Ubuntu: Bitcoin is using +90% CPU power using Ubuntu 12.04?



Question:

I am using Ubuntu 12.04 and Bitcoin client v0.8.6.0-g03a7d67-beta and Qt version 4.8.1 as the GUI.

My CPU is heating up and is automaticly shutting down after 30 minutes and sometimes after many hours. This is occurring both while synchronising with the block-chain or while reindexing the blocks on disk.

After the CPU overheating my laptop (Dell Inspiron R15) switches off and has corrupted my sync. Other users have mentioned to start by typing in terminal bitcoin-qt -reindex. At the the end of the index around week17 my CPU overheats again.

Reading around I found topics about switching off the "generate bitcoin" option inside the bitcoin.conf file but on my Ubuntu (including hidden files) I can not find that file.

Any tips or help on this overheating issue? I have also posted this on bitcoin Stackexchange.


Solution:1

Adrian's answer is valid and is looking at it from a potential root cause. But my preferred answer was a work around that got answered in the bitcoin stackexchange

Direct Quote:

Using bitcoin-qt you can go into Helps->Debug Window->Console and then type

setgenerate false  

By default it should already be false so my guess is that you have a fast internet connection and that your computer receive a lot of blocks in a short time. Your computer then need to check all the ECDSA signatures for the transaction and this can consume a lot of CPU.

I had an overheating issue like that when I was mining litecoins with my laptop. I installed the cpufreq package to decrease my cpu frequency about 30% and everything was fine then.

If you have a dual-core processor you should type something like this in your terminal.

sudo cpufreq-set -c 0 -u "1.8GHz"  sudo cpufreq-set -c 1 -u "1.8GHz"  

I then decide to browser around for CPU Freq scaling and decided to use the following indicator-cpufreq indicator

Computer did not overheat and got the job done without suffering to much performance loss.


Solution:2

Because your issue is CPU related, your computer is likely to shutdown anytime you have excessive processor usage (not just bitcoin).

There is a script called temp_throttle that you can use to limit your CPU speed when it reaches a specific temperature. This will keep your computer from getting too hot and powering off. You can find temp_throttle here.

*Disclaimer- I am the author and maintainer of temp_throttle.*


Solution:3

Bitcoin is necessarily expensive in terms of processing power. Even if you don't choose to mine coins, your machine will first verify the block chain, which can consume a lot of CPU time.

Your shutdowns would seem to indicate that your hardware could probably use a service - shutdowns due to overheating should not occur even under prolonged full CPU load. Try cleaning your vents and CPU heatsink and making sure your fans are free of dust and obstructions.

Mining using traditional CPUs is a virtually futile exercise at the time of writing. The only cost-efficient way of mining Bitcoin presently is using custom ASIC based miners designed specifically for the task. If you want to participate in mining, I would advise that you invest in this hardware, or buy the hardware from one of the companies that will host it for you in their datacentre.


Solution:4

I use cpulimit utility. Typical usage:

cpulimit -l 220 -e bitcoin-qt  

It means: do not let 'bitcoin-qt' process use more than 220% CPU (C. O. comment: more than 100% because quad-core processor) Mind 'apt-get install cpulimit' may install version without multi-core support.

That does not look elegant. I wonder how can system itself throttle heavy processes when CPU is overheating.


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