Part 2: Software Requirements
So, you’ve got a computer set up and you want to start mining coins. What do you need? This guide aims to assist you in getting all the software you need to get started. This guide will assume you are currently using Windows as an Operating System. If you are using Linux or Mac, the steps are essentially the same. However, to get more details on how to accomplish each step, there are many guides available online with a simple web search.
Let’s begin! There are 4 basic things you need to start mining.
- Updated software and drivers for you video card(s)
- Mining software
- Coin wallet (Only required if you are solo mining)
- Internet connection
Operating System Updates
Make sure you update your Operating System will all the latest updates. While this isn’t necessary, this will ensure that you minimize the risk of any security breaches.
Graphics Cards Software & Drivers
The most important part to getting your mining rig ready is to update and download the latest software for your video card. This guide will assume you have an ATI Graphics card (The same rules apply for NVidea and other cards, however it’s been proven time and time again, that if you are mining, ATI is the way to go).
Simply download and install using the default settings.
There are many different mining applications out there. You can chose which one you like best. However, for the purpose of this guide, we will assume you are using CGMiner. We find it is the most complete miner and offers the most versatility. We have listed the most common miners below and linked to their download locations.
Installing CGMiner is simple. Simply extract the files to your chosen directory and you’re done. We recommend something simple like C:\Cgminer\
If you want to solo mine (Mine by yourself), you will also need to download the specific coin’s wallet. This will act as a local mining client on your machine and allow you to mine it. We strongly recommend you do not solo mine the bigger coins such as Bitcoin or Litecoin. Their difficulties are too high and it would take an incredibly long time to actually mine a block of coins. For example, with the rig we built in Part 1, it would take approximately 3 years to mine a Bitcoin block. Even with the smaller coins, we always recommend you join a mining pool. A mining pool is essentially a network of miners mining for the same coin and splitting the profits between each other when they find a block. This ensures more regular payments and a steady income.
You can download a coin’s wallet for all the various coins from the Coins page on our site.
That’s it! You’re all set up and you’ve got everything you need to start mining! Let’s move on.