Folding@home Passkey FAQ

Table of Contents

What is a passkey?

The passkey, a new feature beginning with the v6 FAH client, is a unique identifier that ties your contributions directly to you (not just those with your username). The use of a passkey prevents others from cheating in your name. Obtain a passkey from our web site (see below), enter it when you configure the client, and the client and servers will do the rest. You should keep your passkey secret.

What is the purpose of a passkey?

Previously we have not had unique identifiers in Folding@home (usernames for example can be shared by many people). One main benefit of passkeys is that if someone cheats, we will not need to zero out the points of everyone with that username -- only the offending party and those without passkeys. Perhaps more interestingly, we plan to institute points bonuses, which will be tied to passkeys. Finally, the existence of passkeys opens up future possibility of displaying your individual credit and other information, rather than just by username.

Where can I get a passkey?

http://fah-web.stanford.edu/cgi-bin/getpasskey.py
Note: The passkey request form is case sensitive.

Do I need to get a passkey?

No, you can leave it blank during configuration and the client will operate normally. But we will not have any way of distinguishing work units you completed from the work units others with the same name have completed. And you will not be eligible for the new points bonus when implimented.

Why does the passkey web page ask for my email address?

We send the passkey to you by email. If we just displayed the passkey on the web page, then anybody could claim a passkey in your name. Sending the passkey to your email account is more secure because only you have access to your email account.

Is there an easy way to enter the passkey into the client?

Yes, in the console client setup, there is a new passkey prompt: Passkey []? You can copy your passkey from the email you receive from FAH, and paste it in to that prompt. On Windows, to paste into the console prompt, right click on the Title Bar, then select "Paste" from the menu that appears. It is strongly recommended that the client.cfg file not be manually edited, as it's not a plain text file and could become corrupted.

In the GUI client, paste your passkey in to the Passkey: field at the bottom of the User tab in the client Configuration window.

Should I keep my passkey secret?

In general, yes! Do not post a passkey on the Forum, etc. The natural exceptions to this general rule are using the passkey in the client (of course) as well as Folding@home web sites and related sites. We are working to use the passkey to allow donors to get more information about their Folding@home client machines. Also, we are working with partners to use the passkey to validate donor's names with their emails.

Currently, the only such example is the PNY-Folding@home contest. Please do use your passkey with this web site, but at the moment, this is the only site that we have authorized passkey use (so do not use it with any other site).

What do I do if I forgot my passkey?

Go to the passkey web page and fill in the same information as before. You will get another email with your passkey.

For More Information, Please See:


Last Updated on April 19, 2009, at 01:13 PM