Bitcoin Mining on Mac OS X – AntMiner U1 ASICs

Several of my previous posts on Bitcoin mining with ASICs have focused on devices powered by Bitfury chips. These 55nm chips have dominated the Bitcoin mining scene for months, supplanting the previous generation of 110nm chips from ASICMINER and Avalon.

But a new player out of China has been working diligently on their own ASIC chip and product design: BITMAINtech. Their first product to ship was the AntMiner S1, a self-contained mining unit that hashes at around 200 Gh/s. The product has been a big success and BITMAINtech is doing what many before them have failed at: shipping immediately.

BITMAINtech has recently followed up their AntMiner S1 with a USB-based mining solution: the AntMiner U1. This USB ASIC hashes at 1.6 Gh/s stock and can easily be pushed to 2 Gh/s with built in over-clocking capabilities.

AntMiner U1

The AntMiner U1 is wonderfully low profile, unlike the previous Bitfury-based USB miners such as Ice Fury and TwinFury. It should be no problem to fit these guys into standard, powered USB hubs. They also feature very nice branding on the heat-sinks.

I’ve spent the past two weeks working with the author of bfgminer and have created a working driver for the AntMiner U1 in bfgminer. The driver will be included in a future release of bfgminer, but you can follow the steps below to start using the driver and your AntMiner U1 on OS X now!

Miner Installation

Because my driver code is not yet merged in with bfgminer, for the time being you will need to use a custom Homebrew formula that I have created that will build and install bfgminer from my forked repository. If you are interested in learning more about compiling (and even debugging) bfgminer under OS X, there is a thread here which covers those topics and more.

UPDATE: The AntMiner U1 driver is now merged into bfgminer. I’ve updated my instructions below to reflect this.

So we’ll get started by installing Homebrew and then use it to compile bfgminer from GitHub:

  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 bfgminer:
    brew install bfgminer

Driver Installation

The setup here is identical to the ASICMINER Block Erupter. Before mining you will need to install the CP210x USB to UART Bridge VCP driver from Silicon Labs found here.

Detection

With the bfgminer properly installed and the USB to UART driver installed, you can use the -d? argument to list available devices with bfgminer:

bfgminer -d? -S antminer:all
[2014-01-12 13:53:50] Started bfgminer 3.9.0
[2014-01-12 13:53:51] Devices detected:
[2014-01-12 13:53:51] Device (driver=antminer; procs=1; path=/dev/cu.SLAB_USBtoUART)
1 devices listed

Mining

Once the AntMiner U1 is detected you can start bfgminer using the -o, -u and -p arguments to begin mining:

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

You can also over-clock the AntMiner U1 using bfgminer and the --set-device argument. It currently requires a hexadecimal value. You can reference the U1 documentation from BITMAINtech for a table of hex values and their corresponding clock rates:

bfgminer -S antminer:all --set-device antminer:clock=x0881 -o hostname -u username -p password

bfgminer AntMiner U1

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

32 thoughts on “Bitcoin Mining on Mac OS X – AntMiner U1 ASICs

  1. Bob

    Can you mix different usb miners. My understanding is hat the ant miner uses the same usb id as the blockerupter usb so it would be confused if installed at the same time as the ant miner usb on the same hub ?

    Thanks,

    Reply
    1. flatline

      I personally did not have any luck mixing the two with cgminer, it kept trying to pick up both and just reported a hash rate of 0 on the ASICMiner, while making it run very hot, so I’ve since moved the slower stick to another system. Would also be interested to know how this can be done, if at all.

      Reply
      1. nwoolls Post author

        The AntMiner U1 support in bfgminer is completely capable of mixing the devices with any other devices. This is not the case with the custom cgminer build from BITMAINtech.

        Reply
  2. Tony

    Error: No available formula for uthash
    Searching taps… this is what i get, still unsure how to fix warnings or which to get rid of.

    Reply
  3. Jared

    Thanks for solving this problem Nate. I really appreciate it.

    I think I’m running into a problem with the bfgminer from your server:
    brew install http://nwoolls.com/othercontent/bfgminer-amu.rb –HEAD
    ######################################################################## 100.0%
    Error: No available formula for uthash

    I have brew doctor installed and running with no issues while running that brew install from the same terminal window. Any help would be great!

    Reply
  4. Ken

    Many thanks for the info. Was able to get my 2 antminers working perfectly with 9 port anker hub using your custom formula. Overclocked to 2ghs using clock=x0981

    Reply
  5. Dillon

    Thanks for helping me get these off the ground! up on Eligius now.

    Worth giving the few appropriate hex codes for the miners:

    1.6GH/s 0781 (DEFAULT)
    1.8GH/s 0881
    2.0GH/s 0981
    2.2GH/s 0A81

    Reply
  6. Cliff

    This worked great, thanks! Is there a similar process for Ubuntu? I’m hoping to not use my main computer (Mac) for mining.

    Reply
  7. Darquer

    This is perfect. Thank you! I had one Antminer working in Windows with cgminer. Once I tried adding two more, it just crashed. I now have three running off an older MacBook Pro. I followed your guidelines. It took a bit of cleanup of Xcode, etc. but it it working great.

    For those interested, I’m using an Etekcity® Premium 10 Port Powered External USB 2.0 Hub – with 3A Power Adapter and and ARCTIC Breeze Mobile USB-Powered 92mm Portable Fan. I’m currently at clock:x0981 and the ANTminers are cool. I’ll probably kick it up a notch.

    Reply
  8. kungfoo

    So…. if I’m mining with like 20 of these things in a giant high quality hub, is there any reason why I can do so from my mac mini, or my macbook AIR? What is the load imposed on the host OS in other words when/if you get in to the 50+ GH/s range? This is a great article and very timely, thank you!

    Reply
  9. Steve

    Well done. Thanks for putting together the Homebrew recipe and integrating Antminer support into bfgminer. I’ve been able to get 2 of them working on my Mac a 2Ghz thanks to your updated repo. On my Ubuntu box my bfgminer via the unit3 ppa is still doesn’t want to hash with the Antminer at full speed. Guess I’ll be mining on Mac for a while.

    Reply
  10. Len

    I compiled bfgminer 3.10.0 from here http://nwoolls.github.io/xgminer-osx/ using the shell scripts and plugged an antminer directly into my macbook. However bfgminer just hangs on startup right after “Started bfgminer 3.10.0″ . It can’t seem to detect the antminer when I run ./bfgminer -d? -S antminer:all . It doesn’t do anything at all, it just hangs.

    I do have the USB to UART driver installed, and MacMiner does detect the antminer. However I prefer to run bfgminer on the command line.

    Any advice for me?

    Reply
  11. Cliff

    After about two weeks of mining successfully on my MacMini, my single Antminer has lost its ability to sustain its Ghash strength. It will go from 2.X Gh/s for a few seconds then plummet to around 0.X Gh/s and stay there.

    I’ve started to get this message, but not everytime (slow mining happens whether I get this warning or not):

    AMU 0: Work division autodetection failed (assuming 2): got 00000000

    This is my connection string (obviously omitting my URL, name and password):

    bfgminer -S antminer:all –set-device antminer:clock=x0981 -o pool url -u name -p password

    - The Antminer connects every time and mines (just VERY slowly)
    - Using different USB ports makes no difference
    - Using different mining pools makes no difference
    - Removing the overclocking flag makes no difference

    So I’m completely stumped seeing as I changed nothing and had been mining successfully off and on for a couple of weeks.

    Thoughts?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Cliff

      Further to that:

      - Red power light is on
      - Green light flashes
      - It’s cool to the touch (which is a dead giveaway it’s not mining hard enough)

      Reply
      1. Astrid

        Wondering about this myself—not having the problem (yet), but the miner is definitely hot to the touch. Worried about overclocking it, and will probably wait until I get a USB fan for the beast. Or is hot=normal?

        Reply
        1. Cliff

          When I was running at the overclocked speed of 2.0 GH/s, my Antminer was burning hot to the touch. I’m pretty sure that’s normal. Now I’m only getting about 25% of the hashing power, and it’s very cool to the touch.

          So I don’t know how I managed to “partially” burn out my Antminer. What I think is happening is that despite the Asteroid app (latest version 0.9.6) telling me it’s seeing an “Antminer”, it’s really only working as a “Block Eruptor” (about 333 MH/s). Yes, I’ve reinstalled the drivers and that didn’t help.

          Anyone else have a “partially working” Antminer that dropped its speed out of the blue?

          Reply
  12. Евгений

    Существует ли прошивка для Antminer U1 под алгоритм scrypt? как сделать чтобы добывалась криптовалюта litecoin

    Reply
  13. OldCrow

    Hi, after updating from multiminer 2.6.2 to 2.7.2 then 2.7.3 to run the antminers I noticed after 1-2 hours the application starts absolutely crushing the CPU. All cores 100% and really dogging the system. If I exit multiminer everything returns to normal. If I start it again it runs fine for a while then eventually slams the CPU again. Any suggestions? Process explorer shows it as multiminer (not bfgminer) hogging things.

    Reply
    1. OldCrow

      Update: watching Multiminer 2.7.3 run for a while, it starts off being modest with CPU use (0 to 3%) but slowly increases CPU over time, roughly about 25% per hour of run time.

      Reply
  14. Anthony

    bfgminer -S antminer:all –set-device antminer:clock=x0981 klondike-options”:”355:60 -o stratum+tcp://mint.bitminter.com:3333 -u cronos_1 -p 1

    Is this the right way to over clock K16s with your BFGMiner?
    Thank you

    Reply
  15. abzalus

    I follow your guide and look what happened.

    iMac-de-imac:~ imac$ bfgminer -d? -S antminer:all
    dyld: Library not loaded: @@HOMEBREW_PREFIX@@/opt/openssl/lib/libssl.1.0.0.dylib
    Referenced from: /usr/local/opt/curl/lib/libcurl.4.dylib
    Reason: image not found
    Trace/BPT trap: 5

    What I have to do to fix this.

    Thanks

    Reply

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