How to install Folding@home on RPi3 B on Raspbian, if it’s possible at all?

The Folding@home download page does have 64 and 32 debian versions, but downloading them results in an error

“A package could not be found that allows the action to complete...”

Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

  • Your RPi is not fast enough to run F@H, there's no F@H client for ARMHF (your raspberry doesn't have an X86 processor). So it is a complete non-starter.
    – Dougie
    Mar 28, 2020 at 10:00

3 Answers 3


Try Bionic if you want to contribute Rpi time to Covid research https://www.tomshardware.com/how-to/fight-coronavirus-with-raspberry-pi



Currently there is no package that will run on the Pi. Now out of date - see below edits

The packages you are trying to install are for x86 chipsets only.

Best thing to do is move your day to day computing to the Pi and free up your PC or Mac to do the folding tasks.

Edit: Source for the client is not available for cross compilation

Edit 2: Balena (of Etcher fame) has now released a 'Fold for Covid' project image for the Pi 3 / Pi 4 and lots of other single boards / dedicated computers and 'spare' processing on your main machine. Full details are at THIS LINK HERE Note technically this is not Folding@home (it is based on Rosetta by Baker Labs but is for a good cause

  • 1
    If the source code avaialbe it may be cross-compiled.
    – Biswapriyo
    Mar 28, 2020 at 8:03
  • @Biswapriyo Good point - some of the code is Python and in GITHUB at github.com/FoldingAtHome
    – user115418
    Mar 28, 2020 at 12:48
  • Which repository? The source code is not present there. In the Debian release, readme file has some repo link but those are not found.
    – Biswapriyo
    Mar 28, 2020 at 15:34
  • Full client source is not available (only the models). The client is released under a specific licence for them foldingathome.org/support/faq/opensource
    – user115418
    Mar 28, 2020 at 16:51

Arm64 folding client, control and viewer are now available which run on raspberrypi models 3 and 4, which support the 64bit rasbpian image. You only need install the folding client. If you already have the control and viewer installed on another computer, you can optionally use those.

To get started you need to download and image an SD card with the rasbpian Buster arm64/aarch64 image, not the more commonly used 32-bit image. You could install the full desktop arm64 1GB image rather than the lite 400MB image here: (image name could change by the time you read this)

image.zip https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/raspios_lite_arm64/images/raspios_lite_arm64-2020-08-24/

Image the SD card by what ever process you normally use. Update and upgrade your new buster installation and install your normal tools.

If you don't know what kind of image you already have installed try "uname -a" without the quotes. Expect this arm64 output:

Linux raspi64 5.4.51-v8+ #1333 SMP PREEMPT Mon Aug 10 16:58:35 BST 2020 aarch64 GNU/Linux

Once up and running on arm64 buster, see this link for general information: https://test.foldingathome.org/start-folding/

Download the arm64 folding@home client install package here:


The following command run as root or sudo will install the client, and ask you to input the normal user, team number and passkey; and a few other items just like on an x86 system. The software will start folding after the questions are answered.

dpkg -i --force-depends fahclient_7.6.21_arm64.deb

Monitor the progress of folding with this command:

tail /var/lib/fahclient/log.txt

Note that I have not said anything about the control or viewer software. I have never used them. You can certainly install those if you are accustomed to using them. I monitor my folding on client raspi64 with ssh (putty on windows?) from a laptop with this command:

ssh raspi64 tail /var/lib/fahclient/log.txt

Happy folding.

New information: Those of you interested in folding@home on raspberrypi are likely to buy a model 4 B. The question is which one of 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, or 8GB to buy? The 1GB, if it were still available would be adequate based on my results on the model 3 B+. Out out of 1000MB of RAM, half (526Mi) shows a free.

dennis@raspi64:~ $ free -h

total used free shared buff/cache available Mem: 913Mi 112Mi 526Mi 6.0Mi 273Mi 736Mi Swap: 99Mi 0B 99Mi

I recommend the Model 4B 2GB as it as about the same price as 1GB if available at all. And the 2GB is less costly than the higher memory models.

More info: The raspberry pi model 4 has a reputation for running hot. I have yet to test the model 4. But I did order the largest heat sinks I could find for incoming model 4's. I did this because of my experience running the model 3 full bore at 99% nice. With the model 3 lying horizontal in still air the command vcgencmd measure_temp showed 80 degrees C, too hot to touch the processor. Mounting it vertical in front of a power supply exhaust dropped the temperature to 65 C. Thus either a heat sink or fan or both are going to be necessary for the model 4 B. running full bore.

I plan to power 4 each of the pi model 4 from a single PC power supply.

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