How to Mine Ethereum on Debian 8 / Ubuntu 16.04

mine ethereum linuxAs of recently, a cryptocurrency craze has swept Internet communities. The people have found out that one does not need a several thousand dollar-worth rig to mine cryptocurrency with a profit. Stores are short on graphics cards, and a gold fever has overtaken the miners. If you have a card with more than 2GB of VRAM, you too can attempt mining. Let’s take a look at the most common mining avenue – Ethereum.

Ethereum is considered to be a great coin to mine, with high potential profits. To mine Ethereum, you need a piece of software called “ethminer”, which is a command line tool. It can be run on multiple Linux distributions, but in this article, we will focus on Ubuntu 16.0.4 and Debian 8.

Before we begin – in order to not waste your time, do not attempt mining with a card under 2GB of VRAM, as it’s unlikely it will be detected by the software and be able to mine anything. On top of that, if you are using a Nvidia card, you must use the proprietary driver. For AMD, the AMDGPU driver works just fine.

In this guide, I will show you how to install Ethminer on Ubuntu using the terminal.

Add Ethereum Repository

First off, we need to add the Ethereum repository, so run the following commands in your terminal:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum
sudo apt-get update

If you are running Debian, the repository name needs to be replaced:

sudo sed ‘s/jessie/vivid/’ -i /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ethereum-ethereum-*.list

Afterwards, run:

sudo apt-get update

Installing Ethminer

We can finally get to installing ethminer. However, on top of that, we will need additional packages: Geth and Ethereum:

sudo apt-get install ethereum
sudo apt-get install geth
sudo apt-get install ethminer

or just run

sudo apt-get install ethereum geth ethminer

Pick a network

There are two for Ethereum. Ethereum Classic, known as ETC, and Ethereum, known as ETH.

For a miner, the main difference is in price and difficulty of mining. The higher the difficulty, the less coins you will mine. You need to choose a coin, which will bring you the best profits. As of time of writing, ETH has a better ratio. A power of 20 megahashes will bring you $29 of profit, compared to ETC’s $15, with the same power consumption.

Choose a wallet

I’ll assume you’ll be mining ETH; thus, I suggest to use this wallet. The password you set is permanent, do not lose it, as you will lose everything you keep inside the wallet. Set it up, and then we will move onto the next point.

Solo mining or pool mining

Generally, at a low hashrate, you want to mine in a pool, because of greater rewards. It will also take you a longer time to receive profits from solo mining.

Pick a pool from this list.

There might be other pools than the one from the list – find one that you find suits you the best.

Start mining!

Then, execute a mining command, usually stated on the pool website.

For dwarfpool, it’s:

ethminer -G -F http://eth-eu.dwarfpool.com:80/YOUR_WALLET

Instead of YOUR_WALLET, paste your wallet address.

The output on a RX480 card should be:

[OPENCL] Found suitable OpenCL device [Ellesmere] with 8560984064 bytes of GPU Memory

Although the byte count will depend on how much VRAM does your specific model have. And here you go! You’re now mining Ethereum on Linux.

With just a few commands, you've got a cryptocurrency miner at your disposal. Ethminer has the advantage of being free over other solutions while keeping the same speed and efficiency as proprietary software. If you would like to know more about such great Linux software, stay tuned.

About Maciej Borkowski

I'm a young, passionate, ambitious worker, always looking for a challenge! I have extensive experience in managing GNU/Linux operating systems, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Fedora, Debian, Ubuntu Server and Arch Linux. In addition to this skill set, I am also a front-end developer with great expertise in the field. Modern, MEAN (MongoDB, ExpressJS, AngularJS, NodeJS) applications are my specialty. Outside of IT, I am a great enthusiast of music. I play electric guitar and compose pieces, dabbling in music production - engineering, mixing and mastering.

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2 Comments

  1. ethminer is not in the referenced ppa:

    ~~~
    sudo apt install ethminer
    Reading package lists... Done
    Building dependency tree
    Reading state information... Done
    E: Unable to locate package ethminer
    ~~~