Welcome to the Threefold FAQ Part 2
Hint: The Table of Contents is not clickable in the FAQ’s Forum version. To go to a chosen Q+A, search the page (Ctrl+F) with specific keywords of the Q+A .
If the Ctrl+F option opens the Forum’s search function, and you want the general browser search function (which is quicker), you can simply click on the URL and then use Ctrl+F, then the browser’s search function should appear instead of the Forum’s search function.
NB: Some hyperlinks are not operational and will be on the Threefold Library version of the FAQ.
TFT Farming Basics
- My Titan is v2.1 and the Threefold Grid is v3., what is the distinction?
- Is there a way to know the current TFT price for the farming rewards?
- When will I receive the farming rewards for my 3nodes?
- Is there a Threefold calculator?
- What is the TFT entry price of my 3node?
- What is the necessary uptime for a 3node per period of one month?
- I set up a 3node in the middle of the month, does it affect uptime requirements and rewards?
- What is the difference between a certified and a non-certified 3node?
- What is the difference between V2 and V3 minting?
- How long is the minting period of the tokens on Threefold? / How long is the farming period?
- Can Titans and DIY 3nodes share the same farm?
- Do I need one farm for each 3node?
- Can a single farm be composed of many 3nodes?
- Can a single 3node be on more than one farm?
- Do I need one reward address per 3node?
- When it comes to the Zero-OS bootstrap image, can I simply duplicate the first image I burnt when I build another 3node?
- If a node is unused for certain time (e.g. many months offline), will it be erased by the Grid?
- Can a farm be erased from TF Grid?
- On the Threefold Connect App, it says I need to migrate my Titan farm from V2 to V3. What do I have to do? How long does this take?
- How can I migrate my DIY farm from V2 to V3?
Farming Rewards and Related Notions
- What are the rewards of farming/Can I get more rewards when my 3node is being utilized?
- How can I know the potential farming rewards for Grid Utilization?
- What is the easiest way to farm Threefold tokens?
- When do I receive my rewards?
- On Threefold Grid v3, how can I verify my 3nodes’ payments on Stellar Blockchain?
- What is the farming reward calculation?
- Which wallets are recommended for TFT farming rewards?
- Can I have more details on storing TFT on hardware wallets?
- Do I need collateral?
- Can I add external drives to the 3nodes to increase rewards and resources available to the Threefold Grid?
- Do I have access to the TFT rewards I receive each month when farming?
- What is TFTA? Is it still used?
- Is there a way to certify a DIY 3node?
- Does it make sense to make my farm a company?
- What is the difference between uptime/downtime and online/offline when it comes to 3nodes?
- My 3node utilization is low, is it normal?
3node Farming Requirements
- I want to farm TFT with a 3node. What are my choices?
- What are the general requirements for a DIY 3node?
- What kind of computer do I need to make a 3node?
- I found a nice computer/server to buy online, but it doesn’t come with a CPU. How can I know what CPU models would work with a specific computer/server?
- Can I host more than one 3node at my house?
- Is Wifi supported / Can I farm via Wifi instead of an Ethernet cable?
- Is there any way to run Zero-OS without dhcp?
- Do I need any specific port configuration when booting a 3node?
- How much electricity does a 3node use?
- Has anyone run stress tests to know the power consumption at heavy load of certain 3nodes?
- How much AC power do you need (in BTU) to compensate for the heat generated by the servers?
- Can Titans be run on PoE? (Power Over Ethernet)
- What is the bandwidth needed when it comes to running 3nodes on the Grid?
- Can I run Zero-OS on a virtual machine?
- Is it possible to build a DIY 3Node with VMWare VM ?
- Can I run a 3node on Windows, MAC or Linux?
- What is the minimum SSD requirement for a hardware to farm TFT?
- Is it possible to have a 3node running on only HDD disks?
Building a 3node - Steps and Details
- What are the main steps when building a DIY 3node, from start to finish?
- I wonder what type of desktop/server to use for my 3node. Any recommendation when it comes to DIY 3node hardware?
- What can you do to zero out your disks? How can I wipe the disks with Linux?
- How can I wipe a disk with Windows?
- Do I need to wipe all the disks on my 3node? Or I can leave one disk with a different OS?
- How can I be sure that I properly wiped my disks?
- Before doing a bootstrap image, I need to format my USB key. How can I format my USB key?
- What do you use to load/burn the Zero-OS bootstrap image onto a USB stick?
- Should I do a UEFI image or a BIOS image to bootstrap Zero-OS?
- Is there more documentation on setting the BIOS/UEFI properly for the 3node?
- The first time I booted my 3node, it says that the node is not registered yet. What can I do?
- The first time I boot my 3node, the node gets registered but it says “cache disk : no ssd”. What can I do?
- The first time I boot my 3 node, the node gets registered and it says “cache disk : OK”, but the table System Used Capacity is empty. What can I do?
- I have a relatively old server (e.g. Dell R710/R620, Z840). I have trouble booting Zero-OS. What could I do?
- I connected a SATA SSD to a CD/DVD optical drive adaptor. My system does not recognize the disk. What can I do?
- Can someone explain what should I put in the “Public IP” part of my farm? Should I just insert my Public IP and Gateway (given by my ISP)? (In the Portal - Farm - Public IPs section)
- What is the difference between a Threefold 3node and a Threefold farm/ What about the farm ID and the node ID?
- How can I know how many GB of SSD and RAM do I need?
- What is the optimal ratio of vcores (threads), SSD storage and RAM? What is the best optimization scenario for a 3node, TFT reward-wise?
- What does TBW mean? What is a good TBW level for a SSD disk?
- Do I need a surge protector?
- Do I need a PDU?
- Do I need a UPS
- Are SATA and SAS drives interchangeable?
- What is the speed difference between SAS and SATA disks?
- Is it possible to do a graceful shutdown to a 3nodes? How can you shutdown/power off a 3node?
- Is it possible to have direct access to Zero-OS’s core to force a reboot?
- Do I need some port forwarding in my router for each 3node?
- Are servers noisy? Are there certain servers that are less noisy than others?
- Are there ways to reduce serves’ noises?
- I watched the TF video on building a DIY 3node. It stated both the i7-6700 and i7-6700T CPUs. What is the difference?
- I built a 3node out of old hardware. Is it possible that my BIOS/UEFI has improper time and date set as factory default?
- I have rack servers in my Threefold Farm. Can I set rack servers vertically?
Farming and Maintenance
- Do I need the Zero-OS bootstrap image drive (USB or CD/DVD) when I reboot, or can I boot Zero-OS from the 3node main hard drive?
- When I set my farm on polkadot.js (https://portal.grid.tf), it asks for a Stellar payout address. What should I write?
- It’s written that my node is using 100% of HRU. What does it mean?
- On the Threefold Explorer, I only see half of the threads my 3node has, what can I do?
- What do CRU, MRU, HRU and SRU mean on the Threefold Explorer?
- How can I know if my 3node is online on the Grid? Is there an Explorer for Grid V3?
- I booted my 3node and the monitor says it’s online and connected to the Grid. But the TF Explorer says it is offline? What can I do?
- My 3node does show on the Threefold Explorer, but not on the Threefold Portal, what can I do?
- I set up my farm on Threefold Connect App. Can I use the Polkadot extension Portal instead?
- Is it equivalent to create a farm on Threefold Connect App or via the Polkadot extension?
- If I upgrade my 3node, will it increase my rewards?
- I booted my 3node for the first time at the beginning of the month, then I did some upgrade/downgrade, will the Grid recognize the new hardware? Will it still be the same 3node ID?
- Is it possible to ask the 3node to refetch the node information on the monitor?
- Where is the 3node ID stored?
- Is there a way to backup my node ID in order to restore a 3node if the disk with the node ID gets corrupted or breaks down?
- If I upgrade my 3node, does it change the node ID?
- My 3node uses only PCIe adapters and SSD NVME disks. Do I need the RAID controller on?
- Does it make sense to recreate my node when the price drops?
- My 3node lost power momentarily and I had to power it back on manually. Is there a better way to proceed?
- Do I need to change the battery BIOS?
- Do I need to enable UEFI Network Stack?
- I want redundancy of power for my 3 nodes. I have two PSU on my Dell server. What can I do?
- Why isn’t there support for RAID?/Does Zero-OS work with RAID?
- Is there a way to bypass RAID in order for Zero-OS to have bare metals on the system? (No RAID controller in between storage and the Grid)
- Can I change the name of my farm on polkadot.js? / How can I delete a farm on polkadot.js?
- I try to delete a node on the TF Portal, but it doesn’t work. Is there any other way to proceed that could work?
- My 3node has 2 ethernet ports in the back, with one written AMT above, what does it mean? Can I use this port to connect my 3node to the Grid?
- My 3node is based on a Z600/Z620/Z820, can I run it headless/without a GPU?
- My 3node is based on a Z800. The PSU is not working anymore. Is there an alternative to buying another expensive PSU?
- Is it possible to add high-level GPU on rack servers to farm more TFT?
Troubleshooting and Error Messages
- Is it possible to access the Error/Log Screen?
- I plugged an HDMI cable from my monitor into the node and the monitor is displaying nothing. What can I do?
- What does it mean when I see, during the 3node boot, the message: error = context deadline exceeded?
- I try to boot a 3node, but I get the error No Route to Host on Linux. What does it mean?
- I try to boot a 3node, but I get the message: no route with default gateway found. What does it mean?
- I have trouble connecting the 3node to the Grid with a 10GB NIC card. What can I do?
- I switch the ethernet cable to a different port when my 3node was running. Internet connection is lost. What can I do?
- I get the error Certificate is not yet valid when booting my 3node, what can I do?
- I tried to wipe my disk, but I get the error Probing Initialized Failed. What can I do?
- I did a format on my SSD disk, but Zero-OS still does not recognize them. What’s wrong?
- I have a Dell Rx10 server (R610/710/910). When I boot Zero-OS I get the message Probing EDD and the 3node doesn’t boot from there. What can I do?
- My 3node doesn’t boot properly without a monitor plugged in. What can I do?
- My 3node is running on the Grid, but when I plugged in the monitor, it states: “Disabling IR #16”. Is there a problem?
- My 3node won’t boot without disabling the Secure Boot option, is it safe?
- When I tried to boot my 3node, at some point the screen went black, with or without a blinking hyphen [ - ]. What could cause this and what could I do to resolve the issue?
- My 3nodes go offline after a modem reboot. Is there a way to prevent this?
- When I boot my 3node, it reaches the Welcome to Zero-OS window, but it doesn’t boot properly and there’s an error message: failed to load object : type substrate…, what can I do?
- When I try to access iDRAC on a web browswer, even with protected mode off, I get the error The webpage cannot be found, what can I do?
- When booting the 3node, I get the error Network interface detected but autoconfiguration failed. What can I do?
- When I boot my Dell server, I get the message: All of the disks from your previous configuration are gone… Press any key to continue or ‘C’ to load the configuration utility. What can I do?
- I have a Dell R620. In Zero-OS, I get the failure message No network card found and then the 3node reebots after few seconds. The same happens for every LAN input. What can I do?
- I am using freeDos to crossflash my raid controller on a Dell server, but I can’t see the RAID controller with the Command Info. What can I do?
- Can I use a VGA to HDMI adaptor to connect a TV screen/monitor to the 3node? / I tried to boot a 3node with a VGA to HDMI adaptor but the boot fails, what can I do?
- When I try to boot my 3node, the fans start spinning fast with a loud noise and the screen is black. What can I do to resolve this?
- When booting Zero-OS with IPV6 configurations, I get the errors (1) dial tcp: address IPV6-address too many columns in address and (2) no pools matches key: not routable. What can I do to fix this issue?
Threefold Grid and Data
- How is the farming minting reward calculated? / Is the Grid always monitoring my 3node?
- How does communication happen on the Grid at the 3node’s level?
- What is the Threefold Node Status bot Telegram link?
- How does the Threefold Node Status bot works?
- How does the Telegram Status Bot get information from my 3node? / My 3node is online on the Explorer, but offline on the Telegram Status Bot, is this normal?
- I noticed that when I reboot my 3node, the uptime counter on the Explorer goes back to zero. Does it mean I lose uptime and the uptime start over again when I reboot the 3node?
- One of my nodes is showing the wrong location. Any problem with that?
- Can I use different type of RAM for the same 3node?
- How can I know if the memory I am buying is OK for my specific hardware?
- What do the terms RDIMM, LDIMM, UDIMM, LRDIMM, FBDIMM mean when it comes to ram memory sticks?
- What is the difference between ECC and non-ECC memory?
- How can I change the RAM memory sticks on my 3nodes? / How can I achieve dual channel configuration with sticks of RAM? (e.g. 2x16GB ram DDR3 ECC RDIMM)
- What does RAM mean?
- What does DIMM mean when it comes to RAM sticks?
- I have 24 DIMMS ram slots on my server. Can I use them all?
- TFT Farming Basics
TFT Farming Basics
My Titan is v2.1 and the Threefold Grid is v3., what is the distinction?
Titan v2.1 is the hardware. Before v2.1, there was 2.0. The hardware currently being shipped is the Titan v2.1.
When you read v3, it refers to the Threefold Grid. Titans are now being sent ready for TF Grid v3 so they are being referred to as Titan v3. In short, the current Titans are v2.1 hardware ready for Threefold Grid v3.
Is there a way to know the current TFT price for the farming rewards?
Yes! Go here and scroll down, you’ll be able to find the TFT price at the line: current TFT to USD price.
When will I receive the farming rewards for my 3nodes?
Farming rewards are usually sent around the 8th of each month.
Note that this can vary slightly as the TF team is manually verifying the farming rewards.
Is there a Threefold calculator?
Of course! Go to https://simulator.grid.tf/ and select DIY or Titan.
What is the TFT entry price of my 3node?
For Grid V3, Titans 3nodes have the entry price of the moment you bought the unit, if it’s better than 8 cents, the current TFT farming entry price. For the time being, the DIY 3nodes have the entry price of 8 cents until the end of June 2022.
What is the necessary uptime for a 3node per period of one month?
Note that as of now, rewards are proportional to the uptime, so (e.g.) 40% uptime farms 40% of the total uptime period.
When implemented : For certified Titans 3nodes, it is 97% uptime per month (21.6h). For DIY 3nodes, it is 95% uptime per month (36h). For professional certified 3 nodes, it is 99.5% uptime per month (3.6h).
I set up a 3node in the middle of the month, does it affect uptime requirements and rewards?
You will still need to meet the required uptime (95% for DIY, etc.3), but the period starts when you connected the 3node for the first time, instead of the usual start of the month. This only applies the first month. Afterwards, the uptime is calculated on the whole month. *Read last Q+A
What is the difference between a certified and a non-certified 3node?
A certified 3node will receive 25% more reward compared to a non-certified 3node. As of now, only Titans bought from Threefold can be certified. DIY Certified 3nodes are a future possibility. Reach the Threefold Team to learn more.
What is the difference between V2 and V3 minting?
V2 is being sunset. New miners should directly onboard to V3.
On the tokenomics side, V2 rewards decrease as the difficulty level increases. For the V3 rewards, the rewards are constant for 5 years. In short, V3 is more profitable in the long run. For more information, read this post.
How long is the minting period of the tokens on Threefold? / How long is the farming period?
Each period has: 2630880 seconds = 43848 minutes = 730.8 hours. For more info, click here.
What are the minting periods for the remaining months of 2022?
The minting period for the remaining months of 2022 are the following:
Can Titans and DIY 3nodes share the same farm?
Yes. It’s one big Threefold family! A farm can have several 3nodes (Titans or DIY) and each 3node can be linked to only one farm.
Do I need one farm for each 3node?
No. You only need one farm. One farm can have multiple 3nodes. When setting your farm, you will add an address for the farming rewards. All farming rewards from each 3node of your farm will be sent to this address. Note that you can choose to have more than one farm. It is up to you.
Can a single farm be composed of many 3nodes?
Yes. You can have many 3nodes on the same farm.
Can a single 3node be on more than one farm?
No, this is not possible.
Do I need one reward address per 3node?
You do not need more than one address linked to one farm. All of your 3nodes can be connected to the same farm. Rewards per each 3nodes will all be sent to the address linked to your farm.
Yes. What is needed on this bootstrap image is to have the proper farm ID. The bootstrap image will be the same for all your different 3nodes. It’s a good TF farming practice to leave the bootstrap image plugged in the 3node at all time.
If a node is unused for certain time (e.g. many months offline), will it be erased by the Grid?
No, nodes only get deleted if the farm owner chooses to do so. Old “nodes” are really just entries in TF Chain and TF Chain does not modify or delete this data without external input.
Can a farm be erased from TF Grid?
No, this is not possible. In the future, we will implement some features in order to allow the cleaning of unused farms. As of now, this is not possible. Also, an old farm does not take resources on the TF Grid, or very little.
You simply need to press on the button Migrate to V3.
This process usually takes a couple of minutes but it can take a little bit longer.
How can I migrate my DIY farm from V2 to V3?
Create a new bootstrap image using your new V3 Farm ID. To create a new V3 Farm ID, you can use the Threefold Connect App or the Threefold Portal.
Farming Rewards and Related Notions
What are the rewards of farming/Can I get more rewards when my 3node is being utilized?
By connecting a 3node to the Grid, you get Farming Rewards. If you set a public IP address for the Grid to use, you will receive additional rewards when your 3node is being utilized by users on the Grid. All rewards are paid in TFT. To know the potential rewards, use the simulator. More information on sales channel will be communicated in the future.
How can I know the potential farming rewards for Grid Utilization?
Go on the Threefold simulator, enter your 3node resources, check the Public IP address. This will enable farming rewards from the parameter NU Required Per CU. Check the difference in the farming rewards per month.
What is the easiest way to farm Threefold tokens?
Buy a Titan. This is more or less plug n play! You can also build a DIY 3node. It’s fun and there are many resources to help you along the way.
When do I receive my rewards?
They are distributed once a month, around the 8th*. Distributions are not daily, or after a certain threshold. Note that upcoming minting rules may have a 24 month lockup or until 30% utilization for 3 months on your 3node.
*This can change slightly depending on the current situation.
On Threefold Grid v3, how can I verify my 3nodes’ payments on Stellar Blockchain?
Here’s the summary on how to find the details of a 3node’s payment:
Go to https://stellar.expert
Open the hamburger menu on the top right (mobile version)
Paste your wallet address in the search bar
Go to the last payment you want details of
Make sure the Memo (HASH) is in the HEX format. If it isn’t click on base64 and change it to hex.
Copy the Memo (HASH)
Paste the Memo (HASH) you copied. You will find the details of the 3node’s payment
NB: A full period is 2630880 seconds.
What is the farming reward calculation?
The calculation is:
TFT earned per month = CU farmed * CU farming rewards + SU farmed * SU farming rewards + NU used * NU farming rewards + IPAddr used * IPAddr farming rewards
Lear more about this here.
Note: The farming rewards take into account the quantity of storage and compute units (e.g. TB of SSD/HDD, GB of RAM, # of virtual cores). The farming rewards do not take into account the specific type of RAM, SSD, HDD and CPU.
Which wallets are recommended for TFT farming rewards?
The most straightforward wallet possible when it comes to farming TFT is simply to use the wallet included with the Threefold Connect App. It is also possible to use other wallets that are connected to the Stellar Blockchain. In these cases, you will need to establish a trust line with TFT. You can also store your TFT on a Ledger or a Trezor via the Stellar Blockchain. See stellarterm.com, stellarx.com and solarwallet.io.
Can I have more details on storing TFT on hardware wallets?
Yes of course! In short, you will need to use a hardware wallet (Ledger/Trezor/etc.) to sign in, add TFT as an asset (trust line), then send TFT to the Stellar address. For more information, read the section Setting up a TFT Trust line on Stellar Blockchain from the Farming documentation.
Do I need collateral?
No! Many decentralized data projects require enormous amounts of collateral, but not ThreeFold.
As of now, you cannot add external drives to a 3nodes. It is not yet supported. It might be in the future and we will update the FAQ if/when this happens.
Do I have access to the TFT rewards I receive each month when farming?
For now, V3 farming rewards are distributed as TFT on Stellar and they are immediately available. The lock system will be implemented on chain. Tokens will be staked to your address until unlock conditions are met. Conditions are: 2 years of farming or 30% of proof-of-utilization for 3 months per 3node.
What is TFTA? Is it still used?
Note that on V3, TFTA will not be issued anymore.
Is there a way to certify a DIY 3node?
Currently, only Titan Nodes are certified. We will share additional information when there are further updates.
Does it make sense to make my farm a company?
There is no general answer to this. Here’s what a Threefold member thinks about this if you are living in the USA. Check for your current location if this makes sense. DYOR.
Definitely do this project as a business entity. You can write off equipment, utilities and a portion of your home’s square footage if hosting the equipment at home.
What is the difference between uptime/downtime and online/offline when it comes to 3nodes?
Uptime and status are two different things. As long as the 3node is powered on, its uptime does not reset. Its status changes to offline if it hasn’t made an uptime report in the last two hours. Even if after more than two hours, the 3node isn’t yet online, the uptime does not reset. Uptime is a function of the system being powered on.
My 3node utilization is low, is it normal?
This is normal. Grid utilization is low right now. We’re still in the phase of building the network and testing use cases.
3node Farming Requirements
I want to farm TFT with a 3node. What are my choices?
What are the general requirements for a DIY 3node?
Any 64-bit hardware with an Intel or AMD processor chip can run Zero-OS and become a 3node. Once you have the proper hardware, follow those steps in the Farming Guide to get your 3node on the TF Grid. The following configurations provide guidelines on compatible and recommended setups:
- Servers, desktops and mini computers type hardware are compatible.
- A minimum of 500 GB of SSD and a bare minimum of 2 GB of RAM is required.
- A ratio of 1:4 between vCPU and RAM (e.g. 8vCPU and 32 GB of RAM) is recommended.
- The recommended upper limit is 8 GB of RAM per vCPU as farming rewards do not increase beyond that ratio.
- A wired ethernet connection is highly recommended to maximize reliability and the ability to farm TFT.
What kind of computer do I need to make a 3node?
Any modern computer should be sufficient, especially once you upgrade the amount of RAM and storage to increase your TFT rewards. While CPU specs are not currently measured, they may be in the future. To insure your 3node provides meaningful capacity to the network, you should have at least 1000 CPU passmark per core as measured on https://www.cpubenchmark.net/cpu_list.php
You can usually find this information in the owner manual of the server in the section Technical Specifications. Here’s a link for Dell servers.
Can I host more than one 3node at my house?
Yes, but do not host more than your bandwidth can support.
Is Wifi supported / Can I farm via Wifi instead of an Ethernet cable?
No. Wifi is not supported by Zero-OS due to a number of issues, like reliability, performance, configuration requirements and driver support. It’s all about Ethernet cables here.
Is there any way to run Zero-OS without dhcp?
You can set up a node through static routing at the router without DHCP by assigning the MAC address of the NIC to a IP address within your private subnet.
Do I need any specific port configuration when booting a 3node?
No, as long as the 3node is connected to the Internet via an ethernet cable (wifi is not supported), Zero-OS will be able to boot. Usually with the DHCP, it automatically assigns an IP address.
How much electricity does a 3node use?
A small DIY 3node based on a compact office computer will draw under 20W. A full size server will draw around 100W idling. Note that a 3node actively used on the Grid (proof-of-utilization) will draw more power, but also generate passive income on top of farming if you have a public IP address.
For more information, read this section Calculate the Total Electricity Cost of Your Farm of the Farming Guide.
Has anyone run stress tests to know the power consumption at heavy load of certain 3nodes?
The community is starting to gather some data on this. As of now, we know that a R720 with 2x2690v2 cpu, 4TB NVME SSE P4510 and 320GB ram will draw 390W @100% load. With 2x2650L v2, it’s around 300W with fans at full speed. More info will be added as we gather more data.
How much AC power do you need (in BTU) to compensate for the heat generated by the servers?
For a small farm set up, you could simply keep your normal air conditioner system and it should be fine. For large set up, you need to take into account the power consumption of your servers and turn it into BTU consumption. The quick equation to know the total BTU needed per Threefold Farm is:
Server Power in kW * 3413 * Number of Servers = Total BTU
The total BTU will indicate the minimum number to look for when buying your air conditioner. For more information, read this documentation.
Can Titans be run on PoE? (Power Over Ethernet)
Titans don’t come equipped for PoE. If you have a NUC based Titan there are some PoE lids that might be compatible.
What is the bandwidth needed when it comes to running 3nodes on the Grid?
For the time being, we have some general equations that can give you a good idea of the bandwdith needed per 3node. Click here to read this documentation.
The bandwidth needed for a given 3node is not yet set in stone and you are welcome to participate in ongoing the discussion on this subject on the Forum.
Note that the strict minimum is set to 1 mbps per Titan. But a higher bandwidth is recommended.
Can I run Zero-OS on a virtual machine?
You can. But you won’t farm TFT. To farm TFT, Zero-OS needs to be on bare metal.
Is it possible to build a DIY 3Node with VMWare VM ?
It wouldn’t be possible to get farming rewards from such configuration. You need to run a 3node Zero-OS on bare metal and no virtual machine is permitted. Indeed, to farm TFT you need bare metal. Virtual Machine will not work. Furthermore, all disks of a 3node need to be wiped completely, thus no other OS can be on the 3node.
It would be possible to simply set Zero-OS as a VM on VMWare VM, but it wouldn’t farm as stated.
Can I run a 3node on Windows, MAC or Linux?
No. Threefold runs its own OS, which is Zero-OS. You thus need to start with completely wiped disks.
What is the minimum SSD requirement for a hardware to farm TFT?
You need a theoretical minimum of 500 GB SSD on a desktop or server. Less could work.
Is it possible to have a 3node running on only HDD disks?
This is not possible. A 3node needs at least one SSD disk of 500 GB.
Building a 3node - Steps and Details
What are the main steps when building a DIY 3node, from start to finish?
You can set your 3node once you have the proper hardware. In short, you first need to zero out your disks. Then you need to plug in the booting device, set the BIOS properly and then reboot the 3node and let it download Zero-OS and connect to the Grid. The following Q+As explain these steps in more details.
Here are some general steps:
- Create a farm
- Flash the Zero-OS bootstrap image
- Prepare the hardware
- Prepare the disks
- Set the BIOS/UEFI
- Boot the 3node
For more details on this, read the Farming documentation.
The Farming documentation contains a list of typical DIY 3nodes in the section List of Common DIY 3nodes.
Also, a good place to start is by checking what other farmers have built. Over here.
What can you do to zero out your disks? How can I wipe the disks with Linux?
For zero out disks unix has a tool called “wipefs”. Every distribution should have it. So if you take an ISO image of any distribution and boot in “Try” mode. In a terminal / shell you should be able to do " wipefs -f /dev/sd* " for all of the disk devices in the hardware. Make sure you have SU permissions (write sudo before the command line).
Read more here.
How can I wipe a disk with Windows?
Follow these simple steps:
- Open up the command line.
- Write diskpart
- Write list disk
- Write select disk x (replace x with the disk you want to wipe)
- Write clean
You’re done! Note: do not format the disk.
Do I need to wipe all the disks on my 3node? Or I can leave one disk with a different OS?
Zero-OS will not boot properly if not all disks are wiped. All disks must be wiped. So for example, you can’t have one SSD disk wiped and another one SSD with Windows OS on it. In this case, Zero-OS won’t boot.
How can I be sure that I properly wiped my disks?
A wiped disk has:
- no label
- no partition
- no filesystem
- only zeroes
On Linux to see if the disk is only composed of zeroes, use the command line (example with disk sda):
cmp /dev/sda /dev/zero
If there is only zeroes, you should get the output:
cmp: EOF on /dev/sda
You can also use the command line:
sudo pv /dev/sda | od | head
Here are some useful command lines for Linux to make sure there are no partitions, no labels, no filesystems and that the disks are filled with zeroes only:
sudo fdisk -l
sudo fdisk -lf
sudo parted -l
sudo parted /dev/sda 'print’
Before doing a bootstrap image, I need to format my USB key. How can I format my USB key?
*Note that BalenaEtcher will format and burn your bootstrap image in the same process. See next Q+A for more details.
Windows: This is done easily with diskpart. Here’s all the coding needed (with disk X as an example, make sure you choose the correct disk): run Command Prompt as an administrator (right-click option), write diskpart, then in diskpart write list disk, choose your disk and write select disk X, write clean, write create partition primary, write format fs=fat32, then write assign. If for any reason, the process doesn’t work, quit diskpart and redo the whole thing. This should fix any bug. Cautious with diskpart, it’s destructive.
MAC: This is done easily with Disk Utility. Go in Disk Utility. Select your USB key, click on erase on the top, write a name for your USB key, then choose a format (MS-DOS (FAT) if USB key < 32GB, exFAT if USB key > 32GB), then click erase, then click done.
LINUX: In the Terminal, write df, find your disk (here we use sdX), write sudo umount /dev/sdX, write this line (with the proper FORMAT) sudo mkfs.FORMAT /dev/sdX [FORMAT= vfat for FAT32, ntfs for NTFS, exfat for exFAT], then finally verify the formatting by writing sudo fsck /dev/sdX.
What do you use to load/burn the Zero-OS bootstrap image onto a USB stick?
For MAC, Linux and Windows, you can use BalenaEtcher to load/flash the image on a USB stick. This program also formats the USB in the process. Rufus can also be used for Windows.
Also, got Linux systems, you can transfer the dowloaded image with the dd command: dd if=created_boot_loader_file.img of=/dev/sd? where the input file is the downloaded file from http:/bootloader.grid.tf and the output file (device) is the USB stick device. Read more here.
Should I do a UEFI image or a BIOS image to bootstrap Zero-OS?
It depends on your 3node’s system. Newer computers and servers will accept UEFI. If it does not work with UEFI, please try with the options ISO (BIOS CD/DVD) or USB (BIOS image) on https://bootstrap.grid.tf.
Is there more documentation on setting the BIOS/UEFI properly for the 3node?
For BIOS, read this documentation.
For UEFI, read this documentation.
The first time I booted my 3node, it says that the node is not registered yet. What can I do?
The first time you boot a 3node, it will be written: “This node is not registered (farmer ***: NameOfFarm). This is normal. The Grid will create a node ID and you will be able to see it on screen. This can take a couple of minutes.
If after some time (couple hours), the 3node doesn’t get registered, there might be something off with the Grid connection. You can then try to reboot the 3node, or wait and boot it later. If it persists, you can check the rest of the Troubleshooting section of the Farmer FAQ, or ask around the Threefold Telegram Farmer chat or the Threefold chat for help.
This probably means that you either haven’t connected a SSD or that you need to wipe your SSD disk(s). Zero-OS runs on bare metal and needs a minimum of one SSD disk (min 500GB & 50 GB per CU). You will see “cache disk : OK” when it works.
Most of the time, just wait and data will appear. If you want to be sure your 3node is online on the Grid, you can check the Explorer, which fetch information every 2 hours. If it persist, first try to simply reboot your 3node.
Sometimes, Zero-OS will not boot in UEFI mode on older servers. In that case, try to boot in BIOS mode. Use either a USB key or the CD/DVD optical drive (the 4th and 5th option on https://bootstrap.grid.tf/) and make sure to select BIOS and not UEFI mode in your server settings.
Try to set AHCI mode instead of Legacy mode in SATA settings in the BIOS.
Assuming you are a DIY farmer and operate from your home, this field can be left blank. You do not have to fill in any details.
The add IP option is for farmers that have a block of IP addresses routed to their router (in data centers mostly) and want to present “dedicated IP” addresses for deployments.
A farm is a composition of one or many 3nodes. A 3node is a computer connected to the Threefold Grid. Each farm has its farm ID and each 3node has its node ID.
How can I know how many GB of SSD and RAM do I need?
You need 50 GB of SSD per compute units (CU) and a minimum of 500 GB SSD and 2 GB of RAM per 3node.
A 3node has, in general, 2 compute units (CU) per thread. Thus, for peak optimisation, you need 100 GB SSD and 8GB RAM per thread.
In short, for peak optimization, aim for 100 GB SSD and 8GB RAM per thread.
For example, a 32 threads (32 vcores) 3nodes would need 3.2 TB SSD and 256GB RAM to be optimal, reward-wise. That is: 32 * 100 = 3200 GB SSD = 3.2TB SSD, and 32 * 8 = 256 GB RAM total.
Adding more GB of RAM would not increase your TFT rewards. You’d need more vcores if you want to expand.
NB: This is purely based on reward considerations. Some users might need different ratios for different specific uses of the Grid.
What does TBW mean? What is a good TBW level for a SSD disk?
TBW means Terabytes Written. TBW directly measures how much you can write cumulatively into the drive over its lifetime. For your 3node, it can be a good idea to prioritize a minimum ratio of 500 TBW per 1TB for SSD.
*Note that TBW is not a technical specification, but a general claim from the manufacturer. For this reason, it can also be good to check the warranty of the disk. For example, if a manufacturer offers a 5-year warranty to its product, it indicates that the company thinks its product will last a long time.
Do I need a surge protector?
A surge protector is highly recommended for your farm and your 3nodes. This ensures your 3nodes will not overcharge if a power surge happens. Whole-house surge protectors are also an option.
Do I need a PDU?
A PDU (power distribution unit) is useful in big server settings in order to manage your wattage and keep track of your power consumption.
Do I need a UPS
A UPS (uninterrupted power supply) is great for a 3node if your power goes on and off frequently for short periods of time. This ensures your 3node does not need to constantly reboot. If your electricity provider is very reliable, a UPS might not be needed, as the small downtime resulting from rare power outages with not exceed the DIY downtime limit*. (95% uptime, 5% downtime = 36 hours per month.)
*That being said, make sure to have settings such as AC Recovery Power set properly so your 3node goes back online if the power shutdowns momentarily. UPS are generally used in data center to make sure people have enough time to do a “graceful” shutdown of the units when power goes off. (See next question)
Are SATA and SAS drives interchangeable?
This goes only one way. You can put a SATA drive in a SAS slot, but you can’t put a SAS drive in a SATA slot. See next Q+A.
What is the speed difference between SAS and SATA disks?
One of the big differences between SATA and SAS is the transfer speed. Using SATA disks with SAS cables, you will be limited by the SATA transfer speed.
- Sata I : 150 MB/s
- Sata II : 300 MB/s
- Sata III : 600 MB/s
- SAS : 600-1500 MB/s
Note: You will most probably need to re-flash the raid card if you use the front panel disks (onboard storage) of your server.
Is it possible to do a graceful shutdown to a 3nodes? How can you shutdown/power off a 3node?
There are no “graceful” shutdowns of 3nodes. You can shutdown a 3node from the software side. You need to shut it down manually directly on the hardware. 3nodes are self-healing and if they suddenly power down, no data or information will be lost.
Is it possible to have direct access to Zero-OS’s core to force a reboot?
No, this is not possible. The general philosophy with Zero-OS is: no shell, no GUI, and no remote control. In other words, anything that could potentially provide attack surface is off the table. This ensures a high security level to Zero-OS and the Threefold Grid in general. To reboot a 3node, you have to do it manually.
Do I need some port forwarding in my router for each 3node?
No, this is not needed.
Are servers noisy? Are there certain servers that are less noisy than others?
The noises from a server can be similar to the noise of a conventional pedestal fan. As a general rule, the bigger the server, the bigger the fans (which are mostly the source of sounds). Smaller fans need to spin faster to disperse as much heat as bigger fans. So, for example, 1U servers are noisier than 2U servers. Also, note that in general, tower servers are quieter than rack servers. Go for a tower server or desktop if you want a quieter 3node.
It has been stated that Dell servers are quieter than HP. For Dell, R710-R720 are quieter than Compellent. You can check the server’s manual and see directly the noise they produce in decibels.
Note that serves generate white noise. White noise is often used for sound masking. For some, it helps them to relax and to fall asleep. A server in your bedroom, why not?
Are there ways to reduce serves’ noises?
To reduce the noise, you can remove all the unnecessary cards in the servers as well as the HDD disks if you don’t use them. Unplugging the SAS cables can also help. You can also set the fans to adjust their speed instead of being constant.
At the end of the day, servers were manufactured for durability and efficiency, and not for being quiet. Most servers are placed in server rooms where noise doesn’t matter much.
The T stands for thermal throttled. The i7-6700T is 46% more energy efficient. While the i7-6700 has a 42% faster CPU speed and has a higher passmark. Note that the TFT reward is going to be the same. The difference is with power consumption: 35 Watt for the i7-6700t and 65 Watt for the i7-6700.
For a more thorough comparison, read this.
Yes. Make sure you have the correct time and date in BIOS to avoid errors when trying to boot Zero-OS. It might not cause any problems, but sometimes it does.
I have rack servers in my Threefold Farm. Can I set rack servers vertically?
In general, it is not recommended to set rack servers vertically as they were designed to be laid flat in racks. That being said, if you want to set your rack vertically, here are some general rules to follow. Do so at your own risk.
First, make sure the parts in the servers are well installed and that they will not fall if laid vertically. Second, and foremost, you want to make sure that there will not be any overheating. This means to make sure you don’t block the front and rear of the unit, so heat can dissipate thought the vents.
If you want to put the rack vertically with the longest side of the rack laying upward, having the power supply units (PSUs) on the very top will ensure that heat dissipate well.
Farming and Maintenance
You need the bootstrap image device plugged in every time you reboot a 3node and it’s a good practice to keep it plugged in all the time. For more information, have a look here.
The easiest method would be to write the address on your Threefold Connect App. You can also write any address that is on the Stellar blockchain and has a trust line enabled with Threefold Token.
It’s written that my node is using 100% of HRU. What does it mean?
HRU stands for your HDD space available. It means that you are using 100% of the HDD space available, or equivalently that you have no HDD on your system.
On the Threefold Explorer, I only see half of the threads my 3node has, what can I do?
Check in the BIOS settings and make sure you have enabled Virtual Cores (or Hyper Threading/Logical Cores).
What do CRU, MRU, HRU and SRU mean on the Threefold Explorer?
CRU means the number of virtual cores. MRU means the GB of ram (memory). HRU means the HDD capacity storage and SRU means the SSD capacity storage.
How can I know if my 3node is online on the Grid? Is there an Explorer for Grid V3?
There are multiple answers to this.
(1) You can plug a monitor to your 3node and check directly its status.
(2) This link is the quickest online route to check your 3node status: https://explorerv3.grid.tf/nodes
(3) You can also use the (unofficial) Threefold Node Status Bot on Telegram (username: @tfnodestatusbot).
The Explorer refetches information every 2 hours. You can wait 2 hours and see if the problem persists. Then/or, you could reboot the 3node and see if the Explorer sees it as online.
My 3node does show on the Threefold Explorer, but not on the Threefold Portal, what can I do?
If you’re 3node is correctly registered on the Threefold Grid but you cannot see it on the Threefold Portal, there can be many different ways to solve this issue.
One way to fix this is to go in the TF Portal, select change the address and then simply re-paste the same address, then the extension will ask you to resign. Usually this fixes the issue.
If the first method did not work, you can try to remove the account and add it back up on the Polkadot.js extension. Before doing so, make sure you have a back up of your seed phrase as you will need it to re-enter the account. Your 3node should then appear.
I set up my farm on Threefold Connect App. Can I use the Polkadot extension Portal instead?
If you want to use the portal, you can take the TFChain Secret from the app and import it into the Polkadot extension. For more information, and the other way around (TF Portal to TF Connect App), read the sections Move Farm from the TF app to the TF Portal (polkadot.js) and Import TF Portal (polkadot.js) wallet to the TF Connect App Wallet of the Farming Guide Part 2.
Is it equivalent to create a farm on Threefold Connect App or via the Polkadot extension?
Yes it is. Farm setup through the app and using the Polkadot extension with the portal are equivalent.
If I upgrade my 3node, will it increase my rewards?
Yes. Use the simulator.grid.tf to verify the additional rewards. But note that, currently, upgrades are not recognized until the next minting cycle.
Downgrades are counted in the current minting cycle. So you mint for the entire cycle at the downgraded specs.
Minting only considers a single configuration per node per cycle, and that is the minimum configuration seen at any point during the cycle. With this logic in mind, upgrades will only be recognized at the next minting cycle. Note that your 3node will have a new ID and new price entry if you changed the SSD containing the 3node ID.
Is it possible to ask the 3node to refetch the node information on the monitor?
To refetch information, press " q " on the keyboard.
Where is the 3node ID stored?
For the current Zero-OS version, the node ID is stored in the first SSD you install on your 3node. If you change or erase this disk, this disk will lose its current 3node ID.
Yes, you can do a backup, but as of now this process must be done manually.
One way is to boot a Linux USB image in Try mode, open up the File folder of your disk that contains the node ID. Click on + Other Locations. Then, open the folder that contains the folder zos-cache and open the folder identityd. In this folder, select the file seed.txt and make a copy of it in a safe place (USB key, notebook, e-mail, etc.). If the disk which contains your node ID is damaged, simply reboot the 3node with a new disk and the Zero-OS bootstrap image. Your 3node will connect to the Grid and assign a new node ID. Once this is done, reboot the 3node, but this time with the Linux USB image, go in the same folder as stated before and replace the new seed.txt file with the old file. Reboot your 3node with the Zero-OS bootstrap and you’re done.
If I upgrade my 3node, does it change the node ID?
Upgrades won’t change the node ID, unless you replace the SSD where the node ID is stored (see above for more info on this).
My 3node uses only PCIe adapters and SSD NVME disks. Do I need the RAID controller on?
The onboard RAID controller is not linked to your PCIe SSDs. In this case, you can switch the RAID controller off.
Does it make sense to recreate my node when the price drops?
Short answer: no. Long answer: click here.
In your BIOS, go in Security Settings and choose Last for AC Power Recovery*. If you want, set a delay between 60 and 240 seconds. This will ensure your 3node does not power on and off frantically if your power flickers on and off, thus potentially damaging the unit. On other BIOS, it’s After Power Loss, and you should choose Previous State.
*Depending on your 3node, the parameter might have a different name.
Do I need to change the battery BIOS?
It can be a good thing to change it when you buy an old desktop or server to make sure it lasts long. When the battery goes out of power, the 3node won’t have access to the BIOS settings if it loses power momentarily.
Do I need to enable UEFI Network Stack?
You don’t need to if you use a removable media (e.g. USB key) as a booting image. It is needed only if you boot from a PXE server on your network. You should keep this feature disabled. Enable it only if you know 100% what you are doing. Otherwise it might bring vulnerabilities in terms of network security.
I want redundancy of power for my 3 nodes. I have two PSU on my Dell server. What can I do?
Make sure you enable the Hot Spare feature. This feature is accessible in iDRAC Settings - Power Configuration. Other servers might have this function, with a different name and configuration. Check the server’s manual for more details.
Why isn’t there support for RAID?/Does Zero-OS work with RAID?
RAID is a technology that has brought resilience and security to the IT industry. But it has some limitations that we at ThreeFold did not want to get stuck in. We developed a different (and more efficient way to store data reliably. Please have a look here.
This Quantum Safe Storage overcomes some of the shortfalls of RAID and is able to work over multiple nodes geographically spread on the TF Grid.
Yes it is possible. “You can use the on board storage on a server without RAID. You can re-flash the RAID card, turn on HBA/non-RAID mode, or install a different card. No need for RAID.” @FLnelson It’s usually easy to set servers such as a HP Proliant with the HBA mode. For Dell servers, you can either cross-flash the RAID controller with an “IT-mode-Firmware” (see this video) or get a DELL H310-controller (which has the non-RAID option). Otherwise, you can install a NVME SSD with a PCIe adaptor, and turn off the RAID controller.
Can I change the name of my farm on polkadot.js? / How can I delete a farm on polkadot.js?
It’s possible to delete and rename farms through the Polkadot UI. Head to the extrinsics section, select the account that owns the farm, choose tfgridModule from the first drop down, then deleteFarm or updateFarm.
For mainnet use this link.
It’s possible to delete nodes through the Polkadot UI. Head to the extrinsics section, select the account that owns the farm, choose tfgridModule from the first drop down, then deleteNode. For mainnet, use this link.
First, let’s define the term AMT. It means: Active Management Technology. Without going into too much details, it is to remotely access servers via the network at the BIOS level. Thus, you should plug the ethernet cable in the port next to AMT, and not into the AMT port. You can explore AMT properties if you want remote access to your server.
My 3node is based on a Z600/Z620/Z820, can I run it headless/without a GPU?
For the Z600, there is a great video on youtube.
For the Z620 and the Z820, you need to do some variation on the video above. In the BIOS, go in File -> Replicated Setup, and select Save to Removable Storage Device. This will save a text file on your USB key. Then, in the text file, go to Headless Mode and remove the * in front of Disable and put it in front of Enable. Save the file and then go back into BIOS. Now go in File -> Replicated Setup, and select Restore from Removable Storage Device.
Running your 3node without the GPU can save some power consumption as well as giving you one more extra slot for other hardware.
It is possible to build your own PSU for the Z800. There is a great DIY guide by Linus on this here. This is clearly for advanced DIYer.
Is it possible to add high-level GPU on rack servers to farm more TFT?
Some farmers had success installing GPUs such as the RTX3080 in servers as small as 2U (such as R730). Connections such as 250W 8-pin plug are needed on each riser. Generally, tower servers have more space to add high-level GPU.
Note: GPU farming will be implemented in the future.
Troubleshooting and Error Messages
Is it possible to access the Error/Log Screen?
Yes! On the Zero-OS console, hit alt-F2 to open up the Error/Log Screen, and hit alt-F3 to go back to the main screen.
You may have to reboot with HDMI cable already connected. Video does not seem to be turned on unless HDMI is present at boot. Once you boot with HDMI in, you can unplug and replug and it will work.
To simply see if your 3node is online, you can go on explorer.threefold.io or check with the Telegram Threefold Farm Bot.
What does it mean when I see, during the 3node boot, the message: error = context deadline exceeded?
In general, this message means that the Threefold Grid asked something to your 3node, and your 3node could not respond fast enough. It is usually necessary to read the following error message to understand the situation more specifically.
I try to boot a 3node, but I get the error No Route to Host on Linux. What does it mean?
There are many potential answers to this. Perhaps the Host is offline, the service isn’t running. This is usually the reason with TF Grid. It means the Grid is not responsive. In this case, try to boot the 3node later. If it persists ask TF Support.
There can also be other reasons. You might have connected to the wrong port. Perhaps you have configured iptables to block connections on that port. Your DNS might be improperly configured. You might have an Incorrect Network or Host Configuration. Many troubleshoots are possible. Here’s a good place to start.
First, let’s see the main terms. Default gateway act as an access point to other networks, in this case the TF Grid, when there is a back and forth exchange of data packets.
While the last question implied a communication problem from the Grid, this error message usually means that the 3node has communication problem. In short, it has difficulty reaching the TF Grid. There are many ways to troubleshoot this error. First, let’s give the most direct solution. Make sure you have a direct connection with your Internet Service Provider (ISP): your 3node should be connected to a router or a switcher via an ethernet cable. Wifi doesn’t work. Make sure your DHCP is set correctly.
If the problem persists, check the default gateway of your 3node and then make sure your router can reach it.
*See next Q+A for more a possible solution.
I have trouble connecting the 3node to the Grid with a 10GB NIC card. What can I do?
As of now, Zero-OS sometimes has trouble with 10GB NIC card. The easiest solution to this is to connect your 3node with the 1GB NIC card. This should solve the issue. More fine tuning might be needed to get your 3node to work with a 10GB NIC card. Future Zero-OS version might solve this issue.
When your 3node boots, Zero-OS marks the NIC port. This means you cannot change NIC port when your 3node is running. You can either put back the ethernet cable in the initial NIC port, or reboot the 3node. At boot, Zero-OS will marks the new NIC port as the main entry.
I get the error Certificate is not yet valid when booting my 3node, what can I do?
Make sure your firmware is up to date. If necessary, reinstall it. You might have to install then re-install the firmware if your system is very old.
I tried to wipe my disk, but I get the error Probing Initialized Failed. What can I do?
Some people tried the command wipefs -a /dev/sd* without success. (Where * is the specific disk letter.) When you get that error, sometimes it is because your are trying to wipe your boot USB by accident. If this is not the case, and you really are trying to wipe your disk, try this command wipefs -af /dev/sd*.
I did a format on my SSD disk, but Zero-OS still does not recognize them. What’s wrong?
Formatting is one thing, but to boot properly, Zero-OS needs to work on a completely wipe disk. Thus, make sure you wipe your disks. Formatting is not enough.
For the R610 and 710, you can simply re-flash the card. See this link for more information. For the 910, you can’t re-flash the card. In this case, get a LSI Dell card and it should work. (They are cheap when you buy them used online.)
My 3node doesn’t boot properly without a monitor plugged in. What can I do?
First, try to disable the “Halt On” mode in BIOS. If you do not have this option, try simply enabling the Legacy Support (Dell BIOS for example). If this doesn’t work, try to plug in a Dummy Plug/Headless Ghost/Display Emulator in your 3node. This will simulate a plugged monitor. This should fix the problem.
In general, you can simply ignore this error statement. This error is linked to the Nvidia binary driver. It simply means that your 3node lost connection with the graphic card (by unplugging and replugging the monitor for example).
My 3node won’t boot without disabling the Secure Boot option, is it safe?
In the case where you want to boot Zero-OS, disabling Secure Boot option is safe. With Secure Boot disabled, it can be easier or even necessary when it comes to booting Zero-OS. Secure Boot is used when you want to lock the BIOS/UEFI settings.
There is a possibility that this happens because you are booting your 3node on a HDD. A 3node needs a minimum of 500GB of SSD to work properly.
Also, make sure that you are using the correct boot option (Legacy BIOS or UEFI) in the Settings and that it corresponds to the correct booting image on the Threefold Bootstrap page.
This problem often arises when you plugged your disks in the wrong controller. For example, try unpluging the disks from the SAS controller, and plug them in the SATA controller. Also, disable the SAS controller if needed.
In a Legacy BIOS boot, make sure Legacy is enabled and disable Data Execution Prevention if possible.
Also, it might have to do with your RAID controller configuration. Make sure this is properly set. For example, configuring all the HDD disks into one logical disk can fix this problem, or re-flashing the RAID card can also help.
My 3nodes go offline after a modem reboot. Is there a way to prevent this?
Yes, there are many ways to prevent this. An easy solution is to set the DHCP server to reserve local IPs for the 3nodes MAC addresses.
This problem is also preventable if your router stays online during the modem reboot.
Indeed, rebooting the 3nodes is necessary when there are local IP changes, as 3nodes are addressed a local IP addresses when they are booted.
The DHCP will addresses any local IP address that is available when you are booting a 3node. Reserving local IP addresses is a good TF farming practice.
Usually simply rebooting the 3node fixes this problem.
Open iDRAC in the Internet Explorer emulator extension (IE Tab) in Chrome, then update iDRAC. It should work elsewhere then. Sometimes, it will be needed to add “ST1=code” at the end of the IE Tab url.
First make sure your network cable is plugged in and that your DHCP is working and responding. If you change the NIC port of the ethernet cable, make sure to reboot the 3node so Zero-OS can change the NIC port attribution.
Some farmers reported that this got fixed by simply powering off the 3node(s), the router and modem for 2 minutes then powering it all back on. Resetting the modem and router (switch on the hardware) in the process can also help.
If this doesn’t work, try to upgrade the firmware of the NIC and the motherboard. If this still doesn’t work, the NIC card might be broken. Try with another NIC card.
Many changes to your server can lead to this message.
Usually, the easiest solution is to reset the disk configuration in iDRAC’s configuration utility.
What can causes this message:
- During a new installation, the cables connecting to your external storage are not wired to the correct ports.
- Your RAID adapter has failed.
- Your SAS cables are not plugged properly or are malfunctioning.
Note: Resetting the configuration will destroy all data on all virtual disks. Make sure you know what you are doing! In doubt, ask the TF community.
Sometimes, this happens when the firmwares of BIOS, iDRAC, Lifecycle Controller and NIC are incompatible to each other. The solution is then to update them all correctly. Some problems can arise in the process.
First, you should try to do the updates using iDRAC as you can update both iDRAC and BIOS there. If this does not work, try to update separate, with a live-linux distro, the BIOS, iDRAC and Lifecycle Controller. Once this is done, the server should be able to do a liveupdate, https to dell support website, via lifecycle-controller. This would update the other components. For more details on this method, watch this video.
Note: Some farmers have reported that the Broadcom NIC card does not work well for Zero-OS and that a standard Intel PCI NIC card replacement resolved the issue. This could be a more straightforward method if updating the firmwares doesn’t resolve the issue.
Turn on the raid controller in the BIOS, otherwise freeDos does not show you the raid controller with the command Info.
This might work, but it has been reported by farmers that Zero-OS might have difficulties booting when this is done with a VGA/HDMI adaptor. This is most likely due to the TV screen not supporting the output once the system loaded into Zero-OS. The easy fix to this issue is to use a standard computer monitor with a VGA plug.
There may be several causes to this issue. You can try to remove all the RAM sticks, to clean the dust and then to reseat the RAM sticks. If it still doesn’t resolve the issue, you can check the RAM sticks one by one to see if one is malfunctioning. This often resolves the issue. Also, some cables might not be properly connected.
This usually means that the IPV6 attributed is not valid. It is also often caused when the DNS configuration does not resolve IPV6 correctly.
To fix this issue, it is often necessary to adjust the IPV6 settings related to the router and the modem. Confirming with your Internet service provider (ISP) that the IPV6 settings are properly configured could also be necessary to fix the issue.
Threefold Grid and Data
How is the farming minting reward calculated? / Is the Grid always monitoring my 3node?
The Grid uses an algorithm that does not continually monitor the 3node. It does its best to determine uptime through occasional checking in, which we call ping. The 3node sends a ping to the Grid and the Grid sends a ping to the 3node to confirm the reception. (Ping-Pong!)
It’s helpful to understand that the Grid is really just 3nodes and TF Chain (which itself is a collection of nodes). Nodes report their uptime by writing an entry on TF Chain, about once every two hours. These reports are used for minting.
How does communication happen on the Grid at the 3node’s level?
There are two ways to get information about nodes. Once is to query TF Chain, and the other is to communicate with nodes directly.
What is the Threefold Node Status bot Telegram link?
The link is the following: https://t.me/tfnodestatusbot.
How does the Threefold Node Status bot works?
Click on this link: https://t.me/tfnodestatusbot
To subscribe a node, write the command /subscribe nodeID. So if your node ID is 100, write: /subscribe 100
To verify the status on the TF Explorer, write: /status 100.
To verify the status through Yggdrasil, write: /ping 100.
Note: The bot should send you alerts when it considers any registered node to be offline.
The status bot communicates directly by sending pings to the nodes over Yggdrasil every five minutes. Therefore, it will report on temporary network interruptions that might not affect your total uptime calculation as used for minting.
No. The only uptime you lose is the time your 3node was offline from the Grid. This Grid still has the data of your total uptime of the month. The Explorer only shows this statistics as: “This node has been up non-stop without being rebooted for now [insert time]”. If you maintain a total uptime above the minimum uptime, you’re fine.
*For now the farming rewards are proportional to the total uptime.
One of my nodes is showing the wrong location. Any problem with that?
The explorer is showing your ISP location. This is perfectly normal.
Can I use different type of RAM for the same 3node?
No. Always use the same type of RAM per 3node. If you use RDIMM, go all RDIMM, etc. Check your hardware specifications to make sure you have the right type of memory.
How can I know if the memory I am buying is OK for my specific hardware?
To be sure, look into the owner’s manual of your specific computer.
In general, you can go to https://memory.net/ and look for your specific computer model. As general steps, select your computer’s system in By system, then select the series and then select the specific model of the series. You will then see available memories to buy from memory.net. You can also simply read the documentation at the bottom. The memory type supported by your computer will be explained. Then you can buy the memory needed from any other computer store.
For servers, you can check with Cloudninja’s documentation here. Search for your specific hardware and look for the compatible memory. This reference is good for rack and tower servers.
What do the terms RDIMM, LDIMM, UDIMM, LRDIMM, FBDIMM mean when it comes to ram memory sticks?
Well first, the DIMM means dual inline memory module.
U stands for or unregistered (or unbuffered).
R stands for registered memory.
LR stands for load-reduced.
FB stands for fully-buffered.
What is the difference between ECC and non-ECC memory?
ECC means error correction code memory. This type of memory can detect and correct data corruption. Non-ECC mostly cannot detect nor correct, but some can detect, but never correct data corruption. Check your hardware specifications to make sure you have the right type of memory (ECC or non-ECC).
First, always use RAM sticks of the same size and type. It should be noted on your motherboard which slots to populate first. As a general guide, there is usually 2 slots A and B, with each 2 memory stick entries. You must then install the ram sticks on A1 and B1 in order to achieve dual channel, then A2 and B2 if you have more (visual order: A1 A2 B1 B2). As Michael Smith said on TG:
You want to start with your largest sticks, evenly distributed between both processors and work your way down to your smallest. So say you have 2 processors and 4x 16GB sticks and 4x 8GB sticks. The arrangement would be A1-16GB, B1-16GB, A2-16GB, B2-16GB, A3-8GB, B3-8GB, A4-8GB, B4-8GB. Avoid odd numbers as well. You optimally want pairs. So if you only have 5x 8GB sticks, only install 4 until you have an even 6.
What does RAM mean?
RAM means random access memory. Those type of memory can be read and changed in any order.
What does DIMM mean when it comes to RAM sticks?
It means dual in-line memory module. This type of computer memory is natively 64 bits, enabling fast data transfer.
I have 24 DIMMS ram slots on my server. Can I use them all?
Be careful when installing memory on a server. Always check your server’s documentation to make sure your RAM sticks combination are OK.
For example, on the R720, you can only use all 24 DIMMs if you have LR ram, if you use ECC you can only use 16 DIMMs.
NB: If we wrote something wrong, tell us!
NB2: This is a collective effort. A big Thank You to the great Threefold Community. Many Q+A are contributions from the great farmers in the Telegram Farmer Group and also from the amazing Threefold Forum.
Here’s some of them and tell us if we didn’t mention you while you should be there!