Introducing Braiins OS, open-source system for cryptocurrency devices

We are Braiins — a company that has been developing and operating Slush Pool since 2013, mostly without drawing much attention to itself. But that is about to change. Apart from the pool, we are working on other cool projects regarding mining and cryptocurrency industry in general and now we want to share them with you. The first one being Braiins OS.

Braiins OS is the very first fully open-source, Linux based system for cryptocurrency embedded devices. This initial release is targeted on mining devices, however since we used OpenWrt as a base, its features can be extended in many directions.

For instance, we would love to include Bitcoin Core and Lightning Network software and release images for single-board computers such as Banana Pi to allow users to run their very own Bitcoin & Lightning node without hassle. But let’s talk about mining for now.

We developed Braiins OS for two primary reasons:

  1. We believe in open source. If you own the hardware, you should be able to have full control of it without worrying about some “hidden features”. This is unfortunately not the case with majority of current mining hardware.
  2. During the years of operating Slush Pool, we have encountered many cases of non-standard behaviour from mining devices which caused unnecessary issues. So why not make a firmware that follows standards and works predictably with our pool, benefiting both the users and us as the operator?

Feature-wise, Braiins OS is mostly on par with vendor firmware. It monitors the hardware and its working conditions, handles errors and provides various performance data. More features to come. Importantly, we are also looking at possible performance improvements that would probably please the miners the most. :)

The first release includes images for Antminer S9 and DragonMint T1 (only the variant with Xilinx based control boards). For T1, there is also open-source bitstream available. Our S9 image is currently utilizing the original vendor bitstream, however, we are researching what can be done in this area too.

Please beware that Braiins OS is in alpha stage and has not been tested on a large scale yet. While we would not recommend deploying it on large farms for now, we would be grateful if you would flash it to at least one of your devices and let us know about your thoughts and experiences.

Bitcoin has always benefited from openness. Let’s open mining too!