Making lukSticks under Windows …

In the last few days I’ve received several questions from users that had issues with the lukSticks…. in particular, while most found them rather useful from the linux side of things, for the main user group for which they were intended – Windows users that aren’t comfortable with linux – there were some issues. And as I myself am not all too much of a windows person, I never ran into these issues myself, and just assumed that whoever is a windows person will likely figure out how to do all the iso image burning etc. Well, seems out that wasn’t the case, so here a few quick instructions.

First: Update to lukSticks v3.1

Before I go into the actual burning instructions: If you still have a lukStick image pre the images I uploaded last night (yes, I still have to write about those …): Please update to those “v3.1” image (they’re at http://www.lukminer.net/releases/lukSticks-v3.1). These v3.1 lukSticks not only have the latest version of the miner you’ll need for the post-sumo times, they also have several improvements in particular for windows users:

  • reduced size: To adjust for USB sticks’ slight variations in “usable” size the old lukSticks already had some “unused space” at the end, so when burnt onto a sligthly too small USB stick no real harm would be done, because it was only ‘unused’ space that was lost. That in theory worked, but apparently some burning programs simply threw an error if they couldn’t write the whole thing, so the new sticks are only as big as they really need to be (Duh, should have done that in the first place). The cpu-phi one should be about 7.5GBs in size, the mpss-knl one is about 15 GBs in size (it’s so much bigger because it basically contains 8 live images for the up to 8 KNLs).
  • DOS/Windows newline/line feeds: In the old lukSticks, the config files were on a DOS/Windows readable FAT file system, but unfortunately were written under linux, so contained only unix-style newlines … meaning that whenever one opened those under Windows one would see all the individual config file lines squashed together into a single line; and if one did succeed in editing those, the editor almost invariable saved with windows-newlines, which then confused the mining script, leading to errors such as “unknown algorithm ‘-a sumo<newline>'” … The new sticks fix that: the lukMiner.cfg file is in DOS newlines, and the miner script converts those on the fly when running.

Of course, make sure to download the right stick. Currently, there’s two versions (the KNC one is still missing):

  • mpss-knl: That’s the one to use only if you have a system with 7220A or 7240 PCI cards (which usually have regular Xeon/Core/Celeron host CPUs). Do not use those on the bootable phi asrock/exxact etc machines. Note on terminology: the “mpss-knl” stands for “mpss offload for knl cards”.
  • cpu-phi: This is the one to use if you have an Asrock, Exxact, Neon Miner, etc based system (the cpu-phi stands for “cpu or phi”)

Unzip

The iso images I’ve uploaded are gzipped (of course), so unzip them first until you have the full ‘.iso’ images. I used 7zip (https://www.7-zip.org/), but any other tool should do.

Burn to Disk (“imageUSB”)

Now this is the tricky stage, because “apparently” the default “right-click then “burn to disk”‘ option under windows doesn’t always do what one expects it to do (at least one user had issues with that).

The tool used is called “imageUSB” (https://www.osforensics.com/tools/write-usb-images.html), and it seems to work just fine. I’m not much of a windows user, so I don’t have any opinions on this vs probably many other tools – it’s just the first one that google came up with (except one other one that wanted me to register for something), and it seems to do the trick.

Here a screenshot of using this tool, on a brand new SanDisk Cruzer 16GB stick:capture-lukstick-begin

Once it’s done burning, it should show something like that:capture-lukstick-burned

Starting to configure: Un-plug, and Re-plug

Now after you’re done burning (and just as the README says you should): First unplug your USB stick, and re-insert it – else Windows won’t realize that there’s now different file systems on that stick.

When you do so, what should happen is that windows eventually (after possibly a few seconds) find two new drives (D: and E: in my case), it’ll likely open the file explorer (or whoever this thingy is called under windows), and – and this is perfectly OK – it’ll open a window saying it can’t read one of those drives, and suggests to format it … something like the following:

capture-lukstick-reinserted

Note this “error” is perfectly OK, so do not format this drive! What happens here is that the USB stick contains two partitions (what windows calls “drives”) – one windows one with the config files (D:, which is OK), and of course the linux partition with the linux OS and miner – and this of course windows can’t read. Do not format it, though, or you won’t have a linux OS (or miner) to run from ….

Last: Edit the lukMiner.cfg config file

Once you click away the annoying “format” windows, just open the windows-readable drive (if it didn’t open automatically), and start editing the lukMiner.cfg file, which on my machine looks roughly like that:

capture-lukstick-editing-lukMiner-cfg

Note how in the v3.1 version this config file is nicely editable under windows, with proper newlines and everything, so from that point on you should be safe.

With that: Happy Mining!

PS: And yes, I did go through that – two times already – and the resulting USB stick seems to work just fine!

 

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lukMiner

To learn more about me, look at the "About" page on http://lukminer.org

3 thoughts on “Making lukSticks under Windows …”

  1. Hey luk, just a quick question for ya. I’ve had the lukstick running for a while now without any issue, but I’m wondering if there’s a way to pause/stop the miner. I’m no linux expert so I’m having trouble pausing/stopping the miner. Thanks in advance!

    Like

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