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Author Topic: Thoughts and questions on BTC Pools and merged mining  (Read 4934 times)
flower1024
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September 18, 2011, 07:23:27 AM
 #1

Hi @all,

atm there are only 197 more blocks needed to start merged mining.

are there any pools (except masterpool) which will take the challange?
did you (as a pool op) at least run a test? how is it working for you?

please tell us your thoughts!

btw. i am looking for a nice *PPS pool which offers Merged Minging (if you know one just tell)

i do have the strong impression that every btc pool which do not support merged mining will:
 - loose miners as they can get more anywhere else
 - would be (verbal) attacked by people that thinks the pool is stealing the nmc's

brw masterpool and cgminer gave me < 0.02% stales (after 10k shares). but i dont want to use a proportional pool.
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Luke-Jr
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September 18, 2011, 02:10:21 PM
 #2

Eligius has planned to support merged mining for a while, but actual implementation has been extremely slow due to lack of anything remotely usable from the Namecoin side.

flower1024
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September 18, 2011, 03:53:00 PM
 #3

abcpool said they will consider it
<joke>but i am not sure if they know math</joke>

deepbit is out of the game (at least for now)...

eligius would be interesting Wink

i am just curious: as far as i see they did a test on testnet and have one pool ready. i thought they have released their proxy?

what is slow? does the proxy not deliever work fast enough for a pool with your size or i am wrong with my thought that they've released their stuff?

or: the release was too late to get your custom patches in namecoin (which would be understandable - dont wont to offend you)?
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September 18, 2011, 05:13:55 PM
 #4

i am just curious: as far as i see they did a test on testnet and have one pool ready. i thought they have released their proxy?
The test stuff never worked for me at all. It rejected all the blocks. I'm not willing to sacrifice Bitcoin mining stability, so I won't be using their proxy or bitcoind modifications. I've tested my own implementation of the tie-ins over the past few months (that's what the prayers were testing).

flower1024
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September 19, 2011, 01:31:31 PM
 #5

nmcbit statement:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=33612.msg532815#msg532815

it just seems that merged mining is a closed thing at the moment....so i suggest you all to move to masterpool right now...

nodemaster (if you read this): would you mind to help other pools with this? i am pretty sure they will honor it.
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September 19, 2011, 07:04:06 PM
 #6

nmcbit statement:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=33612.msg532815#msg532815

it just seems that merged mining is a closed thing at the moment....so i suggest you all to move to masterpool right now...

nodemaster (if you read this): would you mind to help other pools with this? i am pretty sure they will honor it.

From what I can tell. Merged mining indeed is working. https://alpha.masterpool.eu mined several blocks on testnet. There were some perfomance issues. However I didn't have the time to test vinceds last patch (https://github.com/vinced/namecoin/commit/3c704cd6abdb0f836ea4ea9e5323a7875af10cc9#contrib/merged-mine-proxy). It seems he fixed the problem why we found way too less blocks on AUX chain. Thus before I tell something wrong I'd like to test the new version. For that reason I recommissioned http://alpha.masterpool.eu. The poor server is a bit messed up because of its hibernation (some stats are missing others like contributors are running in "history" mode) but mining works and you should see the generated blocks being verified at: https://alpha.masterpool.eu/statistics under Unconfirmed Blocks

Please give me the time to mine a few blocks with the new version before I say anything wrong  Grin

Furthermore there are already other pools implementing merged mining (including big BTC ones) but IMHO its up to them to announce it. From what I know officially DavinciJ15 from http://nmcbit.com is trying to implement merged mining right now. And the guys from p2pool announced they'll integrate merged mining as well IIRC.

Edit:

Yes, I'm willing to help every person who is able to run a pool on his own and has the technical knowledge about how merged mining should work. But please I won't waste my time on giving "Mining pool for Dummies"-Workshops. My family already forgot about my face because of being on NMC projects all day  Cheesy Furthermore If you have questions regarding merged mining I'd like to kindly ask to join on http://dot-bit.org forum. I know, it is PITA to switch bulletin boards, and I don't like it as well. But most knowledge about merged mining is concentrated on NMC forum. It seems on BTC forum I'm regarded as the ultimate merged mining guy. But that's not true. There are other much smarter people over on NMC forum  Grin
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September 20, 2011, 01:11:05 PM
 #7

There is a major lack of coherent communication in regards to merged mining.  I'm willing to implement it if there were some central location that information were able to be found... but so far you have to comb through various posts and forums that are disjointed and inaccurate.

But as of right now, it seems that the only information that I have found is that it's unstable, untested and almost unusable without a lot of trial and error.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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September 20, 2011, 04:59:47 PM
 #8

There is a major lack of coherent communication in regards to merged mining.  I'm willing to implement it if there were some central location that information were able to be found... but so far you have to comb through various posts and forums that are disjointed and inaccurate.

But as of right now, it seems that the only information that I have found is that it's unstable, untested and almost unusable without a lot of trial and error.

Could you please tell me which information about merged mining you are missing? I really did my best to gather all information on dot-bit Wiki (http://dot-bit.org/Merged_Mining). IMHO merged mining is not an arcane art. Just patch bitcoind, install latest namecoind and connect them with merged mine proxy. Point an existing pushpoold to merged mine proxy and you are done. For a pool you have to adapt your frontend and backend scripts of course, but this has to be done by each pool operator. Perhaps I became blinkered in my work. Thus please let me know which information is needed, I'll do my best to add it to the Wiki. Furthermore I'm going to review it in order to reflect the latest status of the project.
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September 21, 2011, 06:07:20 AM
 #9

There is a major lack of coherent communication in regards to merged mining.  I'm willing to implement it if there were some central location that information were able to be found... but so far you have to comb through various posts and forums that are disjointed and inaccurate.

But as of right now, it seems that the only information that I have found is that it's unstable, untested and almost unusable without a lot of trial and error.

Ill parrot part what some of the other ops have said as well.  Mainframe is looking into this but not jumping in with both feet for the following reasons:

1) unsure of demand for this from miners
2) same reasons Inaba mentions (lack of coherent and centralized information)
3) same reasons Luke-Jr mentions.  Im also not willing to jeopardize a stable BTC pool with unproven merged mining code (unproven in a live full scale production environment)

If some of these issues are addressed im happy to look at implementing it as well.
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September 21, 2011, 06:52:11 PM
 #10

I fully intend to support merged mining as an option.

My concerns:

Need to be able to run alongside standard btc server, to give the option to pool users.
New Namecoin client needs to support multi-threading & long-polling implementations.
None of the implementation can affect my other coin clients or bring the pool server to a grinding halt.

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September 21, 2011, 10:55:04 PM
 #11

I've been looking into merged mining, but right now I don't see it integrating itself into the main BTC Guild pool anytime soon.  It will be a bookkeeping nightmare unless I hide the NMC part and do it as a side calculation whenever a round ends.  It's difficulty to implement in a production environment, especially one where the database is not easy to make modifications to without slowing/halting the live servers.

I may put it onto the PPS pool for BTC Guild, since the code and DB schema is much more flexible on the PPS pool [no need to keep track of 'rounds'].

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Sukrim
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September 22, 2011, 03:07:22 PM
 #12

You could do it hidden, just convert the NMC to BTC and pay these out as bonus or make some promo stuff or so - there shouldn't be any difference for miners anyways if they mine merged or not.

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flower1024
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September 22, 2011, 03:17:01 PM
 #13

I've been looking into merged mining, but right now I don't see it integrating itself into the main BTC Guild pool anytime soon.  It will be a bookkeeping nightmare unless I hide the NMC part and do it as a side calculation whenever a round ends.  It's difficulty to implement in a production environment, especially one where the database is not easy to make modifications to without slowing/halting the live servers.

I may put it onto the PPS pool for BTC Guild, since the code and DB schema is much more flexible on the PPS pool [no need to keep track of 'rounds'].

as far as i know PoolServJ is working on merged mining (thanks davinci!!!). bt- guild-pps seems to use it.. wouldn't that be a good test bed?
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September 22, 2011, 03:34:24 PM
 #14

The PPS pool will absolutely be the first testing server I use for merged mining since I don't have to do any special accounting for NMC rounds vs BTC rounds.  I'll have to talk to shadders about it.

Has anybody tried applying the JoelKatz 4diff patch or integrating it into the merged mining bitcoind?  If they aren't compatible, it's going to be a major handicap getting a reasonably sized pool on board.

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os2sam
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September 22, 2011, 03:54:22 PM
 #15

Would someone mind defining the term "merged mining"?
Sam

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet and in e-mail?
flower1024
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September 22, 2011, 06:08:02 PM
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Would someone mind defining the term "merged mining"?
Sam

merged mining means that while you are mining bitcoins you ALSO mine namecoins (or other chains in the future) with the same hashrate.

means: if you have 1GH you can mine namecoins with 1GH AND bitcoin with 1GH at the same time.

if you dont mine solo you dont need a modified bitcoin for this: only pools need a modified bitcoind which writes 33bytes of namecoin data in the coinbase of bitcoin blocks (the blocks size does NOT differ). you do need a new namecoin which accepts "dual-mined"-blocks (the official namecoin daemon will accept merged-mining-blocks after namecoin block 19200)

^^ please correct me if i am wrong.
os2sam
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September 22, 2011, 07:14:35 PM
 #17

Would someone mind defining the term "merged mining"?
Sam

merged mining means that while you are mining bitcoins you ALSO mine namecoins (or other chains in the future) with the same hashrate.

means: if you have 1GH you can mine namecoins with 1GH AND bitcoin with 1GH at the same time.

if you dont mine solo you dont need a modified bitcoin for this: only pools need a modified bitcoind which writes 33bytes of namecoin data in the coinbase of bitcoin blocks (the blocks size does NOT differ). you do need a new namecoin which accepts "dual-mined"-blocks (the official namecoin daemon will accept merged-mining-blocks after namecoin block 19200)

^^ please correct me if i am wrong.

Thanks,
Sam

A: Because it messes up the order in which people normally read text.
Q: Why is top-posting such a bad thing?
A: Top-posting.
Q: What is the most annoying thing on usenet and in e-mail?
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September 23, 2011, 09:31:55 AM
 #18

Quite correct, the thing is that usually you submit solutions for shares that meet "difficulty 1". Some of these also fit to a higher difficulty and every ~1.7 millionth one also fits the current bitcoin difficulty, so it gets used to solve a block.

The trick now is that you put all namecoin and bitcoin transactions together (it is structured as a tree, so all namecoin transactions just take up a single hash value in the end in bitcoin blocks) so a solution that would fit namecoin difficulty (much lower than bitcoin atm) can solve a namecoin block too.

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September 23, 2011, 12:37:39 PM
 #19

There is a major lack of coherent communication in regards to merged mining.  I'm willing to implement it if there were some central location that information were able to be found... but so far you have to comb through various posts and forums that are disjointed and inaccurate.

But as of right now, it seems that the only information that I have found is that it's unstable, untested and almost unusable without a lot of trial and error.

Could you please tell me which information about merged mining you are missing? I really did my best to gather all information on dot-bit Wiki (http://dot-bit.org/Merged_Mining). IMHO merged mining is not an arcane art. Just patch bitcoind, install latest namecoind and connect them with merged mine proxy. Point an existing pushpoold to merged mine proxy and you are done. For a pool you have to adapt your frontend and backend scripts of course, but this has to be done by each pool operator. Perhaps I became blinkered in my work. Thus please let me know which information is needed, I'll do my best to add it to the Wiki. Furthermore I'm going to review it in order to reflect the latest status of the project.

All the wiki is/has is a lot of description about what Merged Mining is, what test pools there are and other useless (as far as implementation goes) information.  There's six sentences about where to find the source code for namecoind and bitcoind from a repository with little to no documentation on what you need to implement, where and/or how.  

The wiki is almost completely useless for a pool opeartor, with the exception of links to the repository, in relation to getting merged mining going.  Hence why I said you have to comb through lots of posts and other useless information to even begin to get an idea of what exactly is needing to be done.  From combing through posts, I came to the conclusion that it's unstable, untested and not anywhere near ready for prime time.  Given that, I've not bothered to try to decipher exactly what needs to be done with the files in the repository.

Do I need to recompile bitcoind?  Looks like probably yes.
Do I need to compile namecoind?  Is it a standard namecoind?  Yes and yes?  I dunno
The proxy script, what needs to be done with it, other than to make it executable and run it in place of bitcoind and namecoind?  
Can the proxy script even handle a high load or is it going to fail miserably when you dump 100 or 200 GHs at it?  

There's lots and lots of other implementation questions that are either nowhere to be found or buried deep within threads that have so much noise that it requires lots of time and dedication to wade through.

If you're searching these lines for a point, you've probably missed it.  There was never anything there in the first place.
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September 23, 2011, 12:46:38 PM
 #20

Do I need to recompile bitcoind?  Looks like probably yes.

Yes

Do I need to compile namecoind?  Is it a standard namecoind?  Yes and yes?  I dunno

its standard namecoind

The proxy script, what needs to be done with it, other than to make it executable and run it in place of bitcoind and namecoind?  
Can the proxy script even handle a high load or is it going to fail miserably when you dump 100 or 200 GHs at it?  

have a look at PoolServJ which replaces pushpool, lp and proxy

btw.
thats the reason i've started this thread. i want all pool owners to know how merged mining works - so its up to them to get it to work. and i hope some miners do read this and will prefer merged mining pools (like i do)
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