Quick Start Guide to Farming Chia on Windows

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One of the great features of Chia is that you can use it on multiple operating systems such as Windows, macOS and different Linux distributions. This is the quickstart guide for Windows.

To begin, go to chia.net and download the latest Chia client for windows. The link is located here on their website:

Chia.net client download location

Once you have the client downloaded, go ahead and double click the .exe file. Normally installations include multiple windows, but Chia’s installation doesn’t. You will see a little green window pop-up and then go away. The Chia client will then open automatically.

Chia Installation Window

Once installed, Chia’s Graphical User Interface (GUI) will open. You might be presented with one or two pop-ups from Windows Firewall to allow the Chia Client to connect to the internet. Allow these and continue:

Windows Firewall Pop-up

Next, you are presented with three different choices. Select the “Create A New Private Key”.

Chia login screen.

Important: This next step is very important. I cannot stress enough how important it is. The Chia client will generate a new “private key”. Once the process is complete, 24 words will be shown. Also known as the Mnemonic. You must write these down somewhere or print them out. This is the only way to access your account. If you lose these, you lose your account. Do not show these keys to anyone because they will be able to control your account. Some people go so far as to put these 24 words in a safe deposit box at a bank.

Chia client new wallet screen

These words must be saved in order as well. If you lose your words in the future, but still have the chia client installed, there is a way to get the 24 words. After writing down the Mnemonic, click Next. Another firewall pop-up may present itself, click Allow Access and continue. You should now be presented with the Main interface. I will provide more detail in another post about the interface.

Chia Main Interface

The Chia Client will now being to “Sync”. This means that the client will connect to other peers on the network and begin downloading the blockchain. As of writing, this process takes a while to complete. We’re talking possibly hours. I will write in another post how to make sure you are Syncing as fast as possible.

While you are Syncing, you can begin the process that will get you Farming. There are two aspects to farming Chia; Plotting and Farming. Plotting is the process of generating the plot files themselves. The plot files are what you then “farm” for the opportunity to earn Chia coin (XCH). XCH is the shorthand for the coin like how BTC is for Bitcoin and USD is for United States Dollar.

Each plot file is about 101.4GB in Windows. Generating the plot files is the energy intensive portion of the process, much like plowing a field when actually farming. CPU, RAM and hard drive free space is used to generate a plot. In the Chia Client, click on the Plots icon on the left bar:

Next, click the big green button Add A Plot. You will then be presented with options for the “Plotter”.

Adding a plot

There are many, many different computer configurations. So the options I’m choosing here will provide the best chance at a good speed for plotting.

For step 1, the plot size, Leave it as k=32. This is the minimum “k” value that you can have for a valid plot. There are other ones, but each one is more intensive than the previous one by a factor of 2. Except for k=25. This one is used to test different settings.

For step 2, plot count, This is how many plots you want to make. You can do this in parallel or put them in a queue. To begin, start with just 1 and keep “Add Plot to Queue” selected. You can click “Show Advanced Options” and you will be presented with the following screen:

Advanced plotter options

The default values that are loaded in are good enough for the first plot. Two threads, with 3390 for RAM usage. 128 buckets are good as well. Leave the two boxes at the bottom unchecked also. Once you get into the groove of plotting, you can then follow my other posts to see how to maximize your plots per day.

Temporary Directory

Step 3, Temporary Directory locations. Here you need to specify what location the Chia plotter can use for its temporary files while it generates a plot. This is an key step for plotting speed. If you only have one hard drive, then you have no other choice but to use that hard drive. Make a folder on your Hard drive with a name like “chiatemp” and select it for that location.

But, if you have two hard drives, then you can use the second hard drive. Drive speed also matters here, as it mentions in the GUI. If you have a NVMe drive or Solid State Drive (SSD), then use that one. It comes at a price however. The Plotting process is very write intensive, this introduces wear to the NVMe or SSD. Approximately 1.4 TB are written during plotting. Look up the “Endurance rating” of your drive to see how this will effect the life of it. It will usually be displayed as TBW, Terabytes written.

Lastly, pick a Final Directory. This can be an external USB hard drive, or another drive. If you only have one drive, it can be the same location as the temp location. I have all of mine on a USB hard drive.

If everything looks ok, click the Create Plot button.

Creating a Plot

You should now see that a plotter has started plotting. Note: The example in the image, I used a K-25 plot. Do not use this size to farm with. The plotter will now proceed to generate a plot. If you click the three dots on the right you can “View Log” and see how the plotter is doing. Once at 100% the plot will be complete and will look similar to the below.

Finished plot

If your status shows syncing for the plot, don’t worry, that just means that the blockchain has not been downloaded yet. You will not be able to farm until the blockchain is downloaded. Once downloaded however, the “Syncing” status should turn to a green “Farming” status. This means that you are now farming for XCH. Continue generating plots to increase your chances at winning XCH.

This guide provides you with how to get started the fastest. Soon, you will want to optimize, tweak, streamline the plotting process. You also may find that the GUI doesn’t give you the greatest control. Subscribe to be notified when I complete posts on more topics in the future.

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