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How to Farm and Plot Chia Coins with just a Raspberry Pi

by Chris Wasshuber
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How to Farm and Plot Chia Coins with just a Raspberry Pi by Chris Wasshuber
There are lots of guides and recommendations you can find online that will tell you what the 'ultimate' Chia cryptocurrency plotting setup is. Sometimes these are thinly disguised attempts to sell you hardware. In other cases, these are well-intentioned but in my opinion misguided recommendations that will cost you more money than you will most likely make farming Chia. I have been down that rat race with bitcoin mining. It is very hard to make a profit as a small participant particularly at this current time (July 2021) where the price of Chia is dropping and the total network space rising. Burning up SSDs, spending lots of power plotting, and buying expensive hardware for a short-lived plotting period is also contra to the spirit of Chia. Exchanging proof-of-work with proof-of-waste is no improvement at all.

That is why I went the exact opposite way and I asked myself: What is the cheapest and absolute minimal setup I need to run a full chia node, farmer, wallet, harvester, and plot at the same time? No SSDs or NVMes are allowed.

All you need is a Raspberry Pi and an external USB 3 hard disk. Of course, there is a lot more to it than just that. The important things are in the details of how the system was setup, all the things that can break, or run non-optimally, and how to diagnose and fix them. I will describe in this guide all the errors I made, all the failed attempts I had, and all the things I found out and learned.

Reading this guide will help you save money and time. I bought hardware I ultimately did not need, I wasted months with problems I did not understand initially. When I started my first plot took more than 5 days to complete. I am now creating a plot under 23 hours while a full node, farmer, wallet, and harvester is running. All of that takes place on a single RPi for $75 and one hard disk. Everything is automated with scripts. I do not have my computer on all the time or have the plotting interfere with my other work on my computer. It is also a much more energy-efficient setup than any other plotting and or farming configuration I have seen.

This guide provides all the commands and guidance that a non-linux expert can follow along. Of course, the more you are familiar with the Raspberry Pi and with Linux, the easier it will be for you. But even with very limited experience, just a willingness to give it a try, this guide will show you how to do it.

I think that minimizing capital investment, and playing the long-term game, slowly plotting on the most efficient setup, is the safer and smarter way to farm Chia.

Contents:

  • Philosophy
  • Raspberry Pi to the Rescue
  • Slow Plotting
  • Reducing Plotting Time
    • Plotting in Parallel
    • HDD
  • Results
  • Technical Details
    • RPi
    • HDD
    • Chia Plotting
    • Chia Farming
    • Chia Pooling
      • No Points In Pool
    • Chia Monitoring
    • Overclocking
    • Shutting Down
    • Convenience Features
      • Automatically Start Chia Environment
      • Start Chia on Boot
    • Updating Chia Blockchain Software
    • Power Supply
    • Troubleshooting
      • Wallet
      • Farming
      • Harvester
  • Farming Clones
  • Some Financial Contemplations
  • Afterthought
  • Resources

1st edition 2021, PDF 31 pages.
word count: 10825 which is equivalent to 43 standard pages of text


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