@tkocou, I’ve managed to set up GPU mining on a Xubuntu machine, a couple of days ago. Not sure if you’ve figured out everything yet, but I’ll just lay down my experience with it for anyone else who might be asking the same questions.
I’ve felt a bit of a similar “hiccup” to yours, I guess, (not sure if for the exact same reasons) and I can say that I did a LOT of reading before starting to set everything up. I’m not saying that I’ve read everything out there and I might have missed some of the better articles that would have helped more, but it took me about a week of (on and off) reading before I’ve figured out everything I needed to just get started.
I tend to read a lot before starting the actual work, as I want to know I’ve covered all the main bases and I’m not missing anything essential.
The part which is sorely missing in most guides you can find online about GPU mining for Zcash is the one which actually would explain for a newcomer (irrespective of his technical level in other domains) how he can set up correctly and fast “the link” between the GPU miner – a Zcash address – a pool.
As it turns out it’s vastly similar to mining ETH/BTC and it’s as simple as pointing your GPU miner to a pool sever and (depending on the chosen pool) feeding it as an additional parameter either the Zcash address or an accountname.workername (in which case you’ll provide the Zcash address to which the pool will pay out your earnings during the pool account creation, on their website).
The Zcash address you provide, in theory can be either a z_type or a t_type but depending on the pool, you’ll be allowed to provide either of both or just a t_address (as some pools won’t execute payouts to a z_address at present time).
Basically some of the “harder to find out” pieces of info about Zcash mining (in my experience) were related to:
- The Zcash network kind of “moved beyond” CPU mining, since quite a while, (CPU mining is still possible but hardly profitable at present time) but unfortunately the official wiki guide kind of leaves you hanging after holding your hand through the client installation & wallet creation and the CPU mining setup part.
- When heading to the Internet for additional guides, most of the stuff you find has detailed instructions about the preliminary steps but not about the “meat” of the current subject which is mining software setup itself and alternatively you’ll find a lot of video guides for Windows, which also don’t bother to explain “how” the actually mining workflow happens or “why” you need to do some of the stuff they show you to do. Not complaining here, it’s good they exist and kudos to the authors, but most don’t shed enough light on certain aspects for a real noob.
- As a newcomer, even after reading many of the text guides that come in the first 2 pages of results in Google, it’s still unclear if you actually need to be running a Zcash node if you want to simply GPU pool-mine, and you’ll find a few seemingly contradictory hints on the matter.
So, from my (yet) limited understanding here’s how it goes (if I’m wrong on any of the facts below, anyone more experienced can step in and correct):
- You will actually find the most detailed guides (that I’ve seen so far) on how to set up your GPU miner of choice, on the various pools’ help pages; many of them tend to have quite detailed guides on how to set up the existent GPU mining clients and even offer for download versions pre-set for their pool (i.e. the correct fail-over server addresses will be pre-filled in the config file of the miner and the startup script file - i.e. .bat/.sh - will contain the correct parameters for their pool).
You will STILL HAVE TO REPLACE the sample destination Zcash address in both the config file and startup file with your own Zcash address.
- A very simplified version of the pool GPU-mining workflow would be:
a) Your miner submits shares for the current block by using the pool server address you set up in the miner as a destination
b) Your shares get quantified on the pool side and when the pool actually solves a block and earns the reward for it you will get a part of the reward depending on the number of your submitted shares and according to the algorithm used by the pool (i.e. PPS, PPLNS, etc.)
c) When your balance on the pool side reaches the payout threshold, then the pool will pay the amount you earned so far into the Zcash address you provided (either when you created your pool account, in case of pools that will require manual account creation or to the address you used as a parameter in your miner’s startup command - in which case usually the pool automatically creates an account for you when your miner submits its first share based on the parameters you provided on the command line, such as: Zcash address, worker name, email address).
Actually all this is very similar to the way you GPU-mine other coins but since in most guides you don’t find an explicit mention of this, you have to figure it out yourself.
- If you’re pool-mining, it’s not necessary/mandatory to run the Zcash wallet (the zcashd daemon) in order to mine. It’s highly recommended to do it if you can, though, as it helps strengthen the network but failure to do so won’t prevent you from mining and earning ZEC via the pool you’ve chosen.