Software Options for Mining Cryptocurrency
After powering up your devices, you will need to install the appropriate software to mine cryptocurrency. The software you will use depends on whether you are mining or single mining, your hardware setup (ASIC, GPU, or CPU), and the particular cryptocurrency you plan to mine.
In some cases, the mining software completely replaces the operating system (ethOS and Braiins OS, for example), but in other cases, the software is an application program that runs under another operating system, usually Microsoft Windows, Linux, or Apple macOS (such as Multiminer, niceHash, and Honeyminer).
Pool Mining Program
Pond mining is a cooperative mining system in which thousands of individual miners work together to mine blocks and share rewards proportional to their individual contributions to hash power.
Pool mining is recommended for stable and consistent mining rewards. Some work with all three, while some work with only one of these systems.
If you bought a pre-built ASIC or GPU hardware, your hardware probably already has mining software installed. ASIC mining rigs generally come equipped with an operating system provided by the manufacturer (running on an ASIC control panel), with a simple graphical user interface. You will work with this operating system from another computer connected to your local network; You will use a web browser to navigate to the unit’s IP address on the local network.
Consult the manufacturer’s documentation to properly set up the mining software. If you bought a pre-built GPU framework, that probably came with an operating system and mining software as well.
However, many of these manufacturer-provided systems are not open source. Some applications were prone to issues such as backdoors, remote monitoring, lack of full overclocking, or other efficiency limitations, so miners often replaced the manufacturer’s software. (If you’re interested in learning more about potential efficiency limitations or back doors, look no further than the bitmain asicboost scandal and the antbleed scandal.)
A lot of downloadable software is specifically designed for cryptocurrency mining. However, many of them are from unreliable sources, and some may include malware or other computer viruses. To avoid this problem, here is a list of some reliable mining software designed for mining in pools.
Spirit: Linux-based mining operating system for cryptocurrency GPU mining rigs is highly recommended for GPU mining applications, and it is easy to install, set up and run (for people who have worked with Linux software!). ethOS currently supports mining Ethereum, ZCash, Monero, etc. ethOS is free software licensed under the General Public License (GNU), but it is highly recommended to purchase a copy to support continued development of the software. (Although it is free, it is not open source; according to the website, it is provided under a “Small Goat with Red Eyes” license. You must purchase one ethOS from gpuShack.com for each platform you intend to run ethOS on. If you don’t, A little red-eyed goat will visit you in your sleep.”). The software can be downloaded directly, or you can purchase a pre-loaded flash drive or SSD. Follow the documentation to get your mining rig completely ready.
H4SHR8: HashrateOS is a mining operating system for both GPU and ASIC. It is a Linux-based operating system that is specifically designed for cryptocurrency mining. It will support multiple mining algorithms and hardware deployments. It hasn’t been released to the public yet, but may be available soon.
niceHash: This is an aggregate mining service and mining configuration software (which also allows people to buy and sell hash rate) for a variety of different cryptocurrencies. NiceHash is specifically designed for mining across GPUs, ASICs, and CPUs and only works on Windows. So, you can mine GPU by installing it in Windows installed in your mining machine and CPU miner by running it on Windows computer to use that computer’s CPU. For ASIC mining, you use its instructions to point your ASIC device to its server. Follow the documentation to get your mining rig completely ready.
To mine ASICs with niceHash, choose an algorithm and server location, niceHash tells you how to configure your ASIC.
Honeyminer: Honeyminer is another pool mining service that provides you with its own software to work with (Windows and Apple macOS). You can use it on your desktop computer (or a GPU miner, if Windows is installed) to mine with any CPU and GPUs the program finds. Which cryptocurrency is the most profitable, but it pays the rewards will be mined in Satoshi, the smallest denomination of bitcoin. Follow the documentation to get your mining rig completely ready.
Easyminer: This free, open source mining tool allows mining of many coins, such as Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and others. Easyminer can be configured to mine with CPUs, GPUs, and ASICs and can refer to pool mining as well as individual mining. It only runs in Microsoft Windows.
Hive OS: Hive OS is a free operating system for up to three mining rigs, but requires a monthly fee for larger deployments. It can be configured for mining with CPUs, GPUs, as well as ASICs, and it can mine a variety of different hashing algorithms.
SimpleMiningOS: SimpleMiningOS is a Linux-based operating system for GPU mining that has a $2 monthly fee for one device (the cost goes down the more rigs you run). It supports mining in the direction of Ethereum as well as a variety of other cryptocurrencies.
Braiins OS: Braiins OS is a great alternative to the web-based GUIs provided by the manufacturer when mining Bitcoin on ASIC platforms. It’s an open source, fully auditable operating system built for Antminer S9 and DragonMint T1 ASICs (maybe more by the time you read this). In some hardware cases, it allows for more hash power with the same electricity expenditure, increasing your efficiency and revenue. Follow the documentation and installation guide to move the operating system software to your miner control panel for setup and hashing toward your chosen pool.
Mother of Dragons: A Mother of Dragons is software that runs on your Linux computer (applications, such as Debian, Ubuntu, or CentOS), or any other Linux-based device connected to a LAN, such as a Raspberry Pi (a small, cheap, single tablet computer ). You enter your settings – pool server, user, password, clock speed, fan speed – then the program automatically detects and changes the ASIC miners (from the DragonMint / Innosilicon T1 / T2 / B29 / B52 / A9) group connected to your network. It has a built-in monitoring system and will also update the firmware of your ASIC devices as well as restart any miners that go offline. It saves quite a bit of work, but is designed for the experienced user. Follow the documentation on the following GitHub page for setup instructions:
MultiMiner MultiMiner is an open source mining tool designed for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is designed to work with graphics processing units (GPUs), ASICs, and FPGAs (Field Programmable Gateway Arrays). MultiMiner actually uses the BFGMiner mining engine along with an intuitive interface for simple configuration and monitoring. It can be configured to mine toward pools, and similar to Mother of Dragons, it has automatic monitoring and updates systems.
While setting up pool mining software designed for Windows and macOS to run on your laptop or desktop computer is generally simple, working with some of these other systems can be more complex.
Setting up ethOS or Braiins, for example, can be fairly easy for an experienced Linux user. However, if you’ve never left Windows or macOS or your idea of dealing with a complicated software installation process is to let your employer’s tech guy get your computer in the afternoon, some of these things will be out of your area of expertise!
You will either need to find a friendly geek to help or understand that you will have to read the instructions very carefully and very likely spend a significant amount of time learning how to get the job done.
Most of the mining software is designed for ASIC and GPU mining because it is the most efficient and the type of system used by the most experienced miners. Non-ASIC cryptocurrencies, such as Monero, are an exception, as they are meant to be mined using CPUs and GPUs. (If you can mine a GPU, you can mine a CPU too, but GPUs are much more powerful.)
Some mining software works with CPUs. However, in many cases, miners who mine Monero CPU or smaller cryptocurrencies simply use the underlying software – software provided by the cryptocurrency itself – either on the cryptocurrency website or from the cryptocurrency GitHub account.
However, mining a CPU profitably is challenging. Most Monero miners work on GPU mining, although they often use the CPU in the GPU platform as well.
It’s generally not worth it to CPU mine. If you do intend to mine with your CPU, probably the only software it makes sense to use are the niceHash and Honeyminer programs.
Solo mining software
Solo mining is not recommended unless you have very carefully run the numbers and are sure it makes sense. You need to fully understand and accept your odds (which may be low), or you need significant enough network hash rate to ensure profitability. With that said, quite a few software implementations allow for configurable solo mining.
Most solo mining tools require that you download and sync a full node of the cryptocurrency you intend to mine on a separate computer system on your network and then point the software running on your ASIC or GPU mining rig to the full node on that computer. Heavily research the documentation for the software you plan on using before firing up your mining equipment.
Check out the following list of solo-mining software:
Core Cryptocurrency Software: Some cryptocurrencies, such as Monero, have mining functionality built into the GUI of their core full-node software (Bitcoin did at one point, too, though it’s been removed). Simply download their core node, sync up to the blockchain (this may take a while), and enable mining under the Mining tab. Refer to the cryptocurrency’s main site for the software download and documentation.
CGMiner: CGIminer is open-source software created for bitcoin mining with ASICs or FPGAs and runs on Linux, Windows and macOS. Its codebase is also open source.
BTCMiner: BTCMiner is a bitcoin mining software designed for FPGA mining that is open source. It runs on Windows or Linux.
BFGMiner: BFGMiiner is free and open source software for Windows, macOS, and Linux can be configured for mining with CPUs, GPUs, FPGAs, and ASICs.