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I'm new to Bitcoin. I installed and ran the GUI app, checked "Generate Coins" in the Settings menu, and the status bar reads "Generating". How do I know if it's actually working?

I'm aware that mining is a CPU-intensive process that could take a long time; this is why I'm skeptical that the app is working. top reveals that bitcoin is only using about 25% CPU. I haven't limited CPU use in the Preferences.

I've read the mining guide on It says I must setup JSON-RPC, but it's ambiguous about how to do that. Do I need to set a username/password in the config file that it points to on the wiki? If so, how do I create a username?

I'm running on Mac OS X and Bitcoin 0.3.21-beta, the latest at the time of this post.

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25% CPU on a quadcore CPU machine, i.e. 1 full core? – Daniel Beck May 22 '11 at 8:20
I'm running on a Core 2 Duo. Besides, wouldn't top show 100% for each core? That's how you can see over 100% CPU usage sometimes. – Jonathan Tran May 22 '11 at 8:33
Each process individually yes, but you didn't mention if you looked at that, or the summary at the top, where 100% is 4x100%, AFAIK. – Daniel Beck May 22 '11 at 8:50
You should try an OpenCL miner. They use your GPU instead of CPU. This is because GPUs are much faster at this type of computation. Using DiabloMiner, I was able to generate coins about 5× faster on my current gen. Mac Mini. – Graham May 22 '11 at 22:19
@Graham Thank you for that link! – Jonathan Tran May 22 '11 at 22:47
up vote 5 down vote accepted

When you first start, it has to download data from the Bitcoin network so that it can have something to work with. Just give it some time and it'll eventually start generating.

share|improve this answer
You're right, CPUs are chugging away now. But does that mean the extra config is not needed and anything mined will go into my wallet? – Jonathan Tran May 22 '11 at 21:03
What do you mean by "extra config?" – Graham May 22 '11 at 22:16
after 16months - how much have you mined? – Preet Sangha Oct 1 '12 at 6:13

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