Sunday, April 25, 2021

Build & Install Guide: Budget Plotting Build - $500 - 1.3 TB/day

 For the buying guide / hardware list view this previous post

Installing the Hardware:

Put your 2 NVME drives in the adapters. Put the adapters in the PCIE slots.

Split the SATA power cable with our splitter adapter(s). 

Then attach one power end to each SATA drive and connect each drive to the motherboard with the data cables (you'll probably have to disconnect the DVD drive. Don't worry. We wont need it.)

That's it! Close it up and let's move on.

Installing the OS:

Load up Ubuntu Desktop on a flash-drive using LiLi USB Creator (for Windows) or your preferred method.

Put the flash-drive in one of the SS USB ports on your Optiplex. 

Press power and hit the F12 key until you're at boot options. 

UEFI Boot from your flash-drive.

Follow installation instructions. If you have a dedicated boot drive, install on that, or if you don't then install on one of your SATA drives. You can select the minimal build as we don't need fancy utilities. 

If you want to be able to copy-paste commands from this build, name your user plotter1, as that is what mine is named and it will be a part of many terminal commands.

Finish install. Remove USB. 

Installing Chia Application:

Follow the installation instructions from the official Chia Github

If you're new to all this I'd recommend launching the gui once to import or create your private keys. Afterwards close out the GUI. The rest of this will be done in the terminal.

Alternatively if you're more experienced or security conscious you can pass certain arguments  to the plotter without using your private keys. We're just going to assume this is an offline machine in a secure location. 

Pre-Plotting Configuration:

Open up the Terminal and the Disks Utility

Use the disk utility to make sure your drives match the following locations:

    NVME drives should be at /dev/nvme0n1 & /dev/nvme1n1

    Sata drives should be at /dev/sbc & /dev/sdc

If yours are different you will have to change references to these labels in the commands to match yours.

In the Terminal run the following commands:

    • sudo apt install mdadm -y  

    • sudo mdadm --create /dev/md0 --level=stripe --raid-devices=2 /dev/nvme0n1 /dev/nvme1n1 

  • sudo mdadm --create /dev/md1 --level=stripe --raid-devices=2 /dev/sdb /dev/sdc 

  • mkdir $HOME/chialogs

In Disks format your new NVME Raid Array (/dev/md0) to ext4 and name it nvmeraid

Then format your SATA Raid Array (/dev/md1) to ext4 and name it sataraid

Click the "play" arrow button next to your 2 Raid Arrays in Disks to mount the drives.


I'm using a western digital easystore external drive as the destination drive for my plots. This mounts in my system as "easystore" If you are using something different you will need to change the path in the plotting commands to match yours.

IF you used the original build guide before I updated it and have only 16GB of RAM you will be limited to running only 4 plots simultaneously. That will get you 1.1 TB of plots a day on average. IF you have 24GB of RAM from the new guide you can get 1.3 TB of plots a day utilizing 6 instances as detailed below. 

If you only have 16GB of ram use only the 1st 2nd 5th and 6th tabs described below.


Open terminal and type "cd chia-blockchain" then click the + in the top left to open 5 more tabs

First tab:
  • . ./activate
  • chia plots create -k 32 -u 128 -b 3400 -r 4 -n 20 -t /media/plotter1/nvmeraid/temp1/ -d /media/plotter1/easystore/plots/ | tee -a /$HOME/chialogs/log1.txt

Second tab: 

  • . ./activate
  • chia plots create -k 32 -u 128 -b 3400 -r 4 -n 20 -t /media/plotter1/nvmeraid/temp2/ -d /media/plotter1/easystore/plots/ | tee -a /$HOME/chialogs/log2.txt

Third tab: 

  • . ./activate
  • chia plots create -k 32 -u 128 -b 3400 -r 4 -n 20 -t /media/plotter1/sataraid/temp3/ -d /media/plotter1/easystore/plots/ | tee -a /$HOME/chialogs/log3.txt

Fourth tab:

  • . ./activate
  • sleep  4h && chia plots create -k 32 -u 128 -b 3400 -r 4 -n 20 -t /media/plotter1/nvmeraid/temp4/ -d /media/plotter1/easystore/plots/ | tee -a /$HOME/chialogs/log4.txt
Fifth tab:
  • . ./activate
  • sleep  4h && chia plots create -k 32 -u 128 -b 3400 -r 4 -n 20 -t /media/plotter1/sataraid/temp5/ -d /media/plotter1/easystore/plots/ | tee -a /$HOME/chialogs/log5.txt

Sixth tab: 

  • . ./activate
  • sleep 4h && chia plots create -k 32 -u 128 -b 3400 -r 4 -n 20 -t /media/plotter1/sataraid/temp6/ -d /media/plotter1/easystore/plots/ | tee -a /$HOME/chialogs/log6.txt


 That's it! You're plotting. The first 3 tabs will run immediately. The last 3 will wait 4 hours before starting which should be enough time for the first 3 processes to get out of Phase 1. 

You can check logs inside the chialogs folder we made earlier, found within your home folder

Feel free to comment below with any questions or if you notice any mistakes. I'll try to get back to you as quickly as possible. 

If this helps you get started and you feel like donating a few mojos I wouldn't say no ;) 



  1. We spoke on reddit the other day u/semperfidmr is my username. My computer is in and I'm assembling now. It looks like I have a x4 and x16 PCIE. Does this mean I still need to cut one of the PCIE to M.2 adapters to a x1? I'm sorry if this seems stupid this is my first time really diving into something like this. Thanks!

    1. my computer had 2 pcie x16 and i did not cut anything

    2. Hi guys. You're both fine. I was mistaken and had been thinking of some other hardware I was testing. I'll be correcting the guide to remove the part about cutting. Thanks for the feedback!

    3. Thanks a lot for the response and reassurance. I'm currently on the installing ubuntu step. Everything seems okay thus far. After I get through it I'll definitely "tip" my hat to you lol.

  2. I have another computer farming on my network (same key). Do I need to turn off UPNP on Ubuntu to farm on both machines at once? Seems like if two windows machines are farming on the same network UPNP needs to be disabled on one of them. Thanks!

    1. I believe so. For my setup I made a samba share of the plots folder on my external and then access that from my farming PC. Either will work but once I had something working I just stuck with it. Also running a full node and farming on the plotting PC will strain the CPU resources.

    2. Thanks for confirming. I was worried about that. I set up dual boot ubuntu on my other station that was plotting from windows. It is a gs65 stealth 6 core 12 thread 32 GB ram so I essentially implemented the updated version with the 6 plot sequence that you wrote. Learning curve has been quite large for me, but I'm getting there. Next is the samba share. Any good resources on how to set that up? Also, I assume the farming computer doesn't need to be high end? Can probably get something even cheaper than the $200 desktop from your blog? FTR I don't have any chia yet, but as soon as I do...I'll send some mojo your way ;)

    3. Sorry it took so long to respond. It's been busy in Chia world! If you're still looking for info on the samba share setup its not too hard. Can all be done from the gui of the file explorer. My farming pc is a little Beelink mini pc. Just about any modern mini pc or nuc could handle it though.

  3. I have the Mini Tower version of the 7020 being delivered tomorrow with 16 gigs of ram, The Dell website shows the unit maxes out at 16gb Ram with 4x 4gb sticks installed. You were able to get the unit to run 32 gigs with 4x 8gb memory modules ? Any part numbers for 8gb sticks that you know work ?

  4. The machine can run 4x8GB without issue. 16GB was the max officially supported but there's no actual hardware or firmware limitation enforcing that. Standard 8gb DDR3 Desktop Sticks will work. PC3-12800 1600 MHz is the highest rated stuff I've used.
    Going through a move so I don't have everything in front of me at the moment. Sorry I can't get you a model.

  5. Thank you so much for this amazing guide! Got everything running! Very easy to follow along for someone totally new to ubuntu like myself.

    Just two quick questions: Is there any way to keep track of the plots I’ve created? Like can I just see how many I’m at in the Chia GUI? as I know thats where I could also see rewards

    And is there any further maintenance I need to do? Will I have to create new plots myself or will the script continuously keep filling the drives on its own?

    I also noticed this might be a typo, on one line you mention “Sata drives should be at /dev/sbc &” when I think you meant /dev/sdb, I could be wrong but I noticed this worked right

    Thanks so much again for this great guide


Build & Install Guide: Budget Plotting Build - $500 - 1.3 TB/day

 For the buying guide / hardware list view this previous post Installing the Hardware: Put your 2 NVME drives in the adapters. Put the adapt...