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How to build a bitcoin mining rig guide « Eric Zhivalyuk . Linux bitcoin miner distro

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This is a step by step guide on how to setup your own mining pool for things like bitcoin, litecoin, and other crypto-currencies.

This guide is meant to replace Novice’s Guide to Setting up a Crypto-Currency Mining Pool

Why the update? MPOS (Mining Portal Open Source) is very old now and NOMP (Node Open Mining Portal) has branched off into another project called uNOMP (Unified, Node Open Mining Portal). uNOMP has a very active development team and is updated on a regular basis. This not only ensures adequate support of new currencies, but also better security. uNOMP also has many things in one, and is easier to setup then the old MPOS/NOMP hybrid as described in the legacy guide.

I have ran several large mining pool operations, and helped out at several more. The purpose of this guide is to enable more people the opportunity to run their own pool, whether it be for their own miners or just out of curiosity to understand how it all works. This is by no means meant to be a guide so you can setup your own professional mining pool operation. Running your own mining pool that other miners other then yourself will use is not an easy undertaking, and requires extensive systems administration experience as well as a large budget, patience, troubleshooting skills, and a solid knowledge of how crypto-currencies work. This guide will not be going over any security features.

This guide is going over how to setup a uNOMP (Unified, Node Open Mining Portal) pool. This is meant to setup a mining pool for a single crypto-currency. This is not a guide for a multipool.

If you want to see what it looks like before you set it all up, head to the Example Pool that was built completely off of this guide.

Guide Requirements

  • VPS with at least 1GB Ram, 20GB Disk Space and Ubuntu Server 14.04 x64
  • Putty
  • WinSCP
  • Very basic knowledge of Linux

If you are setting up a bitcoin pool, you will need more then 20GB of disk space because the blockchain is very large.

I am using a Windows 10 based PC, and communicate with the VPS using Putty and WinSCP.

This guide will probably take you a long time, especially if you are new to Linux. I highly suggest you be patient, and take it one step at a time.

This guide is meant for novices. If you are already an experienced systems administrator then head on over to the uNomp Github and follow their directions.

A lot of these commands will seem very redundant, especially all the blank “cd” commands. Since everything is split up into different sections, sometimes readers can loose track easily. Blank “cd” commands can put them on track and get them into the right directory.

I will be using Litecoin (scrypt), I will not be going into specific of how to host something like dash (x11) or other algorithms. After you understand the basic concept of how uNOMP works, you will later realize it is not hard to change algorithms.

If you have the ability to snapshot your VPS, then I suggest you do that every time you complete a step. It will save you a lot of time if you make a mistake.

All shell commands will be surrounded with a code box like this:

shell command

Information I want you to insert into a file, or somewhere else will be surrounded with a block quote box like this:

info for a file

VPS Setup

At this point you should have your VPS started, putty up and running and your logged in as root.

Let’s go ahead and setup the VPS before we get into the meat and potatoes.

Update Ubuntu

apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade

Setup Swap

By default there is no swap setup on my VPS, it is required especially on a system with limited memory. I am setting up a 4GB swap, which is the most common swap size used for a VPS.

dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/myswap.swap bs=1M count=4000
mkswap /mnt/myswap.swap
swapon /mnt/myswap.swap

Now let’s add it into fstab so it will activate at boot.

nano /etc/fstab

Add the following line at the end of the file.

/mnt/myswap.swap none swap sw 0 0

Should look something like this:

Ctrl O to save, and Ctrl X to exit the nano editor.

Now your swap is setup, you can modify the size in the future if you need more or less.

Install Required Packages

apt-get install build-essential libtool autotools-dev autoconf pkg-config libssl-dev
apt-get install libboost-all-dev git npm nodejs nodejs-legacy libminiupnpc-dev redis-server
add-apt-repository ppa:bitcoin/bitcoin
apt-get update apt-get install libdb4.8-dev libdb4.8 -dev curl https://raw.githubusercontent.com/creationix/nvm/v0.16.1/install.sh | sh source ~/.profile nvm install 0.10.25

nvm use 0.10.25

All required packages are installed, we may have to hit a few more later but for right now you are good.

User Setup

You never run things like your coin daemon (wallet), or other things as root!

Let’s create a user for your mining pool.

As root type:

adduser usernameyourwant

Use whatever username you want, I will be using “poolguide” for this guide just because it is simple. Do not use the sample username I use, think of your own for security purposes. You will be prompted for a password, please use a password that is different from your root password.

The other info it asks for you can either fill out or just leave blank and hit enter.

Now let us give that new user sudo access:

adduser usernameyousetup sudo

Reboot

A lot has been done to the VPS. Let us go ahead and reboot it as a good, safe practice.

reboot

That is it for the VPS setup, let’s move on.

Litecoin Daemon Setup (Wallet)

Now let’s setup the coin daemon, I will be using Litecoin.

Boot up putty and login to that new user we setup earlier.

cd git clone https://github.com/litecoin-project/litecoin.git

Now let’s compile litecoin.

cd litecoin sudo ./autogen.sh sudo ./configure sudo make sudo make install

The compile process will take a long time, especially if you have a small VPS with only 1 or 2 vCores. Once you do the command “sudo make” I highly suggest you take a break or whatever it is you need to do, because it will be a moment until you are ready to do the next command.

Now let’s go ahead and run litecoind (the daemon) so it will create the .litecoin directory in your users home dir.

cd src
./litecoind

You will get a message stating there is no configuration file, and they suggest such and such rpc user/pass. We are getting to that.

Now we need to setup the config file for the litecoind.

I am going to start using WinSCP to edit/add files, yes you can use nano, gedit, vim, or whatever shell based text editor you want instead. However, when a novice starts editing as many files as we are about to edit it will be easier for them if they use graphic interface for all of it. It will also help a novice understand the file structure better.

You can get WinSCP here: http://winscp.net/eng/download.php

I will walk you through WinSCP with this litecoind config file, but after that you should be able to use it easily if I just list out what directory you need to go to. You will see here shortly.

Once you install WinSCP, you should be prompted with a login screen.

  • Select “New Site”
  • “File Protocol” will be SFTP
  • “Hostname:” is your VPS IP
  • “Port number” is your ssh port that you have been using with putty
  • “User name:” will be root
  • “Password:” is your root password

Fill all that out and it should look like this (with your server info in there):

Click login, make sure to accept the host key.

Now that you have logged in, you are in the /root folder. Double click the “..” to back out of it.

The file path is /home/username/.litecoin

  • Click on the “home” folder.
  • Click on the folder that is named after your username.
  • Click on “.litecoin” it will be grayed out like such:

  • Right click on the white area in WinSCP and Go to “New” and “File”. Should look like this:

  • Name the file “litecoin.conf”

A white text editor window should pop up, this is WinSCP’s internal editor and what we will be using to edit files. Now we’ll want to put some basic stuff into the configuration file. You should definitely use a different username and password then that I use in the guide. I am just using the ones that litecoind generated for me already.

rpcuser=litecoinrpc rpcpassword= wdYMsDT4E61jCv8xx6zZd6PYF3iZkjD7t3NpuiGpn6X rpcallowip=127.0.0.1 rpcport=2300 daemon=1 server=1

gen=0

I understand that some of these .conf settings are redundant for litecoin, however in the past I have ran into certain crypto-currencies that did not allow localhost to connect, etc… Just thought this was the best overall config for a multitude of scrypt coins since the users following this guide are probably not setting up a litecoin pool. I also changed the rpcport, which is just a simple security measure I like to take.

If you are setting this up for a PoS (Proof of Stake) currency ensure that you put “staking=0” into the config otherwise your miners may not be able to withdraw their matured coins if they start staking.

The default listen port for litecoin is 9333.

Now that you have updated the litecoin.conf file, go ahead and click on the floppy disk icon in the top left of the WinSCP Editor.


Now that we have setup and saved the config file, let’s get back into ssh (putty) on your user that you created earlier.

cd cd litecoin/src

./litecoind

You should get a message that states “Litecoin server starting” if for some reason you can’t get out of that command simply press Ctrl C in putty and it’ll fix it.

Now let’s make sure it’s updating.

./litecoin-cli getinfo

You should see a bunch of info that looks like this:

Run that getinfo command several times, and you should see the “blocks” number updating everytime you run that getinfo command.

The wallet should be fully updated by the time this guide is over, however if you are quick or unsure simply run the getinfo command again and compare the block number to http://explorer.litecoin.net/ if the block number matches what’s on that site then you are good to go.

Now let us set the crontab so that the litecoin daemon (litecoind) will always start on boot.

  • crontab -e
  • Select “2. /bin/nano <—- easiest”
  • Use your arrow keys to scroll down to the bottom of the crontab.
  • Add this line below the # symbols.

@reboot ./litecoin/src/litecoind

  • Should look something like this:

  • Press Ctrl O to save and Ctrl X to exit

The Litecoin daemon will now start on boot.

Last thing we need to do is get a new address for our litecoin wallet.

./litecoin-cli getnewaddress

An address will show up, please keep record of this address. We will be using it later in the guide.

Mining Pool Setup

Now we are at the part you have been waiting for, actually setting up the mining pool. As mentioned earlier we will be using uNOMP for this. uNOMP already has the stratum server, webpage, payout system, and much more built into it.

You should have Putty and WinSCP up and running, you are logged in as your new username on Putty and root on WinSCP.

Download and Update uNOMP

cd
git clone https://github.com/UNOMP/unified-node-open-mining-portal.git unomp cd unomp

sudo npm update

Main Configuration

cd
cd unomp
cp config.json.example config.json

Now let’s open up WinSCP.

  • Navigate to /home/username/unomp
  • Right click on config.json and select edit
  • Find “website”:
  • Underneath website, find “host”: and change the “0.0.0.0”, to your VPS IP
  • Save It!

Here is a picture example, what I had you change is highlighted in yellow. I used a fake IP but please use your actual IP.

The rest of the default settings in the config.json will work, however it is recommended you open it up on WinSCP after this guide is over and change things like your site title, admin password, stratum host, etc… For right now we will be using the default config settings to make the guide easier to follow.

Pool Configuration

Your asking, what do you mean by pool configuration? I thought we were doing that! Well yes, you are. However, the way the uNOMP works you can have multiple pools running on one instance. For this pool configuration portion of the guide you will be setting up the Litecoin pool. So if you want another pool for your currency of choice in the future, you can add another pool config into the pool_configs folder and you will have another pool running for a different currency (as long as you setup the coin daemon, make sure the coin.json is in unomp/coins/ and the settings are correct in the pool config).

cd
cd unomp/pool_configs
cp litecoin.json.example litecoin.json

Now let’s open up WinSCP.

  • Navigate to /home/username/unomp/pool_configs
  • Right click on litecoin.json and select edit
  • Find “enabled” and change it to true,
  • Find “auxes”: and delete everything inbetween the [  ], if you do not understand there will be pictures below.
  • Find “address”: and place that address we saved earlier from the litecoin daemon setup.
  • Find “paymentInterval”: and change it to 30,
  • Find “minimumPayment”: and change it to 0.01,
  • Find “daemon”: and underneath it find “port”: and change it to the user from your litecoin.conf (see litecoin daemon setup)
  • Find “user”: and change it to the password from your litecoin.conf (see litecoin daemon setup)
  • Find “password”: and change it to the password from your litecoin.conf (see litecoin daemon setup)
  • Scroll down to “daemons”: after ports and configure your litecoin daemon (same info as the past 3 steps)
  • Save It!

Here are picture examples, everything I had you change is highlighted in yellow.

Start your Mining Pool

Now it’s time to start everything up, fingers crossed!

cd
cd unomp
sudo node init.js

You should see something like this:

If you see something like the picture above, congratulations you configured everything correctly. If you got an error somewhere, the first thing I suggest is while in the unomp directory, do a quick “sudo npm update” then try again. If it does not work, then read through the guide again and try to spot any mistakes. If that does not work, then use a search engine to lookup your error. Odds are there is a solution for it on github or somewhere else.

Now let’s see if your webpage is working, use your web browser and go to http://yourvpsip

You should see something like this:

Now fire up your miner, I am not going to go into specifics about setting up cgminer or what have you. If you don’t know how to setup a miner, you probably should of researched that long before you attempted to setup your own pool.

Details for your miner:

stratum tcp://yourvpsip:3032 -u ltcpayoutaddress

-p anything

Open up SSH Terminal (Putty) that you used the command “sudo node init.js” in. You should see that your LTC address was authorized, should look something like this:

Overtime you will see accepted shares. You can also look at the statistics on your uNOMP webpage.

Now that you verified everything is working, go ahead and open up the Putty window again and “Ctrl C” to stop the pool for the time being.

Install Forever

Forever will make it so you can start a nodejs application (unomp for instance) and close your SSH client (Putty) and it will still remain running.

cd
cd unomp
sudo npm install forever -g

Forever is now installed, now let’s run your pool.

sudo forever start init.js

You can now close out of Putty and your pool will keep on running.

You may want to read up on forever on their github page, https://github.com/foreverjs/forever. You can use forever to log all outputs of uNOMP, which will make life much easier if you run into an issue later on. You can simply read the logs and find the error.

If you want to stop uNOMP, simply go to the unomp directory again as your user and type:

sudo forever stop init.js

Conclusion

Congratulations if you completed this guide successfully, it is not an easy task especially if you are a novice with mining pools and linux. Remember that the best way to learn something is just to mess with it, and see what you can do. Push your mining pool to it’s limits, edit the software, mess with the database, etc… These things will make you more knowledgeable. I did not get to where I am at from simply following guides.

You can edit the actual uNOMP website by going to /unomp/website/. If you have a basic knowledge of HTML you should have no issues, the website is still in early development. Please remember that this guide has not gone over the security aspect whatsoever. You need to secure your VPS! There is plenty of guides about this on the internet.

If you have any issues, please review the guide again and make sure you have not missed anything before you start asking questions. It is a huge guide and you can easily miss a step. Also, search engines are your friend.

I get asked a lot about what sort of server power is required to run a mining pool. Based off of the scrypt algorithm, you want about at least 1 CPU Core and 1GB of Memory per 1 GH/s to be on the safe side. This is not including at least 1 CPU Core and 1GB minimum to run your frontend (website), which will also fluctuate depending on the amount of traffic. Internet connection wise, you want at least a 10Mbps port. Most VPS or Servers that you can rent usually have at least a 100Mbps port now-a-days. I would highly recommend SSD drives, especially if you plan on going over 1 GH/s on your pool. Mining pools love to use a lot of IOPS.

I would like to thank the developers that made  uNOMP. I had to cross-reference their guides multiple times to make this one. Please check them out on Github, and donate to them if you are using their software.

uNOMP.org
uNOMP Github

You are free to use my guide whichever way you want, just please give credit to my site BlockGen.

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Here are some more articles on VPNs to help you understand its importance. Do give them a read and share your feedback with us:

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Ethereum GPU Mining on Linux How-To – Mirco Bauer

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Energy-efficient What You Need For An Energy-Efficient Gaming PC What You Need For An Energy-Efficient Gaming PC Gaming computers are some of the most powerful consumer PCs on the market. Though beefy dual-processor workstations exist, they’re for work rather than play. People who buy a powerful computer for personal use usually do... Read More cryptocurrency mining saves you money, saves the planet, and can make you money. The trick is to maximize your hash rate per watt or reduce your system’s overall energy footprint. Here are the components and configuration settings needed to maximize your computer’s energy efficiency for mining the cryptocurrency Ethereum.

Ethereum Mining Precursor

There are two approaches to reducing power costs when mining Ethereum (or any cryptocurrency):

  1. You can reduce the total wattage consumption of the system.
  2. You can maximize the amount of cryptocurrency mined relative to its power consumption.

Both design styles end up looking very similar to one another. That’s because cryptocurrency mining focuses on two parts: the graphics card and the power supply. The rest of the computer can be little more than scrap heap pulls.

Let us begin with the most important component: the Graphics Processing Unit What Is the Difference Between An APU, A CPU And A GPU? What Is the Difference Between An APU, A CPU And A GPU? Over the last five or more years, there have been a number of different terms swirling around to describe computer hardware. Some of those terms include but aren’t limited to APU, CPU, and GPU. But... Read More (GPU).

Parts for Building Your Ultra-Efficient Miner

Energy-Efficient GPUs

The most energy efficient GPUs around come from Nvidia. Unfortunately, Nvidia GPUs aren’t quite as good at solving cryptographic hashes as AMD hardware. More or less, if you want energy efficiency (without paying a fortune for a 1070 or 1080), your only option is an AMD graphics card. The most energy efficient of these is the AMD Radeon RX 460 or RX 470 (or the pricier RX 560 and RX 570). The RX 470 pulls around 145 watts, with the recommended power supply for it producing around 350 total watts. The RX 460 on the other hand, uses a total of 75 watts. That makes it easier to deploy on single-card mining rigs.

The hash rate of the RX 460 is reported to be around 11 mega-hashes per second (MHS). With a “peak” wattage consumption of 75 watts, that translates to 0.147 MHS/W. The 470 produces a hash rate of around 25 MHS with a power consumption of around 120 watts for 0.208 MHS/W. Of the two, the 470 offers better efficiency per watt. But the 460 is easier to deploy on low-cost, low-end systems. And the 470 costs a great deal more on secondary markets. More or less, the 470 is running for well over $350 on eBay, whereas you can still get a 460 for around $100.

Note: The more RAM, the better the hash rate of the card. If you can get more RAM, do it.

The RX 460 Is Easier to Power

GPUs like the RX 470 require additional power from either a 6-pin or an 8-pin connector, supplied by your power supply unit (PSU).

Unlike the 470, the 460 draws so little power that it can operate entirely off the power supplied by the motherboard’s PCIe connector (which maxes out at around 75 watts). That means you don’t need an eight or 6-pin connector, so it can almost certainly operate off the energy supplied by what’s known as a picoPSU: a tiny, fanless, highly-efficient PSU.

The power supply determines how efficiently a computer pulls current from the wall socket. Unfortunately, the standard PSU converts from wall current (Alternating Current, also known as AC) to Direct Current (DC) at around 70 percent efficiency. That means 30 percent of the power pulled from the wall gets turned into waste heat. Fortunately, a variety of PSUs can convert at 80 percent and higher. When certified by the 80 Plus organization, a power supply unit receive an efficiency rating which varies depending on the load of the unit. The ratings vary between 80 , 80 Bronze, 80 Silver, 80 Gold, 80 Platinum, and 80 Titanium. At the highest end of the spectrum, PSUs produce above 90 percent efficiency at all loads, but they tend to cost a fortune.

I prefer using what’s called a picoPSU. A picoPSU generally supplies power somewhere under 200 watts. It also tends to offer higher efficiencies than standard power supplies, at around 80 to 90 percent efficiency. If you’re using an RX 460, you can get away with a picoPSU. The model I recommend is the 160-XT. The XT includes a 4-pin CPU connector.

Mini-Box picoPSU-160-XT High Power 24 Pin Mini-ITX Power Supply Mini-Box picoPSU-160-XT High Power 24 Pin Mini-ITX Power Supply Buy Now At Amazon $48.95

On the downside, you can’t just slap a picoPSU into a case without making modifications. For example, I had to run the DC power jack through my case’s three-pronged female port. On top of that, picoPSUs usually only support a single SATA-powered device. If your case places its storage drives in odd places, you might also need an extension cable.

The Motherboard and Processor

There is only one requirement for the motherboard: it needs to support a full-size GPU. The processor doesn’t matter.

I would normally recommend using an Intel Atom motherboard. Unfortunately, no consumer-class Atom board offers full-sized PCIe x16 ports. Also, there’s some confusion regarding how much power the PCIe slot produces. According to its specifications, a PCIe x16 slot can deliver around 75 watts. That should be enough to handle the 75-watt draw of the 460, but some 460 manufacturers include an optional 6-pin connector — for added safety.

Fortunately, a handful of AMD motherboards include full PCIe slots and low-power processors. AMD released two different lines of processor that offered a winning combination of low power consumption, low cost, and a full PCIe slot: the AM1 platform Build a Leaner, Greener, Meaner HTPC with AMD's New AM1 Platform Build a Leaner, Greener, Meaner HTPC with AMD's New AM1 Platform This article covers the various components, with suggestions, for building an AM1-based media center or office productivity desktop. Read More and a series of motherboards with soldered-on processors. Of these, I prefer the ECS KBN-I/2100 — but these tend to be hard to find and overpriced. Fortunately, the AM1 platform provides similar low build cost and low power consumption. For example, you can find an AM1 dual-core Sempron processor for around $35. And the motherboard costs around $25 with Prime shipping.

ECS Elitegroup KAM1-I (1.0) Socket AM1 AMD Motherboard ECS Elitegroup KAM1-I (1.0) Socket AM1 AMD Motherboard Buy Now At Amazon $31.00

The Rest of the Computer

The rest of the computer doesn’t matter much. In general, you want a case that can adequately cool either an RX 460 or RX 470 — but GPUs include their own cooling mechanism. The basic idea behind a case is that it shouldn’t impede the GPU’s ability to cool itself. Some people even choose to do open air builds. An extreme few daisy chain together multiple 470 GPUs on Ikea storage shelves!

Sample Build: Super Low-Energy Ethereum Miner

Here’s what my ideal build looks like:

  1. Motherboard CPU: ECS KBN-I/2100 ($60 via eBay)
  2. GPU: XFX 4 GB RX 460 (Amazon)
  3. Case: RAIDMAX Elements ($30 via Newegg)
  4. PSU: 160XT picoPSU rated for 180 watts with adapter (Amazon)
  5. RAM: Crucial DDR3 1 x 2 GB DIMM (Amazon)
  6. SSD: DREVO X1 Series 60 GB SSD (Amazon)

Total wattage consumption: 100-120 watts
Estimated hash rate: 11 MHS/S
Hashes per watt: 11 MHS/100 W = 0.10 MHS/W

A slightly more expensive miner would differ in its PSU and GPU, but otherwise should look identical. Instead of using an RX 460, it might use an RX 470 (or even 480). Unfortunately, the prices of higher end cards has gone through the roof. I wouldn’t advise anything beefier than a 460 — just enough to get your feet wet mining crypto without costing a fortune in build costs and power.

The SSD will ensure that this system is fast to boot and configure, and you could double the RAM by purchasing two 2 GB DIMMs instead of one. This would slightly increase the hash rate for very little additional cost.

Configuring Your Miner: Undervolting Your GPU

Like with CPUs, you can reduce the voltage supplied to the GPU and decrease the power consumed and waste heat produced. Whether or not there’s a trade-off depends on the silicon lottery. Most discrete graphics cards can undervolt How Undervolting Decreases Heat

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