I wanted to see how I could utilize my Raspberry Pi for something Crypto related. I originally was going to try to run a Presearch Node on it – only to find out when I was installing the node into Docker their image is not compatible with Raspberry Pi with no specific plans to update it to become compatible.
I then thought it might be interesting to try to mine Vertcoin with it – but I was not able to find really good information on deploying their linux miner. I tried installing CGMiner – but for whatever reason different things kept erroring out. I finally came across a post about Folding@Home on Raspberry Pi so I decided to try that – and it worked! Below are the links and information I used during set up as well as notes I made during the process since none of the instructions worked perfectly.
1)Purchase the Raspberry Pi & Accessories
I used the following items purchased from Ebay:
Raspberry Pi Model 3B+ - I chose this because of the cheap price (~$35-$40) and because it has wi-fi capability.
Raspberry Pi case – there are different cases. This is optional. The one I ordered was not as straightforward as the image showed. It was basically layers of plastic that look to have been 3D printed or something. It did not quite fit the Model B+ like it stated it would – so I had to modify a bit – removed some unused Pi pins and filed out some of the plastic. The end result looks ok – but is a bit crooked. It did come with a fan which I thought would be important since I’d be mining with the processor.
Micro-SD card and Adapter – This is needed for loading the OS. I loaded Ubuntu 20 Server. I purchased this at Wal Mart. 32GB for $12!
If you are hooking up wi-fi you will need to know the ID and password so you can edit a config file when you burn the OS to the micro-SD card.
You will need to know your Folding@Home username, Team ID, and Passphrase.
2) Install Ubuntu:
Follow these instructions:
For Raspberry Pi 3 - https://ubuntu.com/tutorials/how-to-install-ubuntu-on-your-raspberry-pi#1-overview
- Notes on preparing the SD Card – The imager link on the above instructions appears to be broken. I was was able to download the imager from: https://downloads.raspberrypi.org/imager/
- When running the imager – choose OS: Other General Purpose OS > Ubuntu > Ubuntu Server 20.10 (RPi 3/4/400) 64-bit server for arm64 architectures
3) (Optional) Configure Wi-fi
Once you have written the OS image to the Micro SD Card and edited the wi-fi info in the config file (if needed) you can then follow the Ubuntu steps above on booting up the first time.
I found I did not need to SSH in remotely through a terminal, but could use the terminal that loads at first boot up directly.
The instructions above to show how to install a desktop to Ubuntu Server if you want. However, I found that once installed it never loads if you get Folding@Home running. I think it is just too much stuff for the Raspberry Pi to handle. I think if I had to do over I’d skip installing a desktop and stick with command line Ubuntu.
Be sure to update and upgrade Ubuntu before proceeding – follow the steps in the above links. Basically you will run sudo apt-get update and sudo apt-get upgrade commands.
4) The ubuntu website has a page dedicated to installing Folding@Home – however, I think it is outdated as I had issues. https://help.ubuntu.com/community/FoldingAtHome Those install files might work for you – but I had issues with them. I tried all the installation methods. They seemed to almost work – but always had issues with some of the client files.
I found these instructions on the Folding@Home website: https://foldingathome.org/support/faq/installation-guides/linux/manual-installation-advanced/
However, Raspberry Pie is arm64 architecture. Instead of the wget for the amd64 files you will need to do the wget commands for the arm64 files which are located here: https://foldingathome.org/alternative-downloads/
Once these 3 files are downloaded you can then follow the rest of the install instructions here: https://foldingathome.org/support/faq/installation-guides/linux/manual-installation-advanced/
Install the FAHClient.
sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahclient_7.4.4_amd64.deb
The package will prompt for initial setup information, user name, etc. Enter information or change as needed, and click OK.
Install the FAHControl application. Root privileges are required. FAHControl will show “offline” or “connecting” status until the FAHClient is running, either started automatically (strongly recommended) or started manually.
sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahcontrol_7.4.4-1_all.deb
Optionally, install the FAHViewer.
sudo dpkg -i --force-depends fahviewer_7.4.4_amd64.deb
Done. The FAHClient is installed and running as a service. Manage, monitor and update settings using the FAHControl
Now when you reboot your Raspberry Pi should load up the Folding@home software and begin processing.
To be honest – I think it will be months before much is really processed in a worthwhile manner – but it is pretty cool it can be done!