Farming - GUI vs CLI

Up until now I am farming all my forks with the GUI. I think it’s decent… I can always check Last Proofs quickly and see that all 4 of my harvesters are passing the plot filter, for example.

Then I see people say the CLI is better. May I ask why? Does the CLI provide a constantly updated terminal window (like say plotman interactive does) that would serve as well as the GUI? Or do I actually have to enter chia farm summary or something similar to get updated info? What are the best CLi commands and switches for monitoring farming status?

I should add that all of my farmers are on Ubuntu and I already start harvesters with the CLI. And my plotting is done. Only concerned with full node farming atm.

Thanks for any help.

I’m not actually sure where the idea that CLI is better than GUI comes from… youtube?

Personally, I use CLI. But is it better? Honestly, meh, its about the same?

Go with what you’re comfortable with. I use CLI because I’m very familiar with it. It also allows me to remotely log into my remote farmers using SSH and the command line, and be able to manage a headless (no screen) Pi4 farmer.

I’ve never used plotman so I can’t judge. As far as monitoring my farm…

watch chia show -sc

to check if I’m synced, and another terminal to see if proof are passing filters. And that’s it. I used to sit there and watch it update, now I don’t bother. These days I run a few commands to check everything is on, then log out and just let it run.

I like the flexibility of the command line. I like to integrate Chia’s commands into my own scripts for customised data output and automation. It also opens the door to other people’s scripts and programs that are command line only.

It is also, as far as I am aware, the only way to start partial services. With the Gui it loads everything. On the command line I can just load the harvester, or the node, or the plotter, with the GUI you get the whole lot. So in essence you get a finer amount of control over the Gui.

I also find that the GUI can be a little buggy at times. Sometimes actions in the GUI don’t do what they’re supposed to. Plots don’t show in the GUI even though they’re loaded. Takes up a fair amount of resources to run on a low powered machine etc etc.

But, if you’re not into working in a terminal, not doing any custom scripting, and prefer GUI, then use the GUI. There’s nothing wrong with it at all. Don’t let any of these CLI elitists haxors tell you any different. :upside_down_face:

But once you really learn the command line… there’s no going back… :sunglasses:


It takes effort (time) using CLI. Using GUI you just look at your screen and you’re done. You save time.

Thats funny, I feel that same about the GUI. It takes effort and time to start the GUI and click on things. Once you’re used to the command line its no effort at all…

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Oh, I’m extremely comfortable using the CLI, it’s not a matter of that. As I said, I already use the CLI for starting and stopping harvesters. But if the CLI simply doesn’t have any monitoring tools as robust as the GUI, then I’ll keep using the gui. You mentioned a watch command? Is that a native chia CLi command? I haven’t seen that on any CLI lists. And “another terminal to check Proofs passing filters” - how? By checking logs? If so, way too cumbersome, I’d have to check logs on 4 harvesters, the GUI shows me all 4 at once and updates every 10 seconds.

Its a linux command … to refresh a command ever n seconds. chia show -sc just loads the data once. watch chia show -sc runs the command every 2 seconds.

By running the command

tail -f .chia/mainnet/log/debug.log | grep -i proofs

or write a custom script to add highlighting.

If you’re comfortable with Linux + cli + tmux you can create your own dashboard, add and remove any datapoint from chia commands, and write a script to have it start with a single command, or even automate it.

This is the power of the command line, flexibility, customizability, automation, and the integration/combination of multiple commands to create sophisticated programs. Hell, you can add push notifications if you have access to the right scripts and APIs.

This I whipped up in a few minutes as a proof of concept.

But like I said, if you prefer the GUI, use the GUI. It exists for that reason.

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Watch is a pretty damn useful command I was unfamiliar with and I can already think of several applications, thanks. And doing show without summary does show a good bit of the info I would’ve been looking for.

Still, the GUI does make some things simpler if you’re running multiple harvesters. I already check logs the same way you do but doing so for 4 harvesters would be a cumbersome pain in the ass that I doubt I could ever make simpler than the Last Proofs GUI showing all of em at once Also don’t see a simple way to duplicate showing the “Advanced” connections to harvesters at the bottom of the Farm page. And those are pretty much the main things I keep an eye on, so I think I’ll stick with GUI after all.

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I run the GUI on my main node, but I still use CLI techniques like uChiaFarmer does to remotely see the status of the farm from elsewhere in the house, I rarely go to the desktop of the main node.

My original plan was going to be to wrap the CLI calls to start up the service(s) into a systemd service so that it would auto-start when I boot the machine (I do this for plotman on my plotting machines)… but I never got around to it, I may live to regret that if I’m ever away and the machine reboots, but it’s on a UPS, and rebooting has been so uncommon so far that I’ve just not had a push to do it yet.