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Author Topic: [Guide] Futurebit Apollo BTC Custom Linux Install - Base  (Read 267 times)
n0nce
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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package manager, it can stop working, so it's often discouraged - leaving thousands of users running these machines on outdated software.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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n0nce
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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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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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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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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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DaveF
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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

n0nce
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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

n0nce
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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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