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 🙂

Install Nvidia 396 Driver for Ubuntu 18.04

Just some quick notes to upgrade Nvidia driver from 390 to 396 on Ubuntu 18.04. By default Ubuntu 18.04 only has Nvidia driver 390.

# add ubuntu official ppa for nvidia
# all commands below run as root
add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
apt update
# install 396 files
apt install nvidia-dkms-396 nvidia-driver-396 nvidia-compute-utils-396 libnvidia-compute-396
# reboot at the end.

After reboot, the new driver can be verified by:

nvidia-smi 
+-----------------------------------------------------------------------------+
| NVIDIA-SMI 396.54 Driver Version: 396.54 |
|-------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+
| GPU Name Persistence-M| Bus-Id Disp.A | Volatile Uncorr. ECC |
| Fan Temp Perf Pwr:Usage/Cap| Memory-Usage | GPU-Util Compute M. |
|===============================+======================+======================|
| 0 GeForce GTX 1070 Off | 00000000:01:00.0 Off | N/A |
| 44% 67C P2 150W / 230W | 3211MiB / 8117MiB | 100% Default |
+-------------------------------+----------------------+----------------------+

🙂

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

🙂

关闭 Dell XPS 15 9550 的独立显卡

最近我从 ebay 淘了个二手 Dell XPS 15 笔记本电脑, 2016年的而且配置很高, 但价格相当便宜. 既然好货不便宜, 这电脑是不是有问题? 是的, 卖家承认电脑的 nVidia 独立显卡有故障, 装好驱动程序之后 Windows 就会僵死, 但禁用了它之后一切正常, 当然就不要指望能玩什么像样的游戏了. 不过正好我也不打算在笔记本电脑上玩游戏的, 而且 Dell 对 Linux 的支持算是很好的, 于是我欣然买下.

电脑到手后我装了 Fedora 25, 一切顺利, 送走了 Windows 10. 顺便提及, Fedora 25 已经能检测到 XPS 15 BIOS 有更新可以安装了, 很赞.

启用 nVidia 驱动后果然死锁. 索性把 nVidia 关闭了吧, 还能延长电池的使用时间呢. 首先添加 bumblebee, 参考(在 Fedora 25 上测试通过, 其他 Linux 可能需要不同的设置):

https://fedoraproject.org/wiki/Bumblebee#Installation

安装 bbswitch:

sudo -i
VER=$(uname -r)
dnf install kernel-devel-$VER kernel-headers-$VER bbswitch-dkms

禁止系统自动装载 nVidia 的开源驱动 nouveau:

echo "blacklist nouveau" > /etc/modprobe.d/nouveau.conf

让 bbswitch 自动装载, 并在装载时关闭独立显卡:

echo "bbswitch" > /etc/modules-load.d/bbswitch.conf
echo "options bbswitch load_state=0" > /etc/modprobe.d/bbswitch.conf

重新启动系统之后, 测试一下:

cat /proc/acpi/bbswitch
0000:01:00.0 OFF

OFF 就说明成功了 🙂