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Author Topic: Is still possible to bootstrap a bitcoin core full node with cheap hardware?  (Read 822 times)
alexrossi
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February 26, 2017, 09:59:30 PM
 #1

Specifically i'm referring to solutions like raspberry pi with an external hard drive. With the exponential growth of the blockchain I'd like to hear experiences about running a full node on low end devices.

In the past i've tried to do it with an asus nettop and things went very bad: after a smooth start with light blocks and few tx, bitcoin core was repeatedly quitting with high ram allocation errors (the nettop was with 1GB of ram). Maybe I didn't set the right dbcache parameters and so on, but now I'd like to set up a full node without too many headaches Cheesy

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February 26, 2017, 11:57:22 PM
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Yes. Use a computer that is capable of syncing the blockchain and use that to download and verify the entire blockchain. Then copy and paste the datadir (without the wallet.dat) to an external drive and use that external drive on your low power hardware.

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February 27, 2017, 07:16:45 AM
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Yes. Use a computer that is capable of syncing the blockchain and use that to download and verify the entire blockchain. Then copy and paste the datadir (without the wallet.dat) to an external drive and use that external drive on your low power hardware.

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Is still possible to bootstrap

Well, so i think that the answer is no :/

I was hoping in a possibility with a recent raspberry or odroid, but I think that the ram requirements on bootstrap are too damn high
DannyHamilton
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February 27, 2017, 07:43:22 AM
 #4

You can bootstrap it with an already downloaded, verified, and indexed blockchain.  In otherwords, use a higher powered system for synchronization and then once synchronized, use the completed synchronization to bootstrap the low powered system.

If you want to know if you can synchronize with a low powered system, then the answer will depend on just how low powered it is and how long you are willing to wait.

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February 27, 2017, 08:46:36 AM
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If you are refering to the bootstrap.dat, it just spares you the download time, not the verifiaction time. Thus its no advantage for slow (CPU wise) systems.

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February 27, 2017, 09:24:31 AM
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It depends what you mean by cheap. I paid under £200 for a celery HP notebook, and £109 for a 250Gb ssd drive. I wanted something with a long battery life - I'm supposed to get 12 hours from this setup, but it's more like 8 or 9 depending on the screen brightness. I wanted something that I could take into a restaurant, or use in a car park where no power was available. It came with the latest Windows 10, and that is so riddled with vulnerabilities like Cortana, that I got rid of it, and loaded Ubuntu. I'm having no problems, and I'm pleased with the setup. I'm running core 0.13.2, and I can use email, browsing and online sales negotiations as well as the bitcoin stuff.

I copied the blockchain from my main machine onto the SSD, and I gave this to the core software when I installed it. It all worked perfectly. Of course you have to remember to plug in the SSD before you start core, if you don't, then it tries to re-sync' the blockchain.

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