UPDATE 2017/11/29 : Barely another year on and new relay nodes now require 256GB SSD drives in addition to 4GB of ECC RAM, all of which must be on a dedicated box. No more sharesies. The going rate for such dedicated boxes is ~$60/month or $720/year (thankfully BTC is at USD $10k, which eases the burden somewhat). The blockchain stands at 144GB today.
UPDATE 2016/10/10 : Two years later and it’s ~$200 to stand up a VPS node. 4GB RAM is the Republican standard and the blockchain is currently 86GB while growing at a rate of ~40GB per annum. Time stands for no man. Nor do blocks.
The most significant issue facing Bitcoin today doesn’t receive a lot of attention.
Unlike the price, the network difficulty, and the derps who try (and fail) to fuck with our lovely Bitcoin and turn it into an inflationary wratchet,i the issue of full relay nodes flies under the radar. Yet if you own even a single bitcoin, you have the responsibility, nay the duty!, to support the network by running a full node.ii
Whether you think of running a full node as an insurance policy on your coins, as an altruistic act, or something else, you may have been hesitating up until now because of practical considerations like noise, heat, space, or the availability of a spare computer. Running a remote node on a Virtual Private Server (VPS) solves all of these problems and is so affordable that you actually must do it.iii
The following is your…
Guide to Setting Up A Full Remote Bitcoin Node:iv
1. Order a VPS with Debian 7 from one of the hosting services listed on lowendbox. Make sure it has
512MB 2 GB RAM and 30+ 100 GB HD.
2. Log in to your VPS Control Panel through your host’s website.
3. Boot the server.
4. Start a new session in Control Panel (or similar)
5. Mac/Linux users open Terminalv
6. In Terminal, enter command as listed on the VPS Manager page (something like ssh-console…)
7. In Terminal, enter password provided by VPS host.
8. In Terminal, enter “sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade” (w/o quotation marks!)
9. In Terminal, enter “sudo apt-get install git build-essential automake libboost-all-dev pkg-config”vi
10. In Terminal, to download bitcoind enter “mkdir ~/src && cd ~/src” then “git clone https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin” then “cd bitcoin” then “git checkout 0.x.x”
11. In Terminal, to configure bitcoind enter “cd ~/src/bitcoin” then “./autogen.sh” then “./configure –disable-wallet \ –with-cli \ –without-gui”
12. In Terminal, to compile bitcoind enter “make” then “sudo make install”
13. Enter “bitcoin-cli getinfo” to confirm that the install was completed.
14. Check your VPS control panel to ensure that your Disk Usage is increasing as a proxy for the Blockchain being downloaded.
That should pretty much do it.
If you’ve followed these steps correctly, you’ve just made the single most important contribution to the Bitcoin network that’s you’ve ever made in your entire life.
Isn’t that incredible?
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- TIL that “wratchet” – meaning to be an unattractive and slovenly turd – is a thing with the kids. To my ear it sounds like a perversion of “wretched.” I guess English-speaking Canadians are doing to the Queen’s what the Quebecois have already done to la langue d’amour. [↩]
- Our future and our security necessitates that we keep the number of good nodes as high as possible and their distribution as broad as possible. [↩]
- If you’ve already secured your bitcoins with a high-entropy paper wallet or an airgapped machine, this is the next step in your journey to create a better world. [↩]
- Disclaimer! This Guide sets up the latest version of bitcoind, which is obviously a piece of fucking Bitcoin Fundation shit on a stick. This Guide will be updated with instructions on setting up bitcoind 0.6-0.7 asap. [↩]
- Windows users download Putty or w/e. [↩]
- If you have problems with “pkgd” and “plymouth,” as I did, you may need to enter scripts: “sudo apt-get clean && sudo apt-get autoremove” and “sudo apt-get -f install” and “sudo dpkg –configure -a” for the former issue and “sudo apt-get –purge remove plymouth” for the latter issue. After resolving these, I entered “sudo apt-get update && apt-get upgrade” again. [↩]