GPU/CPU Mining – XMR (Beginners How-To Guide)

This is my second in a series of guides for beginners on mining for fun.

Before I begin there are a couple of things to remember; Firstly unless you have an extensive mining setup you’re unlikely to get rich (or break even) and Secondly I take no responsibility for any issues you run into if you try this at home (be smart download mining software at your own risk).

This is for informational and fun purposes only; I don’t claim to be an expert. If you’re reading this and you are more experienced and spot any issues, by all means point it out in the comments and I’ll try make the necessary updates.

 

On to the article, this time I’m going to look at one of the most well know privacy based coins Monero (XMR). I’m not going to go into extensive background detail, as that isn’t really the purpose of this post. There is an excellent article here if you’d like to read a bit more detail and what the recent changes to the RandomX Algorithm means: What is RandomX? – Monero’s Mining Algorithm. For my purposes I’ll just say that this change has made it much better on the CPU mining side as a way to level the playing field a bit rather than it being weighted heavily in favor of GPU/ASICs etc. We’ll look at combined mining here.

 

Step 1: The Wallet

It is important to make sure you have a wallet, the best place to start is the main site https://web.getmonero.org/downloads/. For this example I’ll assume you’ve downloaded the standard GUI wallet. After downloading/installing (note you may get a warning form your anti-virus to get around this add an exception for the installer), you’ll be asked what type of setup you want, simple mode (1) or two versions with the blockchain downloaded (2). Personally I’d go for option 2 or 3 but if you want to start quickly option 1 will work.

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monero

Next you’ll be face with a few options. If this is your first installation you’ll need to create a new wallet (the top option). Follow the onscreen instructions to do this and then if you’re downloading the whole blockchain you can wait for it to catch up, lets move to the next step in the meantime.

 

Step 2: The Mining Software

For this example we’re going to use a well known mining software called XMRIG.

Scroll down to the ‘Download’ section and click on the ‘Binary Releases’ link. From this page you will see a few versions. If you are using an Nvidia card you likely want the version with the “cuda10_1” suffix. Otherwise, I’ve grabbed the gcc version. Go ahead and download the zip file and extract into a secure folder. Note that if after unzipping the folder you don’t see the following executable:

2

Then it is likely your antivirus software has intercepted it and put it into quarantine. To avoid this go into your antivirus and add an exception for the folder where you intend to unzip the miner (and all subfolders).

 

Step 3: The Pools

Right so we have a wallet and we have a miner now we need to find a mining pool. There are a lot of pools out there with a variety of fees/payout levels etc. I’m going to suggest just a couple here that don’t require any signup, though a duckduckgo (google of the future) search can find you more if you want to shop around.

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I will use MineXMR, though if you go with 2miners or another you will just need to choose custom when you select the pool from part 2 of the config file wizard.

If your hashrate is feeling up to it, or you’re just feeling lucky you can also Solo mine.

  • 2Miners (Solo) – https://solo-xmr.2miners.com/en
    • Fee = 1.5%
    • Min Payout = 0.1 XMR (though a block reward is currently 1.98 XMR so if you get lucky you go over that immediately)

 

Step 4: Mining

So we’ve prepared everything we need now on to the mining process:

  • In the wallet lets set up a mining address click Receive (1) then click Create New Address (2) add a label for the address (Second image below) and click OK. Once created click on the little clipboard with a tick mark to copy the address to your clipboard (you’ll need this in a min).

2n1

  • Next lets setup our config file by going to https://xmrig.com/wizard#start. This is a handy setup wizard that takes you through all the info you need in the config file in a nice user friendly way
    • 1 – Click New Configuration
    • 2 – Select pool and after selecting provide location and wallet address (from your clipboard)
    • 3 – Select CPU and relevant GPU items (CUDA for Nvidia, OpenCL for AMD cards)
    • 4 – Choose donation level (min. 1%, this is in addition to the 1% pool fees and goes to the miner developers)
    • 5 – File is completed click the download button and save it in the folder with your XMRIG application

Config 1

Config 2

Config 3

Config 4

Config 5

  • Once the config file is saved all you need to do is double click the XMRIG executable file and a command window should open. It may take a few seconds to finish the initial config on the miner but when it is running it looks like this (though in my example the GPU isn’t currently contributing). Congratulations you’re mining XMR!!
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Mining

Now that you are mining you can check your stats, on MineXMR site. You do this by going to https://minexmr.com/#worker_stats on your favorite browser (#BRAVE) and entering your wallet address you’re mining to. You do not need to leave your XMR wallet open all the time but I recommend opening it every few days so it can catch up on the blocks.

 

If you want to check your profitability on other coins/algorithms then go ahead and look at either:

 

Hope you enjoyed the guide, good luck y’all!

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