Your node, your rules.
DIY node implementations require you to purchase and build your own hardware, this gives you greater freedom to build to your own budgetary requirements. All implementations below are still designed to run on single board computers (SBC) like the Raspberry Pi, but some offer other options such as the more powerful RockPro 64. DIY nodes remove the hardware risk we discussed in the Plug + Play page because you are free to buy your hardware from anywhere you like.
Once you have your chosen hardware you will typically download your chosen project’s free and open source software, flash it onto an SD card which then goes into your SBC. To mitigate the risk of installing malicious software onto your device, always download from the project’s recommended location and verify its signature.
The myNode software has downloadable images for the Rock64, RockPro64, Raspberry Pi 4 and also has a virtual machine offering. The free ‘Community’ software comes with an attractive web based UI and everything you need to get started running a Bitcoin and Lightning node. They do offer a ‘Premium’ for a one time fee of $99 which enables extra features, a support package and most importantly, one click upgrades from the web UI. Community package users must upgrade from the command line.
Order and assemble your desired hardware. Connect to power and your router, then power on the device. Visit
http://mynode.local/ with your phone, laptop or computer. If you bought the premium package, enter the product key that was supplied with the device otherwise choose the community option. Your initial block download will then commence.
Some users report reliability issues when upgrading. Support is limited due to a very small team and large userbase.
The RaspiBlitz is one of the longest standing node projects and comes feature packed with a significant focus on the Lightning network. The RaspiBlitz is focused more towards those who like to tinker and dont require the shinier user interfaces that some implementations offer. The Blitz also boasts rock sold uptime and well tested update procedures. The entire Blitz software package is free and open source and is the only implementation that is compatible with an on device display.
Order and assemble your desired hardware. Download the latest software and flash it to your SD card. Connect to power and your router, then power on the device. You should then see the local IP and password address of your RaspiBlitz on the LCD panel. Using an SSH tool, connect through to your RaspiBlitz and finish the setup process.
Lack of web based user interface may put some users off.
The RaspiBlitz team have provided their own recommended shopping list based on your budget. Be wary using cheaper components or lower powered SBC’s as you may run into issues.
RoninDojo is the node for privacy focused Samourai Wallet enthusiasts. They provide support for the Raspberry Pi 4, Rock64, RockPro 64, RockPi 4 and Odroid N2. The RoninDojo team keep Samourai Wallet as the main focus of their development, but also provide support for almost all other wallets via an Electrum Server. After setup users can choose to interact with a command line interface or the graphical UI shown below. It’s worth noting that the setup procedure requires a small amount of command line.
Order and assemble your desired hardware. Download the latest software and flash it to your SD card. Connect to power and your router, then power on the device. Search your network for the devices IP address using a network scanner. Connect to your device using an SSH tool and complete the setup process.
Lack of Lightning network integration may put some users off.
The RoninDojo team have provided their own recommended shopping list based on your budget. Be wary using cheaper components or lower powered SBC’s as you may run into issues.
Umbrel is a relatively new node project that boasts arguably the easiest setup process of any of the DIY node implementations. Umbrel supports the Raspberry Pi 4 and can also be ran in a virtual machine. Umbrel is completely free and uses an easy to navigate web based UI that makes running a node very straight forward for beginners.
Order and assemble your desired hardware. Download the latest software and flash it to your SD card. Connect to power and your router, then power on the device. Visit
http://umbrel.local/ with your phone, laptop or computer to finish the simple setup process.
Still an early project with minimal ‘extra’ features when compared with some of the more mature projects.
Check out the other options available for more advanced users.