Novice’s Guide to Setting up a Crypto-Currency Mining Pool
This a step by step guide on how to setup your own crypto-currency mining pool.
This guide is out-dated, it has now been replaced by Setup Your Own Mining Pool. Please refer to the new guide if you want to setup your own mining pool. This guide will still exist and serve as a legacy guide for reference. All things in this guide still work, however MPOS and NOMP are out-dated. We highly suggest you use the New Guide.
I have ran large mining pool operations, and have helped out at several other operations. I am creating this guide because I feel like more people should have the ability to run their own pool, whether it be for their own miners or just out of curiosity to understand how it all works. This is by no means meant to be a guide so you can setup your own professional mining pool operation. Running your own mining pool that other miners other then yourself will use is not an easy undertaking, and requires extensive systems administration experience as well as a large budget, patience, troubleshooting skills, and a solid knowledge of how crypto-currencies work. I will only be going over basic security, such as firewall setup.
This guide is going over how to setup an MPOS (Mining Portal Open Source) Pool using NOMP as stratum (Node Open Mining Portal). This is meant to setup a mining pool for a SINGLE CRYPTO CURRENCY. This is not a guide for a Multipool!!!!
If you want to see what it looks like before you set it all up, head to the Example Pool that was built completely off of this guide and associated guides.
-VPS with at least 1GB of Ram, I just deployed an instance on http://vultr.com for this guide since I had a free $5 coupon and it’s got a cheap hourly rate, just google “Vultr Coupons” and you’ll probably find something. You can also host a virtual machine on your own PC if you want to at no cost, just google it.
-Ubuntu 14.04 x64
-Chrome Web Browser (it’s what I am using to view web pages, can’t guarantee it’ll work on other browsers).
-Very basic knowledge of Linux
This guide will probably take you a long time, especially if you are new to Linux. I highly suggest you be patient, and take it one step at a time.
I will be using litecoin (scrypt), I will not be going into specific of how to host something like darkcoin (x11) or other algorithms. It is not very hard though to change algorithms, maybe I will add to the guide at a later date.
This guide is meant for novices, things like webmin and phpmyadmin are not required and only useful to novices. If you are an experienced sys admin you should be able to adapt and figure out ways around that.
If you have the ability to snapshot your VPS, then I suggest you do that everytime you complete a step. It will save you a lot of time if you make a mistake.
All shell commands will be surrounded with a code box like this:
Information I want you to insert into a file, or somewhere else will be surrounded by quote tags (Ignore the Quote: !) :
info for a file
At this point you should have your VPS started, putty up and running and your logged in as root.
Let’s go ahead and setup the VPS before we get into the meat and potatoes:
By default there is no swap setup on my Vultr vps, it is required especially on a system with limited memory. I am setting up a 4GB swap, which may be overkill but it’s the most common swap sized used in most guides so ill keep it at that.
dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/myswap.swap bs=1M count=4000
Now let’s add it into fstab so it’ll activate at boot.
Add the following line at the end of the file.
/mnt/myswap.swap none swap sw 0 0
Should look like this:
Ctrl O to save, and Ctrl X to exit the nano editor.
Now your swap is setup, you can modify the size in the future if you need more or less.
-Install Required Packages
apt-get install git
apt-get install build-essential libboost-all-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev libdb5.1-dev libdb5.1 -dev mysql-server
Set a MySQL Root Password (different from your Ubuntu root pass!)
Install Required Packages for Mining Portal Open Source (MPOS)
apt-get install memcached php5-memcached php5-mysqlnd php5-curl php5-json libapache2-mod-php5
Let’s get Apache Web Server Going:
apache2ctl -k stop; sleep 2; sudo apache2ctl -k start
You will get a message stating it could not reliably determine your servers domain name, don’t worry about this right now. The web server is still running, just go to your server’s ip (http://youserverip) in chrome and you should see this:
If you want to setup a DNS server so you can utilize a domain name, then go to google. There is literally 100’s or even 1000’s of guides on that topic. For this guide we will just be working off the servers ip. After you finish this guide, you can checkout Utilize CloudFlare as a DNS Server for a quick and easy way to have a registered domain point at your pool.
Install Required Packages for NOMP Stratum
curl –sL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup | bash -
apt-get install -y nodejs
npm install –g npm
npm install forever -g
apt-get install redis-server
Webmin is a GUI interface for managing your server. It’s very powerful and feature packed, and it’s free. It’s great for linux beginners as well. Keep in mind that Webmin is not officially supported under Ubuntu, the things we do in this guide will work but I can’t guarantee that everything in Webmin will work if you use it for other things.
Press the Down Arrow on your keyboard to reach the end, and add these two lines below:
deb http://download.webmin.com/download/repository sarge contrib
deb http://webmin.mirror.somersettechsolutions.co.uk/repository sarge contrib
Should look like this:
Press Ctrl O to save, and exit the nano editor with CTRL X
Let’s get Webmin’s GPG Key
apt-key add jcameron-key.asc
apt-get install webmin
Webmin should now be installed, now let’s see if it works. Open your browser and go to https://yourserverip:10000/
You may get an SSL error, which is common since we have not setup a cert. This does not matter.
If everything works out right, you should be seeing this:
Go ahead and login.
Password: Your server’s root password
If any updates pop up in webmin, then go ahead and install those updates.
apt-get install phpmyadmin
You should get a dialogue that looks like this:
You then will be asked to configure a database, hit ok and then put in the password you setup with MySQL earlier.
Now we need to add phpmyadmin to Apache.
ln -s /etc/phpmyadmin/apache.conf /etc/apache2/conf-available/phpmyadmin.conf
service apache2 reload
Head to http://yourserverip/phpmyadmin
You should see a page that looks like this:
Login to make sure everything is good.
Password: the one you setup earlier
Once you login you will see 3 or 4 default databases on the left hand side. You are good to go.
If you get a red error message on the bottom of phpmyadmin stating mcrypt is missing then do this:
service apache2 restart
Log back into phpmyadmin and the mcrypt error should be gone.
This part of the guide is completely optional, but HIGHLY recommended before you move on to the mining pool setup. I have separated it from this guide, in case you want to do it later on.
Mining Pool Setup
First let’s download some of the pool software on your PC. Yes, you’ll be using git and what not to download it on your server however there is a few files you will want to interact with on your PC.
Extract that somewhere on your PC that you can easily access.
You never run things like your coin daemon (wallet), mysql, or other things as root!
Let’s create a user for your mining pool.
Login to ssh using putty as root.
You’ll be prompted for a password, please use a password that is different from your root password.
The other info it asks for you can either fill out or just leave blank and hit enter.
Now let’s give that new user sudo access.
adduser usernameyousetup sudo
MySQL User and Database Setup
Remember phpmyadmin? Head back to it: http://yourserverip/phpmyadmin
Using the password you setup earlier, login as root.
Head to the “Users” button on the top of the page, looks like this:
Click on “Add user” in the middle of the page.
-Fill in the “User name:” field with any username you’d prefer. I like to name it after the coin I am setting up a pool for.
-Then click the button next to “Generate password:”
-You can use your own password, but I prefer the generated password since it is very strong. Just remember to write it down somewhere.
-Now click the checkbox for “Create database with same name and grant all privileges”
-Your page should look somewhat like this:
-If everything is good, then scroll down a bit and click “Go” in the bottom right of the page.
-You should get a success message.
Now let’s import the MPOS database.
Click on your pool username/database you just created in the left side of phpmyadmin.
It is highlighted here:
Once you have clicked on the database, go ahead and click “Import” on the top of the screen. It’s highlighted here:
You will see a “Choose File” button, go ahead and click it and browse to the location you extracted that MPOS we downloaded before to.
Once you navigate to the “php-mpos-master” folder on your computer go ahead and click on the “sql” folder inside. Then click on “000_base_structure.sql” and click open.
That’s all you have to do for settings, your page should look like this:
Now click “Go” on the bottom of the page. You should get a success message stating your import was successful.
The MySQL user and Database has been successfully setup for your mining pool.
Litecoin Daemon Setup (Wallet)
Now let’s setup the coin daemon, I will be using litecoin.
Now boot up putty and login to that new user we setup earlier.
Now let’s compile litecoind
make –f makefile.unix USE_UPNP=-
Now the litecoin daemon is compiling. It may take some time if you have a slow server.
Let’s clean up the daemon a bit.
Copy litecoind to system path.
sudo cp litecoind /usr/bin
Let’s go and run litecoind so it will create the .litecoin directory in your users home dir.
You’ll get a message stating there is no configuration file, and they suggest such and such rpc user/pass. We are getting to that.
Now we need to setup the config file for the litecoind.
I am going to start using WinSCP to edit/add files, yes you can use nano, gedit, vim or whatever shell based text editor you want instead. However, when a novice starts editing as many files as we are about to edit it will be easier for them if they use graphic interface for all of it. It will also help a novice understand the file structure better.
You can get WinSCP here: http://winscp.net/eng/download.php
I will walk you through WinSCP with this litecoind config file, but after that you should be able to use it easily if I just list out what directory you need to go to. You will see here shortly.
Once you install WinSCP, you should be prompted with a login screen. Select “New Site”. The “File Protocol” will be SFTP, “Host name:” is your server ip, “Port number” is your ssh port that you have been using with putty. “User name:” will be root and “Password:” is your root password.
Fill all that out and it should look like this (with your server info in there):
Click Login, make sure to accept the host key.
Now that you have logged in, you are in the /root folder. Double click the “..” to back out of it.
The file path is home/username/.litecoin
-Click on the “home” folder.
-Click on the folder that is named after your username.
-Click on “.litecoin” it will be grayed out like such:
-Right click on the white area in WinSCP and Go to “New” and “File”. Should look like this:
-Name the file “litecoin.conf”
A white text editor window should pop up, this is WinSCP’s internal editor and what we’ll be using to edit files.
Now we’ll want to put some basic stuff into the configuration file. You should definitely use a different username and password then what I use in the guide. I am just using the ones that litecoind generated for me already.
I understand that some of these .conf settings are redundant for litecoin, however in the past I have ran into certain crypto currencies that did not allow localhost to connect, etc… Just thought this was the best overall config for a multitude of scrypt coins since the users following this guide are probably not setting up a litecoin pool. I also changed the rpcport, which is just a simple security measure I like to take.
If you are setting this up for a PoS (Proof of Stake) currency ensure that you put “staking=0” into the config otherwise your miners may not be able to withdraw their matured coins if they start staking.
The default listen port for litecoin is 9333, I made you open it earlier in CSF if you read that part of the guide. If you don’t have this port open, your wallet will not update.
Now that you have updated the litecoin.conf file, go ahead and click on the floppy disk icon in the top left of the WinSCP Editor.
(Just the fact that I have to point out what a floppy disk looks like is making me feel old).
Now that we have setup and saved the config file, let’s get back into ssh (putty) on your user that you created earlier.
You should get a message that states “Litecoin server starting” if for some reason you can’t get out of that command simply press Ctrl C in putty and it’ll fix it.
Now let’s make sure it’s updating.
You should see a bunch of info that looks like this:
Run that getinfo command several times, and you should see the “blocks” number updating everytime you run the getinfo command.
The wallet should be fully updated by the time this guide is over, however if you are quick or unsure simply go back to /usr/bin and run the “litecoind getinfo” command again and compare the block number to http://explorer.litecoin.net/ If the block number matches, what’s on that site then you are good to go.
Last thing we need to do is get a new address for our litecoin wallet.
An address will show up, please keep record of this address. We’ll be using it later in the guide.
NOMP Stratum Setup
Next we’ll be setting up NOMP (node open mining portal) to be used as a stratum server. NOMP has it’s own front end, but we are using MPOS as the front end instead. Keep following the guide, you will see.
Get on your user (not root) on ssh (putty).
The command we just did, “cd” by default put’s your user in it’s home folder (/home/username), where we will be installing a lot of stuff.
Let’s download NOMP and put it in a directory called nomp.
git clone https://github.com/zone117x/node-open-mining-portal nomp
Let’s go into the nomp directory now.
Let’s update nomp, it may take awhile depending on your servers internet connection.
Now we will create a real config file for nomp.
cp config_example.json config.json
Alright, now you need to boot up WinSCP again and login. Navigate to the nomp directory, which is /home/username/nomp
If you are still logged into WinSCP from before, you may need to right click and click on refresh in order to see the nomp directory.
You’ll see the config.json, right click on it and edit.
Scroll down to where you see:
You need to change the “true” to false. Should look like this when you are done:
Now you can save it and exit out of that config.json a, but we are still using WinSCP so keep it open.
Now, for litecoin there is already a json file setup for it under /coins in the nomp directory. Many of the more relevant coins are in there already, such as bitcoin, darkcoin, dogecoin, etc… You can take a look and see if your crypto-currency is in there. You can setup a json file for a coin that is not listed on there, but that is out of the scope of this guide since we are using litecoin. I’d suggest taking a look at the NOMP documentation on their github page if you are doing that.https://github.com/zone117x/node-open-mining-portal
Alright, now NOMP needs even more configuration. We have not pointed it at the database yet, or set the ports, coin daemon details, etc… Let’s get into that.
Open up your ssh terminal again (putty) under your user.
cp /home/username/nomp/pool_configs/litecoin_example.json /home/username/nomp/pool_configs/litecoin.json
Open up WinSCP, navigate to /home/username/nomp/pool_configs
You’ll see the new litecoin.json file you just copied over with that previous command.
Right click on it and edit it.
I will post a screenshot of all the settings I have changed in the config file at the end, however I will go over step by step what to change first.
-Change “enabled” to true.
-“address” is that wallet address you saved earlier before, make sure you copy and paste that in there.
-You’ll see “paymentProcessing” and “enabled” below that, change that to false.
-Now you’ll see “ports” scroll down to where you see port “3032”, change it to “3333”.
-Go down to where you see “daemons”.
-Port will be 2300 if you copied my litecoin.conf settints from before.
-“user” is your rpcuser from the litecoin.conf.
-“password” is your rpcpassword from the litecoin.conf.
-Scroll down to “p2p” and find the “enabled” below it and change it to false.
-Scroll down to “mposMode”.
-Change “enabled” to true.
-Change “user” to the username you setup on the phpmyadmin step from before
-Change “password” to the password you setup on the phpmyadmin step
-Change “database” to the database you setup on the phpmyadmin step (we made it the same as username)
Your litecoin.json should look like this now:
If any of the settings are wrong, your stratum will not work. Please double or triple check!
Make sure everything saved correctly, we will come back to NOMP later on.
MPOS Initial Setup
Let’s setup MPOS (Mining Portal Open Source), which will be the frontend of your pool website. We have not set up the mail server, and we will not in this guide. Please make sure you understand his before messing with the settings in MPOS and trying to use email activation. There is plenty of guides on google you can find on how to setup your mail server. I recommend this guide if you want to use your gmail for your pool email. https://rtcamp.com/tutorials/linux/ubuntu-postfix-gmail-smtp/
Alright, let’s go this going. Login to ssh on your user if you are not already.
git clone https://github.com/MPOS/php-mpos.git mpos
sudo chown –R www-data templates/compile templates/cache logs
Let’s copy over the configuration.
sudo cp include/config/global.inc.dist.php include/config/global.inc.php
Alright, now let’s setup the MPOS global configuration file. Open up WinSCP and navigate to /home/username/mpos/include/config/ and right click on global.inc.php and edit it.
Alright, same as what I did with NOMP before. I will go through the steps of what to edit, and then ill post some screenshots of what I did afterwards.
-Scroll down to “SALT” and “SALTY”, see how it says make it something random? Literally mash on your keyboard and just get at least 20 characters. This is what they use to scramble passwords.
-Scroll down to “algorithm”, if you are using litecoin it should remain “scrypt” and you don’t have to change it.
-Scroll down to “Database Configuration”
-‘user’ will be the user you setup in phpmyadmin from before
-‘pass’ is the password you generated on phpmyadmin
-‘name’ is the name of the database you created with phpmyadmin before, we named it the same as the user if you followed the guide exactly.
-Move down to “Local wallet RPC”
-On ‘host’ change 19334 to 2300
-‘username’ to your rpcuser from the litecoin.conf
-‘password’ to your rpcpassword from the litecoin.conf
Now, for Litecoin the global config is all setup now. You can change the minimum and maximum auto-withdrawals, and everything else after you make sure the pool is operational. If you are using another currency other then litecoin it is imperative that you change things like ‘currency’, ‘coin target’, ‘block reward’, and other options otherwise you WILL have some huge issues. I suggest everybody look at the MPOS documentation on github at some point.https://github.com/MPOS/php-mpos
Here are screenshots of what my global.inc.php looks like now (get ready to scroll a few pages, it’s big!:
Now we need to point the Apache Virtual Server towards the MPOS public directory.
Login to Webmin, https://yourserverip:10000/
-Go to Servers > Apache Webserver.
-You should see the Virtual Server that says “Handles the name-based server on address *.”, click on that virtual server. Here is a highlighted picture if you do not understand:
-Go to “Virtual Server Details” on the bottom
-Find “Document Root” and change “/var/www/html” to “/home/username/mpos/public”, take a look at this screenshot if you are confused:
Now we need to update the Apache configuration a bit.
-Click on “Global Configuration” on the top center left, screenshot:
-Click on “Edit Config Files”
-Scroll all the way to the bottom of the config file
-Add this to the bottom, and update it according to your username obviously.
Options Indexes FollowSymLinks
Require all granted
Should look like this:
-Click on “Apply Changes” in the type right of Webmin.
Now let’s see if the MPOS frontend is working, go to http://yourserverip
You should see a page that looks like this:
If you see the MPOS frontpage, then go ahead and skip to the “MPOS Frontend Initial” step.
If you get a blank page, don’t worry it may be a permissions issue.
Login to root on ssh.
chown -R www-data templates/compile templates/cache logs
Now head back to http://yourserverip and see if MPOS shows up. If it does not at this point, you should go back in the guide and make sure you did everything right. If that does not work, then boot up WinSCP and go to /var/log/apache2/error.log and read the bottom line (it should mention your ip), see if there is a permissions issue or some other error. You can google most apache errors easily, and find a fix somewhere.
MPOS Frontend Familiarization
Before we get into the cronjobs, let’s go ahead and get familiar with MPOS.
Click on “Other” and then click “Sign up”
The first account on MPOS is the admin account and does not require email activation. Fill in the info and then click “Register” on the bottom. Much like this:
The coin address is just your wallet, that you want your mined coins to go to. By default MPOS won’t let you register without one.
Also, if you are getting “token expired” messages don’t worry, it’s just MPOS being finicky. Try again.
You should get a “Please check your mailbox to activate” message, don’t worry you do not need to activate anything as the first account is the admin account.
Go ahead and login.
-Go to Admin Panel > System > Settings
-You should be at a page that looks like this:
-Click on “System” on that settings page:
-Find “Disable e-mail confirmations” and select yes.
-Scroll to the bottom and click save.
Now you just set it so users can register without email confirmations, which is important if you don’t have a mail server setup. The other settings you can toy with later on after this guide is over, such as your pool name.
Now we need to setup a worker, so you can test your mining pool towards the end of this guide. You can either register another account, or use your admin account (which is not advised in a public environment).
Go to My Account > My Workers > Add New Worker
Input your worker details, I like to keep it simple and put “1” for the name and “x” for the password. Click “Add New Worker” and you should see your new worker, which will be “mposusername.1” with a password “x”. It will look like this:
Remember your worker and worker password for later on.
Last thing, go to Admin Panel > System > Monitoring
This page is not important now, but it will be when we setup the cronjobs. Please keep it open in a tab on your browser for later. I will refer to it as the “Monitoring Page” in the cronjob section of this guide.
Do not worry if there is issues like “we can’t poke your Stratum server”, because the Stratum is not started yet. We will get into that here shortly.
MPOS Cronjob Setup
MPOS work’s off of 3 different main cronjobs. Payout, statistics, and maintenance. There are others, but this is what we will be setting up. We will run them every minute, it is very important that you run these crons every minute otherwise MPOS likes to break.
Login to Webmin, http://yourserverip:10000/
Go to System > Scheduled Cronjobs
-Select “Create a new scheduled cronjob” on the bottom.
-“Execute cron job as”, select your user.
-“Active” will be yes.
-Command will be “/home/username/mpos/cronjobs/run-statistics.sh”
-Go down to “Minutes” and click on the “selected” and then highlight all the numbers.
Here’s a picture for reference:
Now you will create 2 more cronjobs using the exact process we just did above, for “/home/username/mpos/cronjobs/run-maintenance.sh” and “/home/username/mpos/cronjobs/run-payout.sh”
I won’t repeat the process, it’s really straight forward and I am sure you can do it if you have gotten this far in the guide.
However, here’s the screenshots for the last 2 cronjobs in case you get confused.
Alright, remember that “Monitoring Page” I had you leave open? Go back to it, and hit refresh.
This is what you should see:
Your monitoring page should get new results pushed to it every minute, if not it’ll turn yellow and eventually red.
Congraulations, your cronjobs are setup.
Turning Stratum On
Remember NOMP? We are going to turn it on now.
Log back onto ssh (putty) as your user.
Before we set NOMP to stay on “forever” we are going to make sure it works first while we can still interact with it.
Let’s start the stratum server in shell.
You should see something that looks like this:
If you have no errors, then you are good your stratum is running. If you have issues, please go back to the NOMP setup part of the guide. If that does not work, then I suggest you google your error. More then likely a github issue will pop up with a solution.
Now fire up your miner, I am not going to go into specifics about setting up cgminer or what have you. If you don’t know how to setup a miner, you probably should of researched that long before you attempted to setup your own pool.
Details for your miner:
Now, connect your miner.
Open up your ssh terminal (putty) that you used the command “node init.js” in. You should see that your worker was authorized, and share(s) have been submitted. Should look something like this:
Congratulations, you are officially mining on your new pool.
Now, close your miner.
Open up the ssh terminal (putty) window you ran the command “node init.js” on. Press Ctrl C to get out of init.js.
Now type this to keep init.js running indefinitely (until you restart your server or nomp crashes).
forever start init.js
Your Stratum is now running, and will stay running even if you close your ssh terminal.
If you want to know what’s happening with your stratum server, you should run some logs and read up more on forever. Check out the NOMP github page: https://github.com/zone117x/node-open-mining-portal Also check out the forever github page: https://github.com/foreverjs/forever
This guide I am writing is just enough to get your pool started, not manage it. You will want to see who is accessing your stratum, and what’s causing crashes and what not. Logs are very important and something you should look into.
Now you can head over to http://yourserverip and check out MPOS some more. I suggest playing around with all the settings and making it how you want it. If you connect your miner, you will see the graphs updating etc…
If you have any issues, please review the guide again and make sure you have not missed anything before you start asking questions. It is a huge guide and you can easily miss a step. Also, google is your friend.
I get asked a lot about what sort of server power is required to run a mining pool. Based off of the scrypt algorithm, you want about at least 1 CPU Core and 1GB of Memory per 1 GH/s to be on the safe side. This is not including at least 1 CPU Core and 1GB minimum to run your frontend (website), which will also fluctuate depending on the amount of traffic. Internet connection wise, you want at least a 10Mbps port. Most VPS or Servers that you can rent usually have at least a 100Mbps port now-a-days. I would highly recommend SSD drives, especially if you plan on going over 1 GH/s on your pool. MySQL and MPOS likes to eat up those IOPs when your pool gets busy.
Congratulations if you completed this guide successfully, it is not an easy task especially if you are a novice with mining pools and linux. Remember that the best way to learn something is just to mess with it, and see what you can do. Push your mining pool to it’s limits, edit the software, mess with the database, etc… These things will make you more knowledgeable. I did not get to where I am at from simply following guides.
I may come up with more guides in the future, or additions to this guide. I will use this one as a basis a lot, and I like to cater heavily towards novices. I know they’ll be some purists out there that will hate on me for using things such as Webmin or WinSCP but this guide was never meant for them.
I would like to thank the developers that made MPOS and NOMP. I had to cross-reference their guides multiple times to make this one. Please check them out on Github, and donate to them if you are using their software.
You are free to use my guide whichever what you want, just please give credit to my site
If you liked this guide, please donate to me as well!