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Author Topic: Advice on Raspberry pi hardware for running full BTC node  (Read 790 times)
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October 30, 2019, 07:28:07 PM
 #21

There are Samsung and Sandisk branded microSD cards that are called "Pro Endurance" models....

https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Endurance-64GB-Micro-Adapter/dp/B07B9KTLJZ/
https://www.amazon.com/SanDisk-Endurance-microSDXC-Adapter-Monitoring/dp/B07NY23WBG/

Although designed for Dash cams and surveillance security cameras, they'd probably do well in Raspberry Pis.

I'd get the biggest but most value bang for the buck size, so that's maybe the 32 or 64 GB models, for the price (it's like $5 more for the larger one). That should last a long time since you won't be recording too much, it's just the boot drive.

Then attach a cheap USB drive to host the node block chain itself. 500 GB should last at least several years, 1 TB or more should last another decade (maybe.)

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October 31, 2019, 12:10:51 AM
 #22

SD cards a very prone to failure, if he wants to host a 24/7 running Bitcoin node for storage an SSD/HDD or USB is a must. SD Card suddenly burning etc. Will cause a lot of issues with the Raspbery Pi.

I doubt microSD will suddenly burning, but as long as you use decent microSD and most read/write activity happen on USB storage, microSD won't be problem when using Rasberry Pi.

Also Nvidia Jetson Nano is not suitable for this at all.

And that's why i emphasize "(if you're into computer graphic)"

As a person who was unlucky with the SD Cards... I must say they just suddenly pop after some writing. It results in a dead SD Card slot and a lot of lost data, sadly. So far, I've tried many things. However, almost all my SD cards ended up blowing up.
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October 31, 2019, 02:01:34 AM
Last edit: October 31, 2019, 02:21:19 AM by philipma1957
 #23

old mac minis are gold to run a node.

use external ssd to back up

find a 2012 with an i5


better yet use linux and run

a dell
a hp
a lenevo


use ultra small form case.

ebay search item 254385146655

it is perfect for op

an intel 3470s cpu
8gb ram
500gb hdd

no os he can load linux

 run core node

the gear is for sale well under 75 bucks
linux os is free.

frankly running the rasp pi model 4 vs the hp does not make much sense.

note i went to ebay and searched hp elite found that item number in under 15 minutes.

i have owned
rasp pi
rasp pi b
rasp pi 2
rasp pi 3
rasp pi 3+

op get the hp elite

 load linux and you will be happy.

I see BTC as the super highway and alt coins as taxis and trucks needed to move transactions.
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November 04, 2019, 10:44:51 PM
Last edit: November 05, 2019, 12:00:16 AM by Icygreen
 #24

All the gear arrived today. Thanks for the suggestions on the hardware. Time to get this thing up an running.  
Questions for the absolute beginner on RP and nodes.

Should I be using a specific flavor of ubuntu or a specific .iso to load onto the SD Card?   I've only ever burned images on disk or virtual drives.
I had intended to also load kubuntu on the thumb drive for an old dell laptopr as philipma1957 mentioned in the post above. I suspect it will be a similar process.

Here's the goods. Gotta love BTC, saved 30% with purse, helped someone earn in Ghana and delivered tools to further educate. Go BTC!

 
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November 05, 2019, 10:28:47 AM
 #25

Should I be using a specific flavor of ubuntu or a specific .iso to load onto the SD Card?

dunno about "should", but I would just load a "headless" OS image. You're going to be using the terminal almost exclusively with all the lightning based stuff anyway. You'll save RAM that way too, the desktop graphics use alot of RAM. And more RAM means more Lightning channels. Get Debian or Devuan, Ubuntu is just a version of Debian with a whole load of perfume and makeup slapped onto it.

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November 05, 2019, 01:51:20 PM
 #26

From the this is my opinion YMMV I would stick with Debian and avoid all others.

A lot (most?) of the support you may need for some odd issue possibly that you have to go back to the RPi groups / forums for will be quicker with Debian. It's just what most people use. Not saying it's better, not saying you won't get or be able to find the correct answer using a different build. Just saying that most people use it so if you are doing something and encounter an issue that you will probably be able to get more info quicker.

I have done many stupid things with my RPis over the years and I have found that when I have had an issue because I did something wrong when using Debian there was usually someone there before me who had done the exact same thing. When running UBU or the others they were there too, just not as much.

Good luck with the build

-Dave

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November 05, 2019, 03:15:10 PM
 #27

How about Ubuntu Server? That doesn't include a bunch of make up does it? No Gui, connect by SSH? I ask only because that's my experience when running full nodes of altcoins on VPS, they usually say "install Ubuntu server" ... you know, masternodes and stuff like that, those are essentially full nodes. May need to install a couple of other apps using apt-get, but can easily follow scripts.

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November 05, 2019, 05:14:48 PM
 #28

Should I be using a specific flavor of ubuntu or a specific .iso to load onto the SD Card?

With various linux distro, it depends on what you want to do with your Raspberry Pi. Raspbian probably is best choice since it's popular (among Pi owner) and it's jack of all trade (almost can do anything, but with few limitation/trade-off).

Multi-boot is also an option if you plan using your Raspberry Pi for various kind of tasks.

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November 06, 2019, 02:39:25 AM
 #29

I have Raspbian installed on the SD now. Had no idea to look for Debian. Thanks for the tips! 
Perhaps I'll start with Rasbian and try to run the node from here. Remember, this is all a learning experiment to familiarize myself with BTC core and RPi's. 
Next questions,  I intend to sync core on my desktop before moving to the RPi. 
I'm assuming I need to first download core on my desktop? Will I need to partition my external 2TB HD in any way when I put the block chain on the HD? 

 
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November 06, 2019, 12:42:32 PM
Last edit: November 06, 2019, 05:15:39 PM by Carlton Banks
 #30

How about Ubuntu Server? That doesn't include a bunch of make up does it?

well, yeah. I'm not aware of the specifics of Ubuntu Server, but it's likely as if choosing a sex doll instead of going for the real thing. What's the point of Ubuntu's server version when...


From the this is my opinion YMMV I would stick with Debian and avoid all others.

...agreed, Debian's conservative, minimalist approach is pretty much perfect for servers. You don't want the package updates to be constantly changing the ground under your feet, you just want security updates only, and a well supported ecosystem so it's easy to find the information you need.




I'd add that if you really want a solid server, the systemd init system is a potential menace (it's ok for a laptop that doesn't need stability or security). Devuan is a Debian fork that gives you choice of init systems, there are various well-designed init concepts to choose from (Debian packages them all, but it's hard work actually uninstalling systemd and replacing it, as the init system is such a basic part of the operating system)

On similar grounds to replacing systemd (bad design makes it insecure), I'd suggest looking at ditching OpenSSL too. It's just as difficult to remove as systemd, as it's just as fundamental to the OS's functionality (nothing works if you have no init, the machine won't boot up! Removing SSL is almost as bad...) For that reason, starting without OpenSSL is the best option, but it's also not easy. The main OS's that support the alternative SSL (LibreSSL) are Gentoo, FreeBSD and OpenBSD (i.e. the only well known Linux supporting LibreSSL is Gentoo). They're great OS's, but not for beginners.

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November 06, 2019, 05:03:19 PM
 #31

I have Raspbian installed on the SD now. Had no idea to look for Debian. Thanks for the tips! 
Perhaps I'll start with Rasbian and try to run the node from here. Remember, this is all a learning experiment to familiarize myself with BTC core and RPi's. 

Raspbian is based on Debian.

If you decide to use Debian OS or OS based on Debian, you should have easy time to adapt.

Next questions,  I intend to sync core on my desktop before moving to the RPi. 
I'm assuming I need to first download core on my desktop? Will I need to partition my external 2TB HD in any way when I put the block chain on the HD? 

Partition your external HDD is optional, since you just need to specify the path of Bitcoin folder when you run Bitcoin Core for first time.

If your external HDD use NTFS or FAT format, you might need to download few library (it's very easy) to make sure RPi can read your external HDD.

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November 07, 2019, 12:10:02 AM
 #32

I've been finding my way with some luck and tons of google searches so far but there's some concerns still about its stability.
I was unplugging the Rpi each time I wanted to turn it off. Only recently found the power off button, duh. Had to reformat a few times likely because of this. At least that's my theory now.

If the Rpi won't boot or enters a loop and retrying boot fails too many times, is reformatting and burning image to the card the only way to fix it? 




 
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November 07, 2019, 11:21:07 AM
 #33

I've been finding my way with some luck and tons of google searches so far but there's some concerns still about its stability.
I was unplugging the Rpi each time I wanted to turn it off. Only recently found the power off button, duh. Had to reformat a few times likely because of this. At least that's my theory now.

If the Rpi won't boot or enters a loop and retrying boot fails too many times, is reformatting and burning image to the card the only way to fix it?  

stability is a bitch on RPi's.

the Pi 4 is new, so stability is even bitchier. But because you're using Raspbian, the fixes will be easy to find, as it's pretty much the official OS.

In order of importance:

  • Get firmware updates
  • Get kernel updates
  • Get all other OS updates too

You can probably handle all the above using the command:

Code:
apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade

if you're not logged into the root account, you need to add sudo before each apt-get command (because the above is actually 2 commands, the && means "do the next command, but only if the last one worked") And your user needs to be in the wheel group, or have an entry in the /etc/sudoers file to be able to actually use sudo without Raspian telling you you tried to do something naughty.

Raspbian probably has you configured to get everything update-wise using those commands. But, the Raspberry Pi forums will tell you more. For instance, I clocked my CPU down on my Raspberry Pi 3B+, and I wouldn't have known that was a stability fix had it not been for searching/reading the RPi forums. Just updating the software didn't work, it needed tweaking somewhere else in the OS's config files.

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November 07, 2019, 04:36:52 PM
 #34

if you're not logged into the root account, you need to add sudo before each apt-get command (because the above is actually 2 commands, the && means "do the next command, but only if the last one worked") And your user needs to be in the wheel group, or have an entry in the /etc/sudoers file to be able to actually use sudo without Raspian telling you you tried to do something naughty.

By default, Raspbian will set you user 'pi' with sudoers groups where you don't need to type your account password to run sudo command.

@Icygreen you might want to configure your OS to ask password when you run command with sudo prefix. See https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/a/62759

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November 07, 2019, 05:14:50 PM
Last edit: November 08, 2019, 03:56:33 AM by Icygreen
 #35

Thanks, I found this guide which addressed both sudo user group accounts and the updates, also disabling pi sign in.https://www.maketecheasier.com/change-raspberry-pi-password/

So I take that as a "yes" , reformatting is the correct solution when booting fails repetitively.
I guess there's no way to save configurations/accounts or anything stored on the sd card and the above account creation process will need to be repeated anytime it happens.  So far, I haven't had any more issues since using the proper power down button.
Now just waiting for core to finish syncing.

 
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November 08, 2019, 12:38:16 PM
 #36

By default, Raspbian will set you user 'pi' with sudoers groups where you don't need to type your account password to run sudo command.

that's not very safe


@Icygreen you might want to configure your OS to ask password when you run command with sudo prefix. See https://raspberrypi.stackexchange.com/a/62759

take this ^^ advice


So I take that as a "yes" , reformatting is the correct solution when booting fails repetitively.

it was a no

the correct solution is to research ways to make the RPi 4 stable. In particular, the premium (4B+) boards might be overclocked too much, change the CPU clock speed (or the memory controller's clock speed) and/or the amount of voltage to either, and you might find the Pi stays up.


If you keep syncing the blockchain while the board keeps crashing, there's a good chance the data in the blockchain will suffer some corruption. There's not much point in starting that job until you've figured out how to keep the RPi up. A good way to do it is find out the command for memory testing, this basically gives the CPU and RAM a workout that never ends. Leave it running like that for multiple days, then try something different to stabilize the RPi when/if it crashes. Once it stays up for a week or 2 just doing 24/7 memtesting, you've probably cracked it.

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November 08, 2019, 01:10:30 PM
Last edit: November 08, 2019, 01:36:10 PM by DaveF
 #37

So I take that as a "yes" , reformatting is the correct solution when booting fails repetitively.

it was a no

the correct solution is to research ways to make the RPi 4 stable. In particular, the premium (4B+) boards might be overclocked too much, change the CPU clock speed (or the memory controller's clock speed) and/or the amount of voltage to either, and you might find the Pi stays up.


If you keep syncing the blockchain while the board keeps crashing, there's a good chance the data in the blockchain will suffer some corruption. There's not much point in starting that job until you've figured out how to keep the RPi up. A good way to do it is find out the command for memory testing, this basically gives the CPU and RAM a workout that never ends. Leave it running like that for multiple days, then try something different to stabilize the RPi when/if it crashes. Once it stays up for a week or 2 just doing 24/7 memtesting, you've probably cracked it.

I know I have posted it before, but I am going to post it again.
There are MANY MANY MANY cases that actually make it worse.

From another thread that I posted in and commented in this thread about:



Will try to order one or both of these 'cool'  Tongue cases from china. There are also options with fans but I really prefer passive cooling for something that is intended for 24/7 use.
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000056606252.html
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000095452880.html


Make sure that there is actual contact between the case and CPU in the proper area. Cheap cases suck.
Just scrapped a bunch of aluminum cases for the RPi3 that had enough space between the heatsinnk that was part of the case and the CPU itself that the thermal pad I put on the CPU was untouched on top Sad

-Dave


and after he got it in:

Make sure that there is actual contact between the case and CPU in the proper area. Cheap cases suck.
Received one of the cheap cases, the one with ribs. And as DaveF suspected, there were no contact between cpu and heatsink. There were about 1mm air gap 😕.
I cut a small piece of 1mm aluminum and fitted it with heatsink compound, which turned it into an ON OK solution 🙂.
Raspiblitz running at about 50C now.

Edit: Fixed typo.

When cooling something 1mm is about the same as 1 mile, no contact = no cooling. Putting it in a case = worse cooling due to no airflow.
Bad cooling = more crashes.



Side note this is not new:
This even goes back to some old school miners that used the older RPis as controllers.
Amazing how many problems existed because they were moving a lot of air over the chips but none over the Pi that just sat there and slowly cooked.

I actually still have a stack of the 2B models sitting around for the people who have old miners that used them that want to revive them to play with because the old ones cooked.

-Dave


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November 08, 2019, 01:44:04 PM
 #38

yep cooling helps Cheesy

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November 08, 2019, 03:17:33 PM
 #39

Yeah, I think instead of a case, a heatsink that sits directly on top of the chips work better. I'm thinking the better whole metal cases would have the gap in between the halves of the shell and you'd need screws or something to tighten it. That would or should ensure contact with the chips.

Heatsinks that you stick on the chips just seem to work better. If you do anything else on the RPi that makes it cook itself, you might be better off getting other hardware (like refurb rack servers?)

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November 08, 2019, 04:56:16 PM
 #40

Heatsinks that you stick on the chips just seem to work better. If you do anything else on the RPi that makes it cook itself, you might be better off getting other hardware (like refurb rack servers?)
That would be true in the "general" case, but OP specified that the whole setup needed to be portable.

Well, it should fit in my laptop bag easily. It will need to travel once every few months and must be quiet.
So a refurb rack server isn't going to work Wink Tongue

But yes, you're quite correct. Pi's and cases generally just aren't a great mix in my experience... you're much better off with a bare board than an ill fitting case.

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