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Development Update: Braiins OS & Braiins OS+ 20.06

Community update on new features and bug fixes included in our latest Braiins OS release, plus what’s next on the roadmap.

Daniel Frumkin
Published on Jun 16, 2020
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Published on Jun 18, 2020
Published on Jun 16, 2020

Since our last Development Update 6 weeks ago, the third Bitcoin halving has come to pass and number of ASICs running Braiins OS+ autotuning firmware has increased well over 1000%. Clearly the predictions of Antminer S9s becoming obsolete weren’t fully accurate.

Nonetheless, the biggest news item we’re announcing in this development update is that the Braiins OS 20.06 release will be the last to be exclusively covering S9 models. Our primary focus now is adding support for Antminer S17 and T17 models in the next major release.

Our plan is to initially release a Braiins OS beta version for these newer generation models and start collecting community feedback. We’ll work on the Braiins OS+ version in parallel, eventually providing autotuning firmware for S17, S17+, S17 Pro, S17e, T17, T17+, and T17e devices. (No exact ETA yet, and it’s likely we won’t support all of these devices at once.)

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Braiins OS+ 20.06 Overview

Braiins OS 20.06 includes many small features and bug fixes that improve performance, particularly for uncommon cases that have come up now that we have a much larger user base. However, the two biggest features are specific to the autotuning firmware release, Braiins OS+ 20.06.

First is enabling users to save autotuning performance profiles to BOSminer. This has actually been available for several weeks in a nightly build (20.05), which you can read more about in the section below.

The most significant brand new feature of Braiins OS+ 20.06 is Dynamic Power Scaling. This means that BOSminer will automatically reduce the power limit of a device by a user-set amount when it reaches the specified “Hot Temperature” rather than shutting the device down to cool. It will do this continuously if the Hot Temperature is reached again at lower power limits, until a minimum power limit is reached and the device is powered off to prevent overheating. Users can also specify a time limit after which the miner will switch back to its original power limit automatically, so the whole process can occur without requiring any human management.

Location: Miner > Configuration > Scroll to bottom of page

Some other improvements in the 20.06 release include:

  • More functionality for BOS Toolbox, enabling custom batch commands for easily managing multiple devices at once remotely.
  • Auto-upgrade now turned on by default after switching to Braiins OS or Braiins OS+ from stock firmware. (Still off by default for existing Braiins OS and Braiins OS+ users, but it can be enabled with a simple ssh command — see Docs.)

For the full list of bug fixes and new features, you can look through the changelog below.

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Changelog 20.06


 
This release aims to improve the usability of Braiins OS+ and BOS+ Toolbox by implementing new features and fixing the most critical issues.


All mining hardware types

[workaround] Support for yiimp based pools (e.g. prohashing) that incorrectly send a version rolling mask starting with '0x', which doesn't comply with the BIP-310 specification
[feature] Support stratum V1 passwords since they are used by some pools for algorithm switching and other hacks
[feature] Implementation of auto-upgrade mechanism. The machine will periodically check for a new version of Braiins OS and upgrade to it automatically when found. This feature is turned on by default when switching from stock firmware, but it has to be turned on manually when upgrading from an older version of Braiins OS
[feature] Improved system logging with the implementation of logrotate. System logs are now automatically compressed and saved on the NAND of the device which allows longer logs to be stored
[feature] Updated BOS Toolbox, which can now run custom commands in batch
[bug] NAND install from an SD card now properly migrates the configuration from the SD card, instead of from the old system on the NAND
[bug] Fixed the issue with bosminer.toml being empty when the miner is turned off before the system flushes the buffer
[bug] IP report button now works correctly
[feature] Autotuning subsystem now saves performance profiles into /etc/bosminer-autotune.json. The performance profiles are recorded for each power level and board index
[feature] Dynamic Power Scaling now automatically lowers the power limit of the miner by a user-set amount if the device reaches the Hot Temperature. Upon reaching the minimal power limit, the miner shuts down in order to cool down. The miner starts to work on the original power limit again after a user-set period of time


Antminer S9

[feature] We have switched back to Xilinx I2C IP core for communication with voltage controllers and extended it with glitch filtering for noisy environments
[feature] UART Rx line for communicating with hashing chips has been extended with glitch filtering





You can view the changelog also in our documentation.
See the full changelog

20.05 Release

You may have noticed that we didn’t have a Development Update for Braiins OS+ 20.05. The reason is that it wasn’t a major release, but rather a stable nightly build that we published mostly in order to meet the demand for one specific feature, tuner saving.

Tuner saving means that you are able to store the results of autotuning at any given power limit on your device and reapply them upon rebooting or after using a different power setting. Since autotuning can take 30 minutes - 6 hours depending on the device and power limit, being able to save the optimized settings was a critical feature to enable more dynamic management of devices.

For example, somebody with air-cooled miners operating in a warmer climate could now have two autotuning profiles saved for all devices:

  • Low Power Mode profile for day time when it’s hotter
  • Overclocking profile for night time when it’s cooler 

Switching between these profiles would take less than a minute rather than multiple hours. Also note that you don’t need to do anything to enable or use this feature, it is automatic. Any time you set a power limit that you’ve used before, the performance profile will simply be reapplied by default. 

So far the feedback has been very positive on the 20.05 nightly build. Tuner saving and other minor improvements have all been included in the 20.06 major release. 

More about what’s next

Besides adding support for new generation mining hardware, another item on our roadmap is adding a management solution for mining operations. We’ve heard a lot of miners say that they would find this valuable, so we do plan to provide this in the future. However, there is still a lot of work to do on this front and we don’t have an ETA yet.

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About Braiins

Operators of Slush Pool. Creators of Braiins OS+ autotuning firmware & a fully open-source mining stack: Braiins OS + BOSminer + Stratum V2.