get the notification that your storage-account has been created
(it will take a few seconds), go to your storage-account (link to your
Click on 'Files' then on '+File share'
to create a new file share. Enter 'fahshare' as the
name for the new file share and click on 'Create'.
Then, back in the storage-account, click on 'Access keys'.
Copy over the value you see in the field 'key' into the field
below (there are two keys: key1 and key2 - you can pick
either. It should look like a long string of random characters) Enter the key here:
VM Size: 'Standard F4s_v2 (4 Cores, 8GB Memory)' (Choose
the exact type!)
Leave the other options at the
Click on 'OK' at the bottom to create
To finalize the setup you need a startup-script which will download the
folding@home-client and start folding. Click on the button below to
generate the startup-script from the information you have entered on
This is your personalized startup-script:
On the pool you have just created, go to 'Start task' and
fill the form with the following information:
Command line: here you have to copy&paste your
personalized script from the textfield above
User identity: 'Task Autouser, Admin'
Leave the other options at the default.
Click on 'Save'
The last step is to tell Azure how many nodes it should
start for you. This depends on the amount of free credits available in
your azure-account. Basically you want to use up as much of
your monthly credit as possible without actually consuming all of your
credit (otherwise you'll have to repeat the setup again in
the next month because azure will delete your pools if your free credits
Number of low priority nodes (F4s_v2, 4 Cores, 8GB)
Cost of nodes for 31 days
Monthly free credit
If azure is using your local currency instead of USD the numbers might
look slightly different. If you run out of free credit before the end of
the month, just reduce the number of nodes by one and try again.
Now go back to 'Overview' and click on 'Scale'.
Enter the desired number of nodes in the field 'Low priority
nodes' (e.g. 5 if you have MSDN Enterprise), and click on
Checking your Progress
You can check the logs from the individual nodes of the pool to see
your progress. Go to your pool and click on 'Nodes'.
Then click on one of the nodes on the list. In the file-browser on the
bottom of the page, click on the folder 'startup',
then click on the file 'stdout.txt'. Scroll down to
the end of the file. You should see some lines like 13:52:17:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 85000 out of 500000
13:55:36:WU00:FS00:0xa7:Completed 90000 out of 500000 steps (18%) This shows the progress of the work-unit this node is currently
working on. Note that the VMs need some time to setup everything so it
will take several minutes after the start of the node before you can
see this output in the log.
You can also have a look at https://folding.extremeoverclocking.com/
to see your place in the ranking: if you enter your username in the
search-box on the left side your data should show up once you have
completed a few WUs Note that you will only get a fraction of the
points if you are not using a passkey. Even if you are using a passkey
you won't get credited with the full points until you have completed
10 WUs. After 3 or 4 days you should see a sharp increase in the
achieved points per day.
information you are entering into this site are processed on your
local machine. None of the information is sent through the internet.
Nevertheless, do not run this script on an Azure-account which is
critical to your business (or your employer's business).
On the overview-page of your pool your nodes will always show up
with the status 'idle'. This is normal (all the work is done through
the startup-script, so from Azure's point of view the nodes are idle
because there are no individual 'tasks').
Once setup, the VMs will keep on running indefinitely. However, if
you start too many nodes then your free credits will get exhausted
before the end of the month and azure will delete your pools. If
that happens just reduce the number of nodes by one and setup
When you use the generated script from this site, the VMs will be
folding 2% of the time with my personal User-ID. I hope you will
concede me that small piece of fame in exchange for providing this
Do you need help following the instructions? You can contact me at