Ethereum(Crypto) Mining with Nvidia 3070(Ampere) on Ubuntu 20.04 with Renewable Energy

Snagged a pair of RTX 3070 cards. With only 2 cards this is more like an experiment than an investment.

I’ve done Crypto mining before and since the price is now almost all time high I’ll do that again, but only with my solar energy. Mining with dirty coal power isn’t ethical any more as the climate change has accelerated in the past few years.

To start ETH mining here are some prerequisites:

  • Energy efficient video cards, in this case I got RTX 3070. 3060TI is also a good choice but it was sold out already
  • A desktop computer where you can attach multiple video cards to PCI express slots. But I’m not focusing hardware installation here, ie. not showing how to install the card and connect cables, etc.
  • My OS is Ubuntu 20.04 so I choose t-rex miner which has better support for Nvidia Ampere architecture. The releases can be found here

Here are the steps with which I set up t-rex miner on my Ubuntu 20.04 desktop:

# as root user
sudo -i
# install nvidia 460 driver for Ubuntu
apt install nvidia-driver-460
# install t-rex to /opt/t-rex
mkdir /opt/t-rex
wget https://github.com/trexminer/T-Rex/releases/download/0.19.9/t-rex-0.19.9-linux-cuda11.1.tar.gz
tar -zxvf t-rex-0.19.9-linux-cuda11.1.tar.gz -C /opt/t-rex
# change ownership for security reasons
chown -R nobody:nogroup /opt/t-rex

Now in directory /opt/t-rex there are many shell script(.sh) files. I was using ethermine.org so I had a look at ETH-ethermine.sh, it has:

#!/bin/sh
./t-rex -a ethash -o stratum+tcp://eu1.ethermine.org:4444 -u <ETH wallet address> -p x -w <worker name>

Since I’m proudly an experienced Linux user, I choose to create a systemd service out of that shell script:

# cat /etc/systemd/system/ethminer.service 
[Unit]
Description=Ethereum Miner

[Service]
Type=simple
User=nobody
ExecStart=/opt/t-rex/t-rex -a ethash -o stratum+tcp://us2.ethermine.org:4444 -u <my ETH wallet address> -p "" -w <my worker name, can be hostname>

Restart=on-failure

[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target

I choose us2 node as it’s geologically close to me. The user is set to nobody so it won’t cause harm to my system if it wants to. Then the service can be enabled and started with systemctl command:

# reload systemd as a new service is added
# following commands run as root user
systemctl daemon-reload
# enable the service so it starts automatically
systemctl enable ethminer
# start the service
systemctl start ethminer
# check status
systemctl status -l ethminer
# watch the logs
journalctl -f |grep t-rex
Jan 24 13:55:30 hostname t-rex[6621]: 20210124 13:55:30 Mining at us2.ethermine.org:4444, diff: 4.00 G
...

According to other miners online, the TDP of 3070 is better set as 50%(130W), because it can run hotter with higher wattage but won’t make it compute faster. Here’s how I use a cronjob to set TDP to 130W except when I’m playing a game(assuming I’ll stop the miner when playing some game on it).

EDIT: 115W is good enough.

# still as root user, as only root can use nvidia-smi command
# crontab -l
*/10 * * * * /bin/ps -C t-rex && /usr/bin/nvidia-smi -i 0 -pl 115 2>&1 >>/var/log/nvidia.log

This can be verified in t-rex ‘s logs

journalctl -f |grep t-rex
Jan 24 13:55:30 hostname t-rex[6621]: 20210124 13:55:30 GPU #0: Gigabyte RTX 3070 - 52.07 MH/s, [T:53C, P:129W, F:60%, E:404kH/W], 1370/1370 R:0%
# it's running at 129W and temperature is 53 degree and fan speed cruising at 60%

Regarding mining solely with solar energy, there can be 3 approaches:

  • Switch electricity supplier to the renewable-friendly ones such as Ember, so you can use solar energy generated by community and enjoy the low wholesale price and mine crypto when the sun shines. This requires the API access supplier so you know when the energy is from renewables and cheap
  • Install and use your own solar energy to mine crypto when the sun shines. This requires API access from your inverter so know when to start mining with enough solar energy.
  • Install solar and battery so it’s guaranteed to mine with your own solar energy until the battery runs flat of course

I’m going with the last option 🙂

Mining ZCash on Ubuntu Linux

I didn’t quite believe that mining crypto currencies is viable as an individual, until I saw the news that AMD graphics cards were sold out because they’re good at mining Ethereum. To be convinced I tried to order AMD RX 570 from some online vendors, and they all cancelled my orders and refunded me shortly.

So even if I wanted to mine Ethereum I will have to wait indefinitely for the AMD cards to be re-stocked. At least I can buy some NVidia GTX 1070 cards and mine ZCash instead, before NVidia cards are sold out.

Here’s how to mine ZCash with NVidia cards on Ubuntu.

First, you need a wallet so I can receive payments, if there will be any.  It’s quite easy to install zcash on Arch Linux(because I run Arch on my laptop):

sudo pacman -S zcash
mkdir .zcash
echo "addnode=mainnet.z.cash" >~/.zcash/zcash.conf
echo "rpcuser=<your user>" >>~/.zcash/zcash.conf
echo "rpcpassword=`head -c 32 /dev/urandom | base64`" >>~/.zcash/zcash.conf

For other operating systems, see https://z.cash/download.html

Then you can download the bootstrap data with

zcash-fetch-params

It will download about 800MB, after finished, you can start your wallet with

zcashd

When it’s running, you can use zcash-cli command to create your wallet:

zcash-cli getnewaddress

There will be a long hash started with ‘t’, which is a transparent address, with which you can send and receive zcash. You don’t have to run your wallet and your miner on the same machine, but your miner will use the t address(you will get paid to your wallet).

Now onto your miner machine. You will need to install some dependencies for the miner:

sudo apt-get install nvidia-opencl-dev nvidia-375

System needs to be restarted to load the driver. You can load the driver without restarting too, eg. sudo modprobe nvidia-375. Then you can follow the post below to use the miner:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1707546.0

🙂