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How to get started with GIMPS

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To get started with GIMPS is very easy. Just follow the four simple steps below, and you are up and running.

Step 1

Download the appropriate program for your OS.

Current software could be downloaded from or its mirror sites ( or

  • Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP: Download the latest version of the client, either p95vxxx.exe or
  • Linux: Download mprimexxx.tar.gz, or the staticly linked sprimexxx.tar.gz for systems that do not have the glibc 2.1 runtime libraries.
  • FreeBSD: Download mprimexxx-freebsd.tar.gz or the staticly linked sprimexxx-freebsd.tar.gz(494K).
  • Windows NT/2000/XP Service: This is for administrators that want the extra security of running a traditional GUI-less service. You will still need to download the standard windows executable to configure the client. This program is for Windows NT experts only. Download
  • OS/2: Max Alekseyev has ported the Linux version to OS/2. Download his zipped executable.
  • Windows 3.1: Download This version is not fully automatic, but you can use the PrimeNet server's web-based forms to get exponents and report results. ECM factoring is not supported. Version 18.1, last updated April 2, 1999
  • Other Operating Systems: Check the project Download Page for information about clients for other operating systems

Step 2

If you downloaded p95vxxx.exe client, then run it. Ghost Installer has generously made their setup program free for all. Thus, you can run the prime95 setup program and simply follow the instructions to install Prime95. All other platforms will need to create a directory and decompress the file you just downloaded. Windows users can choose from a variety of decompression programs. Some are PKZip, WinZip, or dozens of others at Tucows. Linux and FreeBSD users should use the standard tar and gzip decompression utilities.

Step 3

Read the readme.txt file, that came with the client, for more detailed instructions. Generally, joining GIMPS is as simple as running the program, answering a few questions, and the program does the rest. It contacts a central server to get some work to do. There are several ways to set up the program to run every time you restart your computer. You can track your progress on a stats page the server updates every hour.

Step 4

Questions and problems. Consult the readme.txt file for possible answers. You can also search for an answer, or ask for help in the GIMPS forums. Otherwise, you will need to address your question to one of the two people who wrote the program. Networking and server problems should be sent to Scott Kurowski, but please consult his FAQ first. Such problems include errors contacting the server, problems with assignments or userids, and errors on the server's statistics page. All other problems and questions should be sent to George Woltman, but please consult his FAQ first.

There are also a few other FAQs available, see A handful of GIMPS Links

Sneakernetting the client

Instructions on How to Sneakernet the client are on a separate page.


WU credit is based on GHz-days. If you have a faster box you get more GHz-days earned per day. The stats server is constantly updated - turn in a WU and get instant credit. You can find the stats here.

External links