Friday, May 30, 2014

Butterfly labs power supply, at least they are lifetime warranty ...

I own my butterfly labs units for maybe 6 to 8 month.  The power supply began to break 2-3 month ago. Since then, I am always working at 50% of my total hashing power.

Each week I have at least one that breaks, until now...

I replaced the original power supply by 2 pc psu. Hopefully, butterflylabs used the same pinout for their devices as the PCIe connector in PC PSU.

I own 6 single and 1 little single.

I power 2 single + 1 little single with the powersupply XFX XTR 750W
I power 4 single with the powersupple EVGA 1300W G2

Both power supply are 80 plus gold and I affirm that the efficiency of the stock power supply from butterfly labs is not as efficient as these power supply.

What is nice with the EVGA power supply, is that it comes with an adapter to power up the power supply even if there is no motherboard connected. Else, it would be needed to short 2 pin to power up the power supply. But, some of their PCIe connector have a lock pin too large for the butterfly labs enclosure. It is needed to cutout that pin.

As said in the title, the devices from butterflylabs are lifetime warranty, so it is easy to get replacement, but in forum few people are complaining that the power supply are taking fire. It is not a good idea to keep using them.

One of the problem I have seen, is that the fan is cheap. So it is stopping working fast.  So the cooling of the unit become a problem and other components in the device break ...

I urge you to buy quality external power supply, it will help to lower your electricity bill and it will keep your room cooler as their efficiency is highly better.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Linux butterflylabs + cgminer !

Finally, I received my first order of a butterfly labs miner (little single)!!! Woohoo! This device is 30GH/s and depending on which pool you connect to, you will not do 30GH/s !  At 30GH/s the device needs 130W, at 10GH/s it needs 60W.

As you can see in my other post, my preferred mining pool is bitcoinpool. But their hashing rate is very low. As for now, they did not solve a block for few month. I also like Their hashing rate is nice (1-2 block/day) but I only get 10GH/s. So I switched to It is the biggest pool, there I can get 30GH/s!

Now here are the steps to configure cgminer (on kubuntu linux) to work with this device !

$sudo apt-get install libcurl4-openssl-dev git-core subversion build-essential libusb-dev libudev vim libncurses5-dev pkg-config automake yasm openssh-server openssh-client

note: if you also want to use little usb blockerupter only add "--enable-ica" after enabling bflsc

$mkdir bitcoin
$cd bitcoin
$git git:// cgminer
of git pull (in the cgminer folder) if you already use cgminer
$cd cgminer
$CFLAGS="-O2 -Wall -march=native"  LDFLAGS="-L/opt/AMDAPP/lib/x86_64" ./configure --enable-bflsc

if you are using small usb blockerupters, add --enable-icarus at the end

$make install

cgminer will connect directly to the device, your user need to have access to the device, so your user need to be in the plugdev group.

$sudo usermod -G plugdev -a bitcoin
where bitcoin is your user

$cp 01-cgminer.rules /etc/udev/rules.d/

you have to reboot your computer (or restart udev and logout)

The command line should look like :
$cd ~/bitcoin/cgminer
$./cgminer -o server:port --userpass user:password

note: if you want to have a different worker for your different hardware, you can run multiple instance of cgminer. To do so you need to tell to cgminer to use which hardware. For me, I want to have one worker for my bfl and an other one for my block erupter. So when calling cgminer I have to add :  --usb BAS:10,ICA:0 this tells cgminer to load all bfl labs (up to 10) and load 0 block erupter.

Enjoy your new hardware ! :-)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Asic bitcoin mining!

Here we are, the asic mining is bringing up the difficulty, and GPU mining is no longer valuable.

My first butterfly labs little single is in route ! Finally ! but stuck at the border ...

I am waiting for the preorder of a few single sc.  Few guys are asking if the value of these box is as great as is was 1 year ago when we placed our order.  It is true that the difficulty level has raised a lot and with butterfly labs that promise 600 GH/S cards their first asic hardware will be deprecated very fast.

I don't know how to think about that. I've paid my asic miner with money from bitcoins, so it is a good investment, but for people having to pay with "real" money is this a good investment ? I would like to hear your opinion on this.

Also, I would like to know how you manage your gains in bitcoin ? Are you keeping everything in your wallet, or you cash few % and reinvest another % ?  Me, when the value of the bitcoin was around 300$ I sold everything I've had and sold all of my gpu (my electricity bill dropped from 300$/Month to 80$ :-). With that new hardware, I guess I will reinvest 50%, cash 25% (to pay electricity bill) and keep 25% for the future. Do you think it is a good plan ?

Anyway, when I will be able to put my hand on this package I will update this blog to explain how to configure your hardware to be up and running as fast as possible and, hopefully, get rich !

If you think this blog helped you out to configure your system, consider sending me a contribution to say thank you ! Even more, if you are from canada, INGdirect offer you 25$ (and I will also get 25$) if you open an account (with a minimum deposit of 100$).  My main account is at INGdirect and I like this bank. When I transfer money to my account in another bank it is very fast, and for the credit card billing, the payment is done in less than 24h. Also, they offer interest in their chequing account ! and there is no fee !  You can use the automatic ATM from other bank most of the transaction are free ! Yesterday I have seen a TV ad explaining they now offer online chequing deposit ! Yes, you take a picture of the cheque and it will be depositted in your account ! If you do open an account, use my orange key : 14927138S1 !

Saturday, May 11, 2013

update: ubuntu 11.04/12.04/12.10/13.04 x86_64 dedicated crypto currency (bitcoin, i0coins, solidcoins, namecoins, ixcoins) mining rig using ATI RADEON GPU and CGMINER

I decided to create a cleaner look post. Also, this tutorial is for the latest *buntu releases and will target only cgminer as mining software.

If this tutorial helps you to start mining, please consider giving a small % of your gains to my wallet : 13sRUwHbmv5ewLjQkKabDTsyPQEDD4v6mx . You know, this blog has over 90 000 page views, and no one ever said thank you for my time.  At least, press on one adsense publicity to help me maintaining this blog.  Thank you

  1. To mine you will need :
    1. A computer with a very good power supply (850W to 1200W) 80+ gold is a plus..
    2. You don't need a case, the graphics cards will become very hot, they need a very good air flow around them to cool down, be creative :-)..
    3. If you think to use more than 2 cards in your computer, be sure to use external power on the riser cards, else your motherboard connector could melt (I know, it happend to me on a 3 GPU cards computer)
    4. Linux *buntu CD version 13.04 ( I like kubuntu more than the other )
    5. AMD Catalyst driver ( from AMD ) : version 13.04
    6. AMD APP, open cl driver ( from AMD ) : version 2.8 
    7. If you want CGMINER to control the GPU/MEM/FAN speed and other hardware parameter, you will need ADL_SDK : version 5.0  

  2. Here is some advice on the choice of your computer :
    1. Don't put more memory than needed, 1GB is more than needed
    2. Try to use a USB KEY or 2.5" hard disk drive to use less energy
    3. Use the smallest CPU possible, try to get old 60W CPU or less, mining does not require a lot of CPU power to run well
    4. Remove the CD/DVD player, this computer is not a desktop, it is only used to mine
    5. The computer will produce heat, a lot of heat will be produced and will be probably noisy, very noisy. 

  3. Little note, in this tutorial, when you see " $ " it means you have to write something in the terminal prompt. If you have comment or suggestions, please be free to leave a comment, it is always a pleasure to update this tutorial.
  4. Here we start! You will need to add the following packages
    1. open a terminal and type :
    2. $ sudo apt-get install vim subversion git-core libcurl4-openssl-dev libncurses5-dev pkg-config automake yasm openssh-server openssh-client build-essential

  5. Install AMD Catalyst
    1. Here, be carefull, there is 2 way to do it, from my experience, up to version 12.04 (no update applied) you can install the driver, but for earlier version, you have to create and then install the package 
    2. open a terminal and type:
    3. $ cd ~/Downloads
    4. $ mkdir amd-driver-13.04
    5. $ cd amd-driver-13.04
    6. $ unzip ../
    7. $ chmod +x
    8. $ sudo ./
      1. Select install driver (< 12.04) or create a package (>=12.04)
      2. say yes to the licence and choose automatic
    9. If you used the package, you will have to install the driver, with the file explorer double click on the created package and install. Hopefully it will work (it worked nicely for me)
    10. If you have more than one card :
      1. $ echo 'export display=:0' >> ~/.bashrc
    11. Initialize the driver
      1. $ sudo aticonfig --initial --adapter=all
    12. reboot the computer
      1. $ aticonfig --odgc --adapter=all
        1. you should see the clocking of your GPU

  6. Install AMD_APP (OpenCL Driver)
    1. $ cd ~/Downloads
    2. $ mkdir AMD_APP_2.8
    3. $ cd AMD_APP_2.8
    4. $ tar -zxvf ../AMD-APP-SDK-v2.8-lnx64.tgz
    5. $ sudo ./
    6. reboot

  7. cgminer installation !
    1. $ mkdir ~/bitcoin/
    2. $ cd ~/bitcoin
    3. $ git git:// cgminer
    4. $ cd cgminer
    5. $ cd ~/Downloads
    6. $ mkdir ADL_SDK_5
    7. $ cd ADL_SDK_5
    8. $ unzip ../
    9. $ cp include/* ~/bitcoin/cgminer/ADL_SDK
    10. $ cd ~/bitcoin/cgminer
    11. $ ./
    12. $ CFLAGS="-O2 -Wall -march=native -I /opt/AMDAPP/include/" LDFLAGS="-L/opt/AMDAPP/lib/x86_64" ./configure
    13. $  make
    14. The following command should tell you the number of gpu core present on your computer
      1. $ ./cgminer -n

  8. Now you need to find a good mining pool. I like deepbit and bitcoinpool, but there is a lot of other pool, you will have to select one that fit your needs.
Good luck mining :-)

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Today I've got a new workstation, I wanted to use a radeon 5770 (on which I will connect 3 screens) and add an 5850 to mine ...

Something very strange happen here ...  impossible to see 2 gpu on this computer.  I struggled a lot then saw something very bad ...  When I install the catalyst driver, I can see 2 GPU, but when I setup my screens with catalyst control center, the second gpu disapear ... 

This is confirmed by fglrxinfo at first, I see 2 gpu, after I see 1 gpu but 3 screens, as if it was impossible to get both working....

I'm on the case, if somebody has some suggestions, I would like to hear them! Edit : Thinking about the dummy plugs needed for windows, I added a 4th screen (yes I could plug 1 of my 3 screen) on the the second card. Then I configured catalyst control center (CCC) to enable this display. YES! I can see the 2nd GPU !!! Enabled Xinerama (remember, this is a workstation) ... lose the GPU... So I understood that the driver is crappy and won't let me doing what I want so ... I will plug this card on another rig. I purchased a 2 pcie-16x slots mainboard for that usage ... too bad, my home office will be less hot this summer !

Monday, September 26, 2011

Finally, cgminer install tutorial

I think that cgminer is the most advanced miner to date.  It doesn't push the hardware as far as I would like (it doesn't use 100% of the GPU) but it can manage multiple pool and use the longpoll from the fastest pool, so you will have a better mining uptime with this miner than with the other! I never experienced any "queue empty, miner is idle" with this miner.  Today the bitcoin value is 5$ so you need to get every hash as possible! The little drawback is that I was not yet successfull to make cgminer to use 99% of each gpu.

But, cgminer can set the fan, the clock and even overclock your GPU.  This is very nice!

So let's begin!

1. To manage your gpu fanspeed and clocking, you will need the ADL SDK (AMD Display Library)

2. Install missing softwares
$ sudo apt-get install libcurl4-openssl-dev libncurses5-dev pkg-config automake yasm libtool

3. get the latest cgminer sourcecode :
$ git clone git:// cgminer

4. enable ADL (control of the inner functions of the gpu like clocking, voltage, fan speed...)
$ mkdir ADL_SDK
$ cd ADL_SDK
$ mv ../ .
$ unzip
$ cp include/* ../cgminer/ADL_SDK

5. Compilation
$ cd cgminer

$ ./
$ CFLAGS="-O2 -Wall -march=native -I /opt/AMDAPP/include/" LDFLAGS="-L/opt/AMDAPP/lib/x86_64" ./configure

if you get the following error :
/usr/bin/ld: cgminer-adl.o: undefined reference to symbol 'dlclose@@GLIBC_2.2.5'
/usr/bin/ld: note: 'dlclose@@GLIBC_2.2.5' is defined in DSO /usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-linux-gnu/4.6.1/../../../x86_64-linux-gnu/ so try adding it to the linker command line
/usr/lib/gcc/x86_64-linux-gnu/4.6.1/../../../x86_64-linux-gnu/ could not read symbols: Invalid operation

remove the ADL directory, you must disable ADL.

! be sure the GPU and ADL are enabled !

$ make

6. Testing (to see the number of gpu the software sees)
$ export DISPLAY=:0   #(use this command only if you have more than one card)
$ ./cgminer -n

If the number does not represent the number of gpu you own, there is a problem, you should have miss a step.  Or the git repository could be broken.  Try an older tag here :

7. be up to date!
$ stop the miner
$ cd ~/cgminer
$ git pull
and then recompile (follow the step 5)

There is a lot of commands for this software.  The best way to learn is to read the documentation from the git repository, it is one of the best documentation I've read!