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It seems to be pretty clear that CPU/GPU mining is obsolete for the big fellas (Litecoin, Bitcoin, Ethereum, arguably Dogecoin). This is a bummer for beginners like myself cause I'm keen to dive in and get my PC grinding away at the digital coalface like it's 2009.

I've decided that I want to mine a bunch of altcoins and completely disregard short-term profitability (mining BTC wasn't profitable in 2009, but look at how much it's worth now!).

My actual question: Exactly how does one go about solo mining altcoins? Is the process the same as mining bitcoin, litecoin, dogecoin, ethereum etc? What program do you need to download and how easy is it to configure? I ask because I have had zero luck even getting set up with mining these more mainstream coins. I was really hoping for a "download program, punch in your wallet code and go" situation, but instead I've had to muck around with mining pools and heaps of complicated settings and I can never get it working. Some guidance would be appreciated

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Exactly how does one go about solo mining altcoins? Is the process the same as mining bitcoin, litecoin, dogecoin, ethereum etc?

The process is generally the same for most Proof of Work coins. You download a mining software such as cgminer or bfgminer, and configure it to get its work information from a coin daemon that you run. Most modern coin daemons are forked from a version of Bitcoin Core that has the getblocktemplate protocol implemented. Most mining software also support the getblocktemplate protocol. Thus they can use the getblocktemplate protocol for getting their block information in order to mine a block.

but instead I've had to muck around with mining pools and heaps of complicated settings and I can never get it working

When solo mining, you don't need to mess around with mining pools. You will need to handle complicated settings as these mining software are largely command line software. You can check their help pages (by using the --help option) and look for the options that you want. These are generally ones for setting a username, password, server url, and address. Those are the basic options necessary.

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It really depends on the altcoin but it would be very safe to assume that if it's PoW, you will need to use a mining program.

In regards to how easy it is to set up, it really depends on how much existing development support exist in that particular altcoin. Usually, newer and more obscure coins are harder to get started up and running fast; especially with the lack of proper documentation that bitcoin, ethereum, etc have.

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