How to run your own RaiBlocks node on DigitalOcean

RaiBlocks transactions per second

Raiblocks (XRB) is a novel cryptocurrency focused exclusively on peer-to-peer payments that boasts near instant transfers, zero fees, massive scalability and minimal energy consumption. For more details check out the FAQ and very readable Whitepaper.

This guide is focused on how to run your own RaiBlocks node. (Props to NGC_2359’s Reddit thread here that inspired this post.)

Why run a RaiBlocks node?

There’s no direct financial incentive to running a RaiBlocks node, so why bother? Well, personally I think RaiBlocks promises to fulfill the original goal of a fast, free, decentralized value-transfer without burning the energy of Denmark, so I’d like to see it succeed. Running a node helps everyone.

Step 1: Create your Ubuntu droplet

This step is specific to DigitalOcean, but subsequent steps should work fine on any Ubuntu VPS provider, e.g. Vultr or Linode.

If you don’t already have a DigitalOcean account, signup here (shameless referral link).

Once you’re signed in, click Create Droplets, choose Ubuntu 16.04 and pick your droplet size.

RaiBlock nodes currently seem rather memory (and bandwidth) intensive so I’d suggest a $10/month droplet or higher. I’m currently using the $15/month size for my node. If that’s out of range though, definitely give a $5/month droplet a try and report back. On a lower resource system you might also try lowering bootstrap_connections in Raiblocks/config.json.

Finally, under secondary options, enable IPv6, customize your hostname and click Create.

Step 2: Setup Ubuntu

Follow the steps in the following quick guide to create your own user account and get your Ubuntu server a better base configuration: Initial Server Setup with Ubuntu 16.04.

This shouldn’t take more than 15–20 minutes.

Last, install additional DigitalOcean monitoring and bandwidth tracking:

$ sudo curl -sSL | sh
$ sudo apt-get install vnstat

Step 3: Install and start your rai_node

First download and extract latest release. (You can double check that 9.0 is still the latest release here.)

$ wget
$ tar xvf rai_node.xz
$ sudo mv rai_node /usr/local/bin

Now start your node!

$ nohup rai_node --daemon &>> $HOME/rai_node.log &

Step 4: Monitor your rai_node

I’m still tinkering with rai_node options, but you can quickly check your node block count with:

$ rai_node --debug_block_count
Block count: 1487031

It can also be fun to peek at your node traffic. There are a ton of tools for this. iptraf has a nice colorful interface:

$ sudo apt-get install iptraf
$ sudo iptraf
IP traffic monitoring rai_node with iptraf

Some other useful network traffic monitoring tools include iftop, tcptrack, bmon and nethogs.

Keep an eye on your droplet bandwidth usage with vnstat.

That’s it! Let me know if you have any questions or issues.

Also, be sure to check out part two: How to use your own RaiBlocks node as an account representative.

If you liked this guide, feel free to send some Rai my way. :)