What To Expect
We will select a suitable coin to mine, pass the correct parameters to the miner software and earn shares for pay-out. It is suggested that you run your miner for at least 24 hours to gain maximum shares and know-how from this test drive.
Initially, it will seem as if your mining is not achieving much, but be patient. After an hour or two, you will see your mining shares start accumulating, and some pay-outs should arrive in your wallet after 3-6 hours. This lag is due to the manner in which P2Pool eases your miner into the sharechain at the optimum difficulty setting, as well as the way in which share accumulation gradually builds momentum in P2Pool.
If you decide to stop mining after 24 hours, you will notice that you continue to receive payments on your shares for several hours or even days. It is a slow-but-steady game of patience, and you can expect periods of slow pay-out to be followed by periods of rapid bounty. This is the effect of variance in P2Pool.
The process is similar to mining at a traditional pool, except that there is no registration or login required. You will simply be pointing your miner software at an IP address:port and passing the wallet address (to which you would like to receive payment) as your username. A random, meaningless password is required by the mining software but is not used by P2Pool. For example:
cgminer --scrypt -o https://p2pool.bihthai.net:9173 -u mywalletaddress -p pass
Mining Hardware and Software
Most GPU and ASIC hardware is suitable for P2Pool mining. It is even possible to profitably CPU mine some altcoins with P2Pool! Many miners find that their GPU hardware performs better with P2Pool if they scale back intensity, so experiment with that and see what works best for you. Let's select a suitable coin for your mining tools.
Choose Your Coin
Due to restrictions of space and time, we provide a list of only a few popular coins. You should choose a coin whose network hash rate and difficulty match your hardware. If you're unsure, try either Anoncoin or Execoin for this tutorial.
Below are some links to P2Pool nodes for 3 very different cryptocurrencies.
description: Privacy enhanced altcoin with a reputable developer team and good exchange rate vs. BTC
reward per block: 5 ANC
P2Pool node: https://p2pool.bihthai.net:8850
description: Original Heavy-Weight Champion of the Cryptocoin World. Giga- and Terahash miners only!
reward per block: 25 BTC
P2Pool node: https://forre.st:9332
descruption: progressive-N scrypt based altcoin that resists Scrypt ASIC and high hash rate mining - good choice for quick rewards
note: specially compiled version of your favorite miner required - see the Execoin website
algorithm: progressive-N scrypt
reward per block: 50 EXE
P2Pool node: https://p2pool.bihthai.net:9173
Connect Your Miner and View Stats
You will need a wallet address to pass to the P2Pool node so it can pay your mining shares each time a block is found. Adapt the above miner command line instructions if you're not using cgminer. Remember that if you're intending to mine Execoin then you will need to download a scrypt-N capable version of your miner from the Execoin website.
Start your miner and then point your web browser to the same node address and port as used by your miner. You should see the node statistics page which varies from plain text on some nodes to auto-updated graphic displays on others.
Local rate is the hash rate of the node - if you're the only one mining it should equal your miner's hash rate
Pool rate reflects the hash rate for the entire pool of connected nodes. This can be a sizable figure but don't let it intimidate you. P2Pool evens the playing field for all miners!
Shares are accumulated as your miner successfully completes work given to it by the node. Orphan and Dead shares result whenever you've successfully submitted work, but were beat to the task by another miner solving the same pieces of work. When you first connect to a node, these tend to increase while the node adjusts your work difficulty. The rate of orphaned and dead shares usually subsides after an hour of mining.
Expected time to share is, as it says, an ETA on your next share award.
Share difficulty is a node specific calculation that shows the average difficulty of work being given to miners on that node. It will always be lower than the coin's actual difficulty, since this the P2Pool software combines lots of low difficulty work into a higher difficulty block solution.
Expected time to block is an estimate and sometimes miners will find a block after a longer time than stated by this figure - and sometimes much faster. This is where the mysterious and variable element of "Luck" comes into play. Use this figure as a guideline but do not write any cheques based on it!