Bitcoin Full Node on RBP3

  1. Bitcoin Node only signalling for UASF BIP148 and BIP149 (follow 🐡),
  2. Bitcoin Node enforcing UASF BIP148 starting August 1st (follow 🐰).


All lines starting with  are run on MacOS. All lines starting with π are run on Raspberry Pi 3.


The initial sync will take around 5–6 weeks (as of May 2017), so if you plan on enforcing BIP148 for your transactions, make sure to start it early enough for the sync to complete.

Things you need:

  • Raspberry Pi 3;
  • MicroSD card (200GB+) — make sure it’s big enough to store entire Bitcoin Blockchain (~140GB as of May 2017) and some fluff (~2GB) — note that the more free space you have on it, the longer your SD card will live;
  • a way to plug the micro SD card into your MacBook;
  • ethernet cable;
  • a router with a spare ethernet port.

Prepare SD card

Get Raspbian Lite image

Either via torrent or by abusing Raspberry Pi Foundation servers.

Put image on the SD card

# extract .img file from .zip archive
 ~> unzip
 ~> diskutil list | grep external
# Unmount it
 ~> diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2
# Copy image to the SD card
 ~> sudo dd bs=1m if=2017-04-10-raspbian-jessie-lite.img of=/dev/disk2

Enable ssh

Starting with Raspbian 2016–11–25 SSH is disabled by default. To enable it, a file named ssh needs to be created in the root of the SD card.

 ~> diskutil mountDisk /dev/disk2
 ~> touch /Volumes/boot/ssh
 ~> diskutil unmountDisk /dev/disk2

Connect & secure Raspberry

Once above is done, put the card into your Raspberry, plug it into the router and power it up.

# MAC prefix 'b8:27:eb:' is reserved for RBP Foundation
# see more:
 ~> arp -a | grep 'b8:27:eb'
 ~> nmap -A 192.168.0-1.* -p T:22 --open
 ~> ssh pi@

Change user password

If you’d rather decrease the chances of your Pi joining the IoS party, change your password right away:

π ~> passwd
π ~> exit

Use keys to auth with ssh

Now that we’ve located the RBP and changed its password, let’s make things more secure.

 ~> ssh-copy-id -i ~/.ssh/ pi@
# edit ssh daemon config file
π ~> sudo nano /etc/ssh/sshd_config
# Find `#PasswordAuthentication yes` & below it add:
PasswordAuthentication no
# To save and exit press ^x + y + enter
π ~> sudo sed -i '/#PasswordAuthentication yes/a PasswordAuthentication no' /etc/ssh/sshd_config

Listen to

It’s a good tool that offers good advice. If you want to see recommendations it gives, run:

 ~> git clone
 ~> cd ssh-audit
 ~> ./
# make sure these are in the file and NOT commented out:
HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_rsa_key
HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ed25519_key
# make sure these are either gone or commented out:
#HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_dsa_key
#HostKey /etc/ssh/ssh_host_ecdsa_key
# add the below lines
π ~> sudo service ssh reload

Configure the Raspberry

Localization, Time Zone, etc…

Run the below and feel free to play with the wizard there. You might want to change time zone and WiFi country. Also, “expanding the filesystem” is no longer necessary, as it happens automatically on the first boot (ref: scroll this to 2016–05–10).

π ~> sudo raspi-config# And if it didn't ask you to, run:
π ~> sudo reboot

Get all the shiny updates

π ~> sudo apt-get update
π ~> sudo apt-get upgrade

Disable SWAP

Constant writing to an SD card can kill it in 30 days (according to the internet), so to minimize writes let’s:

# disable SWAP
π ~> sudo swapoff --all
# remove package that manages SWAP altogether
π ~> sudo apt-get remove dphys-swapfile
# I had some orphans left and this helped
π ~> sudo apt-get autoremove

Use WiFi instead (optional)

Since RBP3 has WiFi, and ethernet cables are so 90’s, let’s switch to WiFi instead:

# gotta do it as root
π ~> sudo su
# will generate network={} structure and save it to the right place
π (root)~> wpa_passphrase "SSID" "password" >> /etc/wpa_supplicant/wpa_supplicant.conf
# exit the root shell
π (root)~> exit
# Run to make Pi acknowledge changes
π ~> sudo wpa_cli reconfigure
π ~> ip a show wlan0 | grep inet
inet brd scope global wlan0
inet6 fe80::9ac9:a0:e042:2da0/64 scope link
π ~> hostname -I
π ~> exit
 ~> ssh pi@

Whether you followed this step or not, everything that follows remains the same.

Finally, the good stuff

The below steps are mostly, but loosely, based on the official UNIX BUILD NOTES.


Before we start, we need to install all required dependencies.

π ~> sudo apt-get install git build-essential libtool autotools-dev automake pkg-config libssl-dev libevent-dev bsdmainutils libboost-system-dev libboost-filesystem-dev libboost-chrono-dev libboost-program-options-dev libboost-test-dev libboost-thread-dev libminiupnpc-dev libzmq3-dev jq

Get Bitcoin Core

For 🐢 and 🐡 go to and see what’s the newest non-dev branch. As of May 2017 it’s 0.14, so:

π ~> cd ~# use https instead of ssh to avoid adding rbp3 key to gh account
π ~> git clone -b 0.14
π ~> cd ~
π ~> git clone -b 0.14-BIP148

Berkeley DB (optional)

This very specific version (4.8) of Berkeley db is still needed if you want to have your client with wallet capabilities.

π ~> BITCOIN_ROOT=$(pwd)/bitcoin
π ~> mkdir -p $BDB_PREFIX
π ~> wget ''
π ~> echo '12edc0df75bf9abd7f82f821795bcee50f42cb2e5f76a6a281b85732798364ef db-4.8.30.NC.tar.gz' | sha256sum -c
# -> db-4.8.30.NC.tar.gz: OK
π ~> tar -xzvf db-4.8.30.NC.tar.gzπ ~> cd db-4.8.30.NC/build_unix/
π ~> ../dist/configure --enable-cxx --disable-shared --with-pic --prefix=$BDB_PREFIX
π ~> make install

Build Bitcoin Core

π ~> cd $BITCOIN_ROOTπ ~> ./ run this if you want wallet or…
π ~> ./configure LDFLAGS="-L${BDB_PREFIX}/lib/" CPPFLAGS="-I${BDB_PREFIX}/include/" CXXFLAGS="--param ggc-min-expand=1 --param ggc-min-heapsize=32768" --enable-cxx --without-gui --disable-shared --with-pic --enable-upnp-default
# …this if you don’t
π ~> ./configure CXXFLAGS="--param ggc-min-expand=1 --param ggc-min-heapsize=32768" --enable-cxx --without-gui --disable-shared --with-pic --enable-upnp-default --disable-wallet
# this might take a short forever - ~1.5 hr
π ~> make check
π ~> sudo make install


Probably the best way to get a well optimised ~/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf file is to use the generator that Jameson Lopp was kind enough to create.


Signal UASF 🐡

To just signal support for both BIPs add the following lines to the config file:



π ~> bitcoind
Bitcoin server starting

Make sure it works

It might take a few minutes to start. You can watch progress by running:

π ~> tail -f ~/.bitcoin/debug.log
π ~> bitcoin-cli getinfo
π ~> bitcoin-cli getnetworkinfo
π ~> bitcoin-cli getwalletinfo
π ~> bitcoin-cli getblockchaininfo
π ~> bitcoin-cli getpeerinfo

Exposing port to the outside world…

In previous steps, MiniUPnP has already been compiled-in and enabled, so let’s check if your node is reachable from the outside with:

π ~> curl -s
  • Restart node and wait until it boots up completely,
  • Make sure UPnP is enabled on the router,
  • Assign a permanent local IP to Raspberry Pi, and
  • Manually set up port forwarding (for port 8333),
  • Make sure your ISP provides you with a public IP (sometimes it might be possible to get a public/static IP as an additional service for a fee).
This is how a successful UPnP might look like

Now wait, and wait, and wait…

Now, that the node is running it will download and process the entire Bitcoin blockchain. This process will take over a month. Just leave it running and it will get there eventually.

Run on reboot

To avoid starting the node manually after each reboot add this to cron file:

π ~> which bitcoind/usr/local/bin/bitcoindπ ~> crontab -e# add this line to the end:
@reboot sleep 8; /usr/local/bin/bitcoind
Binding RPC on address port 8333 failed.

Trusted Node

Once the sync completes your Node is ready for the grand cooperation with the excellent Samourai Wallet ❤️. To set it up just follow the simple guide here:

Other thingies

Add some scripts to make the sync bearable

While the sync takes place, to soothe your agitation, you can either monitor the progress value in ~/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf file or append some aliases to either ~/.zshrc or ~/.bashrc:

# shows % of blocks processed
alias blocks='BLOCKS_FILE=~/.cache/blocks TOTAL=$(curl -s | jq -r '.data.nb') CURRENT=$(bitcoin-cli getblockcount) && BLOCKSF=$(printf "%.5f%%" "$((100.0 * CURRENT / TOTAL))") && printf "%s → %s\n" "$(cat $BLOCKS_FILE)" $BLOCKSF && echo $BLOCKSF > $BLOCKS_FILE'
# turns logged `progress` into %
alias progress='PROG_FILE=~/.cache/progress PROG=$(grep UpdateTip ~/.bitcoin/debug.log T -n1 | cut -d " " -f 12 | cut -d = -f 2) PROGF=$(printf "%.2f%%" "$((PROG * 100))") && printf "%s → %s\n" "$(cat $PROG_FILE)" $PROGF && echo $PROGF > $PROG_FILE'
π ~> mkdir -p ~/.cache && echo "0%" > ~/.cache/{progress,blocks}
<value-when-previously-run> → <current-value>

Make ssh welcome message pretty

There’s no reason to see that awful block of text every time you log in. Making it prettier was inspired with stuff from here.

logo="$(tput setaf 2)
.~~. .~~.
'. \ ' ' / .'$(tput setaf 1)
.~ .~~~..~.
: .~.'~'.~. :
~ ( ) ( ) ~
( : '~'.~.'~' : )
~ .~ ( ) ~. ~ $(tput sgr0)Raspberry Pi$(tput setaf 1)
( : '~' : ) $(tput sgr0)Bitcoin$(tput setaf 1)
'~ .~~~. ~'
$(tput sgr0)"
if [ `whoami` != "root" ]; then
echo "$logo"
echo "Run as sudo to update your motd."
echo "$logo" > /etc/motd
echo "Updated MOTD. Log in again to see the new logo."
π ~> chmod a+x /tmp/
π ~> sudo /tmp/
π ~> wget -qO- | sudo sh

Improvements? Mistakes?

If you’ve found anything incorrect in this guide, or have an idea on how to improve it, feel free to either leave a comment, btc [AT] or @meeDamian me.


If you want to get me a coffee or some AC time in the hot climate of Singapore 🇸🇬 you can send your appreciation to 1DamianM2k8WfNEeJmyqSe2YW1upB7UATx or

Other Guides…

This is a second guide in a series of planned:

  1. Bitcoin Full Node (with or w/o BIP148 UASF 🙊) on RBP3,
  2. Add JoinMarket to Bitcoin Full Node,
  3. Add Lightning Network to #1,
  4. Proxy node traffic through TOR.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Damian Mee

Damian Mee


Bitcoin. Lightning. Golang. Applied cryptography, not Blockchain. . PGP: D8CA 1776 EB92 6549 1D07 CE67 F546 ECBE A809 CB18