You are reading the quickstart-instructions for mining Monero (XMR). Click here to see my other mining-guides.

How to Turn Your Azure Free Credits into Monero (XMR)

The rate can fluctuate between 1:1 and 1:10, i.e. in the best case you'll get almost 1$ worth of cryptocurrency for every 1$ spent on azure (depending on the current exchange-rates). With an MSDN Enterprise subscription you can mine cryptocurrency worth up to 149$ every month! This is possible because the newly introduced Azure-batch-service is dirt cheap!

Short summary:
With the instructions provided here you will be mining Monero (XMR). Monero is one of the top-altcoins and better than bitcoin in virtually every aspect (i guess bitcoin beats Monero only in popularity).

You can see a screencast of the required steps in the video below (switch to fullscreen-mode with the button in the bottom-right corner to see it properly):


Setup Azure with Free Credit

Do you have a MSDN-subscription from your day job? Great! You must have already noticed that Microsoft keeps sending you emails asking you to open an azure-account with up to 150$ monthly credit. Follow the instructions in the mail to claim your free credits. Note that by default you don't even have to enter your credit-card-number, so you can be sure that your mining is running purely on your monthly free credit.

Even if your company pays for the MSDN-subscription, the associated azure-account is your personal account and completely separated from the company. Your boss has no way of accessing it. Microsoft encourages people to use the free credits for testing and learning, and this is what you'll do: learning about using the azure-cloud and the blockchain-technology in a very practical way :-)

Note: It is your responsibility to comply with Azure's ToS. You will be banned very quickly if you do something that Azure does not like. You should only use free credits from legitimate sources (e.g. if you have a MSDN-subscription from your day-job).

Get a Monero-Wallet

There are many ways how to create a Monero-wallet. The easiest is to setup a web-wallet with MyMonero.com.

Cryptocurrencies are notorious for being targets of spectacular hacks. A web-wallet like MyMonero.com is a good way to get started and it is safe as long as you don't enter your login-details on a phishing site (check your browser's address bar to make sure that you are really on MyMonero.com before entering your password!). However, once you have accumulated a non-trivial amount of Monero you should educate yourself about the possible alternatives!

By the way: if you don't already have a password-safe like keepass you should definitely start using one to store your wallet-details (and of course all other passwords you are using). Trust me, you'll regret it if you don't start now.

Setup the Azure Batch-Service

After signing up for your azure-account you can click on the following link to create a new batch-account: https://portal.azure.com/#create/Microsoft.BatchAccount I recommend using Chrome to access the azure-portal. Fill the form with the following information:

Once you get the notification that your batch-account has been created (it will take a few seconds), go to your batch-account (link to your batch-accounts: https://portal.azure.com/#blade/HubsExtension/Resources/resourceType/Microsoft.Batch%2FbatchAccounts) and create a new pool: select 'Pools' and then click 'Add'. Fill the form with the following information:

Whenever the computers in your azure-pool get started up, they will execute a custom script which will download the mining-executable and start mining. Enter your Monero-wallet here and click on the button to generate your personalized startup-script (it should look similar to 

4999aeniCU9Ug67vs7yvyJTSkxVUZRirUYUerT66fqzoYMhiShFLBqZHmFxmPD6oABafM5cVKc77yj3Fypvi9CDRTYEvDPL


This is your personalized script:



Once the azure-pool is created, go to 'Start task'. Fill the form with the following information:

The last step is to tell Azure how many mining-nodes it should start for you. This depends on the amount of free credits available in your azure-account. Basically you want to use up as much of your monthly credit as possible without actually consuming all of your credit (otherwise you'll have to repeat the setup again in the next month because azure will delete your pools if your free credits are exhausted).


Professional Platform Enterprise
Number of low priority nodes (F2, 2 Cores, 4GB) 3
6
9
Cost of nodes for 31 days ~48$ ~97$ ~145$
Monthly free credit 50$ 100$ 150$

If azure is using your local currency instead of USD the numbers might look slightly different. If you run out of free credit before the end of the month, just reduce the number of nodes by one and try again.

Now go back to 'Overview' and click on 'Scale'. Enter the number from the table above in the field 'Low priority nodes' (e.g. 3 if you have MSDN Professional), and click on 'Save'. Congratulations! The azure cloud is now mining Monero for you!

Watching your Mining-Progress

The script is using supportXMR.com as a mining-pool (don't mixup the terms 'mining-pool' and 'azure-pool' - they describe two totally different concepts). To see your mining-status, go to supportXMR.com/#/dashboard, scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter your wallet.

Important Notes:


Do you need help following the instructions? You can contact me at