Windows is the most common OS , used by most of the people all over the globe. It should come to no surprise that Windows generally has the best driver support as well, however, Linux has its own advantages. For example, Windows is not great at handling multiple GPUs. Apart from Ubuntu being absolutely free, it is also very crash-free. Another advantage that Linux has over Windows is that newer updates can be implemented without restarting the whole operating system.
The pricepoint for Windows can be compared to a small fortune. Ubuntu is a solid operating system. It is one of the most used distributions due to its ease of use for Linux. This can be a chore for people who are unfamiliar with the console-based systems.
In due time, the benefits outweigh the cons as using the terminal is much simpler when it comes down to the person who knows what he or she is doing. The installation process of Ubuntu is also much faster than windows.
One of the biggest reasons to choose Linux over Windows is the overall stability of the system. Linux is much less prone to random crashes and can rollout updates while running the system without restarting. Windows, on the other hand, has the infamous Blue Screen of Death lurking around every corner waiting for the system administrator to look away and crash the whole system.
Although, generally we already mentioned that multiple GPU setups are much easier and more reliable to manage on Linux rather than on Windows. It is also worth noting that Windows in general is much more loving of its updates sometimes even forcing the users to restart the computer even though nobody asked it to.
Linux, and Ubuntu, does not force updates on anyone. Both of the operating systems offer huge possibilities for scripting. Windows has its own very powerful tools as batch files, which can be put into the startup folder and they will run automatically.
To write heavier scripts, one can always utilize PowerShell. It takes getting used to but is an absolute godsend for a lot of scripters on the Windows platform. Linux on the other hand, and obviously ubuntu as well, is a scripting operating system. It has a huge variety of scripting languages and options for automating your mining rigs. One of the coolest features of Linux is Crontab. This is a file that runs on a schedule and can be programmed to check the status of your mining operations including restarting the system as well as checking the different prices and switching to the most profitable cryptocurrency to mine absolutely automatically.
Ultimately it comes down to the comfort level of a person and the size of the rig. Understandably, if you have used Linux in past you may be more familiar with the terminal and thus prefer Linux. However, windows offer a lot of quality of life improvements due to the popularity of the system. You will not face issues with installing drivers, however, they may break as well. For this instance, we prefer running Linux due to the fact that it is easier to operate higher amounts of GPUs.
As a final note, we wanted to mention the existence of simple mining operating systems like MiningOS, which for a small monthly subscription fee offer will automate a lot of stuff for you. Just like its rival, RaveOS is trying to bring the concept of crypto mining into the mainstream and has been doing a great job at it so far. Another similarity is the companion mobile app that performs many of the same functions, such as remote monitoring, overclocking, rebooting, and more.
The standard installation image for RaveOS only takes up around 1 GB so you should be able to get a regular rig up and running in no time. Aside from that, everything else is fairly straightforward with RaveOS and you can expect many of the same features offered by HiveOS, including wallet management, detailed statistics, auto-reboot, all-in-one dashboard, support for most AMD and Nvidia GPUs, and more.
As far as the pricing is concerned, there are three different packages to choose from. The Enthusiast package is completely free and gives you access to all features but can only support up to 3 devices. The third and final tier is the Corporate package. Mining OS is a fairly simplistic Linux distro developed by Minerstat.
The company created a sort of all-in-one monitoring and management software specifically for crypto miners, with Mining OS being the main star of the show. There are a couple of different versions of the operating system to choose from depending on your hardware. Currently, you can use a total of 39 mining clients in conjunction with the distro, which gives you access to a wide variety of currencies.
There are also plenty of helpful features to look forward to, such as remote access, profit switch, control room, ClockTune, and more. Mining OS has a free plan that comes with certain limitations but can be used indefinitely. As you can easily tell by its name, PiMP OS is a specialized Linux distribution created exclusively for mining Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The distribution is based on Debian, which has a reputation for being one of the best distros for developers and programmers. At almost 4. However, the distro does get pricey if you plan on installing it on a whole bunch of rigs because each key only supports a single rig. The good news is that purchasing keys in bulk will net you a significant discount. Just as its name suggests, SimpleMining is all about ease of use and accessibility. The download page even has a step-by-step guide on how to flash SimpleMiningOS on your computer, how to create a bootable USB, and how to migrate from other Linux cryptocurrency mining distros.
The system requirements of SimpleMining are quite low compared to a lot of competing software and the installation image only weighs in at about MB. This makes it perfect for users who are looking for a lightweight mining manager. Based on our testing, this is one of the most secure Linux distros out there. The OS is so good at protecting against surveillance and censorship that even famed whistleblower Edward Snowden recommended on multiple occasions over the years.
Tails leverages the power of the Tor network to enhance its security systems but come with many other special features that allow users to stay under the radar at all times. So why is this important for cryptocurrency mining? While the governments of these countries are primarily looking to stop the population from using cryptocurrencies, mining them can also get you in hot water. Especially if you have a large-scale operation going on. A security-driven distro like Tails can help with that, though mining in a country that bans cryptos is still risky needless to say.
Among other things, Tails comes equipped with a bitcoin wallet right off the bat. Keeping in line with its overarching theme, the creators of the distro decided to go with Electrum since it is known as being one of the most secure wallets currently available. You can read our Tails review here if you want to learn more about the distro first.
Lubuntu is not a specialized distro for mining cryptocurrency but can get the job done just as well as any other entry on this listed. The main advantages of the OS are its speed and lightweight nature. This makes it perfect not just for users who are new to crypto mining but also those who are new to the world of Linux.
At its core, Lubuntu is a lightweight version of Ubuntu that features a similar level of flexibility in spite of its small size. Although designed as an operating system for daily use, Lubuntu can be easily configured to serve as a dedicated mining rig. While still being able to perform its original function if necessary. Unlike some of the other distros on this list, Lubuntu is free to use for as long as you want, and on as many systems as you want.
At least for the most part. SMOS is another fairly simple distro for mining that you can use without having to worry about complicated configuration processes. Getting your rig up and running with SMOS only requires a few steps that a lot of users should be able to figure out on their own.
Tech-savvy users who want to get the most out of their rigs can also take advantage of the advanced overclocking features. Which, among other things, include the ability to overclock multiple GPUs at once. This one needs very little introduction because pretty much everyone knows about Ubuntu by now. This is the distribution responsible for popularizing Linux in the first place and is still one of the most widely used distros out there. But suffice it to say that the operating system became popular for a reason.
Ubuntu is a lot more similar to traditional operating systems than most of the other distros on this list while having a similar level of hardware support. But unlike Windows or MacOS, Ubuntu gives you a lot more opportunities to configure and customize everything to your liking. Another obvious advantage of Ubuntu is its freemium nature.
In addition, the developers over at Canonical are well-known for offering fantastic long-term support that lasts for up to 10 years. An FPGA is essentially a circuit board meant to be configured by the user, as opposed to the manufacturer. An interesting thing to note about MMPOS is that the distro is great at managing multiple miners at once regardless of their hardware. Not just that but each rig can also mine a different cryptocurrency. The operating system can easily handle mining farms containing dozens or hundreds of rigs.
At least not entirely. The pricing system here is a bit convoluted, but basically, you get a certain number of free credits, which let you mine with a small rig without paying anything. Check out the official website for more information related to the credits system.
After all, you can mine on Windows just as easily as you can on Linux. So are there any benefits or drawbacks to choosing one operating system over the other in the context of crypto mining? The answer is yes, quite a few of both. You only have a small selection of Windows versions to choose from and most modern crypto mining software is optimized for Windows 10, with some also working well on Windows 7. With Linux, on the other hand, the world is your oyster.
There are distros for gaming , distros for laptops , distros for mining, and anything else you can think of. Things have certainly gotten better since the release of Windows 10 but you can still expect to wait around minutes on average for the installation process to complete.