Objective

Install and configure Ethereum, Ethminer, and MyEtherWallet on Debian or Ubuntu.

Distributions

Debian or Ubuntu 18.04

Requirements

A working install of Debian or Ubuntu 18.04 with root privileges.

Difficulty

Easy

Conventions

  • # - requires given linux command to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of sudo command
  • $ - given linux command to be executed as a regular non-privileged user

Introduction

Ethereum has established itself as one of the big players in the cryptocurrency world. It's value has been on a steady rise for well over a year, and it's one of the most widely traded coins in the world.

Ethereum is also an open source technology, and the Ethereum blockchain is powering a whole new wave of web development and web technologies. Even though the initial wave of interest in Ethereum has subsided, it's clearly not too late to get involved.

If you aren't running the AMDGPU-PRO drivers, check out our guide on installing OpenCL for open source AMDGPU before going any further.

Install The Ethereum Packages

There is an official Ethereum PPA with all of the packages that you'll need to start out with Ethereum. There are a few more programs that you'll install in this guide, but this is the core. The PPA is designed for Ubuntu, but it works great with Debian too.

Before you begin with either install, make sure that you have the latest graphics drivers for your card with OpenCL support. That could be the proprietary NVIDIA drivers, the open source AMD drivers, or the AMDGPU-PRO drivers on Ubuntu.


Ubuntu

Install Ethereum on Ubuntu
Install Ethereum on Ubuntu
Using the PPA is obviously easier on Ubuntu. Add it to your system.

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ethereum/ethereum
$ sudo apt update
Now, install the Ethereum package.
$ sudo apt install ethereum

Debian

On Debian, the process is essentially the same, it's just not as automatic. Start by creating a file at /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ethereum-bioinc.list. In that file, place the following two lines.

deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/ethereum/ethereum/ubuntu bionic main 
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/ethereum/ethereum/ubuntu bionic main
Save and exit. Next, you'll have to import the GPG key for the PPA.
$ sudo apt-key adv --keyserver keyserver.ubuntu.com  --recv-keys 2A518C819BE37D2C2031944D1C52189C923F6CA9
After Apt's done importing the key, update your system, and install the Ethereum package.

$ sudo apt update
$ sudo apt install ethereum


Install Ethminer

It's not really profitable to mine Ethereum with your CPU. GPU mining, however, does make sense with the right configuration. There are two programs for GPU mining, Ethminer and Claymore. This guide is going to cover Ethminer. They're both perfectly good options, though.

Swing by the project's releases page, and pick up the latest Linux tarball. Unpack the tarball in the directory where you want to run Ethminer. It's a pre-compiled binary, so that's all you need to do before you start using it.

Install Mist

Actually, you should probably set up your wallet before you start. This way, you have someplace for your Ethereum to be deposited. If you have a preference in wallet, by all means, use it. This guide is going to use Mist because it's the official Ethereum wallet.

Go to the Mist releases page and pick up the latest Ethereum Wallet Debian package. Locate the downloaded package, and install it with dpkg.
$ sudo dpkg -i Ethereum-Wallet-linux64-0-11-1.deb
It should install without any issues.

Configure Your Wallet

Open your new Mist wallet. Depending on your desktop environment, it might be under the Internet section or in Other.
Mist Ethereum Wallet
Mist Ethereum Wallet


The first screen that you'll see has a big plus sign icon in the middle of your window, allowing you to create a new wallet. When you click the icon, Mist will prompt you to set up a password. You can't recover this, and it's permanent. Pick something both secure and memorable.

After, Mist will go about setting up your wallet. It won't take long. The finished product will have your wallet with a default name and your address below. You can change the name any time you like, it's just for management purposes in the wallet.

The address is the important part. That's what you'll use to set up your mining operations and to buy and sell with Ethereum.

Start Mining

Open your terminal, and head into the directory where you unpacked Ethminer. The help function for Ethminer isn't as... helpful as it could be. The syntax formatting can be a bit weird. Still, it's worth checking out. There are two main things that you'll need, the flag to specify your compute and the one for your pool. -G is for OpenCL, and -U works with Cuda. The -P flag lets you specify your pool.

So, pick a pool. There are a few great ones. Ethpool, 2Miners, and Dwarfpool are all good places to start. None of them require you to sign up or make an account. You only provide your Ethereum address via the mining command.

Speaking of the mining command, it's finally time to get started with that. Take a look at the Ethminer examples for a better syntax guide. Each pool is slightly different, but there's an example for Ethpool below.
$ ./ethminer -G -P stratum1+tcp://This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
	:3333
Once you enter in your command, Ethminer will start up mining. It will run until you cancel. As you mine, you contribute to your pool. The pool will then award a share of the mined Ethereum from the entire pool to you based on the amount of work you contributed. The more you contribute, the more Ethereum you make. That's all based on GPU computing power, and you can find average GPU hashrates and profitability calculators online to help you see if you're going to be making a profit from your setup.

Closing Thoughts

Cryptocurrency mining is volatile. Hardware isn't always cheap, and power costs keep climbing. Sometimes you can win big. Other times you'll go broke pretty fast. Do your homework before making any kind of investment. If you end up deciding that mining isn't for you, you can still use the wallet to trade in and use Ethereum. Cryptocurrency is currency after all, and it's still great for its intended purpose.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR A LINUX JOB?
Submit your RESUME or create a JOB ALERT on LinuxCareers.com job portal.
DO YOU NEED ADDITIONAL HELP?
Get extra help by visiting our LINUX FORUM or simply use comments below.

You may also be interested in:



Comments and Discussions