After many trials and tribulations getting my Xbuntu mining system up and running, and feeling pretty good about it I might add, I stumbled across some vague posts talking about Big A Miner Thing or BAMT.
The few posting I read talked about a cool Linux-based operating system developed strictly for a mining rig. Simply put it on your USB drive, fire it up and you are mining, it does everything for you. NO frickin way, where was this when I was spending hours getting my Xubuntu installs to work, then having to redo them for various reasons? I gotta try this, but I am skeptical, as so far my foray into mining and mining rigs has not been even remotely smooth.
The process itself was pretty easy, download Win32 Disk Imager 0.9 from your favorite spot it’s free (I used http://www.softpedia.com/get/CD-DVD-Tools/Data-CD-DVD-Burning/Win32-Disk-Imager.shtml) Be sure to extract this into a folder so it will run properly.
Just open the Win32 disk imager, select your USB drive, select the BAMT file, and hit start. In a few minutes, you are ready to go.
Well the moment of truth, I shut down a perfectly good mining rig (major labor of love or hate haven’t figured that out yet) and plug-in my new USB containing BAMT. Guess what, it came up and looks like a screenshot I saw online somewhere, and it shows all 5 of my GPUs, WOW! Well, this is positive. I am doing something the fans start whirring and boom the screen goes red! I go to the lower-left corner and click the arrow, which is equivalent to the start button in Windows. Go to Accessories, File Manager, Select BAMT and you will find your CGminer.conf file. I added my pool/worker info and fired it up again. Ok, we are mining fans! Wait another RED screen! In reviewing the Cgminer.conf file I see some pretty crazy settings at least for my R270s. BAMT is supposed to select the proper settings for your installed cards, and though it does recognize them as AMD Radeon R9 200 Series, I don’t think it identifies the difference between 270, 280, or 290.
Now do remember I am new to all this, and am by no means fully versed in BAMT operation. It probably says this somewhere, I just haven’t found it, or looked hard enough. Anyway, I adjust the Cgminer.conf file to represent what was working pretty well for me and restart my mining session. Have a little patience here, it took like a minute or two for the cards to go from red, to orange and then to GREEN!!! Woot, I will be mining, my pool sees my work, and two more screens pop up showing my hash rates and temperatures for each GPU over a 24 hour period.
Now, this is pretty cool I must say, a quick and easy alternative to a full Xubuntu install. I have been running BAMT for 2 weeks now, without a single issue, and added a second rig and experienced the same results. I also noticed that Putty now shows GPU fan information, which it wouldn’t do when using Xubuntu.
As a further note, I have read that BAMT will use your rigs to mine for the developers for 15 minutes each day to support the maintenance and development of the software. I am not sure how to confirm this, but I am not a huge farm so the cost is minimal and the ease and speed of putting together a rig for me is well worth a 15-minute contribution. Maybe one day I will investigate this further and see what it takes to remove it, but for now, if I am making a contribution, I am good with it!