Bitcoin Mining on Mac OS X – Bi•Fury ASICs

In my previous post on Bitfury based USB sticks I looked at the Blue Fury and Red Fury ASICs. Those sticks pack a single 55nm Bitfury ASIC chip and hash at between 2.2 and 3.0 Gh/s, depending on cooling and other factors.

The Bi•Fury stick (currently in stock) is another new USB ASIC based on the 55nm Bitfury chip. As the name implies, this new stick packs two chips instead of the Blue/Red Fury’s one and hashes at an advertised 5 Gh/s.

Bi•Fury

These devices are very professional and visually striking as far as USB miners go. They have a very nice red PCB and matching red heat-sink.

Let’s see what it takes to get mining with one of these under OS X!

Miner Installation

As with most previous ASICs, the first step is to install either bfgminer or cgminer on OS X (unlike the HashBuster Micro cgminer is perfectly capable of utilizing the Bi•Fury). There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums which discusses various ways to install cgminer and bfgminer on Mac OS X. One of the more full-proof methods is to use Homebrew:

  1. Launch Terminal.app from Spotlight or your Applications folder
  2. Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.github.com/mxcl/homebrew/go/install)"
  3. Run the following command and then fix any reported issues:
    brew doctor
  4. Tap the following Homebrew repository so that you can install packages from it:
    brew tap nwoolls/xgminer
  5. Finally, install either cgminer or bfgminer:
    brew install bfgminer

Note: if you’d like to install the miner using the latest source from Github rather than the latest official package, use the –HEAD (two dashes prefix) parameter, e.g.:

brew install bfgminer --HEAD

Driver Installation

The setup here is nearly identical to the Blue Fury and Red Fury sticks. Running bfgminer requires the correct kernel extension to be loaded in order to detect the Bi•Fury stick and cgminer will fail to detect the stick unless that same kernel extension is unloaded. As with the Blue and Red Fury sticks there is no driver or software to download. When using bfgminer the Apple Communication Device Class (CDC) driver will be used and when using cgminer that driver (kernel extension) must be unloaded.

To load the required Apple drivers (if you intend to use bfgminer) execute the following command:

sudo kextload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDC

To unload the driver (if you intend on using cgminer) execute the following:

sudo kextunload -b com.apple.driver.AppleUSBCDC

Detection

With the proper Bitcoin mining software installed and the kernel extensions loaded (or unloaded), you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with bfgminer:

bfgminer -d? -S bifury:all
[2013-12-19 01:53:26] Started bfgminer 3.8.1
[2013-12-19 01:53:29] Devices detected:
[2013-12-19 01:53:29] Device (driver=bifury; procs=2; path=/dev/cu.usbmodem5d11)
1 devices listed

or with cgminer:

cgminer -d?
[2013-12-19 01:52:12] Started cgminer 3.8.5
[2013-12-19 01:52:14] Devices detected:
[2013-12-19 01:52:14] 0. BXF 0 (driver: bitfury)
[2013-12-19 01:52:14] 1 devices listed

Mining

Once the Bi•Fury stick is detected you can start your preferred mining software using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

cgminer -o hostname -u username -p password

Bi*Fury cgminer

Note that using bfgminer requires an additional -S argument:

bfgminer -S bifury:all -o hostname -u username -p password

Bi*Fury bfgminer

If you have any questions feel free to post them in the comments below or on this thread at the Bitcoin Talk forums. Happy mining!

7 thoughts on “Bitcoin Mining on Mac OS X – Bi•Fury ASICs

  1. Dennis

    I followed your method step by step and when I get to the point where I call bfgminer I get nothing. All it will say is:

    Started bfgminer 3.8.1

    Nothing else will appear after and it wont give me the option to type either. Any ideas on how I can trouble shoot this?

    Reply
  2. Pingback: Bitcoin Mining on Mac OS X – Twinfury ASICs | blog.nwoolls.com

  3. Jayjay

    Hi,
    Do you have any idea who’s the manufacturer of the product, where it comes from ? China, India ?
    Is it a reliable manufacturer assuring us the product will last ?

    Thank you.

    Reply
  4. Phill Pafford

    Also Posted here

    http://bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/21399/minepeon-peercoin-asic-miner-not-working

    Im new the the game so please correct me if needed.

    I have a RasPI running minepeon 0.2.5, a DLINK USB Hub ( http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00008VFAF/?tag=stackoverfl08-20 ) and a Red Fury USB ASIC Bitcoin Miner 2.2-2.7GH/Sec By BITFURY

    I’ve added my pool https://ppcoin.d7.lt/ and things looked good except nothing is mining.

    The miner states it’s running but the device id is 0 and 0 hashrate.

    I’ve tried to start the miner manually https://ppcoin.d7.lt/getting-started

    cgminer -o stratum+tcp://stratum.d7.lt:3333 -u miner.1 -p 99999

    it starts up but states the USB hub is busy, I see it testing the Red Fury but after that it still is not mining.

    Am I missing something?

    Reply
  5. joe

    Hey, just waiting for my bi fury to ship in, got 0 devices detected right now. Not sure how to start the miner though, will it start automatically and change from terminal to the black background screen once I plug it in and install the drivers?

    Reply
  6. dmitry

    hi, my bitfury bf1 didn’t recognised…
    bfgminer -d? -S bifury:all
    [2014-06-25 23:53:11] Started bfgminer 4.2.0
    [2014-06-25 23:53:13] Devices detected:
    0 devices listed

    could you tell me how to fix it? how to reinstall the driver?

    Reply

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