Your node, your rules. And your node doesn't have to be online 24/7 (unless you plan to run a lightning node on top of the bitcoin node). I run my node on a VM as guest of a work-horse desktop PC (which is actually online most of the time anyway).

The real benefits come when you transact with your node and you connect your wallets to it, it gives you better privacy.

I'm not a big fan of that raspberry pi cheap hardware crap and ecosystem. Better use a old laptop and a ubuntu LTS OS and keep it updated.

10 sats \ 12 replies \ @ama 18 Mar

I agree with everything except for the Ubuntu part. I rather use a lighter Linux distribution that takes freedom and security seriously, or better yet, use NetBSD or OpenBSD instead.

I‘m using debian without all this GUI crap. Should be also fine, shouldn’t it?

10 sats \ 10 replies \ @ama 18 Mar

Not for me, really. I used Debian for 23 or 24 years, until they decided to to stop giving me the freedom to chose components and go with systemd.

I upgraded from Debian ascii to Devuan ascii and have been using Devuan in servers, desktops, and laptops since then.

Cool, I will look into it.

10 sats \ 8 replies \ @ama 18 Mar

If you already like Debian, you'll certainly like Devuan, since it is actually the continuation of Debian but without systemd.

I currently run a prune BTC node and a full LTC node on a Pentium 4 desktop with 6GB RAM and two 512GB HDDs on BTRFS RAID-1 on Devuan chimaera. I got all the hardware for free, and it works very well.

I want to run a full node on this box (I do in others). so I'm planning to replace the HDDs with 1TB ones and rescan the BTC blockchain. :-)

Totally noob question: Does the node really have to run 24/7? What happens if I do some transactions, the switch it off and switch on in a few days?

I will still be able to do more transactions but only after it has synched the blockchain?

10 sats \ 6 replies \ @ama 18 Mar

No, nodes don't need to run 24/7. For a while I've been running some nodes only at night and during the weekends, when electricity was cheaper.

What happens if I do some transactions, the switch it off and switch on in a few days?

Your wallet will still have your private keys, ready to sign transactions to expend your utxos. The node will synchronize the blockchain when you turn it back on. If it's been just a few days off, synchronization won't take too long.

What I usually do is having small amounts on LN or on-chain wallets on my phones ready for quick small transactions while my nodes are off.

Great! I got the point ;)

30 sats \ 4 replies \ @ama 18 Mar

I'm glad I could help. It's all a little confusing at first, although not complicated.

Perhaps you could start running a testnet Bitcoin node. Synchronization takes much shorter, disk space is much less, and stress for the possibility of making a mistake is also reduced a lot.

Also, it's cool helping run the testnet and you can try any crazy thing you might think about. :-)

0 sats \ 0 replies \ @ama 19 Mar

deleted by author

Good idea. I will start with a testnet node in a VM while I‘m still looking for some good hardware for a real full node.

view replies
0 sats \ 0 replies \ @ama 18 Mar

I've just downloaded the whole testnet blockchain. It's taken about three hours and it's only 31GB of space. I'm going to leave it running on the P4 alongside the prune BTC node and the full LTC node for the moment. :-)

Also, are there special network security measures to undertake before running such a node? I mean Ethernet/WiFi settings, firewalls, etc.

In order for other peers to connect to your node, you should run behind tor as this allows inbound connections. But most "batteries inlcuded" nodes do that anyway. Run umbrel (I'm using citadel, a FOSS clone) together with electrum server and you're ready to go. Wallets can connect via onion address to your electrum server. You don't need to open any port on your router for you home network.

Thank you! This is a good point. Also good that the node doesn’t have to be online all the time (not planning to use lightning).

As for raspberry stuff, they claim it’s a „cheap“ piece of hardware, but I just checked the prices on amazon and it’s >$150. Insane.