Bitcoin Core full nodes have certain requirements. If you try running a node on weak hardware, it may work—but you’ll likely spend more time dealing with issues. If you can meet the following requirements, you’ll have an easy-to-use node:
- Desktop or laptop hardware running recent versions of Windows, Mac OS X, or Linux.
- 145 gigabytes of free disk space, accessible at a minimum read/write speed of 100 MB/s.
- 2 gigabytes of memory (RAM)
- A broadband Internet connection with upload speeds of at least 400 kilobits (50 kilobytes) per second
An unmetered connection, a connection with high upload limits, or a connection you regularly monitor to ensure it doesn’t exceed its upload limits. It’s common for full nodes on high-speed connections to use 200 gigabytes upload or more a month. Download usage is around 20 gigabytes a month, plus around an additional 140 gigabytes the first time you start your node.
Your full node can be left running six hours a day. (You can do other things with your computer while running a full node.) More hours would be better, and best of all would be if you can run your node continuously.
Today, many operating systems (Windows, Mac, and Linux) enter a low-power mode after the screensaver activates, slowing or halting network traffic. This is often the default setting on laptops and all Mac OS X laptops and desktops. Check your screensaver settings and disable automatic “sleep” or “suspend” options to ensure you support the network whenever your computer is running.
Legal: Bitcoin use is prohibited or restricted in some areas.
Bandwidth limits: Some Internet plans will charge an additional amount for any excess upload bandwidth used that isn’t included in the plan. Worse, some providers may terminate your connection without warning because of overuse. We advise that you check whether your Internet connection is subjected to such limitations and monitor your bandwidth use so that you can stop Bitcoin Core before you reach your upload limit.
Anti-virus: Several people have placed parts of known computer viruses in the Bitcoin blockchain. This blockchain data can’t infect your computer, but some anti-virus programs quarantine the data anyway, making it more difficult to run Bitcoin Core. This problem mostly affects computers running Windows.
Attack target: Bitcoin Core powers the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network, so people who want to disrupt the network may attack Bitcoin Core users in ways that will affect other things you do with your computer, such as an attack that limits your available download bandwidth.