(luk-)Mining made easy – The “lukStick”…

(Bottom line: here’s a ready-to-go iso-image that’ll turn a 16GB USB stick into a self bootable linux-‘disk’ that’ll automatically run lukMiner – so you can run your Phi nodes without the need for buying disks or installing linux’es…)

With all the interest in the Asrock machines, one question that came up again and again is “if I do get one of those machines, what else will I need to mine on it” … after all, this machine has been stripped of many things including disks and memory, and even by Asrock is sometimes called a “barebone” – so maybe this question isn’t all that surprising.

Now “in theory”, the one single thing this machine was missing is a pair of harddisks, and, of course, a software install on those disks that will actually contain and run the miner. And sure, you can get such disks for $10 a pop on Newegg – but the software install can be a little bit more of a pain, in particular for those among us that aren’t enough of a Linux experts to do things like auto-starting the miner, etc (and even for those among us that have done all of that before, it still takes a lot of time to do all this).

As such, from the very beginning I had promised I’d look into coming up with something that would be a bit easier; possibly using a bootable USB stick that would automatically run the miner…  Now when I first floated that idea I got lots of positive feedback (in fact, one user even offered to “buy” those sticks!); but it did take a while to make it work.

Anyway – today, without further ado, I present to you – ta-daa – the “lukStick” …. the best invention since sliced bread, a cure against all illnesses, and …. well, maybe not all that good, but hopefully still useful! In all seriousness: the “lukStick” is nothing but a ready-to-go Linux image for a 16GB USB stick; bootable, with the miner started automatically, and a separate dos/fat partition that contains the config file (for those users that are more comfortable with dos/windows machines 🙂 ). And no, you won’t have to pay for it – if you absolutely want to I will of course take donations, but you most certainly won’t have to ;-).

So, without further ado, here’s what you have to do

  • get a bunch of 16 GB USB sticks (you can get them for $5 a pop on NewEgg; I took the Cruzer 16GBs)
  • download the latest image from http://files.lukminer.com/lukStick-latest.iso.gz
  • unzip the downloaded image
  • take a USB stick and copy that .iso image onto it (I use ‘dd’ under linux, but there’s probably windows tools for that, too)
  • Once the iso image is burned, take the USB stick out, and plug it back in; this should mount the fat partition that contains the “mine.sh” script. Edit that script to use your own pool, port, address, etc.
  • Plug the stick into an Asrock KNL box, turn it on, done.

Of course, the same stick will also work in the Exxact boxes; however, you may have to take out the disks to make sure it actually boots from USB first (the Arock machines don’t have disks, so will boot from USB automatically).

The Stick has a complete Ubuntu 17 on it, so once it’s plugged in you won’t need any harddisk any more – meaning it’s all you’ll ever need to make the Asrock machines go. Also, the miner is preinstalled on that stick, and will get started automatically upon boot. Oh, and of course, there’s no reason whatsoever why this would/should be restricted to the Asrock machines, or even to only Phis … you can of course change the mine.sh script to also use the ‘cpu’ miner, and run that on any machine you want.

With that:

Happy Mining!

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33 thoughts on “(luk-)Mining made easy – The “lukStick”…”

      1. I _think_ they’re somewhat waiting for a new batch. Pretty sure they do take orders, but you’ll have to ask them when they’ll ship out. Just got my numbers 2-4 earlier, but that of course was still from the first batch, so I don’t know what ETA for the next one is.


      2. Emailed the provided email 2 weeks ago asking about 2x 7210 boxes, haven’t got any reply. I guess I might drop them another email.


  1. perfect timing, heading to the bank today to wire money for the asrock 7210 setup. now just a matter of how many to buy lol. thanks again for all your work and communication with everyone


    1. You’re welcome – though of course, I’m not doing it for the common good; I won’t earn anything on the hardware you guys are buying (:-( ), but I’ll actually earn something if you run it – so I have a big incentive to make it cheap and easy for everybody to get started ;-).
      (Though truth be told, I donated all my miner shares last year … it wasn’t _that_ much :-/ )


      1. You have been doing gods work, my friend. I am a bit of a noob with linux, but in the .sh file I modified the necessary pool info and address. It also says to execute the script with sudo (preferably). I cannot even access the terminal, just loads in the background and vanishes. To access the GUI, I simply put in the login for the password. I am testing the the LukStick via USB on a standard desktop to work out any kinks before getting the shipment and golive.


      2. The script gets executed automatically upon startup; and it shold automatically call that with sudo, too – so once you’re modified the mine.sh all you have to do is stick it in and reboot.

        If you do want to run on a regular cpu, make sure to change the script to run the ‘cpu’ miner, not the ‘phi’ one.


      3. with all the help and communication you have given me, i look forward to setting up the asrock unit with the lukstick once it arrives


    1. LOL. Actually it seems I didn’t even mention it (I’ll actually have to look it up, first) … but note you don’t actually need it, because all the average user requires is editing the mine.sh file, and that one is on a fat partition that you can even edit on any windows or linux box without needing a password….


  2. Hi Luk, you had to choose Ubuntu didn’t you ha, and didn’t provide a password lol I just purchased 2x M2 128GB HDD’s as they were only 75 each. Will run probably Arch minimal setup and put lukminer in the /etc/rc.d on boot. What percentage do you get for others running lukminer? 1% dev fee?


  3. Is there any sort of speed bottleneck created because it’s running off usb? I know usb 3.0+ is pretty fast but it’s not as fast as sata. Does that matter for these purposes?


    1. Not too much. Yes, a USB stick isn’t exactly the fastest “disk” type, and if you do want to actually log in to the machine and do some serious work on it (say, compiling, surfing the web, etc), then you’ll definitely notice “hickups”, and even jerky mouse movement. However, as long as all you’re doing is booting and running the miner everything is fine – once loaded the miner won’t need any disk access any more (you can probably even unplug the disk after a while 🙂 ), and from that point on any more expensive disk is simply a waste of money.


  4. Hi, tell me please – downloaded the image, wrote to the USB flash drive – it started working. But ubuntu asks for the password. Help.


  5. For anyone that has tried out the Lukstick successfully, could you possibly contact me? (In the gui, GPU only sites at 10% usage). I am having difficulty getting the mine.sh file to find the luk-xmr-ocl file (changed from phi to use with one of my systems for testing):

    luk@luk:/mnt/fat$ sudo ./mine.sh
    ./mine.sh: line 56: ./luk-xmr-ocl: No such file or directory
    ———– re-starting miner ———–

    It is right here, but still does not acknowledge it’s existence:
    luk@luk:/opt/mining$ ls
    bak.fat.sh luk-aeon-knc-native luk-xmr-knc-mpss
    example-aeon.sh luk-aeon-ocl luk-xmr-knc-native
    example-xmr.sh luk-aeon-phi luk-xmr-ocl
    latest.tgz luk-xmr-cpu luk-xmr-phi
    luk-aeon-cpu luk-xmr-knc-devicecode startMining.sh

    Please contact me via email, if possible: smjewett@yahoo.com – I would like to get this running appropriately before any phi systems arrive to minimize any downtime.


    1. Hey,
      Reason that won’t work is that the lukstick doesn’t even have any opencl drivers installed. When I first made the stick it was primarily for all those that got interested in the phi machines, but weren’t particularly firm with linux; so to make their life a bit easier at the start I created something that you could just pop into one of those phis, and get started easily. And yes, that same stick will also – with a minor modification – work on regular CPUs. With GPUs, however, the problem is that different GPUs need different drivers, and you can’t even mix NVidia and AMD drivers on the same machine, etcpp. As such, there’s no GPU drivers on this stick at all, and consequently, no opencl-version of the miner, either. If I find some time I’ll see if I can create one for GPUs, too – but even if I do I couldn’t guarantee that it’ll work on each and every GPU configuration …. there’s a reason why I focus on the phis :-/


    2. BTW: The Phi systems will use the luk-xmr-phi binary, not the luk-xmr-ocl one. The former works (I now have it running in ~30ish machines); ocl won’t. The ‘cpu’ one should work, too, though, if you chance the mine.sh to use ‘cpu’ rather than ‘phi’. If _that_ doesn’t work, let me know… it should.


  6. Hi Luk, do you know the user name and password to login to the Luke Miner Stick Ubuntu? I have SSH access to the system but seems “luk” – “luk” does not work.


    1. Hm. It _should_ be luk:luk, but I’ll double check. In fact, I was planning on re-doing the lukSticks this week, anyway, to make sure the three different sticks – phi, knl, and knc) use the same directory structure, use the same ssh keys (which I’ll then also publish), etc. Just didn’t get to it, yet :-/


  7. Good evening. Please tell me how to view the mining speed (how much h/s shows ) of my Xeon Phi 7120 in real time on usb lukStick (ubuntu).


    1. The miner’s output should be routed to a file /tmp/luk.out . You should be able to view this via “cat /tmp/luk.out”, or “follow” it via “tail -f /tmp/luk.out”


  8. Luk, Is there a tutorial online on how to get Ubuntu 17 working with the Phi? So far the only one I’ve found covers Ubuntu 14.04 and MPSS 3.6.1 which is a bit dated.


    1. *Which* phi? The x200 bootable CPUs will just run (yes, I know intel doesn’t officially support ubuntu, but ignore that – there’s nothing special about a bootable phi that would need any special packages whatsoever, so it just runs). If you’re talking about phi *pci cards* – either x100 or x200 – then unfortunately you have to use the MPSS “driver”, and that requires kernel modules to be built. Now with ubuntu being _way_ ahead of centos/fedoral/redhat in kernel versions that’s not for the faint of heart. I know I’ve successfully re-built the kernel modules on fedoral (but even then had to change some config files manually), but ubuntu? Let’s say “there’s a reason” why I picked centos for the mpss-based luksticks. :-/


    1. Uploaded; see latest post. Once the fork hits you’ll have to change the LUK_ALGO field to xmr-v7; that should be all. Should now also be able to bulk update that on all systems with scp -i root@:/mnt/fat/

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I can pull up an SSH interface but I cannot log in using luk/luk as user/pass. When I try to open an terminal on an attached monitor in the Ubuntu GUI, it refuses to open one.

    Also, when I boot my 7210 with Lukminer, it does boot to a password screen in Ubuntu but the fans never kick on or seem to mine anything. I’ve changed the information in the FAT directory on Windows by marking it a logical drive and changing the mine.sh file before writing to it, but without SSH access I can’t tell what’s going on.

    In the next iteration when you support the fork, can you also enable SSH with a clear user/pass? Would be huge.

    Thanks a ton.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Have a look at the latest blog post – this confusion is completely my fault because I uploaded a new version of the stick (with updated login method) a few days ago, but didn’t get to explaining those changes until today :-/. Mea culpa!

      Liked by 1 person

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