The large data sets from the project are freely available for other researchers to use upon request and some can be accessed from the Folding@home website. The Pande lab has collaborated with other molecular dynamics systems such as the Blue Gene supercomputer, and they share Folding@home's key software with other researchers, so that the algorithms which benefited Folding@home may aid other scientific areas. In 2011, they released the open-source Copernicus software, which is based on Folding@home's MSM and other parallelizing methods and aims to improve the efficiency and scaling of molecular simulations on large computer clusters or supercomputers. Summaries of all scientific findings from Folding@home are posted on the Folding@home website after publication.
A Folding@home participant installs a client program on their personal computer. The user interacts with the client, which manages the other software components in the background. Through the client, the user may pause the folding process, open an event log, check the work progress, or view personal statistics. The computer clients run continuously in the background at a very low priority, using idle processing power so that normal computer use is unaffected. The maximum CPU use can be adjusted via client settings. The client connects to a Folding@home server and retrieves a work unit and may also download the appropriate core for the client's settings, operating system, and the underlying hardware architecture. After processing, the work unit is returned to the Folding@home servers. Computer clients are tailored to uniprocessor and multi-core processor systems, and graphics processing units. The diversity and power of each hardware architecture provides Folding@home with the ability to efficiently complete many types of simulations in a timely manner (in a few weeks or months rather than years), which is of significant scientific value. Together, these clients allow researchers to study biomedical questions formerly considered impractical to tackle computationally.
In November 2006, first-generation symmetric multiprocessing (SMP) clients were publicly released for open beta testing, referred to as SMP1. These clients used Message Passing Interface (MPI) communication protocols for parallel processing, as at that time the GROMACS cores were not designed to be used with multiple threads. This was the first time a distributed computing project had used MPI. Although the clients performed well in Unix-based operating systems such as Linux and macOS, they were troublesome under Windows. On January 24, 2010, SMP2, the second generation of the SMP clients and the successor to SMP1, was released as an open beta and replaced the complex MPI with a more reliable thread-based implementation.
The V7 client is the seventh and latest generation of the Folding@home client software, and is a full rewrite and unification of the prior clients for Windows, macOS, and Linux operating systems. It was released on March 22, 2012. Like its predecessors, V7 can run Folding@home in the background at a very low priority, allowing other applications to use CPU resources as they need. It is designed to make the installation, start-up, and operation more user-friendly for novices, and offer greater scientific flexibility to researchers than prior clients. V7 uses Trac for managing its bug tickets so that users can see its development process and provide feedback. 2b1af7f3a8