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Bitcoin Miner Setup for Pooled Mining on Debian no GUI

So I decided to mess around with bitcoins, not for any purpose other than to learn something new.  At this point it's difficult to 'mine' for them since BC's have been around for several years now and they've designed a system which will get exponentially harder over time (a good thing when it comes to a currency situation).

Either way, I ran into some setup trouble so I thought I'd put together a quick write-up with my notes.  Now, this article deals with installing poclbm (a mining program) on a Debian Squeeze build without a GUI.  Why?  Because I don't load GUI's on my servers. =)

IMPORTANT: If you do not have a video card capable of doing GPU mining (moderately high end nVidia or ATI) then you probably want to stop right there, CPU mining (like with your Intel desktop) is very inefficient and will probably cost you more in power to try than the bitcoins you'll get from the mining itself.

This article assumes the following:

  • You are proficient with Debian
  • You are looking to mine in a pool of miners, this does not describe setup for solo mining
  • You have already researched basic bitcoin information and have a general familiarity with it
  • You have a bitcoin wallet
  • You have setup an account with a miner pool

First, you need to make sure you have contrib in your sources list or this won't be particularly easy.

sudo vim /etc/apt/sources.list

append contrib to each of your sources.  As an example, see below:

deb http://debian.lcs.mit.edu/debian/ squeeze main contrib
deb-src http://debian.lcs.mit.edu/debian/ squeeze main contrib

Next, update them.

sudo apt-get update

Now you should be able to install the python-pyopencl package which would otherwise not be found.

sudo apt-get install python-pyopencl

You should also make sure you have git installed for the next part.

sudo apt-get install git

Now, you will want to clone down the poclbm client as follows:

git clone https://github.com/m0mchil/poclbm poclbm

Remember to update the client in the future use "pull" not clone.  Once cloned down, you should now be able to enter the directory and run the client.

cd poclbm

./poclbm.py USER:[email protected]:PORT --device=0 --platform=0 --verbose -r1 -d 0 --no-bfl

Additional commands that might be helpful include:

Installing WX Tools

apt-get install python-wxtools

Installing jsonrpc

git clone https://github.com/davvid/python-jsonrpc
sudo python setup.py install

Alternatlively you can do the following

Install Python PIP

sudo apt-get install python-pip
sudo pip search jsonrpc
sudo pip install jsonrpc

If you get an error about BFL, you should make sure to append the –no-bfl as I have above.

I can tell you that so far, my experience with this has been riddled with questions and problems that have sucked hours to research.  I've tried to provide as much information as I can on this.  One of the biggest problesm that I've run into is an error as follows:

pit.deepbit.net:8332 24/03/2013 11:06:08,  No JSON object could be decoded

What I can tell you is that I have yet to get a solid explaination from another site or IRC on this message.  From what I've found, it could mean there's either a problem with the pool you're trying to mine with or you have a username/password error that needs to be corrected.  One thing to keep in mind is that passwords with control characters or things that exist in shell syntax can be risky to use.  You can try to / them to get them to work or avoid characters like ' and " as those will probably cause you the most trouble.

Good luck and happy mining!

Oh, and if this helped and you feel so inclined as to donate, I will happily accept: 1ML4RJRjHWgBQmhFWb4gjyZU9oddH9k3sP

Torry Crass

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