Matt Hughes tinkerer, grower, craftsman

Setting up cgminer with an ATI/AMD GPU on Ubuntu

After being busy with buying a house, moving and then having to replace desktop's power supply, I decided to get back into crypto mining. I realize that 2015 is a bit past the prime for GPU mining the major scrypt cryptos (with the release of scrypt ASICs), so this will be more useful for mining lesser-knows altcoins.

Getting cgminer running on Linux along with the AMD drivers and SDKs is not a straightforward task, so I wanted to write this guide for fellow crypto mining enthusiasts.

I had trouble getting cgminer working with the most recent Catalyst drivers and AMD SDKs, so I had to search around for versions that worked best for crypto mining on Linux. I found the specific software versions here:

AMD/ATI configuration

Software you need:

Install Catalyst:

sudo ./
  • Choose the option to install driver, with automatic installation options
  • Reboot

Install APP SDK:

tar -xvf AMD-APP-SDK-linux-v2.9-1.599.381-GA-x64.tar.bz2
sudo ./
  • Use default location /opt, which installed the SDK on my machine to /opt/AMDAPPSDK-2.9-1
  • Reboot (again)

Initial graphics card configuration:

sudo aticonfig --adapter=all -f --initial
  • Reboot (for the last time)

Check graphics card settings:

sudo aticonfig --lsa

You should get output in your terminal like this:

* 0. 01:00.0 AMD Radeon HD 7800 Series  

* - Default adapter

If that's what you see, then your GPU is good to go! Otherwise, go back over the previous steps to make sure you didn't miss anything.


Download cgminer

Use apt-get install git if you don't have git on your machine already.

git clone
mv cgminer-3.7.2-kalroth/ cgminer

Copy ADL SDK include files to cgminer directory

cp /home/USER/ADL_SDK/include/*  /home/USER/cgminer/ADL_SDK/

Compile cgminer

cd cgminer
run ./

Disregard the OpenCL...............: Detection overrided. GPU mining support DISABLED error. You will take care of enabling OpenCL with the next command.

CFLAGS="-O2 -Wall -march=native -I /opt/AMDAPPSDK-2.9-1/include/" LDFLAGS="-L/opt/AMDAPPSDK-2.9-1/lib/x86_64" ./configure --enable-opencl --enable-scrypt

Note: if you are running 32-bit Ubuntu, change the /opt/AMDAPPSDK-2.9-1/lib/x86_64 path to /opt/AMDAPPSDK-2.9-1/lib/x86.

If the previous command fails, check the APP SDK path to make sure it's correct. The default install location for me was /opt/AMDAPPSDK-2.9-1/.

Run make to compile cgminer:


You're ready to mine!

After installing you have to set some environment variables to get the correct performance out of your card.

Run the following four commands:

export DISPLAY=:0
export GPU_MAX_HEAP_SIZE=100

I created an executable that I can run to set all of these variables at once. I find this makes it easier to start mining after rebooting.

vim export-settings

Paste the following into vim:

export DISPLAY=:0
export GPU_MAX_HEAP_SIZE=100

Update the file to make it executable:

chmod +x export-settings

Run the export-settings file, then start cgminer with your pool URL and credentials:

./cgminer -o stratum+tcp:// -u USERNAME -p PASSWORD --config cgminer.conf

Using a cgminer.conf file isn't necessary, but it really cuts down on the arguments you have to run every time you start cgminer. Here are the contents of my cgminer.conf:

    "scrypt" : true,        
    "kernel-path" : "/usr/local/bin",
    "auto-gpu" : true,
    "temp-cutoff" : "80",
    "temp-overheat" : "75",
    "temp-target" : "70",
    "gpu-engine" : "1050",
    "gpu-memclock" : "1450",
    "gpu-threads" : "2",
    "intensity" : "17",
    "thread-concurrency" : "7168",
    "worksize" : "256"

I like to mine a bunch of different cryptocurrencies, so I create shell scripts in my cgminer directory, that way I don't have to pass in the pool URL and my user credentials every time. For example, I have litecoin, dogecoin, hobonickels, and bottlecaps scripts that I will run when I want to mine that crypto.

Here's what my hobonickels shell script looks like:

./cgminer --scrypt -o stratum+tcp:// -u GenBurnside.gpu -p x -I 17 --config ./cgminer.conf

Thanks for reading, and happy mining! Please let me know if you have any problems, suggestions, updates, complaints, or anything else.