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Aeternity stratum client (alpha)

Introduction

The client side implementation of the Stratum protocol customized for Aeternity [https://github.com/aeternity/protocol/blob/master/STRATUM.md] lives in Aestratum client repository.

The dependency tree of Aestratum client shows how the actual mining executable fits in:

aestratum_client
|- aestratum_lib
   |- aeminer
      |- aecuckooprebuilt (for CUDA)  # executable in repository
      |- aecuckoo         (for CPU)   # executable built via compilation

Aecuckoo (for CPU and CUDA) are executables implementing the Cuckoo Cycle algorithm used in Aeternity network, whose output artefacts (nonce and proof) are used for constructing of the blocks.

A Cyckoo Cycle is a memory hard algorithm, looking for a cycle (of length 42) in graph with miners > edge_bits edges.

Aestratum client roughly operates in the following manner:

1.) receives extra nonce after connecting to the server, of byte size = EB (in range 1..7 (inclusive)) 2.) for each new job, randomly chooses a miner nonce (in the range = 2^(8 - EB)) 3.) concatenates miner nonce and extra nonce to form an 8 bytes long number - nonce 4.) generates a graph from nonce (with edges count = 2^(miners > edge_bits)) 5.) tries to find a cycle (of 42 nodes) in the graph 6.) if no such cycle is found, increases nonce by one and goes to 4.) miners > repeats times

If, in the step 5.) we find a cycle, we have found a nonce generating a graph, which also has a cycle in it (in a form of a list of 42 numbers, where each number represents a node).

The miner nonce and the proof of work (the cycle) are sent back to Aestratum server as a reply to the job request. As a consequence, Aestratum server assigns a share to this client, whose value correlates with the difficulty of the delivered solution. This share is then persisted, and potentially rewarded.

In Aeternity main net, we use miners > edge_bits set to 29, as the graph with 2^29 edges fits in CUDA graphics cards with 8 GB of memory.

Better insight when and how is a share rewarded can be found in the stratum server user guide. [https://github.com/aeternity/aeternity/blob/master/docs/stratum.md]

Configuration

Current Aestratum client should be understood as alpha version with several ineffectual configuration parameters.

Example configuration section in your aestratum_client.yml configuration file could look as follows:

connection:
        transport: tcp
        host: "localhost"
        port: 9999
user:
        account: "ak_your_account_address_here"
        worker: "worker1"
miners:
        - exec: "mean29-generic"
          exec_group: "aecuckoo"
          extra_args: ""
          hex_enc_hdr: false
          repeats: 100
          edge_bits: 29

CONNECTION section

host - a Stratum server host where the client wants to connect to

port - (optional) - a port of the Stratum server client wants to connect to (default 9999)

transport - (optional) - mode of transport of data - SSL needs to be tested (default TCP)

req_timeout - (optional) - request timeout in seconds (default 15)

req_retries - (optional) - how many times to retry a request in case of failure (default 3)

USER section

account - account of the miner where to receive rewards from submitting shares

worker - name of the worker grouping miner executables mining under the same connection to server (this configuration parameter will be needed when we implement client proxy) (default "worker1")

MINERS section

miners key is represented by array elements each potentially describing a different miner executable. Currently, there's exactly one miner configuration allowed.

Properties of each miner are:

exec - name of the executable binary spawned to solve a particular instance of the Cuckoo Cycle problem

exec_group - (optional) - where to look for the solver binary. If "aecuckoo", uses solver binary from aecuckoo dependency [https://github.com/aeternity/aecuckoo], in case of aecuckooprebuilt, we look into aeminer/priv/aecuckooprebuilt/ directory. (default "aecuckoo")

extra_args - (optional) - extra arguments passed to the miner executable (default "")

hex_enc_hdr - (optional) - whether we hex encode the header passed as argument to the miner executable or not. For compatibility with Aestratum server, we need to set this configuration parameter to false. (default true)

repeats - (optional) - how many solutions to try in a sequence from starting nonce. (default 20)

edge_bits - (optional) - how many edges are in the graph generated from a nonce. (default 29)

BUILDING of a Aestratum client

In a cloned directory from the repository, run: make

STARTING of Aestratum client

Run: make console

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