I have two Nvidia Telsa cards that I use for work, they are good for certain tasks around data mining and machine learning, and I have been interested in trying to use them for Zcash mining. I have a Antminer U3 that mines Bitcoins (slowly, and not that well sometimes), however I fancied a go at mining Zcash too. How hard could it be? Harder than it should have been.
Being Cuda cards I would obviously need a cuda enabled miner to use them. I already mine with Antpool, and they allow users to mine Zcash so that bit was easy. What wasn’t easy was trying to get a miner to compile. I tried nheqminer, that wouldn’t compile and also the newest version doesn’t work with the tesla cards I have as they are not compute 5. The older versions wouldn’t compile either. I also had a few problems with getting cuda running on Kubuntu 16.04 as I needed to upgrade the nvidia drivers which was a pain!
I got there in the end as I found a binary of nanopool’s ewbf-miner that works with cuda cards! This works great, I get about 70 Sol/s on the K20 and 95Sol/s on the K40. So that is pretty good, you would get about 40 Sol/s on a i7-6700K CPU @ 4.00GHz. I am sure that with a newer telsa or CPU you would get more. This only an experiment however, not a mining operation so I am happy.
One of my Opensuse workstations fell over. Weird problem with the login, the sddm-greeter was crashing on start. I reinstalled a bunch of things but it would not come back to life. I decided that the system could do with a restart, the partitioning was a mess and the bootloader was badly installed. The system hadn’t been reinstalled for a lone time.
I decided that I need this system to be stable, and Opensuse gets updated too frequently for some of the software that I run leaving me solving problems with missing libraries or incompatible versions of software. A Linux distro with a longer lifecycle was in order.
My initial thought was to install Centos 7, its RPM based (what I am used to) and has the required stability. However I had problems with Centos and NVidia drivers! Once installed the system would login! Rather than spend ages figuring out how to fix it I decided to which to Ubuntu, or rather Kubuntu (I am a fan of KDE). As a user of Debian for my servers I wasn’t expecting any problems. BTW the partitioner in the Centos install is a mess, they need to sort that out.
Kubuntu was straightforward to install, no problems and the partitioner is easy (take note Centos). I did have a problem that I have encountered before with Ubuntu was that the GUI crashed shortly after system start. This seems to be a problem with the opensource NVidia driver. If you drop to runlevel 3 you can install the proprietary driver and its fine. Which is ok if you don’t mind using it. So far getting the system setup has been painless and I am happy to have the system going again without problem. Now to restore all the data and apps!