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Author Topic: Bootable Miner, just plug in Flash drive and reboot! [Idea formation]  (Read 6803 times)
Stephen Gornick
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January 08, 2011, 09:10:39 PM
 #1

Would it be
  a.) possible, and
  b.) a good idea
to create an image for use in creating a bootable flash drive and/or bootable CD which has everything needed for mining?

My rationale for this is that there are many non-motivated and non-technical people who have a system with a reasonably decent GPU but have no desire or ability to go through the non-trivial task of getting set up for mining.

With a bootable image for a flash drive, one should be able to simply insert the flash device into a USB slot, reboot, and let their system mine, automatically.  When the computer is needed, the procedure is to simply pull out the flash drive and reboot.   The same approach works for a bootable CD.

That's it -- no software to install, no configuring anything, no logging in, etc.  

The only step necessary would be to allocate a serial number to the bootable image before it is downloaded  and to get the Paypal address that compensation for mining with that image should be sent.

That serial number and a unique password are used to connect to Slush's pool as a worker under an aggregate account.  The aggregator would then convert the BTC payout for the worker to PPUSD and periodically send out payment.

Any thoughts on this idea?

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January 08, 2011, 09:14:47 PM
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Sounds like something some people would want. Why a PP address instead of a bitcoin?
Stephen Gornick
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January 08, 2011, 09:18:52 PM
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Good point, ..., that could be a compensation preference the user sets when signing up.  I was thinking of this as something that gets someone to try mining, without having to learn anything.  Being compensated in PayPal is something familiar.  

But there's no reason to not allow, if not encourage, the user to opt for compensation in bitcoins.

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January 09, 2011, 12:25:26 AM
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Good point, ..., that could be a compensation preference the user sets when signing up.  I was thinking of this as something that gets someone to try mining, without having to learn anything.  Being compensated in PayPal is something familiar.  

But there's no reason to not allow, if not encourage, the user to opt for compensation in bitcoins.

Indeed, a choice seems to make sense.

I could imagine someone thinking "Pff, why bother for fake money", but then "Oh, I can get 'real' money" and then, "Cool, I has money, what exactly is this all about?"
casascius
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January 09, 2011, 09:10:15 PM
 #5

I have done something like this for other purposes... if I were trying to accomplish this for mining, here is how I would start.

1. go to Slax.org and build myself a copy of Linux that came with nothing more than the "core".  (Their web-based wizard allows for an on-the-fly build of a bootable ISO image).  Download the ISO.  The core provides nothing more than the ability to boot into a text-based shell prompt.

2. Edit some files within the ISO (either by copying them to a temp directory, or using a tool like MagicISO).  In particular, the first thing I might edit is /boot/slax.cfg to make the text-based boot the default (or only) choice (the default is to boot into graphic mode which will fail if there's no window manager on the CD).

3. With the Slax booted up, install the means to do mining.

4. Save the directory containing the mining software into an .lzm using the dir2lzm utility.  Add the .lzm file to the CD image at /slax/modules so it will be present at each boot.

5. Add a user called "mining" with no password, that automatically asks for a Bitcoin address to be typed, an IP address to connect to, and then proceeds to start mining away.

6. change the startup screen so it says not just "login as root, password toor to log in",but also, "login as mining to start mining".

7. burn it back to CD, ensuring that the el torito magic files that made the original CD bootable are preserved in the new CD.

8. if you want it on a USB flash drive instead, use something like UniversalInstaller to transfer the ISO directly to a flash drive.

voila


I don't own any good GPU's otherwise this is something I might have already done by now.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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March 04, 2011, 02:26:10 AM
 #6

As a bookend to this thread I'm linking to the post:

  Anyone interested in my ubuntu live cd for mining?
  http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=4103.0

Stephen Gornick
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May 06, 2011, 07:17:13 AM
 #7

To follow up: 
  LinuxCoin - Debian squeeze based live OS with bitcoin, drivers and miner.
  http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=7374.0

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