Poclbm (Python OpenCL Bitcoin miner) is a Python script that mines Bitcoins using an OpenCL capable device.
Mining Bitcoins is a process that uses your computer hardware i.e. GPU/CPU to generate "blocks" which are used to verify transactions in the Bitcoin network. Currently a generated block will give you 50 BTC. However it will drop to 25 BTC by the end of November 2012.
As more blocks get generated difficulty increases, and today (as of November 2012) the estimated time to generate a block on an average gaming computer is over 2 years. Therefore it is not really worth the electricity trying to generate a block. Also note that it is random and sometimes you may get lucky and still (despite the difficulty and stuff) generate a block using your standard gaming computer. However it is very unlikely and not worth the risk of waiting months. you will probably end up stopping it and paying your enormous electricity bill without having generated anything. But there is a solution to that which is called Pool Mining.
A pool is a network of computers mining together to generate a block, and the total reward is shared between all the people that contributed to generate the block, so when using a pool you will get smaller but regular incomes and using the appropriate hardware (see below) it may be actually a profitable business.
When mining, the CPU is not ideal and even a low-end graphics card will beat your high-end CPU so we are only using the GPU for mining, so with a correct configuration the machine used for mining can be used for something else, for example a web server, and if you are only mining then you may want to use a low-end single-core CPU and a low-end motherboard, and RAM is not used either so 2GB of RAM is more than enough.
Also, there is a bug on some drivers (both ATI and NVIDIA) that makes the miner use 100% CPU on 2 cores (even if mining on the GPU), I'm not sure what causes that but it seems to also affect Windows systems so you will have to try it yourself.
Execute the miner
Use the command below to start the miner on all OpenCL devices. If you receive the following error then check you configuration and ensure that all required packages and drivers are present:
$ poclbm username:password@server:port
The miner has started and will display a hash rate (x MH/s). To exit use the
Ctrl+C to exit. If you just want to run the miner manually then that's all you need to do.
Running as systemd service
Create the service file:
[Unit] Description=Python OpenCL Bitcoin miner After=network.target [Service] ExecStart=/usr/bin/poclbm --verbose <user-specific arguments> [Install] WantedBy=multi-user.target