|distributed.net Faq-O-Matic : the Client software : What's the story with the hidden clients?|
It is important to preface all mention of hidden clients with a reminder about distributed.net policy on unauthorized installation of dnetc. For full details, see official distributed.net policies.
The hidden capabilities of the client are provided as a convenience to those who are authorized participants. Participants who run or install the distributed.net client on a computer without the permission of the administrator or owner are not permitted. When caught, such participants become ineligible to win any contests, and all past and future work submitted is hidden from stats.
If the participant belongs to a team, that team may suffer the same consequences. These consequences apply just as much to the person who sneaks dnetc onto a co-workers computer as to those who write "trojan-horse" applications to propagate the client across the internet.
If you believe your computer is running an unauthorized install of the distributed.net client, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org so we can fully enforce our policy and assist you with removal.
|Sometimes circumstances arise where you need to run the client on a system
yet keep it hidden from the user. For instance, sysadmins of large computer
labs are typically in this situation.
All clients (for platforms that support multiple tasks) support the -hide (synonymous with -quiet) option.
On UNIX-ish platforms this is approximately equivalent to launching the client with "nohup dnetc 2>&1 /dev/null &" (Though we highly recommend -hide instead of nohup, due to pipe and signal handling issues. Besides, the redirection prevents the client from warning you when it fails to start.)
|Windows clients are also capable of running as 'services', which start when the machine starts, and don't shut down until the machine does. (ie, they survive logouts). Although services on Win9x and WinNT are dramatically different in terms of implementation, dnetc attempts to make the behavior between the two environments approximately equal.
To configure the client to run as a service, a) ensure that it can start normally, b) install it as a service with the -install command line switch. The client will then start automatically when you restart the machine.
|On UNIX-ish platforms, the client will always be identified in ps/top listings as "dnetc". This cannot be overridden, by design.
|Recent clients on most all platforms support a "pause when running" option that will cause the client to temporarily suspend its operations and consume no CPU if it detects a specifically named process is running. This is intended to prevent the client from interfering with time-sensitive processes,
or accessing the disk when disk access is undesirable. It is not much use as a way to hide the client from process monitoring utilities, such as "top" or the Task Manager, since the total cputime is a giveaway.
|MacOS Classic client distributions include an AppleScript that you can place in your Startup Items folder to cause the client be launched and the "Hide dnetc" option in the Applications Menu to be automatically activated. The client is still visible and can be re-activated from the Applications Menu however.|
Alternatively, if the MacOS FBA (faceless background application) version of the dnetc client was distributed with your MacOS download, then you may use that version. The FBA version completely lacks any user interface at all, and will not even be visible from within the Applications Menu.
Newer distributions (2.8012.466+) of the client for MacOS Classic may include a client that runs as a system extension.
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