I started a small chia farm earlier this year out of curiosity. My plan was always to run it unobtrusively on a headless Pi. After about 10 weeks of intermittent farming, my 8TB pool plots drive is toast and my 1TB and 2TB spare drives are close to finished too. The Raspberry Pi 4B 4Gb is now too slow to run the Chia GUI or CLI on Ubuntu. The drives blew up before I had a chance to fully try out Ubuntu Server.
In the end I didn’t earn enough XCH to have anything released to my wallet. Overall, I wouldn’t advise anyone to pick up farming as a hobby unless they’re going with a medium to large-scale operation. I plotted on a Windows desktop, and transferred everything to the Pi for farming. A critical issue I ran into is the need to run Chia off of a static dedicated IP, which added the need for a VPN with this service. Setting up the VPN took about 6 weeks as the service had no set-up for Ubuntu 20.04.
After running the CLI and GUI versions of Chia, I can say that I prefer the CLI. It takes up less RAM, and you can check in via SSH on your desktop or even an SSH app on your phone.
For my ~$700 investment, I got:
- 1TB used server grade ssd
- RPi4 4Gb kit
- 2 years VPN
- 8TB drive (busted)
- SD cards, cables, etc.
I also learned a lot about networking, including:
- port forwarding
- shared folders
- Remote Desktop between Windows and Linux
I learned a lot about crypto through this process, and have come away with the opinion that whatever else it might be, Chia is not a sustainable currency given the current state of technology. Overall, if you’re interested in learning some new sysadmin skills, and maybe getting lucky in the challenges, might be worth it to you - especially if you’ve got the equipment lying around. However, your drives will blow out sooner rather than later.