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Is FoldIt free software and/or open source software?

If yes, where can I find the source code and other related files?

If no, why not?

jawz101's picture
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from what I've read on here,

from what I've read on here, there are parts of the code that handle the actual math behind protein design that are proprietary so it cannot be open sourced.

Joined: 05/13/2020
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Where did you read that?

Where did you read that?

jeff101's picture
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If you itch to code ...

Foldit is a complicated game with many tools.
New players should start with the Intro/Tutorial Puzzles
which introduce Foldit's tools, and then do as many Beginner Puzzles
as they can before venturing into the regular Science Puzzles.

In the Beginner and Science Puzzles,
players can use Recipes within Foldit.
Recipes are user-made GUI or LUA scripts
that automatically do many repetitive,
time-consuming, or complicated tasks
within Foldit (for more info, see
https://foldit.fandom.com/wiki/Recipes and
Recipes can run 24/7 on multiple computers,
so they can greatly amplify what a single
player can accomplish in the game.
Many players share their recipes at
so that other players can download them,
use them, and adapt them if they want.
Recipes have become a very important
part of Foldit game-play, and many top
players use a mix of hand- and script-

Since Foldit itself is constantly changing,
the LUA commands to access different Foldit
tools periodically get updated as well.
Because of this, there are almost always
opportunities to create useful new Recipes
or to improve the performance of existing
ones, so if you itch to code to improve
Foldit, learn how to write Foldit Recipes!

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This didn't answer my initial

This didn't answer my initial question, however.

jeff101's picture
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Is Foldit open source?

If you do a google search with the keywords
"open source site:fold.it", you will get
many hits like the one below:


I think there is a standalone version
of Foldit. Maybe you can play with its
source code.

A google search with the keywords
"standalone site:fold.it" gives
many hits.

I am just a long-term player trying
to be helpful. Hopefully someone with
a green & white Foldit icon next to
their username will respond to your
questions. Barring that, please look
at previous posts with questions like
your own.

One question I have for you is what
interests you so much about the game's
source code? Have you even tried to
play the game? Why not learn to play
before you worry about trying to code

bkoep's picture
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Not open source, unfortunately

Hi Wuzzy2, sorry for the delayed response!

Foldit is not open source, because it uses Rosetta protein-modeling software, and Rosetta has a restrictive license. (Revenue from commercial Rosetta licenses is used to fund research in the academic labs that develop Rosetta.)

There is some more discussion in this answer from couple years ago, as well as this mega-thread that jeff101 already linked above.


Developed by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Institute for Protein Design, Northeastern University, Vanderbilt University Meiler Lab, UC Davis
Supported by: DARPA, NSF, NIH, HHMI, Amazon, Microsoft, Adobe, RosettaCommons