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I am a beginner and got confused. According to some online tutorial, I need to install "ethereum" and "geth" package in my linux (ubuntu) first before I run any mining program such as cgminer. However, it seems without the two packages the mining program runs fine (I already have a public address). So what exactly are the "ethereum" and "geth" packages for? Do I need them?

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If you will be mining for pool then those packages are not necessary.

If you will be solo mining you need to run a synchronized Ethereum node. Those packages ethereum and geth provide the Ethereum node software and other related utilities.

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