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Author Topic: [TUTORIAL] Solo Mining Litecoins Guide--Windows!  (Read 206198 times)
Vorksholk
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May 24, 2012, 04:10:04 AM
 #1

When I first started using litecoin (had known about it for some months before but never had much of an interest in it due to my absorption with bitcoin), I ran into a couple of issues that I'd like to, now that I know a bit more what I'm doing, help those who are where I was at a few weeks ago in some of these issues. This forum thread is dedicated to a tutorial on how to setup Solo Mining.

What is mining? Simply explained, your hash rate is like how many lottery tickets you get per second. If you get 500kh/s, you are getting 500,000 hashes or lottery tickets per second. Imagine that the central lottery central adjusts the chance of each lottery ticket of being the winning one based on how many are purchased, so that every 2.5 minutes approximately someone gets a winning ticket. These tickets are free in actual currency, but require your computer to compute mathematical algorithms in order to get these "tickets". This is the idea of mining. If you get the winning ticket, you "win" the block, or get the generation payout (currently 50 Litecoins) for it. As of writing, the network is averaging around 30,000kh/s, or 30,000,000 of these tickets a second. This network rate changes based on how many other people are mining. Solo mining is when you do this mining process or lottery ticket generation yourself, and keep all of the reward. For those with high hash rates, this may be ideal. For those with lower hashrates or those who like completely guaranteed payouts, pool mining is available, where people pool their mining resources, and when a block is found, it is paid out to everyone proportional to how much of the total pool speed %(percentage) that individual contributed. Since more people find more blocks more often, this allows you to get steadier payout. The point of this thread, though, is not pool mining, so we'll move on now before I go off on a tangent on the different payment schemes Smiley

Solo mining, while a bit hard at first to figure out (finally got it working after adapting old instructions for solo BTC mining...) I was able to get litecoin-qt.exe to run in server mode, allowing connections from miner software. Here's how:

Step 1.) Download necessary programs and put them all in the same folder that you can easily access (like a "Mining" folder on a Desktop or a Documents folder). Unzip these.
Here is the first program you need: https://github.com/downloads/litecoin-project/litecoin/litecoin-0.6.3c-win32.zip. Now for mining, the software required depends on what you intend to mine on--CPU, GPU, or both. If you have a dedicated GPU, especially an ATI one, you will get more hashes with the GPU, but that doesn't mean you can't run a CPU one as well. If you want a CPU miner, download this: http://www.mediafire.com/?0g2wi33437dawbs. If you want a GPU miner, download this: http://zerosignalgame.com/reaperv13beta4_32.zip. Unzip these all in the same folder area, it should look something like this:



Step 2.) Open up the folder litecoin-windows-client-0.5.0.9 (or whatever folder has your windows client .exe file called litecoin-qt.exe). Double click on this, and wait for the blockchain to download (you should see a progress bar at the bottom of the window with a percentile reading).

Step 3.) Once the blockchain has finished downloading (or even while it is downloading), click "start" or the "start button". Type in "%appdata%" to get to your Application Data Roaming directory. Open the folder called "Litecoin". You shouldn't see any file called litecoin or litecoin.conf. You will need to make this and set it up properly to allow external miners to connect. You can either use this download of litecoin.conf which is properly formatted: litecoinfaucet.com/images/litecoin.conf and edit the username/password/allowIP fields as you wish. If you want to create the file yourself or don't trust my download for whatever reason, put this into a file in notepad:

Code:
rpcuser=username
rpcpassword=password
rpcallowip=127.0.0.1
rpcport=9332
daemon=1
server=1
gen=0

block_nTime=1317972665
block_nNonce=2084524493

Notepad should look like this:



Make sure you save as "litecoin.conf" with the type "all file types." litecoin.conf.txt won't work!

Step 4.) Now that you have made litecoin.conf, you are going to need to close litecoin-qt and relaunch in a different way using the Command Prompt. Closing litecoin-qt's window isn't enough, you will need to go into task manager and kill the task/end the task "litecoin-qt.exe" or "litecoin-qt". Then, open up a command prompt by clicking on the start button and typing in "cmd" and clicking on the thing that looks like a black box with white text on it for an icon. Something will pop up that should look like white text on a black background with a blinking cursor with some file path, assuming you haven't made any modifications to it. You will want to tab over to your open Roaming window (or get back... remember "%appdata%"). In your command prompt, type "cd " (yes, with the space). Don't press enter yet.

Step 5.) Now, you will go into your Roaming folder and drag all the contents of the litecoin client folder (the one with litecoin-qt in it) over to your Litecoin folder in Roaming. Alternately, if you want to leave it somewhere else, you can cd to there from the command prompt instead, as litecoin-qt doesn't look in it's own folder for litecoin.conf, but instead looks at the AppData>Roaming>Litecoin folder for all of that. If you drag the litecoin-qt client somewhere else, make sure to bring all of litecoin-qt's other files that accompany it. Now drag the Litecoin folder onto the Command Prompt, so it should look something like "C:\Users\Vorksholk> cd C:\Users\Vorksholk\AppData\Roaming\Litecoin" (or some other folder location if that's where you left litecoin-qt and that's where you are trying to cd to). If it looks similar to this, press enter. If it doesn't throw you any errors, you are doing great Smiley. CD is change directory, in case you were curious. Now, you will want to type in "litecoin-qt.exe -server" which passes litecoin-qt.exe the -server flag when executing. If you get an error about not finding some file litecoin.conf, then just download my example and put that into your litecoin folder, you may have not saved your version right...

Step 6.) Wait a minute or so for the litecoin-qt window to come up. If it gives you an error, leave a post here detailing the error and I'll try to help you. Now go over to your Mining folder, and open either scryptminer-gui folder of the reaper folder. Assuming you are mining on the same computer as where you just did the previous steps, you will want to configure your miner using the following settings:
hostname: localhost or 127.0.0.1
username: (whatever you set your username to in litecoin.conf) If you downloaded my example and didn't edit it, this field's value is simply "username".
password:(whatever you set your password to in litecoin.conf). If you downloaded my example and didn't edit it, this field's value is simply "password".
Port:(whatever you set your port to in litecoin.conf). If you downloaded my example and didn't edit it, this field's value is simply "9332". If you are using reaper, you will want to open reaper.conf and delete the lines that say "mine solidcoin" and "mine bitcoin" from the file, then save. Then you will want to open up the litecoin.conf file in the reaper folder and set the given fields to what's offered right above.

Step 7.) Double click reaper.exe or start scryptminer-gui, and watch the kh's go up. If it says error connecting, double check your config and whatnot, then post the error and your config files and I'll try to help Smiley. You will not get shares in solo mining, really. Shares are to be expected when poolmining and are sometimes an indication of whether your mining is working or not, but in this case your miner will only show a share when it finds a block, so don't expect any shares to be accepted by the miner.

Let is run and see if you get lucky and get a block! Let me know if you have any problems or questions, if you want I can update this guide once finals are over with some detailed images of some of the reaper config, the command prompt business, or even the scrypt-miner gui if anyone wants.

Good luck hashing! (If there are grammar mistakes, sorry, it's late...)

Edit: Updated to include latest release of Litecoin. As well, many more advanced miners may want to look into cgminer for Scrypt. Smiley

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BlackBison
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May 24, 2012, 10:00:41 AM
 #2

Firstly thanks for the guide.

Problems:

Step 5- presumably you made a mistake with the folder to copy the new litecoin.conf into as the roaming folder does not have litecoin-qt.exe in it. I put your litecoin.conf into my litecoin-windows-client-0.5.0.9 folder with the .exe in it and run it as a server from there.


EDIT: ok it seems after downloading the whole blockchain reaper is doing work. Although everything in reaper looks ok, I see no evidence in the litecoin client that any of the hashes are going towards real ltc blocks. is there any way to see this, or do I just have to wait a few hours and see if it solves any blocks?

EDIT 2: also there is very little bandwidth activity going though litecoin-qt or reaper. pretty much zero dl and ul, with a few bytes going in and out every 30s+. this leads me to believe that none of reapers hashes are going out to the ltc network. I could be wrong though i have never solo mined anything and perhaps this is normal to have super low bandwidth usage compared to using a pool..

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May 24, 2012, 12:06:17 PM
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Ahh yes, thank you for the correction on Step 5 Smiley.

Uhmm, you won't see any shares, and you will see very little bandwidth as basically the only time the litecoin-qt client process will send any info to reaper is when it is telling reaper about a new block (essentially a longpoll...) and the only time reaper will really send data to litecoin-qt is when it finds a block. There may be exceptions, but generally this is the only data that is going to be being transferred, as it doesn't have to transfer shares at all.

The hashes don't really go out to the network so to speak, and there is honestly no "progress". Now, to know if the hashes are working, simply let it run for however long it should take to mine a block * 2 (for good measure, after all this is based on random cryptography). What is your hashing speed in kh/s? You can enter that speed at litecoinpool.org/calc to determine how long it will take for you to find a block.

Happy mining!

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May 24, 2012, 12:15:12 PM
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Actually, BlackBison, wherever you run litecoin-qt from is not necessarily where you want your litecoin.conf. litecoin-qt will, by default, look in that Litecoin folder in Roaming for it's config, no matter where it's run from. The problem in my step 5 was that I had forgot to put that you need to drag litecoin-qt to your Litecoin folder in Roaming along with the other files in that litecoin client folder. You can also just cd to the directory where you have litecoin-qt if it isn't in that same folder, any normal litecoin-qt.exe instance will look for that Litecoin folder in Roaming in AppData. Fixed step 5, thanks!

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BlackBison
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May 24, 2012, 12:40:37 PM
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Ok thanks for the fast response. I will run one card for a few hours to check its working.

Also i tried to connect another system on the same wireless network to this litecoin-qt. I put in the local IP 192.168.1.xx into reapers conf file.

This is the correct IP as I had to give firewall permission on the the server computer for the connection. So it seems to receive a connection but reaper will not connect.

Do you have any ideas as it would be more convenient for me to have all rigs mining to one address instead of 4 different ones.

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May 24, 2012, 12:43:55 PM
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Yes, totally more efficient to mine to one wallet Smiley. Uhmm, in litecoin.conf in your AppData>Roaming>Litecoin folder, did you leave the rpcallowip=127.0.0.1 alone? If so, you might want to change it to 192.168.0.x or if some machines have other addresses 192.168.x.x. In addition, you could just put a * there instead to allow everything, but that's a bit dangerous.

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May 24, 2012, 12:48:07 PM
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how do i put in both 127.0.0.1 and 192.168.0.xx into that same line? Can you please write the exact letters as im a bit of a noob Smiley

EDIT: Can you please clarify how many 'stales' litecoin-qt server gives for reaper? How does it give out work and identify when a new block has been found? It seemed to me that my reaper was mining mostly stale work, but I can't be sure..

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May 24, 2012, 09:01:20 PM
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To put both 127.0.0.1 and another address into that same configuration file, I think your best bet would be to use multiple lines, like so:

Code:
rpcuser=username
rpcpassword=password
rpcallowip=127.0.0.1
rpcallowip=192.168.x.x
rpcport=9332
daemon=1
server=1
gen=0

block_nTime=1317972665
block_nNonce=2084524493

Let me know if that works Smiley

How many stales reaper gets? Where are you seeing the stales, with the 0:x where x is the number of stales? When I mine, I get zero, it looks something like:
GPU 84.48kH/s, shares: 0:0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~84.92kH/s, 37s

I have never seen a stale percentage while solo mining, but I haven't been soloing for long I suppose Smiley

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May 25, 2012, 10:08:42 AM
 #9

Ok blocks are being found, but here is one of my reaper screens:

Getwork took 19.35 s!  0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~705.929 kH/s, 578s
Getwork took 14.65 s!  0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~695.656 kH/s, 1184s
Getwork took 19.97 s!  0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~698.719 kH/s, 1779s
Getwork took 15.92 s!  0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~697.402 kH/s, 2385s
Getwork took 15.48 s!  0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~700.528 kH/s, 2986s
Getwork took 19.48 s!  0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~701.508 kH/s, 3583s
Getwork took 19.88 s!  0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~700.439 kH/s, 4184s
GPU 710.4kH/s, shares: 0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~700.084 kH/s, 4651s


Any ideas what these getwork messages mean? Presumably that first line means 19.35s of stale work, is that correct? If I get about 3 of those messages per hour does that mean ~1min of stales (ie. 1.7% stales)?

Do you get similar messages with your reaper and are you mining results running in-line with your expectancy? Obviously with a high hashrate and low difficulty I dont want my mining time to be wasted!

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May 25, 2012, 12:09:12 PM
 #10

Mine did the same thing, although it seemed to get average if not a bit-above-average luck when finding blocks. I think that network took <large # of seconds> may be the result of something like long polling, essentially when the client tells reaper of a new block and that messages doesn't get there too fast? I can't start up reaper right now an test (I got my 5970 in the mail yesterday, plopped it into my computer, and my PSU (presumably) decided to die... thought 850W was enough?) but that is what my miner looks like.

BTW, what card are you mining with that you get 700KH/s? 6990?

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May 25, 2012, 12:50:04 PM
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I'm using 2x 5850s in that system. The other two systems are 5850s also. I run these two at low aggression during office hours, and at 375kh after hours. I have been running these 3 rigs for nearly 4 hours now:

GPU 312.2kH/s, shares: 3|8, stale 72.73%, GPU errors: 0.01311%, ~314.272 kH/s, 1
GPU 326.5kH/s, shares: 0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~325.621 kH/s, 14130s
GPU 711.6kH/s, shares: 3|1, stale 25%, GPU errors: 0.0006521%, ~704.514 kH/s, 14

Notice the apparent high stale rate on the first miner- I am not sure if this is accurate. Nevertheless this is running above EV for the moment so I am not worried yet. I will keep running it and report results after 12hrs total mining and then 24hrs total mining.

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May 25, 2012, 01:24:42 PM
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I haven't had a serious look at the source code of Reaper yet, but how a getwork request can take 15-20 seconds over a local connection is a bit of a mystery to me...

Anyway, a couple notes about solo mining as opposed to pool mining:

  • The concept of share is directly replaced by that of block. Stale shares are replaced by orphan blocks, which should be even rarer than stale shares.
  • The long polling extension is not supported by the client, but that shouldn't be much of a problem as long as work is refreshed frequently enough.

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May 25, 2012, 03:59:35 PM
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7 hours continuous mining:

GPU 312.8kH/s, shares: 4|19, stale 82.61%, GPU errors: 0.01641%, ~315.38 kH/s,
GPU 324.2kH/s, shares: 2|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~324.421 kH/s, 25498s
GPU 711.6kH/s, shares: 5|3, stale 37.5%, GPU errors: 0.001088%, ~704.132 kH/s, 25673s

550ltc mined in 7 hours, expected earnings on 1350kh approx 372ltc. Obviously this is running very lucky, but at least Vorksholks setups seems to be working.

Again note this huge stale rate in the first miner.. i think this must be a reporting error in reaper or something. Even the third miner has had 3 bad blocks, which again must surely be an error.

More updates to follow.

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May 25, 2012, 08:57:08 PM
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Certainly looks like some error in Reaper :/

Awesome luck! Cheesy

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May 26, 2012, 11:15:35 AM
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Ok I found out the cause of the reaper 'high stale' bug issue. I dropped the overclock speeds down slightly on my miners and now with zero GPU errors there are no stales:

GPU 712.3kH/s, shares: 2|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~709.781 kH/s, 8255s
GPU 375.5kH/s, shares: 0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~372.078 kH/s, 8430s
GPU 365.8kH/s, shares: 0|0, stale 0%, GPU errors: 0%, ~360.646 kH/s, 8781s

Also I can't give a good update on mining as my litecoin-qt server miner crashed overnight and restarted mining btc on boot, so the above numbers are re-started as of about 10:00am this morning. Will update at 10pm this evening and 10am tomorrow.

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May 27, 2012, 09:02:39 AM
 #16

Ok 24hrs continuous mining at approx 1450kh = 20 blocks found. This is below expectancy due to luck, but otherwise everything seems fine.

Provided the getwork times listed in reaper are equal to stale work, then I would estimate the 3 miners are running at somewhere around 98% efficiency.

So the question is should you mine like this instead of at a pool?

1. Pool is much easier to use and monitor.

2. Pool is slightly more expensive to use resulting in 1-2% lower efficiency.

3. Solo has almost zero bandwidth requirements.

4. Solo adds to decentralisation of the network, which is always a good thing.

5. Solo will have less downtime as you are only dependent on your own connection.


I would just use pools as it just so much easier but I cannot mine with all 1450kh at most pools due a bad upload line at my office for some reason. So solo seems to be the best option for me right now.

And a big thanks again to Vorksholk for posting this guide!

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May 27, 2012, 12:48:22 PM
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Glad everything's working for you Smiley

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May 28, 2012, 05:41:25 PM
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Another update if anyone is interested in this: my mining running exactly on expectancy after another 56 hours continuous.

Also- the getwork problem seems to only happen when you first start mining on litecoin-qt. After a few hours with litecoin-qt running it seems to disappear completely from reaper.. must be some sort of lag issue with litecoin-qt. In any case I am now hopefully running at 100% efficiency! (minus orphans of course).

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May 29, 2012, 12:16:18 AM
 #19

Awesome, glad everything is working for you Smiley

How's your luck doing?

And what card are you using for 700kH/s? Smiley 7970?

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May 29, 2012, 10:28:42 PM
 #20

82 blocks in 84hrs, pretty close to expectancy.

700mh is 2x 5850s

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