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I successfully compiled the xmr-stak miner with CUDA

Jade M Thornton

I've been mining Monero for a while now, and I use xmr-stak on most of my machines (except the ones using ARM). Of course, my most powerful machine also happens to be my primary personal computer, so I've been pretty careful with it. I installed xmr-stak a handful of moons ago, and I remember struggling with it a bit. However, brilliant old me didn't bother to record how I actually got it to work, so it was a whole new adventure when I decided to update the software. So learning from my mistake, I'm recording what I did here so I can repeat it in the future. If a couple of other people find this and find it useful, all the better.

To start off, so you know you're not totally wasting your time, here's the specs I'm working with:

OS: Linux Mint 18.3 Sylvia
Kernel: x86_64 4.13.0-26-generic
CPU: Intel Core i7-4700MQ @ 3.4GHz x 4
GPU: NVidia GT 755M x 2


Now, the problems came down to CUDA. Obviously, with two GPUs, I don't want to only mine on the CPU (which was working fine). That's like getting onto a two-engine commercial jet and trying to takeoff with the exhaust from the auxillary power unit. Okay, that's a bit dramatic, I can still get around 200 H/s from my CPU. Anyway, part of the issue was compatibility between CUDA and my driver. When I started this ordeal, I was using CUDA 9.0 and it was working fine. However, I thought as long as I'm updating xmr-stak, why not update CUDA to 9.1? Well I also happen to be using driver 384.111, but 9.1 requires 385 or something. Of course, 9.1 offers to install the driver for you, but you have to be in runlevel 3, and I just didn't want to get into risky stuff like that on my main computer (not again, anyway). So I tried to go back to CUDA 9.0 and xmr-stak just refused to compile again and again. Here's a sampling of errors I continually ran into:

Could NOT find CUDA (missing:  CUDA_INCLUDE_DIRS) (found suitable version "9.0", minimum required is "7.5")

error: cuda_runtime.h: No such file or directory

Error generating
/xmr-stak/xmr-stak/build/CMakeFiles/xmrstak_cuda_backend.dir/xmrstak/backend/nvidia/nvcc_code/./xmrstak_cuda_backend_generated_cuda_core.cu.o

CMake Error at CMakeLists.txt:209 (message):
CUDA NOT found

How I got it to work

Long story short, here's everything I did to make it finally work:

sudo apt install cuda cuda-9-0 cuda-core-9-0 cuda-cublas-* cuda-cudart-* cuda-cufft-* cuda-documentation-9-0 cuda-runtime-9-0 cuda-nvgraph-* cuda-nvrtc-* cuda-gdb-src-9-0 --reinstall

git clone https://github.com/fireice-uk/xmr-stak.git

mkdir xmr-stak/build && cd xmr-stak/build

export CC=/usr/bin/gcc

export CXX=/usr/bin/g++

export CUDA_ROOT=/usr/local/cuda

cmake -DCMAKE_LINK_STATIC=ON -DXMR-STAK_COMPILE=generic -DCUDA_ENABLE=ON -DOpenCL_ENABLE=OFF -DMICROHTTPD_ENABLE=ON -DOpenSSL_ENABLE=ON ..

make install -j 4

For me, at least, this finally got it to compile and I can run it now! I often leave it mining while I'm sleeping or at work. The internal fans provide a nice white noise.

Note, if the GPUs fail to start mining through the software, try reducing the thread count on both before you start looking for other problems. I have mine set to 124 threads with 6 blocks on each GPU, which is lower than the defaults.


Profiles

To maximise the amount of mining I can do, I actually have three "profiles" ready to run on my computer. In case you're interested, here's some options.

All-out (CPU + GPU)

This is probably what you're going for and will get the most bang for your hardware. I compiled using the commands above (all those flags make a difference), and I'm using these two config files:

nvidia.txt

"gpu_threads_conf" :
  [
    // gpu: GeForce GT 755M architecture: 30
    //      memory: 1810/1991 MiB
    //      smx: 2
    { "index" : 0,
    "threads" : 124, "blocks" : 6,
    "bfactor" : 4, "bsleep" :  0,
    "affine_to_cpu" : false,
    },
    // gpu: GeForce GT 755M architecture: 30
    //      memory: 1972/1999 MiB
    //      smx: 2
    { "index" : 1,
    "threads" : 124, "blocks" : 6,
    "bfactor" : 4, "bsleep" :  0,
    "affine_to_cpu" : false,
    },
  ],

cpu.txt

"cpu_threads_conf" :
  [
    { "low_power_mode" : false, "no_prefetch" : true, "affine_to_cpu" : 0 },
    { "low_power_mode" : false, "no_prefetch" : true, "affine_to_cpu" : 1 },
    { "low_power_mode" : false, "no_prefetch" : true, "affine_to_cpu" : 2 },
    { "low_power_mode" : false, "no_prefetch" : true, "affine_to_cpu" : 3 },
  ],

On my system, this gets me around 600 H/s. Not bad, but low enough for me to start considering getting some old GPUs for my weakling Dell Vostro tower.

CPU-full

This profile is sans-GPU, if you ever want that. For this, I compiled without CUDA, using the normal install method but with this set of cmake flags:

cmake -DCMAKE_LINK_STATIC=ON -DXMR-STAK_COMPILE=generic -DCUDA_ENABLE=OFF -DOpenCL_ENABLE=OFF -DMICROHTTPD_ENABLE=ON -DOpenSSL_ENABLE=ON ..

Notice the -DCUDA_ENABLE=OFF which makes it CPU-only (on NVidia systems). Then this is my cpu.txt, same as for the all-out profile above:

"cpu_threads_conf" :
  [
    { "low_power_mode" : false, "no_prefetch" : true, "affine_to_cpu" : 0 },
    { "low_power_mode" : false, "no_prefetch" : true, "affine_to_cpu" : 1 },
    { "low_power_mode" : false, "no_prefetch" : true, "affine_to_cpu" : 2 },
    { "low_power_mode" : false, "no_prefetch" : true, "affine_to_cpu" : 3 },
  ],

Running this profile gets me around 200 H/s.

CPU-lite

Here's the one I really made the profiles for. I run this one in the background while I'm doing light or moderate regular computing. I'll often run this alongside a handy monerod --max-concurrency 1 to keep my local blockchain up to date.

Compile without CUDA as with CPU-full:

cmake -DCMAKE_LINK_STATIC=ON -DXMR-STAK_COMPILE=generic -DCUDA_ENABLE=OFF -DOpenCL_ENABLE=OFF -DMICROHTTPD_ENABLE=ON -DOpenSSL_ENABLE=ON ..

Notice the -DCUDA_ENABLE=OFF which makes it CPU-only (on NVidia systems). Here's the cpu.txt for the lite version:

"cpu_threads_conf" :
  [
    { "low_power_mode" : true, "no_prefetch" : false, "affine_to_cpu" : false },
    { "low_power_mode" : true, "no_prefetch" : false, "affine_to_cpu" : false },
  ],

Running this profile keeps me around 60-75 H/s and doesn't drain enough CPU power for me to notice most of the time. If you're using a pool that offers a separate port for low-end CPUs, I'd use that for this profile.