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tags: cryptography monero cryptocurrency mining devops

Mining monero using live a live usb linuxkit build

Linuxkit is a good tool to create immutable Linux systems, so why don’t use it to build a Monero mining live distro ? The only thing needed to build an Linux with Linuxkit is a yml file containing the system information. It can be divided in 5 main sections:

  • kernel
  • init
  • onboot - applications that will run when the Linux boot (after init)
  • services - services that will run on this system
  • files - any extra files that you need to copy into your iso (like keys or configs)

Based on these principles, bellow is the configuration of a miner that will boot and start mining rigth away. Considering that the USB disk will be at /dev/sdb1 (it will work if the target machine has only one disk).

Source can be found here

  image: nuald/kernel:4.12.14-extra
  cmdline: "console=tty0 root=/dev/sdb1 rootwait vga=791"
  - linuxkit/init:6eb0158059b056a1567236280880cb87f03ff008
  - linuxkit/runc:6cf26a0403376de3b5396cb676b88eea4f37aff8
  - linuxkit/containerd:d955db7cd28dbd7be8a17d7063cc6b7f1bf91f0a
  - linuxkit/ca-certificates:v0.6
  - name: sysctl
    image: linuxkit/sysctl:v0.6
  - name: rngd1
    image: linuxkit/rngd:v0.6
    command: ["/sbin/rngd", "-1"]
  - name: ram-disk
    image: linuxkit/mount:v0.6-amd64
    command: ["mount", ]
  - name: usb-storage
    image: linuxkit/modprobe:v0.6-amd64
    command: ["modprobe", "usb_storage"]
  - name: getty
    image: linuxkit/getty:v0.6
     - INSECURE=true
  - name: rngd
    image: linuxkit/rngd:v0.6
  - name: dhcpcd
    image: linuxkit/dhcpcd:v0.6
  - name: sshd
    image: linuxkit/sshd:v0.6
  - name: monero-miner 
    image: strm/xmrig
    command: ["/bin/xmrig", "-a", "cryptonight", "-o", "stratum+tcp://", "-p", "Miner01-Kit", "-k", "--donate-level=1", "--cpu-priority", "0", "-u", "YOUR_ADDRESS_HERE"]
  - path: root/.ssh/authorized_keys
    source: ~/.ssh/
    mode: "0600"
    optional: true
    - linuxkit


To build the image above just run:

linuxkit build -format iso-bios monero-miner-live-usb.yml 

And it will create a .iso file that can be copied (dd) to a USB disk and boot on bare metal.

Boot to test inside qemu

You can test your image with qemu if you want to be sure that everything is working, just run:

linuxkit run qemu --publish 5555:22 -iso monero-miner-live-usb.iso

Then ssh to your localhost at port 5555.

If you want to test if your USB disk is working properly, run:

qemu-system-x86_64 -usb -usbdevice disk:/dev/sde