What exactly is the EthOs Distro? As far as I understand it's an ethereum-dedicated linux. Why should someone want to use it?

What's the advantage of EthOS over Ubuntu or Windows? What are the features? Better mining?

  • 1
    That's a rip-off, Ubuntu with an Ethereum logo. Everything they offer is done with 5 lines of sudo apt-get install.
    – Max Malysh
    Mar 26, 2016 at 11:23
  • @MaxMalysh What packages have they installed with EthOS?
    – Kiril
    Jul 11, 2019 at 5:32

7 Answers 7


It seems to be sold as pre-installed SSDs - a convenience option? They also sell their "Digital Download" for the same price as a physical SSD with ethOS on, which is rather... unusual pricing.

The ethOS licence is indecisive. They can't decide if they're GPL or... I'm not sure if I understand their "other" licence correctly, but it involves a small goat with red eyes.

ethOS is in the "Commercial Deployment" section of their store, which suggests it's intended for, well, commercial deployment.

Their "Dev Hours" timesheet, assuming it's solid hours, is also at least partially inconsistent, as ethOS 1.0 is given as "500 hours"... except that's 20 solid days, and checking the dates shows that they took 25 days - they would've been getting 4 hours of sleep every day. [MN: Or it means that more than one person worked on the task at the same time.]


  • Some small amount of convenience.
  • The web monitor? (Though their demo page for it doesn't show much, there may be something about it you consider useful.)
  • Depending on how it's implemented (They don't show this), the "remote configuration" may also be useful.


  • Cost.
  • Updates presumably tied to ethOS update release schedule.

Things that will not change:

  • Mining speed, as far as I can tell.

EthOS is based on Ubuntu Linux source code which is under the GPL 3 licensing. Therefore, by not supplying the source code to ALL for free they are in violation of the licensing. I will be filing a complaint with UBUNTU about this violation. They are essentially stealing an open gpl licensed software and selling it as proprietary without giving the source code the the public. Even red hat enterprise Linux gives it's source code free to anyone. Their have been many organizations taken down by those who enforce GPL licensing and I have a feeling after my complaint they will be on their radar.

  • 1
    Also, if you omit the fact that it's a GPL violation, you can add that the base aim of this distribution is to be an out of the box mining OS. Note that if you want a free Ethereum mining distribution, you can look at ethereum-mining.info/en which is available for download for free as a disk image. However I don't know if all source code is provided, I didn't find source code link, but I guess a lot of custom parts are juste scripts which can be read form inside the os. May 10, 2016 at 17:00

From their webpage, I put the features in code format, and in italic my 2 cents on it.

On a side note I'm somewhat surprised we can have opinion based posts / question in here but hey...

Remote configuration: instruct rig to remote reboot, set core clocks, mem clocks, fan control, pool info, and other settings remotely. nothing you can't do in Ubuntu out of the box, mmmmm sorry you'll have to install openssh to do that :)

  • remote reboot with sudo systemctl reboot
  • set core clocks with sudo aticonfig --odsc=CORECLOCK,MEMORYCLOCK --adapter=X change CORECLOCK,MEMORYCLOCK and X to suits your needs !
  • fan control display with watch -n 3 DISPLAY=:0.X aticonfig --pplib-cmd \"get fanspeed 0\" and if you're fancy changing the values you can DISPLAY=:0.X /usr/bin/aticonfig --pplib-cmd "set fanspeed 0 SPEED"

Extremely lightweight: Works with weakest possible CPU made in the last 5 generations on only 1 gb of ram. might be true as well for all Ubuntu machine out of the box even with that heavy ass gnome...this is not a feature

Automatic GPU overheat protection: GPUs will automatically turn off if they reach a temperature threshold. that seems interesting, but I'm sure a cron job that runs periodically and gets the temperature through aticonfig --odgt --adapter=X can do the job and kill the ethminer process quite easily, but interesting

Stratum Proxy: Automatically configured for local stratum proxy, stratum pools can be changed in config. can't comment on that

Automatic reporting: Web panel with detailed rig statistics and event reports (example). nice if you like web pages, can't comment on it, might be worth checking if you don't expose anything to the outside world that might endanger the security of your ETH, am I paranoid ? On a more serious note I would never ever trust such an OS whose code isn't public, Bitcoin had OSes that sent periodic "donations" to their creators, I'm not saying it's the case, I'm saying I wouldn't take the risk

Boots and Mines: IP assignment via DHCP, hostname defined by mac address. omg....again, not a feature ?

Easy KVM: A terminal window opens with focus on boot, no mouse required. no idea what it means

Easy Update: Update to the latest ethOS version with a single command. even a beginner Ubuntu user can update his system that easily

DAG file management: SSD won't run out of space. on a 16Gb drive I bet it will !

Supports AMD GPUs: Any 2GB+ HD 7000 series, any R9 200/300 series, including R9 390/390X/Fury/Nano again, not a feature....


Just in case if after reading all above comments you are still not sure... All you need to do is,

  1. install ubuntu -> google ubuntu if you need help finding it...

  2. add ethereum ppa -> Ethereum launchpad

  3. get your proprietary graphic driver working -> ubuntu community wiki page

  4. apt update && apt install ethminer

  5. Mine (optional: run ethminer -h gets you the manual or just google "ethminer howto")

I'm not against the purpose of this kind of project, but they need to release their source code or Linux community should take action.

  • 1
    and don't forget to install AMD/nVidia drivers first. Jul 5, 2017 at 21:40

Seems like all of these negative comments missed the point. Things like ethos and PiMP exist for new miners that do not know how to do the setup tasks or who consider the trivial cost worth the time savings. I personally like building a miner from the ground up, but I also have rigs running both PiMP and ethos. No downloading drivers, compiling, creating scripts, etc. I plugged in the hardware, connected the sdd, booted, entered my wallet info and was mining. No performance gains are anything like that, just time saved.


There is a backdoor in the EthOS 1.2.3 release, and most likely previous ones as well. Dont use this with your wallet on it!

  • 2
    your source please
    – Badr Bellaj
    Jul 6, 2017 at 9:26

ethOS is free software. You can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation, either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version, as stated on their website.

In other words, you can simply install ubuntu and a few more things on top to make the same OS with your own logo :)

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