Beginners Guide to Mining (Litecoin on a Mac)
A Simple Guide to Mining Litecoin on a Mac As an Introduction to Mining Cryptocurrency in General
Our beginners guide to cryptocurrency mining shows you how to mine Litecoin on a Mac in 30 minutes. Mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies are similar, so this is a smart starting point for anyone interested in mining cryptocurrency. For those using other operating systems (Windows for instance), we will be releasing more mining guides for beginners down the road.
IMPORTANT (READ THIS FIRST): In cryptocurrency, things can change quickly. Please let us know so if something isn’t working. Software and services that work today might not work tomorrow, but we are trying to make sure this page is up to date with the latest information for cryptocurrency novices and enthusiasts alike!
How to Mine Litecoin on a Mac Overview
Here is a quick overview of everything we will cover in this guide.
Step 1: Get a Litecoin wallet (we suggest Litecoin Core). This lets you receive and transfer funds.
Step 2: Sign up with a mining pool. This lets you pool mining power with other users, create “workers” to mine for you, and offers a way to get paid for mining.
Step 3: Create a worker bot to mine for you.
Step 4: Install CPUminer software to get your computer mining. This allows your computer to mine cryptocurrency.
Step 5: Write a simple command line in terminal. This tells the mining software to start and tells your worker to be the one mining. Coins your worker mines are collected in your mining pool account and can be sent to your wallet via the mining pool account too.
What is cryptocurrency mining? It’s less Minecraft and more setting up your computer to confirm cryptocurrency transactions. You can read more about the basics of mining here. See below to get started.
TIP: Mining Litecoin with a CPU/GPU is not profitable even if you have free electricity; as Litecoinpool.org will tell you if you want to join their operation. To make a profit, you need something like a new Antminer Litcoin ASIC-based rig. For example, in early 2018, the Antminer L3+. With that said, this page isn’t just aimed at those who are looking to profit from mining. This page is aimed at hobbyists, those who want to try mining out, and those who want to understand the basics of Litecoin mining. The process of mining with an ASIC rig is essentially the same as the process for mining with a consumer CPU/GPU. So the guide is helpful no matter what your reasons for Litecoin mining are.
How to Mine CryptoCurrency in 30 Minutes or Less (Litecoin on OSX): Introduction
One of the biggest barriers for people to get started with cryptocurrency is the idea that it’s too hard for the average person. We at CryptoCurrencyFacts want to debunk that myth right now. No matter what your level of experience and tech know-how, we’re going to get you mining Litecoin from your Mac in 30 minutes. By the end of this tutorial, you will be a cryptocurrency user!
Before you Start
You will need:
- A Mac Desktop (or a MacBook) running OSX. This tutorial was made running OSX High Sierra on a 2017 MacBook Pro.
- Internet access. In addition to downloading the necessary software, you’ll also need to connect to your mining pool and the Litecoin network.
For this tutorial, you don’t need any prior experience or tech skills. Since we’ll be entering commands on the terminal, experience with Mac’s command line will be helpful. However, even if you’ve never used the command line before, we’ll tell you exactly what you need to type to start mining!
NOTE: There is a risk involved in mining. There is risk in the wallet you choose, risk in the mining pool, risk in the hardware and software, risk in the exchange you trade it on. Do your research and be careful.
Step 1: Download the Litecoin Wallet from Litecoin.org
To mine Litecoin, you’ll need some way to connect with the Litecoin network and a wallet in which to store your profits. The software that can do this for you is Litecoin Core, the official Litecoin client.
Go to Litecoin.org, click on the link to download the latest version of the official Litecoin wallet: Litecoin Core.
Once you have the .dmg file in your downloads folder, install the software by double-clicking on the .dmg file and dragging Litecoin Core into your “Applications” folder.
Once Litecoin Core is installed, find it in your “Applications” and click on it to start the software. When you open the program for the first time, you may have to enter your password to allow you to run the Application. You will also get a pop-up window that asks you if you would like to let Litecoin Core accept incoming network connections. Click the button to “Allow,” and you’ll be started!
NOTE: If you only allow installation of apps from Mac App Store, you’ll need to go into preferences and make an exception for Litecoin Core. It’s in your preferences under “Security & Privacy” at the bottom of the screen. You’ll see a button that says “open anyway.” For an alternative method, you can also right-click on the application and select “open” to get a confirmation screen.
When Litecoin Core first opens, it will ask you where you’d like to save your Litecoin data. For this article, click “OK” on the default settings. Once you do, the Litecoin client will start downloading the blockchain. This is a lot of data, and it might take a while to download (especially if your internet connection is slow).
There are a few things to notice about Litecoin Core once the blockchain has finished syncing. The Overview tab will let you view your balance and recent transactions. Click through tabs at the top of the app—”overview,” “send,” “receive,” and “transactions.” Each is pretty straightforward. “Send” is used to send Litecoin, “receive” is used to receive it, and transactions show you all of your past transactions. We can return to the ins-and-outs of the Litecoin wallet later. Let’s move onto the signing up with a mining pool.
Step 2: Sign up with a Mining Pool
VERY IMPORTANT NOTE (READ BEFORE CONTINUING): Litecoin sites and pools change frequently! For example, the site we used when we first wrote this tutorial in 2015, WeMineLTC.com, was shut down in 2017. Please remember to double check the instructions here, and if something goes wrong with our recommendations, let us know so we can fix it.
To make the instructions clear and specific, we will write the rest of the article assuming you’re using the mining pool Litecoinpool.org. It’s important to remember that, while we have done our research and have reasonable faith in this particular service, we don’t officially endorse them or accept responsibility for any risk taken by mining with this pool.
There are many mining pools that you could join in this step; not every pool is going to withstand the test of time. You’ll need to do your research and accept that there is always a risk with this sort of thing. If you’re using a different mining pool, the general steps taken here should still apply.
Visit the mining pool of your choice click to “Register” (with Litecoinpool.org, click “join“). Once you fill in the information needed to create your account and get an onscreen confirmation, log-in to the site.
NOTE: Make sure you create a smart and strong username/password gambit here. Litecoin itself is very secure, but like the rest of the internet and apps wallets and websites should be treated with care (as true as that is in general, it is even more true with crypto).
Next, you’ll need to set up your Litecoin address settings. This will let you receive Litecoin in your Litecoin wallet.
To get your Litecoin address, pull up Litecoin Core, and in the menu at the top left of your screen click File -> Receiving Addresses. Once you’re there, there will be a button to create a “New Address.” In the window that pops up, enter a title in the “Label” field and click “OK.” You don’t need to enter anything in the “Address” field as Litecoin Core will take care of that for you. This process allows you to identify your addresses by a name rather than a string of numbers.
Now you have a Litecoin wallet, and you can receive payments! Exciting. Time to recruit a worker to mine for us.
Step 3: Set Up your Worker
You’re almost ready to start mining Litecoin (scout’s honor), and this step is short.
You need to create a worker.
TIP: You don’t need to worry about security with a worker as you do with other aspects of your crypto. If someone steals your worker so that they can mine Litecoin for you, let them!
Take note of your username (should look like USER_NAME.1 or username.1) and your password. You’ll need those in step 5.
Now we need to connect our workers to our Litecoin address so that the mining pool knows where to send any Litecoin that we mine. To do this, go back to the “receiving addresses” screen from step 2, click on your new address to highlight it, and click the “Copy” button in the bottom. Then you can go back to your mining pool, and paste your receiving address into the empty box that says “Payment Address.” Don’t forget to save your settings afterward!
Ok so now we have a wallet, a mining pool account connected to the wallet, and a worker to make that money for us. Now we have to put that worker to work so we can make coins.
Step 4: Download and Install CPUminer (minerd)
This step can be a little bit tricky. The reason why is that if you download CPUminer without tech skills, you’ll need to download the binary (the executable file) for the software. To download this software:
- Figure out whether your Mac is running on a 32-bit or 64-bit processor (you can tell if it’s 32 or 64 by going to about this mac and comparing your processor to the processors on the list of the link above.)
- Click the link for your system from this page. NOTE: Make sure to get the latest version. It’s currently 2.5.0. The higher the number, the more recent the version. Don’t go by the modified dates per-say.
NOTE: Most mining software triggers a false-positive with antivirus programs. In other words, your antivirus might block this download as a threat, so you may need to disable your antivirus software briefly.
Move the download to your Desktop and extract the file by double-clicking on the zip file. To finish installing, open up finder and move the minerd program from your desktop to your Applications folder. (If you can’t find it, sort by name).
Now we have a wallet, a way to get paid, a worker, and mining software we finally put the metaphorical pickaxe in the digital dirt!
Step 5: Start Mining
One more step to go! Thankfully, this is the easy part!
Now that the software is in place, your accounts are in order, and your worker is set up, you only have to enter a few instructions from the command line, and you’re on your way.
- Open up your terminal (hold command and press spacebar to do a find, then type “Terminal” into the search.. or navigate to /Applications/Utilities and double-click on Terminal.)
- In Terminal press command “N” to bring up a new terminal to ensure you are working with a fresh window and change into your Applications directory using the following command:> cd /Applications (i.e., just type in “cd /Applications” you don’t actually put the “>” in there.)
- Temporarily change your security settings to allow you to run CPUminer/minerd. Open your “System Preferences,” move into the “Security & Privacy” section, and change your setting to allow apps downloaded from anywhere. Be sure to change this back later! Or just double-click on minerd, if it’s blocked go into “Security & Privacy” and at the bottom of the screen, where it says “minerd” was blocked, click “open anyway.” This avoids you having to “allow from anywhere.”)
- Next, we need to find out the command to run. If you’re using litecoinpool.org, they have a tool to help you do this. Visit //www.litecoinpool.org/minerconfig and fill out the fields for where you’re mining and which worker you want to use (should be the one you set up in step 3). For your operating system, be sure to select “Linux / OS X.” For your Miner, be sure to select “cpuminer.”
- When you click “generate”, you’ll see that the website created a special command for you. Click the download link to download your custom mining script!
- If you go back to the finder, you should have a file called “mine.sh” in your Downloads folder. Just like we moved minerd into your applications folder, you’ll want to drag and drop “mine.sh” into Applications. If you’ve done everything correctly so far, you should be able to see both files in your applications folder.
- Tell CPUminer to start mining by copying the following command exactly into the terminal application window you opened in step 2 of this section, and then pressing enter. The command is:
chmod +x ./mine.sh; ./mine.sh
That’s it! If everything went well, minerd should print out “Starting Stratum on stratum+tcp://INSERTURLHERE” followed by a bunch of information about “binding” and “threads” and “hashes.” This is just showing you that your computer is mining (decoding hashes). You can worry about what all that information means later – the important thing is that you are now mining Litecoin on your mac!
How to Stop Mining Litecoin Via Terminal
When you’re ready to stop mining, you can stop the miner by pressing Control-C (holding down the Control key and the “c” key on your keyboard at the same time). This will stop the miner.sh program, and your computer will stop mining Litecoin.
What Does All This Mean?
Let’s recap what you just accomplished:
- You installed the LiteCoin client and created a cryptocurrency wallet to store, send, and receive LiteCoin.
- You installed mining software on your computer to let you mine cryptocurrency from your desktop.
- You joined a LiteCoin mining pool.
- You started contributing to the cryptocurrency network by putting computational effort into the mining process!
If you leave your miner running for a few minutes, and then go back to the mining pool, you can look at your account to find out your hashrate. Hashrate is a measure of how effectively your computer is mining. You can also discover your paid and unpaid shares, and your account balance (how much Litecoin you’ve been paid for your mining.)
Keep in mind, CPU mining is a very ineffective mining process. Because of the large amount of computing power in the Litecoin network, you really would need to invest in more powerful mining hardware to make a profitable mining operation. Leaving your Mac running the mining program 24/7 would almost definitely cost you more in electricity than it would earn you in Litecoin, so we don’t recommend trying this. However, if you’ve made it this far, you’ve officially become a cryptocurrency miner – moving on to creating a more-involved mining setup is within your reach.
You might not fully understand what you’ve done up to this point. There might be steps that still seem mysterious (especially since we told you what to do without fully explaining why you needed to do it), and that’s ok! The purpose of this tutorial was just to show you that you can do it, and from here, you can put everything else that you learn about cryptocurrency within the reference of this tutorial and the process we’ve shown you.
Whether or not you know what a cryptocurrency Wallet is, you’ve used one. Whether or not you know How Mining Works, you’ve seen how to start. Even if you don’t quite grasp the concept of a cryptocurrency public ledger, you have worked with a program that interfaces between you and the Litecoin blockchain.
If you’d like to learn more about cryptocurrency, we would like to encourage you to explore the various pages on our site, some of which were linked to from this tutorial. If you’d like to learn how to set up a more involved mining rig, there are plenty of resources you can use to learn about Mining Hardware, GPU and ASIC mining, and cryptocurrency Mining Profitability.
We hope that you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that it’s inspired you to continue learning about cryptocurrency. Congratulations on having taken such the first step.
TIP: Keep an eye out for more how-to guides for mining various types of cryptocurrencies.
"Beginners Guide to Mining (Litecoin on a Mac)" contains information about the following Cryptocurrencies:
I like how you switched from OSX to Linux halfway through the explanation………………..
I edited it to make it more clear (removed any mention of Linux to avoid confusion). This is a guide to mining Litecoin, on a mac, using a CPU (the instructions have always been right in that sense, it was only a misuse of the term “linux” instead of “terminal”). Why on earth we said “Linux” a few times instead of “terminal,” I haven’t a clue? It was an error on our part. The guide really is for OSX.
I will be beefing up the mining section and include a range of guides in the upcoming months. Annoyed at myself for letting that error stand this long. Derp.
What would the LInux command look like if I were using antpool?
The server is listed as “stratum-ltc.antpool.com:8888”
I tried entering “> ./minerd –url=stratum-ltc.antpool.com:8888 –userpass=NAME:PASS” (using the actual name of my account) and I go this response ” –url=stratum-ltc.antpool.com:8888: command not found”.
I also don’t think that my worker in antpool has a password
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
We wrote this guide for OSX and terminal. For some reason we used the term Linux command instead of terminal command (I assume because we were shifting between different operating systems at the time; unfortunately it was written in 2015 and I can’t remember the details of this).
From a very general point of view though, look a the differences between the command we use below and the one you do. It could be a matter of differences between Linux and OSX terminal, but notice we use // before the url.
./minerd –url=stratum+tcp://freedom.wemineltc.com:3339 –userpass=WORKER_NAME.1:WORKER_PASS
NOTE: The comment section is turning two “-” into “–“… that is confusing. I assume you are using two “-” in your command.
Maybe there is a clue in there. One of my next projects is to do more mining and more writing about mining. I’ll aim to have guides to mining the major coins using different operating systems and mining hardware in the next few months so I can properly answer questions.
Right now, I think the problem here is we used the term Linux a few times on the page (for some reason) despite it being a page on mining Litecoin on a Mac with a CPU (meant as an introduction to hobbyist mining written in 2015)! The page has been updated, moving forward I’ll do a Linux version as well.
WeMineLTC.com is said to be a scam to steal LTC LiteCoin and that they shutdown overnight and disappeared; taking a bag of coins with them.
GAH! That is good to know…. It is also super frustrating to find that out. They were operational and “paying out” (in that you would actually get coins in your wallet) when the guide was written back in 2015 (looks like they closed down in 2017). Thank you for bringing this to my attention. Clearly this page needs a giant overhaul now.
Is it possible to damage your macbook this way?
If you mess around enough with terminal it can cause problems, yes. Likewise, if you download malware, then that can be an issue (for example if you are trying out different mining applications and sites and make some unfortunate clicks). However, I don’t see how you would damage your computer by going through the normal mining process. If you are unsure of what you are doing, do more research before moving forward. Its not that heady, but there is room to mess up.
how do i “create a worker”? the section on this was super brief, and i don’t see anywhere to create my password on litecoin qt, or multipool
I can’t answer the question without having it in front of me. Sorry. I will put this on the list though.
The problem here is that we wrote the guide back in 2015 using a mining pool that has since closed. We need to rework the guide and update it for 2017 – 2018 (that means going through the newest quality pools and working out explainers… that takes time).
Looking around the internet it seems that there is more than one site that ran into this problem. I sincerely apologize and will be working on getting a quality mining section up soon.
In the meantime, you can try this guide to see if it clears up some of your questions: https://www.coindesk.com/information/how-to-mine-litecoin/
I download the CPUminer… open it and it opens Terminal and looks like it installs. When I open a new terminal, and do the cd/Applications is stays not found, etc…. What am I doing wrong?
I’m reworking the guide. I’ll post an updated version with answers to these questions in the next week or so. The general steps we lay out are correct, I need to go back through everything to answer specific questions. Coming soon! As the guide clearly points out at the top under the headline “IMPORTANT”: you shouldn’t be using this as a step-by-step guide at the moment.
I’ll try to expedite this since I know its an important topic.
I can’t creat a new adress on the Recieve Panel
I dont see the option
What can i do ?
If you are following the steps in this guide. Please stop and re-read the top of the page where it explains the guide is under construction and being updated 🙂 . The specifics of what you need to do differ depending on what pool and software you are using. We will be back with a working guide shortly!
How long is “shortly”?
Too long for my tastes. The aim will be early January. It is a bit more work to get this right and re-write the whole guide than I anticipated (I thought I could perhaps just fix one section, but really its a guide from 2015, it needs a complete reboot).
Really sorry about that. As it was in 2015 and still is today, the internet is full of price speculation on crypto and a little lacking on simple guides to mining.
Over the course of 2018 we should have a solid section on mining. I’m pretty stoked about creating it actually… but its going to take a few weeks.
Until then I sincerely apologize and hope what we do have in place helps guide people in the right general direction.
so is it better at this point to just buy a couple lite coins and see if they grow in the stock market verses mining for them on your computer?
Absolutely 100% it is a better investment to buy a couple litecoins than to mine them with a CPU.
Hands down, no doubt about it.
Mining isn’t something to do to get rich, mining is something to do as a hobby first and foremost. Some miners make money, but you need a very specific set of skills and setup to make it work. The average person will do much better by investing and/or trading. No reason you can’t mine and invest and trade, but if you want to “be in Litecoin” and have limited funds or time, then skip mining and buy a few lite coins (I suggest dollar cost averaging into a position, but that is another story).
Honestly Litecoin prices are pretty good right now in the $100 – $200 range. It has already tested $400 and $100 has a ton of support.
TIP: Let’s say you have literally no money, but have a PC. In this case you could mine a very small amount of LTC and then use that trade. If you can mine enough over time to have the minimum amount needed to trade you could technically use that to create more value on paper via trading. That is an uphill battle though. CPU mining through a pool is going to net you very, very, very little LTC.
What if I have like 2000 windows xp servers running 24/7? Is it worth it?
I ment 2000 machines running Windows XP and mine only with cpu is it worth it? I mean if they are running 24/7 and each of them make even 5 cents per day is 0.05*2000=100$!!!!
Very roughly speaking, the main issue here would be in electricity. Running 2,000 cpus at max capacity 24/7 is likely going to cost you more than $100 a day in electricity bills. Thus, my hunch is that there is no way it would be profitable to mine a coin… unless you mine something that is easy to mine that then goes and does a giant jump in price later. But that is a gamble.
`’Leaving your Mac running the mining program 24/7 would almost definitely cost you more in electricity than it would earn you in Litecoin, so we don’t recommend trying this.”
So, only a idiot will use his own Mac to mine litecoin…
Well a hobbyist might do it. You don’t have to turn a profit to mine as a hobbyist, you just have to enjoy what you are doing.
When I started playing around with CPU mining in 2015 LTC was $1.50. I could have mined and held that coin and turned a profit. Just would never have made a profit by selling right away. Of course, as the page implies, we are talking about learning about mining and hobbyist mining first and foremost here. Hobbyists do a large range of things that don’t return profits for the enjoyment of it, this could be one such thing.
Also, don’t use someone else’s computer if that is what you are implying. If you have a cheap power source and you want to mine for real, then you need to upgrade your rig and leave CPU mining behind. i.e. mining on a CPU is really just a stepping stone or something hobbyists.
“cd /Applications” worked for me on Terminal, not “cd/Applications” .
Sorry about that, the first time in the article where it was written with a space it was correct, the second time the space must have gotten removed when the page was being formatted. Good catch!
Got in late but I’m mining on my Mac Pro now got the minerd setup for cpu and macminer setup for GPU I have an AMD firepro D700 but its only getting 21kh is that normal
21 kh/s is really low for that card. Maybe try asking on forums that focus on GPU mining or litecoin mining or AMD? Or try Google searches with those terms.
That said, above I am assuming you mean a hash rate of 21 kh/s and not 21 mh/s. If it is 21 mh/s, that is more on track. If it is 21 kh/s, then I would assume something is wrong.
It is possible to be slowed down by the pool. Also, generally aiming to improve your hash rate and not settling for what you get on your first attempt is smart. So in short, keep researching, asking, and tweaking your setup until you have it down.
Here is an article that compares a few chips and their has rates to better understand what yours should be doing: https://www.techradar.com/news/best-mining-gpu
This was awesome!!!
I agree on the comment of whether or not there is profit the first step was done.
I entered a label in the receiving addresses of Litecoin Core – Wallet but the only choices it gives me are Export and Close. When I select Export it brings up the Export Address List. Do I need to wait for the wallet to sync before doing the following:
To get your Litecoin address, pull up Litecoin Core, and in the menu at the top left of your screen click File -> Receiving Addresses. Once you’re there, there will be a button to create a “New Address.” In the window that pops up, enter a title in the “Label” field and click “OK.”
I am going through the steps with the new release myself now. Currently seeing the same issue, perhaps you do have to wait for the blockchain to finish loading to generate new addresses. I’ll know once that is done 🙂
This guide was written for the last release, so could be there is a change with 0.17.1 we need to update the guide for!
The answer is, go to “receive” at the top of the wallet and then click the “request payment” button and it’ll generate an address.
It was changed with 0.17.0
(the logic was it was redundant, but sure didn’t feel redundant given the amount of time it took me to fiddle around and figure it out). 😀