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Author Topic: Bitcoin is strangling my computer  (Read 1883 times)
fatbitcoinfan
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April 20, 2012, 08:53:02 PM
 #1

Hello all,

When I run bitcoin lately I've found that my computer becomes very slow. Iotop tells me that bitcoin is reading/writing about 1 MB per second all the time and taking up between 30 and 90% of my cpu.

Is anybody else having this problem? Is there a way to fix it?
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SgtSpike
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April 20, 2012, 08:57:11 PM
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Use a lite client.  Bitcoin is getting more and more cumbersome to run the full client.  The only solution (for now) is to let dedicated servers run the software, and utilize it with a lite client.
fatbitcoinfan
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April 20, 2012, 09:03:53 PM
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Thanks, Sergeant,

Is there a lite client for linux?
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April 20, 2012, 09:04:38 PM
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Yes.  I've heard Electrum is good, though I haven't used it myself.  Read up on it before installing.

http://ecdsa.org/electrum/
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April 20, 2012, 09:06:55 PM
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u can use an online wallet, too. but take into account that it's online
https://www.strongcoin.com/
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April 20, 2012, 11:38:31 PM
 #6

If you have desktop machine, alternate solution is to have dedicated HDD for bitcoin, so that it isn't trashing rest of system. Even old IDE relic will do (it may only have sluggish response sometimes).

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April 21, 2012, 07:29:25 AM
 #7

You need to perform CPR or your computer will suffocate and die.
Raoul Duke
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April 21, 2012, 07:35:12 AM
 #8

You can always have your client off and only start it when you need to send a transaction or when you're expecting one.
Works for most of my friends.

I also recommend the CPR. Don't let it die.

mokahless
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April 21, 2012, 08:24:05 AM
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Dedicated server perhaps? And RDP to it when you need to perform a transaction?

fatbitcoinfan
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April 21, 2012, 11:01:42 AM
 #10

Thanks to everyone for the replies.

I do mostly just turn it on when I need to perform a transaction now. The slowness is a problem even for the time that it needs to do that. An online wallet would solve the problem all right but that defeats a lot of the things that made bitcoin attractive to me.

For the moment electrum looks good. I might dig out an old HD to dedicate to bitcoin. Maybe an SD card will do. A transplant for long-term health after the emergency CPR!

I imagine the problem will only get worse as bitcoin becomes more popular. It's a bit worrying for the future of bitcoin. Will the cumulative burden eventually overwhelm even hi-spec dedicated bitcoin servers?

More people that I talk to now already know about bitcoin, and it's getting to the point where I can basically assume that anybody I meet that knows about Linux also knows about bitcoin. I hope the system doesn't get overwhelmed.
Stephen Gornick
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April 22, 2012, 05:33:07 AM
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An online wallet would solve the problem all right but that defeats a lot of the things that made bitcoin attractive to me.

There are varyious types of online e-wallets.  A couple examples of hosted E-Wallets that hold your bitcoin keys would Paytunia and InstaWallet, for example.  The benefit is that you don't need to keep a backup yourself.  The downside is you are extending trust to the E-Wallet operator.

There are also Javascript-based wallets, such as StrongCoin and My Wallet from Blockchain.info.  Both of those do the encryption in the browser and then store only the encrypted data on the server host.  This gives the benefit of an online wallet without the security risk when trusting the wallet service's operator with access to your private keys.

It's a bit worrying for the future of bitcoin. Will the cumulative burden eventually overwhelm even hi-spec dedicated bitcoin servers?

On decent hardware the resources consumed by the Bitcoin client are fairly negligible.  Your laptop is probably at the edge of the "too limited in resources to provide a smooth experience".  It is probably perfectly functional as a bitcoin node, just that it doesn't allow for multitasking with your other resource-consuming functions.

One of the improvements with v0.6 was a much faster configuration setting for the database.  Are you still finding it problematic?

Related:
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Scalability

fuxianhui888
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April 22, 2012, 06:57:35 AM
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linuxcoin is better Grin Grin Grin Grin
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April 22, 2012, 07:20:19 AM
 #13

electrum works just fine for me and its light.

also, the bitcoin-qt application is using a lot of CPU when its downloading the blockchain, then it will settle down.

if the blockchain is already downloaded, there may be another issue with it.

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fatbitcoinfan
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April 27, 2012, 06:14:55 PM
 #14

I installed version 0.6 and it does seem to be much better!
OutputKnight
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April 28, 2012, 01:31:17 AM
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I have similar problem, computer freezes for a moment (15s) when BitCoin client is open. CPU usage is not high, physical memory is still available. What resource is it starving my poor computer of?

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April 28, 2012, 02:14:14 AM
 #16

You may try MultiBit. It's much faster.

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April 28, 2012, 02:20:30 AM
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I have similar problem, computer freezes for a moment (15s) when BitCoin client is open. CPU usage is not high, physical memory is still available. What resource is it starving my poor computer of?

Disk I/O. The blockchain file is over a gigabyte in size, so it takes a while to read or write to it, and while Bitcoin is doing that, you won't be able to anything else with your hard drive until it's finished.

Will pretend to do unverifiable things (while actually eating an enchilada-style burrito) for bitcoins: 1K6d1EviQKX3SVKjPYmJGyWBb1avbmCFM4
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April 28, 2012, 02:23:18 AM
 #18

Are you sure that you are holding it the right way?

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April 28, 2012, 02:28:07 AM
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I imagine the problem will only get worse as bitcoin becomes more popular. It's a bit worrying for the future of bitcoin. Will the cumulative burden eventually overwhelm even hi-spec dedicated bitcoin servers?


Yes and no.  Eventually running a full client is going to be like drinking from a firehose, but only professional miners, wallet services, banks, etc are going to bother.  Most people will be using thin clients that don't maintain a complete blockchain that is dependent upon a central server to tell it what transactions are important.  Much like BitcoinSpinner on Android or Electrum works now.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
Stephen Gornick
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April 28, 2012, 03:24:38 AM
 #20

I have similar problem, computer freezes for a moment (15s) when BitCoin client is open. CPU usage is not high, physical memory is still available. What resource is it starving my poor computer of?

What o/s, cpu, and amount of ram do you have?

My low-end laptop runs particularly bad when I combine Skype, Chrome, XChat plus the Bitcoin client (on Ubuntu 11.04).  When using a different browser or without Skype and XChat running simultaneously the problem doesn't seem to occur.  I haven't upgraded to Bitcoin v0.6 yet.

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