How to setup a Chia Harvester on Windows

The following instructions are for setting up a Windows computer as a Chia Harvester.

Prerequisites

Before we get started you will need the following

  1. Have a current Chia farmer
  2. You will need the \ca folder from your main farmer.
  3. IP address of your Chia farmer

The ca folder should be located in

%homepath%\.chia\mainnet\config\ssl\

You should be able to copy and paste the above in File Explorer. Copy the ca folder to a USB drive or share it via a network share.

Setting up harvester

  1. Copy the ca folder to an easily accessible place on your harvester
  2. Install Chia from https://www.chia.net/download/
  3. Close chia
  4. Open PowerShell and paste the cfollowing commands in. Change the sections in bold to reflect your settings/options
cd $env:APPDATA..\local\chia-blockchain\app-1.2.5\resources\app.asar.unpacked\daemon
.\chia.exe init -c D:\ca\
.\chia.exe stop all
.\chia.exe configure --set-farmer-peer 192.168.188.2:8447
.\chia.exe configure --enable-upnp false
.\chia.exe plots add -d D:\   
.\chia.exe start harvester -r

Check the main Farmer to verify the Harvester connected.

How To Install MadMAx Plotter on Ubuntu 20.04

Flexpool has some excellent steps on how to get started and also on installing MadMAx

https://www.flexpool.io/get-started/xch/XCH-CLI?primaryServer=xch-us-west.flexpool.io

The one caveat is that on Ubuntu 20.04 you’ll need to install cmake

sudo apt install cmake

Then you can install and run MadMAx with

git clone https://github.com/madMAx43v3r/chia-plotter 
cd chia-plotter 
git submodule update --init 
bash make_release.sh 
sudo mv build/chia_plot /usr/bin

Now you can create a plot by running the chia_plot command.

chia_plot -n 1 -t /path/to/tmp/ -d /chia/destination -c p2singletonaddressorpoolcontractaddress -f biglongfarmerpublickey

Note that if you are plotting on a harvester that the p2 singleton or the pool contract address does not have to be on the harvester system. You can grab it off the main node and then use the address on the machine plotting.

Upgrade to the latest version of Chia on Ubuntu

https://github.com/Chia-Network/chia-blockchain/wiki/INSTALL#ubuntudebian

While upgrading Chia on Linux is not as simple as on Windows, it is still relatively easy.

First we need to stop the Chia service

Open up a terminal, navigate to the chia-blockchain folder, and stop the services

cd chia-blockchain
. ./activate
chia stop -d all
deactivate

Now we will need to download the latest files using git.

git fetch
git checkout latest
git reset --hard FETCH_HEAD

Now that we have the latest files, we can install the new version.

sh install.sh
. ./activate
chia init

Upgrade GUI

Upgrading the GUI is similar to the above process. Should be able to copy and paste the following commands.

cd chia-blockchain-gui
git fetch
cd ..
chmod +x ./install-gui.sh
./install-gui.sh
cd chia-blockchain-gui
npm run electron &

The last command will launch Chia GUI.

Chia Plotting Phases

Some helpful links regarding plotting, optimizations, and efficiency.

Helpful charts showing resources used while plotting chia
More information on improving plotting efficiency

https://www.chia.net/2021/02/22/plotting-basics.html

The first phase generates all of your proofs of space by creating seven tables of cryptographic hashes and saving them to your temporary directory. Phase 2 back-propagates through the hashes, phase 3 sorts and algorithmically compress these hashes in the temporary directory while starting to build the final file and phase 4 completes the file and moves it into your final plot destination.

There are 4 phases when plotting Chia. Lets break these down

Phase 1

Phase 1 according to the link above creates 7 tables of cryptographic hashes and puts them in a temp directory. This phase is CPU intensive and is the only phase that takes advantage of multiple cores/threads. All the succeeding phases are single threaded. This phase also looks to use the most memory.

Phase 2

Phase 2 back propagates through the hashes, what this means exactly, I am not sure. This phase will use the most storage space. Phase 2 also seems to be a good time to start another plot if your plotting in parallel. Plotman by default starts another plot when a plot reaches phase 2:1 (:1 is a minor phase within phase 2)

Phase 3

Phase 3 sorts and compresses the hashes and starts building the final plot file. The total temp storage should decrease throughout the entire phase.

Phase 4

Phase 4 completes the plot file and moves it to the destination. It looks like if something happens with the destination you can manually move the 2.plot.tmp file to .plot and copy it to a destination file.

Install Plotman on Ubuntu Harvester

Plotman is a great way to semi automate plot creation. It can manage all your temp and destination directories as well as spacing out plots for parallel plotting.

Prerequisites

Install Chia Blockchain

If you need to install Chia, visit Install Chia Blockchain on Ubuntu

Install Pip

sudo apt install python3-pip

Installing Plotman

Use pip to install Plotman

pip install --force-reinstall git+https://github.com/ericaltendorf/plotman@main

It will download all the correct files and set everything up. If you run into any issues, check for any errors on the terminal.

After it finishes installing, lets run “plotman version” to verify that it is working

(venv) plotter@chia1:~/chia-blockchain$ plotman version
plotman 0.3.1
(venv) plotter@chia1:~/chia-blockchain$

Configure Plotman config file

First lets generate a config that we will then edit. Use the “plotman config generate” command. It by default puts the config in ~/.config/plotman/plotman.yaml

(venv) plotter@chia1:~/chia-blockchain$ plotman config generate
Wrote default plotman.yaml to: /home/plotter/.config/plotman/plotman.yaml
(venv) plotter@chia1:~/chia-blockchain$

Use your favorite text editor to open up the config file. Nano is a easy to use terminal text editor.

nano ~/.config/plotman/plotman.yaml

Changes we need to make

  1. Change log directory (Line 18)
  2. Set tmp directories i.e. where temp plot files go (Line 27)
  3. Set dst (Destination) directories (Line 54)
  4. Disable archive or setup (Line 67)
  5. Change scheduling options (i.e. parallel plotting) (Line 86)
  6. Add Farmer and Pool keys (Optional) (Line 117)

I will put a full config at the bottom of this post with the important settings in bold.

A note about the config file. The config files uses a yaml format which is picky about indentation and how things work. If you run into an error and can’t figure out what is up, the easiest thing to do may be to delete the config and regenerate it.

Change log directory

Change username to your Ubuntu username. Plotman should create the logs directory if it is not created.

     log: /home/username/logs

Setup tmp directories

The tmp directories are the folders where the temporary plot files are created. Ideally each line should be a path to a physical ssd. Change the path to your SSD. If you have more, then add more lines. Note the – is needed in front.

       tmp:
                - /media/username/ssd

Set up destination directories

The destination directories are our drives that hold our plots. Same idea as our tmp drive setup above, but you’ll need to add the path to all your destination drives. Below is an example of how I have some set up.

    dst:
            - /mnt/chia0
            - /mnt/chia1
            - /mnt/chia2
            - /mnt/chia3
            - /mnt/chia4
            - /mnt/chia5

Configuring Archive (Optional)

You can configure the archive settings so that when a plot finishes it can copy it over the network. I am not using this feature at the moment so just add a # to the first part of the line to comment it out.

#    archive:
#           rsyncd_module: plots # Define this in remote rsyncd.conf.
#           rsyncd_path: /plots # This is used via ssh. Should match path
#                               # defined in the module referenced above.
#           rsyncd_bwlimit: 80000  # Bandwidth limit in KB/s
#           rsyncd_host: myfarmer
#           rsyncd_user: chia

Scheduling!

Now this is the confusing part, but don’t worry! I’ll do my best to explain what is going on to the best of my knowledge. The defaults do work, but this is where the tuning is going to create the most Plots per day. Below I put in bold the options we’ll want to look at and then we’ll go through those options and explain what they mean.

scheduling:
# Run a job on a particular temp dir only if the number of existing jobs
# before [tmpdir_stagger_phase_major : tmpdir_stagger_phase_minor]
# is less than tmpdir_stagger_phase_limit.
# Phase major corresponds to the plot phase, phase minor corresponds to
# the table or table pair in sequence, phase limit corresponds to
# the number of plots allowed before [phase major : phase minor].
# e.g, with default settings, a new plot will start only when your plot
# reaches phase [2 : 1] on your temp drive. This setting takes precidence
    # over global_stagger_m
    tmpdir_stagger_phase_major: 2
    tmpdir_stagger_phase_minor: 1
    # Optional: default is 1
    tmpdir_stagger_phase_limit: 1
    # Don't run more than this many jobs at a time on a single temp dir.
    tmpdir_max_jobs: 3

    # Don't run more than this many jobs at a time in total.
    global_max_jobs: 12

    # Don't run any jobs (across all temp dirs) more often than this, in minutes.
    global_stagger_m: 30

    # How often the daemon wakes to consider starting a new plot job, in seconds.
    polling_time_s: 20

The first two options

    tmpdir_stagger_phase_major: 2
    tmpdir_stagger_phase_minor: 1

Are what plotman uses to figure out when to start the next plot. I’ll see about posting some info soon about the different phases a plot goes through, but there are phases 1:1 – 4:something, so when the first plot phase hits 2:1, it will launch another parallel plot.

This is helpful because the different phases use different portions of a system, first phase is multi threaded and uses more CPU, where as other phases can use more storage. So by waiting for a plot to hit a certain phase before launching another plot can increase the efficiency of the computers components.

The next option is

    tmpdir_stagger_phase_limit: 1

This is how many plotting jobs you can have running before the major:minor phases (Above options). By default it is 1. Meaning that plotman launches a job, once that job hits phase 2:1, it launches another job, once that new job hits 2:1, it launches a 3rd job, so you have 3 jobs running. But only one of those jobs is pre 2:1 phase.

tmpdir_max_jobs

The following option

    tmpdir_max_jobs: 3

is the limit on how many jobs can run on a single tmp directory. If you are using a 2TB NVME SSD for plotting, you will probably want to increase this to allow up to 6-8 (maybe more?) jobs to run at the same time. Note that a 1TB SSD is is going to be limited to about 4 plots, maybe 5 if you were super precise with your timing. I have been running 4 though.

global_max_jobs: 12

This option is the total jobs limit. This number will probably be dependent on CPU, RAM, and SSD(s). This guy has some helpful information for calculating that out. I will say I don’t think you want to exceed your CPU thread count. So if you have a Ryzen 5600X, I would not go more then 12 jobs just from a CPU perspective.

    global_stagger_m: 30

This option is how many minutes to wait before starting a new job. 30 minutes seems like a good number so you can probably leave it. The previous options do override this though. So if your above setting for the phase_limit is 1, and it takes 1 hour for a plot to go from 1:1 to 2:1, then it will be starting a new job every hour. Or whenever the job gets past 2:1.

Add Farmer and Pool keys

Almost there! The following options are optional, but if you are running a harvester and generating plots for a different node, you’ll probably want to update the farmer_pk and pool_pk

   farmer_pk: biglongfarmerkey
   pool_pk: biglongpoolkey

Save the file. You should now have a good plotman config file to work from.

Running Plotman

Tip: Plotman launches the jobs in the background, so if you need to make a config change, kill plotman with ctrl+c and edit the config. When you relaunch plotman, it will scan for the existing jobs and pick up from there.

To start plotman type

plotman plot

The output should be like the following.

(venv) plotter@chia1:~/chia-blockchain$ plotman plot
…starting plot loop
…sleeping 20 s: (True, 'Starting plot job: chia plots create -k 32 -r 2 -u 128 -b 3389 -t /mnt/chia3/tmp -d /mnt/chia5 -f biglongfarmerkeyafj82gj84g0g93 -p biglongpoolkeya8f3923g902g4 ; logging to /home/plotter/logs/2021-05-27T17_24_54.872811+00_00.log')

Monitoring

Plotman -h offers a bunch of helpful options. One of which is plotman status which will list active jobs. Side note that it shows the phase a job is in.

(venv) plotter@chia1:~/chia-blockchain$ plotman status
plot id k tmp dst wall phase tmp pid stat mem user sys io
1569c6a8 32 /mnt/chia3/tmp /mnt/chia5 0:07 1:2 39G 26063 SLP 4.0G 0:07 0:01 0s

Another handy one is plotman details {plot id}

plotman details 1569c6a8 
 Namespace(cmd='details', idprefix=['1569c6a8'])
 b60c6266a8222aff959591c72dee93d09056b20a661898dd009ada0c
 k=32 r=2 b=3389 u=128
 pid:21093
 tmp:/mnt/chia3/tmp
 tmp2:None
 dst:/mnt/chia5
 logfile:/home/plotter/logs/2021-05-26T17_22_34.842811+00_00.log

Plotman Config file

# Default/example plotman.yaml configuration file

# Options for display and rendering
user_interface:
        # Call out to the `stty` program to determine terminal size, instead of
        # relying on what is reported by the curses library.   In some cases,
        # the curses library fails to update on SIGWINCH signals.  If the
        # `plotman interactive` curses interface does not properly adjust when
        # you resize the terminal window, you can try setting this to True.
        use_stty_size: True

# Where to plot and log.
directories:
        # One directory in which to store all plot job logs (the STDOUT/
        # STDERR of all plot jobs).  In order to monitor progress, plotman
        # reads these logs on a regular basis, so using a fast drive is
        # recommended.
        log: /home/plotter/logs

        # One or more directories to use as tmp dirs for plotting.  The
        # scheduler will use all of them and distribute jobs among them.
        # It assumes that IO is independent for each one (i.e., that each
        # one is on a different physical device).
        #
        # If multiple directories share a common prefix, reports will
        # abbreviate and show just the uniquely identifying suffix.
        tmp:
                - /mnt/chia0/tmp

        # Optional: Allows overriding some characteristics of certain tmp
        # directories. This contains a map of tmp directory names to
        # attributes. If a tmp directory and attribute is not listed here,
        # it uses the default attribute setting from the main configuration.
        #
        # Currently support override parameters:
        #     - tmpdir_max_jobs
        tmp_overrides:
                # In this example, /mnt/tmp/00 is larger than the other tmp
                # dirs and it can hold more plots than the default.
                "/mnt/tmp/00":
                        tmpdir_max_jobs: 5

        # Optional: tmp2 directory.  If specified, will be passed to
        # chia plots create as -2.  Only one tmp2 directory is supported.
        # tmp2: /mnt/tmp/a

        # One or more directories; the scheduler will use all of them.
        # These again are presumed to be on independent physical devices,
        # so writes (plot jobs) and reads (archivals) can be scheduled
        # to minimize IO contention.
        dst:
                - /mnt/chia0
                - /mnt/chia1
                - /mnt/chia2
                - /mnt/chia3
                - /mnt/chia4
                - /mnt/chia5

        # Archival configuration.  Optional; if you do not wish to run the
        # archiving operation, comment this section out.
        #
        # Currently archival depends on an rsync daemon running on the remote
        # host.
        # The archival also uses ssh to connect to the remote host and check
        # for available directories. Set up ssh keys on the remote host to
        # allow public key login from rsyncd_user.
        # Complete example: https://github.com/ericaltendorf/plotman/wiki/Archiving
        archive:
                rsyncd_module: plots # Define this in remote rsyncd.conf.
                rsyncd_path: /plots # This is used via ssh. Should match path
                                    # defined in the module referenced above.
                rsyncd_bwlimit: 80000  # Bandwidth limit in KB/s
                rsyncd_host: myfarmer
                rsyncd_user: chia
                # Optional index.  If omitted or set to 0, plotman will archive
                # to the first archive dir with free space.  If specified,
                # plotman will skip forward up to 'index' drives (if they exist).
                # This can be useful to reduce io contention on a drive on the
                # archive host if you have multiple plotters (simultaneous io
                # can still happen at the time a drive fills up.)  E.g., if you
                # have four plotters, you could set this to 0, 1, 2, and 3, on
                # the 4 machines, or 0, 1, 0, 1.
                #   index: 0


# Plotting scheduling parameters
scheduling:
        # Run a job on a particular temp dir only if the number of existing jobs
        # before [tmpdir_stagger_phase_major : tmpdir_stagger_phase_minor]
        # is less than tmpdir_stagger_phase_limit.
        # Phase major corresponds to the plot phase, phase minor corresponds to
        # the table or table pair in sequence, phase limit corresponds to
        # the number of plots allowed before [phase major : phase minor].
        # e.g, with default settings, a new plot will start only when your plot
        # reaches phase [2 : 1] on your temp drive. This setting takes precidence
        # over global_stagger_m
        tmpdir_stagger_phase_major: 2
        tmpdir_stagger_phase_minor: 1
        # Optional: default is 1
        tmpdir_stagger_phase_limit: 1

        # Don't run more than this many jobs at a time on a single temp dir.
        tmpdir_max_jobs: 3

        # Don't run more than this many jobs at a time in total.
        global_max_jobs: 6

        # Don't run any jobs (across all temp dirs) more often than this, in minutes.
        global_stagger_m: 30

        # How often the daemon wakes to consider starting a new plot job, in seconds.
        polling_time_s: 20


# Plotting parameters.  These are pass-through parameters to chia plots create.
# See documentation at
# https://github.com/Chia-Network/chia-blockchain/wiki/CLI-Commands-Reference#create
plotting:
        k: 32
        e: False             # Use -e plotting option
        n_threads: 2         # Threads per job
        n_buckets: 128       # Number of buckets to split data into
        job_buffer: 3389     # Per job memory
        # If specified, pass through to the -f and -p options.  See CLI reference.
        farmer_pk: farmerkey
        pool_pk: poolkey 

Chia Harvester start script for Ubuntu

This is a basic script for starting the Chia Harvester on Ubuntu. You can download the script here or use the following commands to download with wget.

wget https://incredigeek.com/home/downloads/ChiaScripts/StartHarvester.sh
chmod +x StartHarvester.sh
./StartHarvester.sh

Here is the script contents.

#!/bin/bash

# Script for starting the Chia Harvester

cd ~/chia-blockchain/
. ./activate
chia start harvester

sleep 5

if ( echo $(ps aux | grep -v grep | grep chia_harvester) | grep chia_harvester); then 
    echo "Harvester started"
else
    echo "Looks like the harvester is not running, try manually checking and/or running the commands to figure out what is wrong."
fi

Quick Chia Command list

Here are some commands that I have found helpful when using chia.

Find and count all plots on a system. Helpful if you have a machine plotting and want to know how many plot files you have

find /mnt/ /media/ ~/ -name *.plot 2>/dev/null | grep -v tmp | grep -c . && echo "Plots found"

Create Plots with Masted Keys. You will need the keys from the master node.

chia plots create -t /media/user/plotdrivetmp -d /media/user/plotdrive -f biglongublicfarmerkeyag934gh3bh3h4 -p biglongpoolpublickey129gmc2390243t-gg49

Start or restart Chia Harvester

chia start harvester -r

How to setup a Chia Harvester on Ubuntu

A Chia Harvest is a computer that farms Chia and connects back to a Master Node. You can almost think of it like the Master Node being a Pool and the harvesters as nodes on that “pool”. In this post we’ll talk about setting up a Chia Harvester on Ubuntu. Shouldn’t matter which version of Ubuntu. LTS or the latest should work fine.

Do note that we do not need the gui installed for this to work. Refer to this post to install Chia

Note: In the following commands we are assuming that the Chia directory is in your home “~/” directory on the harvester. Change the path if different.

Before we start you will need the ca directory from your Main/Master node uploaded or accessible to your Ubuntu harvester. You can get the CA directory from the following locations on Windows and Linux.

On Linux

~/.chia/mainnet/config/ssl/ca

On Windows

C:\User\username\.chia\mainnet\config\ssl\ca

You should be able to copy and paste the following path into Explorer to get to the correct directory.

%homepath%\.chia\mainnet\config\ssl\ca
Copy Chia ca directory

Copy this folder onto your Desktop, thumbdrive, network share, just some place you can access it.

Upload ca folder

You can use scp to upload the ca folder of the Harvester. In the following example we put the ca directory on our Windows desktop and we are uploading to our harvesters home directory.

scp -r Desktop\ca user@192.168.1.5:~/

Activate Chia

The rest of the commands are run on the harvester. You can either ssh or physically log into it. If Chia was installed in a different directory, then you will need to change the path.

cd chia-blockchain 
. ./activate


Configure Harvester

You should be able to copy and paste all the following commands in, change the parts in bold as needed.

The –set-farmer-peer option is your main node’s ip address.

chia init -c ~/ca
chia stop all
chia configure --set-farmer-peer 192.168.1.4:8447
chia configure --enable-upnp false
chia plots add -d /media/user/plotdrive/
chia start harvester -r

Should be all set. You can check the Main Node to verify that the harvester is connecting.

Important Notes:
UPNP needs to be turned off. It can cause problems if there are multiple wallets running on a local network that both have upnp on.

Add your plot drive locations. We need something to harvest :)

Verify that the Linux user can write to the Chia Plot drives

The following command will give the ubuntu user write access to the drive. Change the path to your drive.

sudo chmod ugo+wx /media/username/your_drive

Creating Plots

Create plots by specifying the Farmer Public Key and the Pool Public Key. You can get these from the Main Node. Plan on adding info on how to retrieve that info soon.

chia plots create -t /media/user/plotdrivetmp -d /media/user/plotdrive -f biglongublicfarmerkeyag934gh3bh3h4 -p biglongpoolpublickey129gmc2390243t-gg49

The following link has more information.

https://github.com/Chia-Network/chia-blockchain/wiki/Farming-on-many-machines


Install Chia Blockchain on Ubuntu

Chia is a new kinda of Crypto Currency that instead of using PoW (Proof of Work) it uses Proof of Space and Time which ends up using hard drive space to “mine” farm.

Install Chia Blockchain

You can copy and paste all of these commands in a terminal.

sudo apt update -y
sudo apt upgrade -y
sudo apt install -y git
git clone https://github.com/Chia-Network/chia-blockchain.git -b latest --recurse-submodules

cd chia-blockchain
sh install.sh
. ./activate
chia init

The . ./activate command is needed to be able to run the chia commands. I believe it sources into the current shell so the commands work correctly.

Install Chia Blockchain Gui

After you have run the above commands, do the following to install the Chia Gui

chmod +x ./install-gui.sh
./install-gui.sh
cd chia-blockchain-gui
npm run electron &

Launching Gui after it is installed

In the future for launching the Gui you should be able to copy and paste the following commands in.

cd chia-blockchain 
. ./activate
cd chia-blockchain-gui
npm run electron &

You can also put all of the above commands into a bash shell script and then just run the script instead of having to run the commands all over again every time you want to launch the gui.