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Author Topic: Advice on Raspberry pi hardware for running full BTC node  (Read 441 times)
Icygreen
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November 08, 2019, 06:20:32 PM
 #41

Clarifying some things:

* The Rpi 4 has been 100% stable during operation so far. The issues I had were during a boot with either a loop or "no signal" message.  It appears to be solved and it was likely due to a user problem (shutting down by pulling the power, corrupted boot loader).

* I'm using heatsinks on all 4 chips and the main CPU also has a small fan over it.  I'm certain there's no heat issues yet.  I'll look for a tool to measure the heat once it's up and running the blockchain and report my findings.

* I'm syncing the blockchain from my main computer to an external HD and it'll move to the RP once it's finished.  

Again, Thanks for your help and recommendations. Much appreciated
  

 
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November 08, 2019, 07:15:35 PM
 #42

ahhhh

sounds like you've thought this through, carry on Cheesy

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November 08, 2019, 09:53:36 PM
 #43

A laptop fits in a laptop bag. One of those small computer boxes, like mini desktops, might fit in a laptop bag. There are mini laptops can be bought used for cheap.

For running a full node, a laptop works fine, just upgrade the HDD / SSD, or use a combination laptop with SSD + external HDD. Most any laptop would generally have more processing power, more RAM, and ... some other things I'm forgetting at the moment; already comes with a screen, mouse (or equivalent) and keyboard, and can run your choice of operating system.

Yes, they'll cost more than a $35 pi, but remember with the pi you need to get other stuff as well just to make it run. Once you add 1TB for storage, might as well get an old laptop and upgrade the drive.

I see 10 or 11 inch mini laptops / notebooks for less than $200.

The rack server would sit at home or some other place semi-permanent.



Anyway ... he's got the pi up and running, so, glad to see some progress on this. Would appreciate what config and set up you did, and other details.

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November 09, 2019, 12:10:58 AM
 #44

* I'm using heatsinks on all 4 chips and the main CPU also has a small fan over it.  I'm certain there's no heat issues yet.  I'll look for a tool to measure the heat once it's up and running the blockchain and report my findings.
Enter this command on the command line to read the cpu temp.
/opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd measure_temp

The pi as full node is only for its size and to use it headless if you would ask me.
My pick for a full node was this board. A bit in between.
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November 09, 2019, 01:52:14 AM
Last edit: November 09, 2019, 02:08:46 AM by Icygreen
 #45

Would appreciate what config and set up you did, and other details.
Here's the consolidated efforts thus far.
I've got it set up in this case. Its quite open as far as enclosures go and it suits the form factor I had in mind.


RP 4, 4gb, Rasbian, updates  installed, created new super user and password, disabled pi,  I followed this tutorial exactly. https://www.maketecheasier.com/change-raspberry-pi-password/
Keyboard, mouse and the 4" screen connected, I ran /opt/vc/bin/vcgencmd measure_temp  and it idles at 46 degrees both with the screen on or off in ambient temp of ~22 degrees.
Tonight I'll try to get OpenVPN working as my first application.
 
Couple more questions while we're here if you don't mind.

*If I switch off the screen while running core, is that the same as running headless or should the screen be unplugged?

*Core is synced 45% after 2 full days, is 4-5 days typical to download and sync core?

*I noticed 2009-2015 synced rather quickly compared with later times. Is that because of increased transaction in the blocks?

 
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November 09, 2019, 02:05:26 AM
Merited by Carlton Banks (1), ETFbitcoin (1), Icygreen (1)
 #46

*If I switch off the screen while running core, is that the same as running headless or should the screen be unplugged?
No. Running it headless means that the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is not used and that it can only be controlled using the command line. The lack of the GUI means that it would take lesser resources to run it. Switching off the screen or unplugging it won't do anything as the GUI would still be running. You have to run it from command line.
*Core is synced 45% after 2 full days, is 4-5 days typical to download and sync core?
The synchronizing and verification process is rather tedious and it isn't uncommon for it to take a few days to synchronize. It's highly dependent on the hardware that you're synchronizing it on. You can try to speed up the process by optimizing the parameters like the dbcache etc.

*I noticed 2009-2015 synced rather quickly compared with later times. Is that because of increased transaction in the blocks?
Yes. The larger block means that there are more transactions to be validated individually. It would naturally be slower.

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November 10, 2019, 12:34:50 AM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1), Icygreen (1)
 #47

*If I switch off the screen while running core, is that the same as running headless or should the screen be unplugged?
No. Running it headless means that the Graphical User Interface (GUI) is not used and that it can only be controlled using the command line. The lack of the GUI means that it would take lesser resources to run it. Switching off the screen or unplugging it won't do anything as the GUI would still be running. You have to run it from command line.

this is definitely a good thing if you're going to run the Pi with Lightning too, as there'll be more RAM/CPU for Lightning to use (you can have more channels and route more payments)

The drawback is if you have a problem you can't solve quickly using your command-line knowledge. If you've got experience with any command line, linux/bash or not, you'll be more comfortable. But you might want to keep the GUI around for a while so you can solve problems in a more familiar way (but truthfully, you've got way more control on the command line, if you're feeling confident just go ahead, people here can help if you get stuck)

You can compromise too, you should be able to change Raspian's boot script to not load the GUI on boot, then just take note of the command (probably the startx script in /etc/X11) that loads the GUI. Then you can make sure you know you're good on the command line, but have the option of going into the GUI still available.

Last thing: get tmux (apt-get install tmux). It's for opening multiple command line windows, splitting the windows into sections etc (tmux let's you do this in headless more when normally you'd be pressing Ctrl-Alt-F keys to get extra terminal windows, tmux is way more flexible that that way of doing it). Makes working on the command line way faster and more versatile. You can configure it to automatically open up a bunch of windows on boot showing logging for bitcoind, openvpn etc

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November 11, 2019, 10:36:17 AM
 #48

You can compromise too, you should be able to change Raspian's boot script to not load the GUI on boot, then just take note of the command (probably the startx script in /etc/X11) that loads the GUI. Then you can make sure you know you're good on the command line, but have the option of going into the GUI still available.
Correct, that can be managed in the raspi-config
Iirc you could also log out from the gui to the command line so a reboot is not needed.
May the node end up on a hard to reach place you could enable the build inn VNC server in the raspi-config and access the gui remotely.
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