Bitcoin Mining on Mac OS X – NanoFury ASICs

Two new USB stick ASICs are arriving stateside and into the hands of many miners. One is the AntMiner U1, a 1.6 Gh/s USB ASIC from BITMAINtech. The other is Ice Fury, a 2 Gh/s USB ASIC based on the Open Source NanoFury design.

I am currently working on code for bfgminer to allow mining with the AntMiner U1 and will cover that in a future article. For now we’ll focus on the Ice Fury ASIC and what it takes to get these little devices mining under Mac OS X.


As you can see the manufacturers chose to go with a striking white design and a matching silver heat sink.

Miner Installation

As with both the HashBuster Micro and the Twinfury, Ice Fury is currently only supported by bfgminer. So, the first step is to install bfgminer on OS X. There is a thread here on the Bitcoin Talk forums which discusses various ways to install bfgminer on Mac OS X. The most full-proof method is to use Homebrew:

  1. Launch from Spotlight or your Applications folder
  2. Install Homebrew by entering the following in the command prompt:
    ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
  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

Driver Installation

Like the HashBuster Micro and Twinfury, the Ice Fury USB ASIC requires no installed kernel extension or driver.


After bfgminer is installed you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with bfgminer:

bfgminer -d?
[2014-01-07 20:14:16] Started bfgminer 3.9.0
[2014-01-07 20:14:17] Devices detected:
[2014-01-07 20:14:17] NanoFury NF1 v0.7 by Microchip Technology Inc. (driver=nanofury; procs=1; serial=0000096175; path=USB_04d8_00de_3a200000)
1 devices listed


Once the Ice Fury stick is detected you can start bfgminer using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

bfgminer -o hostname -u username -p password

bfgminer Ice Fury

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!

15 thoughts on “Bitcoin Mining on Mac OS X – NanoFury ASICs

  1. Chris

    Anybody know if these devices require USB 3.0? Or do they work with USB 2.0? I’ve got a Mac mini laying around that I would like to put to work running an ASIC miner.

    1. toby

      I have two Red Fury sticks running on a Pi and a D-Link 2.0 hub that are hashing at 2.4 GH/s. I had this question about the Red Furys before I bought them, and they seem unaffected by the bit stream. It seems more to do with the amount of power they get than their bandwidth. I have an Ice Fury coming that I can report back on as well.

  2. Jeffj

    I’ve been running my mini-mining rig of a few bitfury sticks, and I just added the Antminer to it.

    CGMiner recognizes the Antminer, but only hashes it around .4-.6. The driver I was instructed to install disables all USB ASICs on CGMiner, runnning 3.10.0 btw. Any thoughts on what a mac user should do?

  3. tek

    I’ve been all over google trying to get my nanofury to work on OS X, when I try to start bfgminer with the “-d?” option I get “no matches found: -d?” is there anything missing from this guide? The usb stick is being shown in the System Profiler under USB, just not sure how I get the mining software to pick it up.

  4. Yakov

    Thank you so much for this guide Nathanial, I had found a few of these for really cheap and decided to point them towards Unobtanium. You might find it funny, because the difficulty is over 300,000 :)

  5. Toby

    I just received an Ice Fury and do not get a light when I plug it into anything. I am on 10.6.8 and am wondering if the unit is bad or I do not have something configured correctly. I just Homebrewed bfgminer 3.9.0 (with out the –HEAD tag, I read older instructions apparently) but still no recognition on the miner. On other block erupters at the very least their light would come on if they worked but didn’t mine before configuration. I cannot see any device added when I plug this thing in; but strangely enough, when I open up a VM Linux distro the nanofury device is listed but not available in the VM device options. I am confused, should I try to send this one back or do some more digging?
    I at least want the light on!

    1. nwoolls Post author

      A lot of these sales are through the forums. That’s where you’ll get the best price. You need to either register and post enough on the “Noob” threads or you can try buying them on Ebay, but they are being resold for a markup there.

  6. Matthew

    bfgminer -D -d? shows this:
    [2014-01-21 16:23:58] lowlevel_scan: Found usb device at usb:250:013 (path=(null), vid=04d8, pid=00de, manuf=Microchip Technology Inc., prod=NanoFury NF1 YellowJacket, serial=0000098237)
    bfgminer -d? shows this:
    [2014-01-21 16:23:55] Devices detected:
    0 devices listed

    How can I compile in nanofury support?

    1. Matthew

      Got it working. Had to untap/tap your formula so it grabbed the latest version which included hidapi and then reinstalled bgminer. Thanks!

  7. Gil

    My installation of bfgminer hangs when installing the HIDAPI dependency. I’m running Mavericks 10.9.2.
    Can’t seem to figure out the aclocal error I’m getting.
    Appreciate any help. Thanks!

    ==> Downloading
    Already downloaded: /Library/Caches/Homebrew/hidapi-0.8.0-rc1.tar.gz
    ==> ./bootstrap
    autoreconf: Entering directory `.’
    autoreconf: not using Gettext
    autoreconf: running: aclocal –force -I m4
    aclocal: error: aclocal: file ‘/usr/local/share/aclocal/mysql.m4′ does not exist
    autoreconf: aclocal failed with exit status: 1


  8. Daniel

    Great article! I got BFGMiner to work correctly with a nano fury miner, now I’d just like to get them to work with CGMiner. CGMIner 4.1.0 sees the Nanofury, but it gives me a “failed to initialize” error. Any suggestions? Thanks!


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