Are you looking for the best Monero mining software but have no clue which one to choose? In this guide, I will review the top 7 Monero mining software against their ease of use, fees, and how they bundle up with other XMR mining options such as mining pools. I will also cover the 4 main advantages of using XMRig because this is the most popular option. If you choose the wrong Monero mining software you might get scammed so I will also tell you which ones to avoid.
I’ve spent the last 3 weeks researching Monero mining by engaging with the Monero community, studying the official guides, and listening to experts being interviewed.
This post focuses on Monero mining software only and is part of my series on Monero mining. You can check out the other sections of this series that delve into Monero mining topics such as mining rigs, best CPUs, RAM and other hardware, profitability, and calculators at the end of the post.
- The simplest way to mine Monero is to use XMRig.com. It’s easy to use and what most miners mine XMR with
- If you prefer to click on buttons through an app-like interface then Gupax.io is a good option
- If you don’t care about which coin you are mining and just want to maximize mining profits but get paid in XMR install MoneroOcean’s XMRig version
Best Monero Mining Software
The most popular Monero mining software is XMRig. If you are just starting I recommend you stop here and just use XMRig as it is the best option.
In my research, I found that the majority of XMR Miners on Reddit and Discord recommend using XMRig.
The main benefits of XMRig are
- It is easy to configure
- It’s maintained by a community of developers who keep it up to date
- A lot of the other software tools are using XMRig in the background anyway
- Low fees
- The default fee is 5% but you can lower this to 1% in the settings. This means that the software will mine XMR tokens for the benefit of the software’s developers 1% of the time.
- If you want to avoid the fee altogether you can but this means you have to compile the code yourself. Given the amount of effort that compiling would require, 1% is good value for money. Plus, you can always switch to another software later.
- You need to be okay with using the Command Line Interface (CLI). If you have never used your CLI before it’s not as scary as you think. However, there are other alternatives that don’t require you to enter code into your CLI. Read on to find out more.
- It’s not free
- It’s maintained by 2 developers so if they decide to call it quits a large number of Monero miners will be left rudderless.
To set up XMRig all the info you need is in the file called README at https://github.com/xmrig/xmrig.
Here is what you need to do;
How to install XMRig
- Download XMRig. XMRig is available on Windows, Ubuntu, Linux, macOS, and FreeBSD.
- Unzip the file
- Add the folder as an exception to your firewall/antivirus
- Choose a pool. If you don’t know what this is check the Pool mining and P2Pool explained section further down.
- Follow the XMRig config wizard and enter the pool details when asked
- Grab a Monero GUI wallet at getmonero.org/downloads/
- Enter your Monero wallet address
- Go to the misc page and reduce the donation amount from 5% to 1%
- Download the configuration file that’s been generated by the wizard
- Save the config file to the same folder where you downloaded XMRig
- Right click on XMRig and run as administrator
- Restart your computer and you will now be mining.
Gupax uses XMRig in the background but instead of using a CLI, they offer a Graphical User Interface (GUI) to make setting up Monero mining more intuitive.
If you use Gupax you will be mining on the P2Pool.
There are mixed reports about how easy it is to set up P2Pool on XMRig on your own.
This is where Gupax comes into play. When you use Gupax you are mining on P2Pool by default.
In fact, P2Pool is the only option.
- Available to download on Mac, Windows, or Linux
- Easy-to-use graphical user interface
- Sets up P2Pool mining for you
- Sets up XMRig for you
- No fees apart from the 1% paid to XMRig.
- P2Pool doesn’t charge any fees.
- Only connects to P2Pool. If for whatever reason you wish to use an alternate pool you will need to use a different software.
How to install Gupax
- Navigate to https://gupax.io/downloads/ and download the bundle
- Extract the zip file
- If you use an antivirus add the folder that contains Gupax to your exclusions
- Launch Gupax
- Click on where it says P2Pool and paste your wallet address
- Then click on ping community nodes and select a node. This will take a few seconds.
- Click on the play button to start the pool.
- When everything is synced the interface will say ‘Sidechain synchronized’
- Click on the XMRig tab in the top right
- When you check the status you will see that you are now mining
#3. Cudo Miner
Cudo is a commercial software and operating system (OS) for multiple coins that uses XMRig.
They have customized the experience depending on your use case.
- Mining rigs
- Mining farms
- Internet cafes
- PC/Laptop miners for when their machines are idle
- Gamers whereby you receive rewards in vouchers for gaming marketplaces like Steam or new components.
- Available on Windows, Linux, and their own OS called Cudo OS
- You can switch between mining different coins and it auto-converts earnings into Monero
- Option to tweak settings, including overclocking, from your phone
- Auto-updates so you don’t need to manually upgrade or constantly check things are working as intended
- You can use both the GUI and CLI
- Can GPU and CPU mine different coins at the same time. Monero mining is only compatible with CPU mining but you can mine other coins with the GPU and get paid in XMR.
- A hefty 6.5% for those who mine less than 0.005BTC worth of XMR in the last 30 days. This is virtually everyone since XMR profit margins are so thin.
- Their fees are tiered and drop to 5% if you mine more than 0.005 BTC, 4% if you mine more than 0.01BTC, 3% for more than 0.05BTC, 2.5% for more than 0.1BTC, 2% for more than 1 BTC, 1.5% for more than 10BTC
- 6.5% is extremely high for mining the Monero blockchain where profit margins are already squeezed.
- Unlike the other software options I have presented so far, Cudo is not open-source. The Monero community has a strong preference for open-source projects because it means that people who know how to read code can check the project for vulnerabilities.
- Cudo encourages laptop owners and gamers to give up their device’s computation power but it doesn’t inform them about their power consumption. Using a laptop to mine XMR could end up damaging your device and you will certainly spend more in electricity that you earn in XMR rewards.
#4. Monero Ocean
MoneroOcean.stream is a popular mining pool but they have their own customized version of XMRig that optimizes mining by switching between mining different proof-of-work coins and then paying you in XMR.
Technically you are not going to always be mining Monero this way.
In fact, since Monero mining is not that profitable you will likely be mining other coins like Ethereum Classic.
However, this also means that you can use your GPU instead of a CPU or both to earn a higher return.
- You can mine any PoW coin and get paid in XMR
- It auto-optimizes to the most profitable coin
- You can GPU and CPU mine at the same time
- You can set 0% fees for using XMRig which you can’t do if you use XMRig’s default version
- Sends you email notifications
- There is no mining fee
- There is an unspecified withdrawal fee. However this turns to 0 when you withdraw more than 4 XMR. See How to Mine 1 Monero Per Day to understand how long that could take.
- However, there is an exchange fee for converting coins into XMR that costs 0.4-0.6%
- You are not mining Monero.
XMRigCC is for more experienced developers who want to have the option to switch between mining different Cryptonight algorithms and the Monero Random X algo.
- Wide Cryptonight support allows users to switch between coins based on profitability.
- Open Source
- Supports both CPU and GPU mining
- Users can fine-tune mining settings to optimize performance and efficiency.
- Ongoing active development
- The default “donation” is 5% and can be lowered down to 1%
- Too complex for beginners
NiceHash is a cryptocurrency mining platform and marketplace that connects sellers (individuals or mining farms) who have hash power available for mining with buyers who wish to rent that computing power to mine cryptocurrencies.
- Offers a marketplace where users can buy and sell hashing power, providing flexibility for miners.
- Supports multiple mining algorithms so you can mine multiple cryptocurrencies.
- Automatically switches between different crypto mining algorithms and coins to maximize mining profitability.
- Sellers on NiceHash are subject to 2% in fees when they withdraw to the NiceWallet and 2% + 0.00003BTC when they withdraw to another wallet.
- You are not mining Monero coin
3 Monero Mining Software to avoid
Here are the Monero mining software that are getting the most flak:
XMR Stak used to be the most popular Monero mining software but a little after Monero upgraded to the RandomX algorithm XMR Stak was abandoned.
The main developer of the software later created a competitor to Monero called Ryo as well as an OS called Rager.
XMRig’s original codebase was based on XMR-Stak however after RandomX was introduced the updated version of XMR-Stak called XMR-Stak-Rx was pretty much a rip-off of XMRig.
While it is free to use the fact that it is not maintained makes it a poor choice.
You can find a comparison between XMRig and XMR-Stak-Rx here.
Nanominer is a mining software for 11 different mining algorithms including RandomX. However, the Monero community reports that its performance is pretty poor and complain about:
- A low hashrate
- Frequent outages
If you read the Monero mining subreddit you will find a lot of people complaining that Minergate is a scam.
On Trustpilot, 175 reviewers give 1 star out of 5.
The majority of complaints are about:
- Not being able to withdraw your mining rewards
- Frequent outages for maintenance
- Unresponsive customer service
- Viruses and malware installed. One reviewer complained that he lost $250K from his wallet this way.
Monero pools and P2Pool explained
When you mine Monero you have 2 options:
i. Solo mining
The first is to be a solo miner. This means that you mine on your own and whenever your CPU solves the cryptographic puzzle on Monero’s PoW algorithm you receive a 0.6XMR block reward plus fees.
The benefit of solo mining XMR is that you get to keep that reward all for yourself.
The problem is that you might as well play the lottery because the likelihood of your miner solving the puzzle is so low that you will only achieve this once every 2 years.
ii. Pool mining
Another better option is to join a mining pool.
Mining pool members combine their hashrate and whenever they mine a new block they distribute rewards proportionately to the mining power each has contributed.
This results in more predictable and more frequent payouts which works out better when you have monthly electricity costs to cover.
Monero Mining pools take 1-2% for their service which is not going to make a difference to the profitability of your mining operation.
Consider that even large publicly traded mining companies use mining pools.
The problem with mining pools is they centralize resources and the Monero community doesn’t like that.
In theory, a pool admin could use the combined hash rate of its pool members to attack the Monero network.
Also, XMR rewards are first consolidated in the pool admin’s wallet. This means they could very well run away with the funds.
These scenarios are very unlikely but plausible nonetheless.
What is P2Pool?
To counteract these risks the Monero mining community favors using P2Pool.
P2Pool is a decentralized mining pool for Monero.
Unlike traditional mining pools that are centralized and operated by a single entity, P2Pool operates on a decentralized network of nodes, making it a unique and more decentralized approach to cryptocurrency mining.
I will leave the technical details for another post (this is the post) but you can think of a P2Pool as a setup where everyone is solo mining but sharing their rewards.
Other Useful Resources for Your Monero Mining Rig
I decided to settle the score and find an objective way to measure which is the best Monero miner. To do this I needed to find the most efficient miner. When I say most efficient I mean the miner that will give you back your upfront investment the fastest. In this post, I will walk you through my research and the methodology I used to rank Monero mining CPUs and I will show you which is the winner. Read more.
In this article, I review the best Monero Mining hardware. Let’s dive straight into it. Read more.
In this post, I’ve crunched the numbers to see what is the maximum profit you can make from mining Monero and the results don’t look great. Using the most efficient CPU on the market today the most you will be able to make is 30 cents per day. While this is technically profitable it means it will take more than 5 years for you to break even on your investment. Unless you can procure extremely cheap electricity or the price of Monero (XMR) goes back up to above $200 it does not make sense to mine Monero. Let’s take a closer look at the numbers. Read more.
Using XMRig Benchmark data I have analyzed the average hashrate of the top Monero mining rigs. The most powerful miners are those in the AMD EPYC series which clock around 45 KH/s on average. A high-end AMD Ryzen will give you around 25KH/s while the AMD Threadripper delivers a hefty hashrate at just under 60 KH/s. If you are looking at an Intel CPU you can expect to get 7 KH/s max. If you want to be profitable mining Monero you need to achieve at least 15KH/s. Let me show you why. Read more.