How to Mine Litecoin (LTC) for Free

  • George Shnurenko
    Litecoin (LTC) guide

    As for Bitcoin mining, we face the lack of opportunity of digging it without heavy and expensive ASIC processors.

How to Mine Litecoin (LTC) for Free

Litecoin Mining - Simple Way

As for Bitcoin mining, we face the lack of opportunity of digging it without heavy and expensive ASIC processors. Despite this all of us have got alternative – to consider altcoins. And in this case home PC users have got a great chance. You can easily mine alternative digital currencies with the common computer – it turned to be rather suitable for this process. Is it your first foray into mining?

This guide will explain you the better and easiest way for Litecoin “digging”, we considered all you need for great start here – mining a few altcoins is affordable and you can get feathercoins, litecoins and dogecoins with no complicated extra equipment. In most cases miners are engaged in applying the SHA-256 or scrypt in order to hash the network. And the trend of new digital currencies is using scrypt. Scrypt is considered to be more memory requiring.

At the same time your home PCs can be equipped with powerful graphics cards and however could become the effective resource of crypto mining – no specialized ASICs need to be possessed. You could even be surprised but you still can mine some cryptocoins with only PC processor. Equipped with built-in graphics laptop can be also involved in mining process although you can suffer with efficiency and we could hardly recommend you this very way.

The first step that you need to undertake is to get a wallet where you could store your earned values (kindly see our Bitcoin storage guide). We recommend visiting the homepage of that very currency you intend to use, and download the wallet app via specified link. See our guide that gives you deeper understanding of Litecoin nature and how to get the proper start.

Use altcoins’ community forums if you doubt something, faced difficulties and have got any questions. Or appeal to their own subreddit as well. The majority of wallets are structured similarly – they are based on original Bitcoin-Qt client. You should kindly be careful and remember - before start using these wallets, you need to stock up with patience - the loading of the whole block-chain of the coin can take a lot of time.

Speed Determines Success

Having got the ASICs you will never get problems with cryptocurrency mining, but if you possess PC with GPU – you are supposed to have a good result too. Or you can do with CPU only. Nevertheless the cryptographic calculations are better performed through GPU being sited on graphics card.

When using a laptop Intel integrated graphics you will suffer with the lack of speed, and they really are not so suitable for the task, but still the trick with gadget mining is possible. Lucky are the owners of a souped-up gaming computer. A dedicated graphics processor fitted in your PC will serve excellently when talking about GPU mining in comparison with Intel integrated graphics cards in most laptops.

Every altcoin miner keeps in mind the respectable level of speed retention. That is why they create highly dedicated machines. As a rule multiple graphics cards are connected with motherboards via riser cables.

You shouldn’t forget about the most important thing – the lifespan of your equipment. Mining process can disable electronic components because of the overloading. That’s why kindly take care of adequate cooling in room with engaged PC, keep the proper temperature regime. And don’t forget about keeping all warranties saved - the breakage can catch you unexpectedly.

You can dare to own mining or join a mining 'pool'. This community makes mining efforts more reasonable and productive due to combined processing resources. All participants share the rewards.

The pros and cons of working in collaboration with other miners are obvious. Taking part in the pool means that all its members gain less profit but much larger chance of block solving, but the reward will be split between members according to 'shares' earned.

When doing solo, you conversely get the entire rewards, but the lack of power can discourage you. Efforts’ outcome is 100% yours but resources are still not enough.

Inclined to act alone? We need to emphasize that set up of your own equipment turns to be more difficult in comparison of working with the pool. So if you start your mining career and are ready to get the cut reward for unit, you’d better choose “pool way”.

This also gives you more benefit – a stable revenue stream. Of course it would not be the large sum as the regards are shared. You can choose the altcoins by yourself but keep in mind that some pools give you smart trading advice (Multipool for example) and offer the trading coins on profitability basis. CPU miner Installation

Check the ability of use the command line on your PC if you plan to use CPU miner. It is supposed to be the easiest way to start mining. The program is suitable for Windows of 32 and 64 bit and can be downloaded from SourceForge. It is also available for Linux and OS X. This very guide is adopted for Windows OS users.

Chose the appropriate file for your OS and download it. Extract ZIP file to any place of hard drive – just remember the way to it. For your convenience you can make 'CPUminer' folder for example on Desktop.

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Writing your script

Let’s find out how to set up your CPUminer according to mining pool parameters. You have probably heard about “batch file” in Windows - so it is the simplest way: write this one-line script and launch the miner according to the correct instructions. Kindly check if you have all this information:

  1. See the full path to the storage directory of the mining program (""minerd.exe"") (eg: ""C:\cpu-miner-pooler"").
  2. Check the mining pool server 'stratum' URL (eg: ""stratum+tcp://"").
  3. There must be mining server port number ( ""3333"").
  4. Your mining pool username ( ""username"").
  5. Appoint your number or working name (eg: ""3"").
  6. Create a password of worker (eg: ""Y"").

Now you need to open the text editor. Use Notepad but avoid Word program. Keep in mind that the following method may be applicable in case of mining a digital currency supporting the scrypt algorithm. Enter or type the script according to this formula: start ""path"" minerd.exe - -url URL:PORT -a scrypt - - userpass USERNAME.WORKER:PASSWORD

With all these details above, the following text must appear:

start ""C:\cpu-miner-pooler"" minerd.exe --url stratum+tcp:// -a scrypt --userpass username.3:Y

Assign this file a "".bat"" extension; it can look like: ""the-best-mining-profile-of-mine.bat"".

When you saved the batch file, click 2 times to launch the activation of miner program. You can see that your mining pool has well-known web-based interface. Be patient – it will take a few minutes for activation of miner worker – you will see on website as soon as all is completed.

Having learned how to mine with the CPU, let us get down to the process with your GPU. How to set up GPU miner

If you decided to use GPUs or mine with USB gadjets, you can download the CPUminer and use this program. Take it from website of developer. If you MAC’s user the unofficial files can be found here.

What Version to choose

Recent CPUminer version of 3.72 doesn’t provide support of scrypt mining, support for GPUs is realized in version 3.82. You needn’t search for the latest version and download it – just pick that very one that suits your needs. As we told above we assume you use Windows OS, but if you are OS X or Linux user, keep in mind that the parameters (the command line arguments) would be similar.

Kindly see below the instructions for mining a crypto currency using scrypt.

  1. First you need to create the special folder with simple way to be found by you, for example ""c:\cgminer\"". Extract the software into this folder.
  2. Check your graphic drivers before any further actions and update them if needed.
  3. Press two buttons together - the Windows key and ""R"" key. Then type in ""cmd"". Complete operation with pressing Enter button - the command terminal will open. If you need to enter the directory with cgminer zip file, enter ""cd"" command, and you will change the current directory.
  4. To see the list of recognized devices on your PC, type in ""cgminer.exe -n"". The steps for proper set up of your graphics card need to be undertaken. Otherwise you couldn’t proceed if the card is not detected.

Now let’s get down to your mining pool details – this algorithm is similar to CPU descripted above:

  1. See the full path to the storage directory of the mining program (""minerd.exe"") (eg: ""C:\cpu-miner-pooler"").
  2. Check the mining pool server 'stratum' URL (eg: ""stratum+tcp://"").
  3. There must be mining server port number (""3333"").
  4. Your mining pool username (""username"").
  5. Appoint your number or working name (eg: ""3"").
  6. Create a password of worker (eg: ""Y"").

As we repeated the creation of batch file, let’s use correct data to start up the cgminer. Here is a command structure:

Start ""path"" cgminer -- scrypt -o URL:PORT -u USERNAME.WORKER -p PASSWORD

In our case it can look like:

Start ""C:\cgminer\"" -- scrypt -o stratum+tcp:// --userpass username.3:Y

Statistics of your miner

As the setup of mining software is completed, you can see statistic information scrolling across command line of the terminal. With cgminer the more info can be seen: the currency, specs of your hardware, and the data of your mining pool. When using cpuminer you can only see the references to all solved blocks by your computer as well as your hashing speed.

Enlarge the power

We are glad to inform those who possess the PC equipped with dedicated graphic cards. You can combine cpuminer and cgminer and work both at the same time. To realize it you need to add the argument ""-- threads n"" to the command of miner. Letter “”n”” shows the number of CPU cores planned to be engaged for mining.

Nevertheless you should remember that a couple of cores needed to be left for GPu’s control. If all CPU cores will be involved they couldn’t send data to GPU because of being engaged. In case you have got a quad core CPU, appoint the “”N – argument”” in the ""--threads"" as 3 or 2.

If you ever thought about what is more efficient – CPU or GPU – try mining with both of them. It will reveal the advantage of GPUs – the hashing speed is five-times different. You can see this data of mining programs in their terminal windows.

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