Build your own Ethereum Mining Rig, part 2: Linux Setup

In this second installment of our DIY Ethereum mining guide, we’ll look at how to install and configure Linux to setup your rig as an automated, remotely-manageable appliance. Don’t be dissuaded if you’ve never used Linux before—our step-by-step guide makes it simple!

Why Linux over Windows? First, it’s free—and saving ~$100 on the operating system is a big plus when you’re trying to maximize profitability. Other reasons include lesser hardware requirements (Linux is perfectly happy running from a USB stick plugged into ancient hardware!), simpler remote administration capabilities, and oftentimes better stability. The downside of running Linux is that video driver support isn’t on the same level as Windows, and things like GPU undervolting are trickier (but still possible via BIOS mods).

If you missed the hardware portion of our guide, make sure to check it out first. Otherwise, read on.

Build an Ethereum Mining Rig, part 2:  Linux Setup

The following is heavily adapted from my original 2013 Litecoin mining guide, updated for the latest Xubuntu LTS version, the new AMDGPU-PRO drivers, and necessary ethereum mining software. If you’re a bit nervous because you’ve a complete Linux newbie, don’t be. Simply follow the step-by-step instructions exactly as they’re written, and you’ll be fine. Even if you’ve never done anything like this before, you should be up and running in roughly an hour.

Step 1: Configure BIOS settings

Before we even get to Linux, let’s take a minute to make sure that your mining computer’s BIOS settings are in order. Power on your computer, and press the “delete” key a few times immediately after power on. You should end up in the BIOS configuration area. Do the following, then save & exit:

  • Change power options so that the computer automatically turns itself on whenever power is restored. The reason for this is two-fold: first, it’ll make sure that your miner automatically starts up after a power outage. Second, it makes powering the computer on much easier if you don’t happen to have a power switch connected to the motherboard.
  • Make sure that your USB stick is first in the boot-up order (you may need to have a USB stick attached).
  • Disable all components that you don’t plan to use. This may save a little bit of power, and since your miner will likely be running 24/7, it’ll add up. For me, that meant disabling onboard audio, one of the SATA controllers, the USB 3.0 ports (I only had a 2.0 USB stick), the Firewire port, and the serial port.
  • If you’re running a lot of GPUs (4+), additional tweaks might be necessary to ensure that they’re all recognized by the OS. Exact tweaks vary by motherboard, but setting the PCIe speed to Gen1 is usually a good place to start. No need to change anything now, but make a mental note that you may need to come back and play around a bit if all of your GPUs don’t show up in the OS later.

Step 2: Install Xubuntu Desktop on your miner

Xubuntu is a lightweight version of Ubuntu, a popular Linux distribution. Most other distros should work just fine, but be aware that the GPU drivers require the presence of Xorg, which means server distros that don’t have a GUI will not work properly.

  • Xubuntu 16.04.2 is the latest LTS release at the time of this guide, so that is what I recommend you use. You can download it here.
  • You’ll need to either write the installation ISO image to a USB stick (highly recommended), or burn it to a DVD. If you use a DVD, you’ll need to temporarily hook up a DVD drive to your mining rig for the installation (make sure you temporarily enable your SATA controller if you disabled it in step 1!).
  • Once you have the installation media prepared, you’re ready to install Xubuntu to your miner’s boot device (whether it’s an SSD, mechanical harddrive, or another blank USB stick). Boot using your new installation media (make sure it’s first in your miner’s BIOS boot order list). The Xubuntu installer should appear.
  • Follow the prompts, and make sure to click the “auto-login” box on the last step of the installer (otherwise, all of the default options are fine).
  • When the installation is complete, you should automatically boot into the Xubuntu desktop. Make sure to remove your installation media.

Step 3: Install SSH and package updates

At the Xubuntu desktop, press CTRL+ALT+T to open a terminal window.

  • Install SSH by typing:
    sudo apt-get install openssh-server

With SSH installed, you can unplug the keyboard/mouse/monitor from your miner, and complete the rest of the installation from your desktop computer. Simply download Putty onto your desktop, run it, and enter the IP address of your mining rig (type ifconfig at the Xubuntu terminal to find your miner’s address if you don’t know it—it will probably look like 192.168.0.x). That should bring up a remote terminal session to your miner, which is more or less just like sitting at the keyboard in front of it.

If you plan to manage your mining rig remotely over the internet, you’ll need to forward port 22 on your router to your miner. Make sure that you use a strong Xubuntu password!

Setup should be pretty quick from this point, as now you can simply copy text from this webpage (highlight it and press CTRL+C) and then paste it into your Putty session by simply right-clicking anywhere inside the Putty window. I highly recommend that you complete the remainder of the guide in this manner, as it eliminates the risk of typos!

  • Install package updates by typing (or copying & pasting via right-click into Putty) the following command (8/14/2017: skip the following command until this known issue has been resolved):
    sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Step 4: Install AMDGPU-PRO drivers

Next up, we’ll install AMD’s video drivers. I tested several versions and found that the latest release (17.10 as of 6/9/2017) gives the best performance. So that’s what we’ll use.

  • Type the following commands (press “enter” and wait for the operation to complete at the end of each line):
    cd ~/Downloads
    wget --referer=
    tar -Jxvf amdgpu-pro-17.10-414273.tar.xz
    cd amdgpu-pro-17.10-414273
    ./amdgpu-pro-install -y
  • Some of these steps may take a minute or two to complete. When the installation is complete, type the following:
    sudo usermod -a -G video $LOGNAME
    sudo reboot

The second command will reboot your rig, which will cause you to immediately lose your SSH (Putty) connection. Wait a few seconds to give the computer a chance to boot, and then re-establish a new connection via Putty, and re-login.

Step 5: Install Ethereum software

Next up, we’ll install the Ethereum software that will let us create a new wallet address. We’ll need this to store the coins we receive from mining.

  • Type the following to install the necessary ethereum packages:
    sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum
    sudo apt-get update
    sudo apt-get install ethereum geth
  • Now it’s time to create your Ethereum wallet address:
    geth account new

You’ll be prompted to enter a password, and then to confirm it (use a strong password!). The output will be a long string between two curly braces { }. That’s your new wallet address—make a note of it (highlight it within Putty to copy it to your clipboard).

Important: The combination of the password you just used to create this address *and* the associated encrypted key file is what gives you control over your new wallet address. If you lose either of these, you’ve also lost control of your wallet and all of the coins associated with it—and there is literally nothing that anyone will be able to do to help you. Remember your password, and keep multiple backups of your key file(s)!

Your key file(s) are stored in the ~/.ethereum/keystore directory. Copy the entire /keystore folder someplace safe to backup your wallet (I’ll cover backups in detail in a later section of this guide).

If you ever forget your wallet address, you can type geth account list to see your addresses and the location of their key files.

Step 6: Install Claymore’s Ethereum miner

There are several options as far as mining software, and I’ve experimented with all of the popular ones. I think Claymore’s miner is the best option, even if it does have two fairly significant downsides: it’s closed-source, and it’s not free (~1% of your mining time benefits the creator of the miner).

Two alternatives are the stock ethereum miner (ethminer) and Genoil’s fork of the stock miner. They’re both open-source and free, but they have pretty crippling downsides.

The stock ethminer is much slower than Claymore’s miner (by a margin of over 5% on my test rig). In addition, ethminer creates the Ethereum DAG file on disk instead of in GPU memory, which is slow and uses a lot of space (and if you’re running off a USB stick, all those writes may eventually wear it out).

Genoil’s fork seems to be nearly as fast as Claymore’s, and it doesn’t use physical disk space for the DAG, but it’s not stable (at least not for me). It often crashes, especially on startup (whereas I have yet to see a single crash on Claymore’s miner after nearly a week of full-time mining). The author abandoned development months ago, so improvements are unlikely.

So, explanation aside, here is how to setup Claymore’s miner:

  • First return to your downloads directory and grab the latest version (9.5 as of 6/9/2017):
    cd ~/Downloads
  • Then create a new directory for it, and unpack it there:
    sudo mkdir /usr/local/claymore95
    sudo tar -xvf Claymore.s.Dual.Ethereum.Decred_Siacoin_Lbry_Pascal.AMD.NVIDIA.GPU.Miner.v9.5.-.LINUX.tar.gz -C /usr/local/claymore95
  • Then let’s head over to the installation directory and create a startup script:
    cd /usr/local/claymore95
    sudo chmod u+s ethdcrminer64
    sudo nano
  • Nano will open a new blank text file; enter the following into it:
    export GPU_MAX_ALLOC_PERCENT=100
    ./ethdcrminer64 -epool -ewal YOUR_WALLET_ADDRESS.Miner01 -epsw x -mode 1 -tt 68 -allpools 1

    Where it says YOUR_WALLET_ADDRESS, use the address you created in step 5 (you’ll need to put “0x” in front of it). The “Miner01” following your address can be changed to any friendly label that you want to give your miner (only important if you plan to run multiple rigs). It’s easiest to copy the last line from my guide into something like notepad, then replace YOUR_WALLET_ADDRESS with your actual address there, and then copy the finished line into putty via right-click to get everything into nano without typos.

  • Save the file and quit nano by pressing CTRL+X and then answering (Y)es to save the changes, then enter the following to give your new script execute permission:
    sudo chmod +x

Note that I’m using as the mining pool here. It’s a fairly typical ETH pool that seems to have good reliability, but feel free to pick your own pool. Most don’t require registration, and simply payout to whatever wallet address you supply whenever a certain threshold is met (usually whenever you accumulate 1+ ETH). Assuming you stick with, you’ll be able to check on your miner’s status by going to this URL after you start mining:[YOUR WALLET ADDRESS]

  • Now is a good time to test things. You can fire up your miner by typing:

You should see the Claymore miner start up. It’ll take a minute or two before it actually starts mining, but it should get there eventually. When you see a scrolling log of outputs that includes non-zero hashrates (expect hashrates in the low to mid 20s for unoptimized GPUs), you’re good to go. If the script fails to start, or you see errors, make sure that you’ve created the script exactly as outlined in the guide.

Press CTRL+C to exit the miner when you’re satisfied that it’s working.

Step 7: Create auto-start scripts

We’re almost done! We want to set up our rigs automatically start mining whenever the rig is powered on. That way, we keep mining losses to a minimum whenever a power outage occurs, and we don’t have to worry about manually starting it back up in other situations.

  • First, install screen:
    sudo apt install screen
  • Then type the following to create a new script in your home directory and open it in nano:
    cd ~
    sudo nano
  • Enter the following text into the editor (substitute your actual Xubuntu username for YOUR_XUBUNTU_USERNAME where necessary!):
    if [ "x$1" = "x" -o "x$1" = "xnone" ]; then
    sleep $DELAY
    cd /usr/local/claymore95
    su YOUR_XUBUNTU_USERNAME -c "screen -dmS ethm ./"
  • Save and quit nano (CTRL+X), and then type:
    sudo chmod +x
  • Now we need to call our new script during startup; we do that by adding it to /etc/rc.local. Type the following to open /etc/rc.local in nano:
    sudo nano /etc/rc.local
  • Add the following text, right above the line that reads “exit 0” (substitute your own username!):

Then save and quit out of nano (CTRL+X).

Step 8: Create an alias to easily check on the Claymore miner process

We’re essentially done at this point, but you’ll probably want to manually SSH into your miner from time to time to manually check on your hashrates & GPU temperatures, etc. Creating an alias will make that easy.

  • Type:

    sudo nano .bashrc
  • Scroll to the end of the file, and then add this text above the line that reads “# enable programmable completion…”
    alias miner='screen -x ethm'
  • Save and quit out of nano.

That’s it—you’re done! You’ll probably want to run a full test now. The easiest way to do that is to close your Putty session and power down your miner. Turn it back on and the following should happen:

  1. Your miner should boot into Xubuntu. This may take up to a minute, depending on the speed of your boot device (it’ll be much faster on an SSD).
  2. 15 seconds after Xubuntu has loaded, the Claymore miner will automatically start and begin mining. You might notice the fans on your GPUs spin up a bit when this happens.
  3. You should be able to SSH into your miner at any time and type miner to monitor the miner’s process. To close the screen (but keep the miner running), press CTRL+A, then CTRL+D.
  4. If you ever need to start the Claymore miner manually (because you quit out of it, or kill it, etc), simply type ~/

Output from a single budget RX 470 at stock settings running Claymore’s ETH miner. You should see something like this when connecting to your rig via SSH and running your “miner” alias.

Congratulations—you have your own headless linux ethereum miner!

The next section of this guide covers setup under Windows, and then we’ll take a look at optimizing miner settings for better performance.

376 Responses to Build your own Ethereum Mining Rig, part 2: Linux Setup

  1. James says:

    Ah I see, it is a 15 second delay, thanks for writing such a helpful guide!

  2. n00b says:

    Hello People:

    I get stucked when tryin to run Claymore:

    $sudo ./

    It gives me the following error:

    ETH: 1 pool is specified
    Main Ethereum pool is
    No AMD cards in the list.
    No NVIDIA CUDA GPUs detected.
    No AMD OPENCL or NVIDIA CUDA GPUs found, exit

    Any hints? N00b

    • Slicxx says:

      the error says that you dont have a GPU installed, this can have several reasons!
      First, check if you driver is installed correctly, it its part 4 of the guide!
      if it does not help, check all the connections – Both ends of the riser cable, power cable for riser, and powercable ob the GPU!
      I want to mention that a powered raiser-card wont work without the power-cable(via molex, sata or often 4pin) wont work!

      Let me know about your mining status, if you cant fix the problem (:

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi everyone

        I noticed recently if you do a dist-upgrade, amd driver will fail to install. Perhaps this is the issue?

    • Anonymous says:

      sudo usermod -a -G video

  3. Nick says:

    Works fine with 4 x GPU, but when 6 x GPU is hooked up I would get this message after an hour of mining. I can close the terminal and re-open it, but after another hour or so I get the same message.

    This pool ( does not support Ethereum addresses as login (or requires worker name in “Login.Worker” format) and cannot be used for devfee mining, therefore it is not supported.
    However, you can mine on this pool if you specify “-allpools 1” option, default pools (different from this pool) will be used for devfee.
    Please read “Readme” file for details.This pool ( does not support Ethereum addresses as login (or requires worker name in “Login.Worker” format) and cannot be used for devfee mining, therefore it is not supported.
    However, you can mine on this pool if you specify “-allpools 1” option, default pools (different from this pool) will be used for devfee.

  4. imuttley says:


    When running “miner” i get;
    There is no screen to be attached matching ethm

    • memdial says:

      I’m also getting the There is no screen to be attached matching ethm error, not sure the script is properly running on startup as expected from rc.local. I noticed that when I run the manually that it asks for a password, possible why that never fully runs?

      • Anonymous says:

        im not an expert but it sounds like some permission issue! after the reboot it takes 15 seconds until miner will be attached – just check if you copied everything right and, used chmod +x where you should and named the scripts right!

        good luck (:

  5. Big Al says:

    Any one knows the new command line for the new drivers 17.2

  6. Philippe says:

    I have created a ethereum wallet with ‘geth account new’. After how can I check my account wallet to see how many ethereum I own. I did not get it or it’s missing in this tutorial.

    Thank for your help

  7. CashTree says:

    Hi, thank you very much for this tutorial, certainly the best in the Internet. I’m dual mining ETH and SIA with 2*RX580 and 1*Rx570, however still 2 remaining issues to be solved:
    – I’ve setup both Windows and XUbunto – XUbunto is more stable, works like a charm, but it consumes 590W on the wall – the exact same setup, with Windows, consumes 500. All cards have modded bios including undervolting, however it looks like the driver over-rides the power settings on the firmware…
    – Since I started using risers (v007), my HW problems started. While all cards work individually with those risers, if I connect all of them via risers I have problems (both Windows and Linux). The only stable way I found so far was one card connected on the full PCIE slot (with monitor attached to it) and the remaining with risers. If I connect a riser to the exact same slot and same card, problems start. I know I could point risers guilty, but individually they work…
    Glad to get some help 😉

    • deadman.walking says:

      It’s the first time I hear about this issue, and I believe is because the risers, can you try with USB risers rev 6?

  8. Garry says:

    Is there any software that can be installed to overclock the GPUs? I’m trying to set the cclock and mclock ing claymore but it doesn’t work, I’m also getting permission issues with fan speed settings.

    • deadman.walking says:

      Not under Linux, thats why you make BIOS mod to the RX cards, with the GTX you have to run under Windows to overclock/undervolt as theres no way to modify them in Linux as GTX uses propietary drivers

  9. David Smit says:

    Excellent tutorial! I have been looking for a way to run a headless mining rig. I am running Ubuntu 16.04 with Claymore’s Dual Miner 9.5 and the most recent drivers for my 6xRX470 GPUs. It is running relatively smoothly, apart from the fact that my mobo does not like booting up without a monitor attached. However, I do have a bit of an issue regarding errors concerning an OpenCL call which forces the miner to reboot. Except it doesn’t reboot. It freezes and makes the whole rig inaccessible, even through SSH. Any ideas what this could be? Because it is getting rather annoying not to be able to use the startup scripts as mentioned in this tutorial

    • John says:

      Power related failure in my experience. Only use 2 powered risers per sata cable. I know there is three per ribbon, but three causes random gpu hangs.

      Make sure your load per rail is within your PSU capability. One VGA per vga power cable even though there is two 6 or 8 pins per cable.

      One exception to this is cards below 60w TDP.

      Lastly change your risers out. Kill the watchdog in claymore and replace the powered riser on problematic gpus.

      Hope this helps.

      • David Smit says:

        Thank you very much! That actually seemed to be the issue. Rewired the GPUs and they are running smoothly now. Amazing how simple this fix actually is. Especially considering a lot of people seem to struggle with the same issue and cannot find any solution to it. You’re a hero!

      • David Smit says:

        Alas, I spoke too soon. Although the rig does seem to prefer the cabling as you suggested, I keep getting the same (random) openCL call errors. I guess I will have to change risers again. Third batch so far. It is getting quite annoying to have to reboot the rig every 2 hours. Thanks anyway.

        • Slicxx says:

          Hey David, i got the same errors aswell, did you overclock?
          openCl errors are often a result of different drivers and overclocking!
          try installing other drivers(after removing old ones, guide is on official amdgpu-pro download site).

          of it wont help, you need to lower you overclocks! it worked for me, after delaying me for 2 weeks^^

          • David Smit says:

            Hey Slicxx,

            My cards are pretty much stock, as in I did not do any overclocking or modding in any sense of the word. Mind you, the tip about having no more than 2 GPUs per Sata cable did result in better overall performance.
            When I checked the rig earlier, I found that, after the changes I had made to the cables, the GPUs were running at anywhere between 68C and 73C, with the fans running at 23%. Seems a bit low. I suppose this can be controlled from within Claymore. But perhaps it does have something to do with the errors I get.

  10. Jordan says:

    Hey all, I’m having trouble when I get to running

    getting error where putty outputs:

    ./ethdcrminer64: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

    Very little experience, sorry.

  11. Ck says:

    Hi there,
    What about the amd dag fix driver in Linux? Have you tried the 17.30 driver under Ubuntu 16.4.02 with claymore 9.8 ?

  12. isaac says:

    When I first build my rig i was directed that SimpleminerOS which uses Clymore would be best to use. It is very simple for sure. Can you explain some benefits over simpleminerOS that XUbuntu with clatmore would have. Also, I use a private wallet on my own computer, is it better to geth?

    • CryptoBadger says:

      I haven’t used any of the pre-packaged mining distros, so I can’t really comment on pros/cons in depth. If you’re using Claymore and recent AMD drivers, then performance will likely be nearly the same either way.

  13. ben says:

    I think I need some help. I have followed everything correctly and double checked it but I just get this response. It is the same response I get on a reboot after the time delay. Have I overlooked something here?

    ben@miner01:~$ ~/
    bash: screen: command not found

    Also, on a side note, my xubuntu is booting into a GRUB prompt every single time. No SSH avail until I type “exit” on the GRUB terminal first. How do I get rid of this so it goes straight to xubuntu cmd line?


    • CryptoBadger says:

      Are you sure that you installed screen? Try typing “sudo apt install screen” (without quotes) at the prompt.

      • Ben says:

        No I didn’t install screen. Did I miss that above? I ended up giving up and temporarily going to windows 10 to dial in my cards. I want to set things up eventually on linux again so I will try again next few days. Thanks for the help.

  14. Zelda says:

    Many issues above with AMD driver problems and Ubuntu black screens. I’ve experienced some of these myself. Wondering if this bulletin might have something to do with the observed problems:

    • CryptoBadger says:

      Thanks for the heads-up – a few people have written about issues that match the description of those described in the bulletin recently. Updating to 16.04.03 is probably the culprit – hopefully Canonical & AMD can get things sorted out quickly!

  15. John says:

    Hi… I have 2 tesla c2075 and i would like to give it a shot…. Do i need a third card for display or can i just use any DVI out from any of the teslas ?

    • Slicxx says:

      I’m sorry, but dont even try it with The Tesla c2075.
      You will only get about 4-7 Mh/s per card, and a VERY VERY HIGH power consumption. The architecture is similar to a gtx 580 – its… really bad. you wont even get your money for the power back.

      But to aswer your question: you dont need a 3rd card. just use one output, from your “1st” card in the rig. should in theory work, but most likely not with these cards.


      • John says:

        Thanks for your reply….. How about NVidia Quadro 6000 ?? And also M6000 ?

        • Slixxx says:

          Sadly the Quadro 6000 is absolut traah for eth mining, instruction sets of gaming-gpus work just so much better.

          im not sure about the M6000, it should generate 10-15 mh/s, at a maximum! its just a guess on the m6000, but what i know for shre is that it is not profitable to mine with it 🙁

          sadly we all need gaming gpus, like the Rx 580/480, nvidia gtx 1070/1080 or the new rx vega 64/56 wich sold out in under 2 minutes yesterday..

  16. tony says:

    this was a fantastic guide and really well written, so thanks so much for this.

    I’m an IT/network admin, who’s dabbled with linux now and again for many years (mostly ibm gpfs installations and looking after network configs or disk space etc), however, i’m still fascinated how all the commands are so “out there”. Without knowing the names of the repositories, or the names of the installers or the usermod parameters for the gfx card, i wouldn’t have stood a chance of getting this off the ground.

    again, thanks for your help. once up and running (not quite there) i’ll certainly send a donation your way.

    all the best.

  17. RobertMiner says:

    Hello CryptoBadger,

    Or anyone else who can help. Ok, My miner is running fine. I am hashing on 6 – Sapphire, 580rx’s.

    Everything went well in setting up the miner except I lost the video output of my Motherboard and GPU’s after installing the AMD drivers. Luckily, I could SSH into the rig, complete the setup and operate it to mine.

    What my question is how do now I retrieve and check of my Eth coins in my Geth Wallet? I can go into the ~/.ethereum/keystore directory and see the keyfiles, and I know Eth is being sent to the associated wallet from the mining pool, and I of course have the password, but how do I check balances and make transcactions? Since this rig is actually mining do I still need to grp-geth as well and have it running and synced in order to access this Eth wallet. I actually now have 3 coins in this wallet and I would like to get this issue resolved soon.

    Sorry, I am completely new to this and I don’t know anyone who mines, so I need to ask these questions on-line and hope for some helpful guidance.

    As a secondary question. Is there anything I can do to regain the video output of my GPU’s on this mining rig?

    Thank you!

    • CryptoBadger says:

      You can check your wallet balance using an online blockchain explorer, such as this one (just put your wallet addess in the search box at the top right). When you want to transfer your ETH, I recommend this method over trying to use geth.

      As far as the video output on your rig, it sounds like you’re a victim of this issue. If things are working properly (other than video output), I’d just sit tight and wait for a fix to be released.

  18. John says:

    Good day everybody…. Has anyone tried with nvidia quadro 6000 or M6000 ??? I would like to give it a try…. Thanks !!!

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