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Wallet
Before starting, you already need to have a wallet configured and working. The pool needs to know your wallet address to be able to send payments there. See the [Accepting Monero guide]({{ site.baseurl }}/get-started/accepting) for more information.
Profitability
Before mining, you should decide if it is worth it or not for you. You have to decide this for yourself, based on your power costs and the hardware that you have available. There are many sites, such as [CryptoCompare](https://www.cryptocompare.com/mining/calculator/xmr) that allow you to enter your miner's speed and power draw, and it will show you the profit (or loss) per week/month.
Download Miner
The first step is to download mining software onto your computer.
Windows
The XMRig developer provides pre-built binaries for Windows users. They are available on the [GitHub release page](https://github.com/xmrig/xmrig/releases/latest).
Scroll down until you see `xmrig-VERSION-msvc-win64.zip`. Download this file and extract the archive somewhere memorable, like your desktop.
Ubuntu Linux
The XMRig developer provides pre-built binaries for Ubuntu Bionic (18.04) and Focal (20.04). They may work on other Ubuntu versions, and on other distributions, but this is not guaranteed.
These binaries are available on the [GitHub release page](https://github.com/xmrig/xmrig/releases/latest).
Scroll down to 'Assets' until you see the correct version for your system. Download this file, extract the archive somewhere memorable, like your desktop.
Other distributions and operative systems
Binaries are available for multiple distributions and operative systems, but you can also build the miner by yourself. Take a loot at [XMrig's docs](https://xmrig.com/docs/miner)
Selecting a pool
There are lots of pools to choose from. You can find a list at [miningpoolstats.stream/monero](https://miningpoolstats.stream/monero).
Choosing a larger pool means that you will see more frequent (but smaller) payouts, but choosing a smaller pools helps keep the network decentralised. [Miners will not lose any revenue by mining on a smaller pool](https://redd.it/g6uh2l).
Configuring the miner