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Author Topic: [Guide] Futurebit Apollo BTC Custom Linux Install - Base  (Read 770 times)
n0nce (OP)
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June 07, 2022, 07:57:12 PM
Last edit: July 13, 2022, 11:59:29 PM by n0nce
Merited by hugeblack (6), NeuroticFish (5), dkbit98 (3), ETFbitcoin (1)
 #1

Custom Linux install guide for the Futurebit Apollo [A Full Node/Mining Platform for the Home!].

This is the 'Base configuration' for my node and miner install guides for Futurebit Apollo BTC.

Since the premise of this device was always Install any Bitcoin Application, Use any Hardware Wallets, download any Dev tools and use our platform as your dedicated Bitcoin development system. (see quote below), people requested a Lightning install guide on the official support page and other 'apps', but unfortunately nothing was released yet.

Hook up a Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse and you have a dedicated low power desktop system that runs 24/7. Install any Bitcoin Application, Use any Hardware Wallets, download any Dev tools and use our platform as your dedicated Bitcoin development system. The possibilities are endless.

For me, there was also the issue of security; if you update this device's OS using the apt package manager, it can stop working, so it's often discouraged - leaving thousands of users running these machines on outdated software.

Hence I decided to take a fresh new microSD card and install Armbian on it as well as the necessary software for:
  • Full Bitcoin node (Bitcoin Core v23.0)
  • Miner software (Binary from Futurebit.io)
  • Apollo dashboard (Open source from jstefanop)

  • Lightning node (Core Lightning v0.11.1)
  • Electrum (electrs v0.9.7)
  • BTCPayServer may be added if there's interest.


Since some users may not care about the 'node' and just want to mine, I split into two topics:

[Guide] Futurebit Apollo BTC Custom Linux Install - Miner
[Guide] Futurebit Apollo BTC Custom Linux Install - Node


Both topics assume you followed the basic config explained here.

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There are several different types of Bitcoin clients. The most secure are full nodes like Bitcoin Core, which will follow the rules of the network no matter what miners do. Even if every miner decided to create 1000 bitcoins per block, full nodes would stick to the rules and reject those blocks.
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n0nce (OP)
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June 07, 2022, 07:57:30 PM
Last edit: June 08, 2022, 01:57:49 AM by n0nce
 #2

I planned to use openSUSE, since I have had good experiences with it as a node OS. Unfortunately, the SBC used by Futurebit is an Orange Pi 4 which doesn't have great software support, so for best chances of success I stick with Armbian, which is what Futurebit ships (just an older version of it).

Download page: https://www.armbian.com/orange-pi-4/
Direct link: https://redirect.armbian.com/orangepi4/Bullseye_current (Armbian 22.05 Bullseye - May 28, 2022)

Burn on a new microSD card with 16GB or more using dd or BalenaEtcher (https://www.balena.io/etcher/).
The first boot of this microSD will require to plug in a HDMI monitor and a USB keyboard to create an admin (you can use something else, I just assume this name from here on forward) account and set your locale.

Otherwise just update the whole thing and proceed with miner and / or node install guides, linked above.
Code:
sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y

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n0nce (OP)
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June 07, 2022, 07:58:12 PM
Last edit: July 13, 2022, 11:58:52 PM by n0nce
 #3

Why this is needed:

Known Issues

  • Using the built in system update function will brick your system DO NOT UPDATE USING THE SYSTEM UPDATE we will periodically post updated images that have the latest system updates

FAQ

Q: I updated the system and now my Apollo won't boot
A: DO NOT UPDATE THE OS THROUGH THE SYSTEM UPDATE PROMPTS Even though the Apollo is a full linux desktop, its still an embedded system with multiple system level changes to make it work with our proprietary hardware attached to it. If you do a system level OS update these will be whipped and you will end up with a bricked system, requiring a full SD card reflash using the stock image. Any system/kernel level updates will issue here with updated SD card images.

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n0nce (OP)
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June 07, 2022, 07:58:18 PM
 #4

Reserved

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June 08, 2022, 08:14:00 PM
 #5

This is the 'Base configuration' for my node and miner install guides for Futurebit Apollo BTC.
@n0nce did you purchase this Futurebit Apollo asic miner or you are just using it to run Bitcoin node?
This is the first time I saw this and it looks like interesting device with decent price, I see that batch 3 is sold out, but they are already working on batch 4.
One problem I have with asic miners is noise they are creating, but this makes almost no noise according to their website (not sure if this is true).

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n0nce (OP)
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June 08, 2022, 11:47:52 PM
Merited by dkbit98 (1)
 #6

This is the 'Base configuration' for my node and miner install guides for Futurebit Apollo BTC.
@n0nce did you purchase this Futurebit Apollo asic miner or you are just using it to run Bitcoin node?
I purchased it, yes. It's the full unit, so it has the hashboard and a 1TB SSD with full node. I'll also write a review about it with more info, soon-ish, so we can discuss more questions over there.. Cheesy
The reason for this guide is that the full node is, well, just that. A full node. No Electrum, no Lightning. Updating the system and installing software is also discouraged since it 'may break something'. Huh So I had to start with a fresh OS to install everything I'd want in a device like this.

This is the first time I saw this and it looks like interesting device with decent price, I see that batch 3 is sold out, but they are already working on batch 4.
One problem I have with asic miners is noise they are creating, but this makes almost no noise according to their website (not sure if this is true).
Yeah, all in all it's a neat machine; it works well and reliably, it's not 'silent silent', but fairly quiet so as long as it's not in your bedroom, it won't get in your way.
I'll elaborate more in the review though. But I can say that stock, running at full speed, it's relatively loud - you're meant to run it in eco mode to get it quiet; however I found a 'hardware solution' for it (PC fans) and it's fine like that.



TL;DR, if you want real silence, the higher-efficiency ASIC chips in the Compac F (BM1397) may be a better choice. Though the price per hash is much higher there and you even need to buy a PSU and the GekkoScience USB hub separately.

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June 09, 2022, 01:42:58 AM
Last edit: June 09, 2022, 01:53:42 AM by nullama
Merited by dkbit98 (1)
 #7

This is the 'Base configuration' for my node and miner install guides for Futurebit Apollo BTC.
@n0nce did you purchase this Futurebit Apollo asic miner or you are just using it to run Bitcoin node?
This is the first time I saw this and it looks like interesting device with decent price, I see that batch 3 is sold out, but they are already working on batch 4.
One problem I have with asic miners is noise they are creating, but this makes almost no noise according to their website (not sure if this is true).

Note that if you just crank up the power with no other fans, it will get loud, but you can customize it so that it runs efficiently and quiet.

I have my Apollo running virtually silent. You can only hear it in the middle of the night when you're very close to it.

The first thing I had to update was the original PSU. That's not too noisy, but I replaced it with a noiseless PSU. Big difference.

The second thing to do is to keep the internal fan running as low as possible. The goal should be to keep it at around 1000-1500 rpm or less for almost no sound. Don't go past 2000rpm because it gets too loud.

To do that I just put a big 120mm Noctua fan on top of the Apollo, running silently through PWM control, helping the internal fan keeping things cool.

I then lowered the power consumption to somewhere in the middle(-brd_ocp 58).

I'm getting about 2.4TH/s at 146W, with virtually no noise.


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June 09, 2022, 05:47:40 PM
 #8

I guess the question is other then configuring it the way you want and a slightly smaller footprint is there any real benefit to do it this way then getting a RPi and running the Apollo off of that?
Don't get me wrong I spend a lot of time doing things because I can, but I see running everything else while also mining as a way to loose some hash speed while the Pi is doing something else.

But still going to play with it. :-)

-Dave

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n0nce (OP)
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June 09, 2022, 05:51:08 PM
Merited by DaveF (1)
 #9

I guess the question is other then configuring it the way you want and a slightly smaller footprint is there any real benefit to do it this way then getting a RPi and running the Apollo off of that?
Don't get me wrong I spend a lot of time doing things because I can, but I see running everything else while also mining as a way to loose some hash speed while the Pi is doing something else.
Yeah so the 'full unit' is definitely just a more compact package instead of getting a Pi 4 and a 'standard unit'.
Running Bitcoin Core, Lightning and other stuff on the same 'controller' (computer) shouldn't really cost any hashrate, since the hashboard does its own thing.

And running the miner from an external Pi 4 (as well as Bitcoin Core etc.) instead of the builtin Orange Pi 4, won't probably be any better either.

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June 09, 2022, 06:48:42 PM
 #10

I purchased it, yes. It's the full unit, so it has the hashboard and a 1TB SSD with full node. I'll also write a review about it with more info, soon-ish, so we can discuss more questions over there.. Cheesy
Oh I see you were very busy with your new project  Cheesy
So this means you actually started mining Bitcoin at your home?
How much Bitcoin can you earn with one of this devices in a month, and how much electricity would be spent for this operation... especially with ever rising prices :/

Yeah, all in all it's a neat machine; it works well and reliably, it's not 'silent silent', but fairly quiet so as long as it's not in your bedroom, it won't get in your way.
I am silence freak, so for me silent option would be something like Raspberry Pi without any fans, or it can be more noisy if device was in my basement or in some other room.

if you want real silence, the higher-efficiency ASIC chips in the Compac F (BM1397) may be a better choice. Though the price per hash is much higher there and you even need to buy a PSU and the GekkoScience USB hub separately.
I never heard about it and I think it's expensive, but I saw many DIY solutions that work very well with simple putting asic miner in one well isolated box.

The first thing I had to update was the original PSU. That's not too noisy, but I replaced it with a noiseless PSU. Big difference.

The second thing to do is to keep the internal fan running as low as possible. The goal should be to keep it at around 1000-1500 rpm or less for almost no sound. Don't go past 2000rpm because it gets too loud.
Did you voided your warranty by replacing your PSU and changing stuff like this?
Few years ago I replaced fans on one of my old desktop computers and I installed manual fan control that is even better tham PWM fans.
Main problem I had with noise was coming from plastic mesh combined with incoming air, so I had to cut that off one part of a plastic with a knife Smiley

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June 09, 2022, 07:46:21 PM
 #11

I purchased it, yes. It's the full unit, so it has the hashboard and a 1TB SSD with full node. I'll also write a review about it with more info, soon-ish, so we can discuss more questions over there.. Cheesy
Oh I see you were very busy with your new project  Cheesy
So this means you actually started mining Bitcoin at your home?
How much Bitcoin can you earn with one of this devices in a month, and how much electricity would be spent for this operation... especially with ever rising prices :/
I actually own the Apollo for almost half a year already, however until now I had no time for custom Linux install and just used it as it is. After all, I already have a personal full node that I can always access, with electrs and everything I need.
However I liked the concept and wanted to deploy another node for some family (or give them my local node and use the Apollo for myself). To really make a node useful I feel you need an Electrum server and (for my taste) also a Lightning node.

Yeah, all in all it's a neat machine; it works well and reliably, it's not 'silent silent', but fairly quiet so as long as it's not in your bedroom, it won't get in your way.
I am silence freak, so for me silent option would be something like Raspberry Pi without any fans, or it can be more noisy if device was in my basement or in some other room.
Well, it will never be as silent as something that's completely fanless. However, I will add instructions for creating a cronjob that turns off / turns down the miner at night and turns it on in the morning. Could also be modified to e.g. only mine when electricity is cheaper if that's what people want to go for.

if you want real silence, the higher-efficiency ASIC chips in the Compac F (BM1397) may be a better choice. Though the price per hash is much higher there and you even need to buy a PSU and the GekkoScience USB hub separately.
I never heard about it and I think it's expensive, but I saw many DIY solutions that work very well with simple putting asic miner in one well isolated box.
Home mining is a tricky subject when it comes to cost; the hashrate of the Compac F is costly for the price, but it's almost unbeatable when you consider running cost. Its performance per Watt is much better than Apollo, even though you get much less hashes per $ of purchasing cost.

The first thing I had to update was the original PSU. That's not too noisy, but I replaced it with a noiseless PSU. Big difference.

The second thing to do is to keep the internal fan running as low as possible. The goal should be to keep it at around 1000-1500 rpm or less for almost no sound. Don't go past 2000rpm because it gets too loud.
Did you voided your warranty by replacing your PSU and changing stuff like this?
Few years ago I replaced fans on one of my old desktop computers and I installed manual fan control that is even better tham PWM fans.
Main problem I had with noise was coming from plastic mesh combined with incoming air, so I had to cut that off one part of a plastic with a knife Smiley
No the PSU is external anyway. The additional fans are external; internal is not modified at all. I will go more into detail in my review. I think I can get it done tomorrow.

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July 14, 2022, 12:01:43 AM
 #12

The first thing I had to update was the original PSU. That's not too noisy, but I replaced it with a noiseless PSU. Big difference.

The second thing to do is to keep the internal fan running as low as possible. The goal should be to keep it at around 1000-1500 rpm or less for almost no sound. Don't go past 2000rpm because it gets too loud.
Did you voided your warranty by replacing your PSU and changing stuff like this?
Few years ago I replaced fans on one of my old desktop computers and I installed manual fan control that is even better tham PWM fans.
Main problem I had with noise was coming from plastic mesh combined with incoming air, so I had to cut that off one part of a plastic with a knife Smiley
No the PSU is external anyway. The additional fans are external; internal is not modified at all. I will go more into detail in my review. I think I can get it done tomorrow.

Just want to leave a link to the review here, in case anyone's reading this in the future or can otherwise not find it:
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5403168

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August 30, 2022, 09:25:06 PM
 #13

Why not install something like umbrel once you tossed a custom linux build onto the box?  Mine recently arrived---bought the day the Batch 4 announcement came out and even though it's a bit overpay and I could have bought more hashing power, I'm such a BTC newbie I just wanted to get something I could immediately dip my toes into.

That said, I can handle a custom linux install, so after improving the base OS and tossing on the Apollo software and other items of your liking, why not toss on the most versatile node software?  Would this cause some type of error?  Seems relatively easy to run the command that would autopull umbrel via curl through bash?
  Huh

Again, newb all around on full nodes and mining.  Have a technical skill set, but no time to dig in and try it myself (have a wife, 6 kids, farm, and a full-time job...who has time for this stuff!?)  Grin
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August 31, 2022, 02:39:14 AM
 #14

Why not install something like umbrel once you tossed a custom linux build onto the box?  Mine recently arrived---bought the day the Batch 4 announcement came out and even though it's a bit overpay and I could have bought more hashing power, I'm such a BTC newbie I just wanted to get something I could immediately dip my toes into.
Good question; in my honest opinion, they're bloated and thus less maintainable for me. That's why I prefer to start with a fresh, lean Linux distro and install just what I need.
It's also possible that there are no Umbrel / node-in-a-box distributions for this CPU. This is not a Raspberry Pi, but an OrangePi 4 and in fact, Armbian was the only distribution for which I could find a compiled ISO to download.

That said, I can handle a custom linux install, so after improving the base OS and tossing on the Apollo software and other items of your liking, why not toss on the most versatile node software?  Would this cause some type of error?  Seems relatively easy to run the command that would autopull umbrel via curl through bash?
  Huh
I'm not 100% sure that it will install on Armbian, especially Armbian on Orange Pi. But feel free to try! Technically, it's a subset of Debian, so it should work.

Again, newb all around on full nodes and mining.  Have a technical skill set, but no time to dig in and try it myself (have a wife, 6 kids, farm, and a full-time job...who has time for this stuff!?)  Grin
Honestly just quickly try it; flash Armbian, log into it and install Umbrel - would be great if you can report back how it worked out.
Code:
curl -L https://umbrel.sh | bash

I don't have access to my Apollo right now, otherwise I'd try.

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November 30, 2022, 04:31:42 AM
 #15

This is the 'Base configuration' for my node and miner install guides for Futurebit Apollo BTC.
@n0nce did you purchase this Futurebit Apollo asic miner or you are just using it to run Bitcoin node?
This is the first time I saw this and it looks like interesting device with decent price, I see that batch 3 is sold out, but they are already working on batch 4.
One problem I have with asic miners is noise they are creating, but this makes almost no noise according to their website (not sure if this is true).

Note that if you just crank up the power with no other fans, it will get loud, but you can customize it so that it runs efficiently and quiet.

I have my Apollo running virtually silent. You can only hear it in the middle of the night when you're very close to it.

The first thing I had to update was the original PSU. That's not too noisy, but I replaced it with a noiseless PSU. Big difference.

The second thing to do is to keep the internal fan running as low as possible. The goal should be to keep it at around 1000-1500 rpm or less for almost no sound. Don't go past 2000rpm because it gets too loud.

To do that I just put a big 120mm Noctua fan on top of the Apollo, running silently through PWM control, helping the internal fan keeping things cool.

I then lowered the power consumption to somewhere in the middle(-brd_ocp 58).

I'm getting about 2.4TH/s at 146W, with virtually no noise.

https://i.imgur.com/f2eH4W3.png


I set up my Apollo on Turbo getting about 3 TH, using 200W with the fan running at 2600 RPM.
It's still really quiet.
Maybe the newer batch got a better fan?
I got mine about a month ago and just got a second one.
One full, one standard. No PSU. Prefer silent PSU.

My plan was to mine solo directly with the node but that's not possible yet.
They're working on it I read.
Only way is ckpool but for not I mine in pool get a bit of money back  Grin
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November 30, 2022, 05:20:29 AM
 #16

~snip~
I set up my Apollo on Turbo getting about 3 TH, using 200W with the fan running at 2600 RPM.
It's still really quiet.
Maybe the newer batch got a better fan?
~snip~

The definition of quiet or silent is very dependent on the environment and the person listening to it.

Personally I refer to quiet as being basically inaudible while standing about 1 or 2 meters from it.

At 2600 RPM the stock fan is definitely audible, but for some people that can still be quiet. It can definitely get way louder at 300W+

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November 30, 2022, 10:17:55 PM
 #17


[/quote]

The definition of quiet or silent is very dependent on the environment and the person listening to it.

Personally I refer to quiet as being basically inaudible while standing about 1 or 2 meters from it.

At 2600 RPM the stock fan is definitely audible, but for some people that can still be quiet. It can definitely get way louder at 300W+
[/quote]

True.
I did read somewhere they had a fan supply issue for a while.
Not sure if the different fans would have different noise level at same speed.

Definitely quieter than my Antminer R4 with APW7 PSU, which were sold as quiet enough for home mining, but man those are loud  Cheesy
I'm running it outdoor on the balcony it's too annoying loud.

With the Apollo I definitely hear a low fan noise at 1 or 2 meters just like a home ventilator on low.
Not annoying at all

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December 07, 2022, 09:14:34 PM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (2)
 #18

Thanks for writing this guide and the guides for the custom Linux miner and node install!

The miner and node install instructions are above my current skill level, although I could probably follow the instructions without understanding what I am doing.

However, I wonder if there is an alternative approach.

Do I understand this correctly when stating it as follows?

1) The miner and node install instructions are needed so that the Orange Pi can be operated while the cable between Orange Pi  and ASIC board is connected, and the Orange Pi is powered that way.

2) There are still software vulnerabilities involved when following the instructions.

3) The Orange Pi 4 could be dis-connected from the ASIC board, turning it into a Standard Apollo with a Orange Pi in the same housing. With a dumb 5V power supply to the USB-C port, the Orange Pi 4 could be powered up and run Armbian OS

4) This is where it gets tricky, potentially: Can the 'separated' Orange Pi 4 be connected via USB to USB micro cable to the ASIC board in the same housing, or does that create some ground loop that could fry things?

5) If I get a new PSU to power the 'separated' ASIC board on 12V and the 'separated' Orange Pi on 5V: Would that 5V supply be 'dumb' enough to provide sufficient power to the separated Orange Pi? And would that put the separated ASIC board and Orange Pi on the same ground connection so that a ground loop is prevented?

6) Can I then just install Bitcoin Core, Electrum, Electrs and a Lightning wallet and whatever else I want into the Armbian OS, keep it updated and secure, and run the 'separated' ASIC board by using the Apollo BTC Standard software in a terminal? https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5340015.msg57091051#msg57091051

7) And can I then also run additional Standard Apollo units (each in a separate terminal, connected to the same (new) PSU on 12V?
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December 07, 2022, 10:31:50 PM
 #19

Do I understand this correctly when stating it as follows?
Yes; it's mostly correct.

1) The miner and node install instructions are needed so that the Orange Pi can be operated while the cable between Orange Pi  and ASIC board is connected, and the Orange Pi is powered that way.
Exactly: what differentiates my guide from just installing generic Armbian, Bitcoind and Apollo-miner binaries is that the GPIO setup lets you use the hashboard through the internal connection. Saving you an USB cable and a second power supply.

2) There are still software vulnerabilities involved when following the instructions.
No; there are no known software vulnerabilities when following my instructions! Cheesy Not sure how you came to such conclusion.

3) The Orange Pi 4 could be dis-connected from the ASIC board, turning it into a Standard Apollo with a Orange Pi in the same housing. With a dumb 5V power supply to the USB-C port, the Orange Pi 4 could be powered up and run Armbian OS

4) This is where it gets tricky, potentially: Can the 'separated' Orange Pi 4 be connected via USB to USB micro cable to the ASIC board in the same housing, or does that create some ground loop that could fry things?

5) If I get a new PSU to power the 'separated' ASIC board on 12V and the 'separated' Orange Pi on 5V: Would that 5V supply be 'dumb' enough to provide sufficient power to the separated Orange Pi? And would that put the separated ASIC board and Orange Pi on the same ground connection so that a ground loop is prevented?
Yes; if you skip the GPIO setup, but follow all other steps, that's how you would operate the miner. Hashboard connected using a microUSB to USB-A cable, and a separate power supply for the Orange Pi 4.

This would definitely work and you don't have to worry about ground loops. It will just be a 'Standard Unit' controlled from an Orange Pi 4, that is conveniently sitting in the same enclosure. Electrically, there is no difference whether it sits inside or not.

I just don't see why you would want to do that, if using this one simple step you can save around 50 bucks in cables and power supplies. Wink

6) Can I then just install Bitcoin Core, Electrum, Electrs and a Lightning wallet and whatever else I want into the Armbian OS, keep it updated and secure, and run the 'separated' ASIC board by using the Apollo BTC Standard software in a terminal? https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5340015.msg57091051#msg57091051

7) And can I then also run additional Standard Apollo units (each in a separate terminal, connected to the same (new) PSU on 12V?
Yes, that's exactly what I've done in my guides. Smiley I labeled each step with what software is installed and the build instructions are mainly taken from the original projects' GitHub pages & modified to run on Armbian. If you're going to do it all manually (without guide), you'll be doing basically the exact same stuff.

Yes, the miner script in my guide supports external standard units, as well. Don't need separate terminals even; the script recognizes and starts up all of them!

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December 08, 2022, 12:31:52 PM
 #20

2) There are still software vulnerabilities involved when following the instructions.

Just wondering, which software has vulnerabilities if we're following n0nce guide? AFAIK there aren't any CVE recently discovered on Bitcoin Core or Core Lightning, while Armbian is actively developed (since the latest version is 22.11).

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.MIXERO.IO..
● BTC ● ●
● ● ● BTC
BTC ● ● ●
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● ● BTC ●
BTC ● ● ●
● ● ● BTC
● BTC ● ●
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● ● ● BTC
BTC ● ● ●
● ● BTC ●
● BTC ● ●
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...MIX NOW..
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