Part 3: Configuration
Now that you have your rig set up with an Operating System and all the required software. You’re ready to start setting everything up and start mining. There are 2 ways you can chose to mine your coins. You can solo mine (mine by yourself) or pool mine (network pooling). We will discuss both methods below. Once you have chosen a method, you will need to configure your miner with the appropriate settings.
Solo mining will make use of your current rig and it will mine by itself. All coins you find will be yours and yours alone. However, in this day and age, we strongly advise you pool mine. Even for the smaller coins, pool mining assures you a constant payout and you will always get paid. Since the difficulty for Bitcoins and Litecoins are so high it could take many months and even years before you find a block for them by solo mining. If you chose to solo mine, we definitely recommend you only do so with some of the Alternate Coins since the difficulty will be much lower.
Solo mining is essentially the same for all coins. You simply need to download and install the wallet software for the coin, create a configuration file for the coin and run the wallet. Then you will need to point your mining software to the wallet to actually start mining.
To get started, download and install the client software for the coin you wish to mine. You can find the software on the specific coin’s page in our Coins section.
Once installed, you will need to create a configuration file for the specific coin. You can find the settings for the configuration file from the specific coin’s page in our Coins section as well. The configuration file will tell the client which port you will be connecting to on the machine as well as the username and password you will connect with. It will also contain information about the coins nodes so it knows where to obtain the coins blocks from. A configuration file will look something like this:
You can set the username and password to whatever you like. You will need this information to connect to the miner later. The port represents the specific port your wallet will be listening on. The nodes are the the current locations that are broadcasting the active block chain. They feed you the information you need to solve blocks. Create a simple text file and simply copy/paste the configuration settings in the file. Then you will typically rename the file *coinname*.conf. You will then place the file in the coin’s application data folder. Generally C:\Users\%USERNAME%\AppData\*coinname*\
We will cover how to configure your miner in the miner configuration section below.
Pool mining is generally the way to go these days. Pool mining is basically a collaboration or a group of hardware “pooled” together to mine the same block on the network. Once a block is found, the reward is separated between each of the pool’s participants in an amount equal to the work they put in. This ensures that your payouts will be constant and stable. So, while you don’t run the chance of hitting the jackpot and striking a block of coins by yourself, you also don’t run the risk of being unlucky and not getting paid for a few years.
You can find a list of pools in each of the specific coin’s page in our Coins section.
Pools are generally run as websites and you simply need to sign up to a pool and create a username/password. The pool will give you all the addresses and ports you need to connect to it and start mining. You simply need to plug the information into your mining application and away you go.
Configuring your miner
Assuming you are using CGMiner and have installed it to the C:\CGMiner directory, all you really need to do to get started is launch the application via command line.
The basic information you need to launch CGMiner is the following:
- -o *servername:port*
- -u *yourusername*
- -p *yourpassword*
So, to launch your miner you would simply click Start > Run and type in: “C:\CGMiner\cgminer.exe -o servername:port -u **yourusername** -p **yourpassword**” (without the **). This is the basic command to mine a SHA-256 coin (ie. Bitcoin)
If you want to mine a Scrypt based coin, you simply need to add the “–scrypt” flag after you call cgminer. So your command would look like this:
C:\CGMiner\cgminer.exe --scrypt -o servername:port -u **yourusername** -p **yourpassword*
If you are solo mining, your server name will be the local IP address for your computer (generally 127.0.0.1) and the port will be the same you set as the rpcport in the configuration file. So, based on the example configuration file above, the command would be as follows
C:\CGMiner\cgminer.exe --scrypt -o 127.0.0.1:7998 -u YourUsername -p YourPassword
If you want to make things easier for you, you can create a simple text file on your desktop and paste the above command in the file. Save the file as a .bat or .cmd file (Ex: MineDigitalcoin.bat). Then, all you need to do to start mining is double click on your batch file and the command will execute.
There you have it! You’re officially mining cryptocurrencies! Congratulations!
But wait… these are only the generic settings for the miner. You surely aren’t optimized for the best performance. The next part will teach you how to optimize your rig to get the absolute best performance out of your setup. Many people can account for a 20-40% increase in performance and revenue after optimizing their rigs. Let’s go!