Which computer should I buy for my Bitcoin node?

What I recommend for hardware

I usually recommend dell computers to most people be it a laptop for everday use, or for running a dedicated Bitcoin node. Not the dell computers you can find at Best Buy, but the type of computer Dell manufactures for Enterprises that buy them in bulk for their employees to use. Why?

  • These computers are built for function over form.
  • Dell offers these companies support for a certain number of years for free.
  • In order to be able to offer this free support, dell has to make the machines easy to repair, and also well made enough that they don’t have to do constant repairs. They are incentivized to make the computers long lasting, but not to make them pretty.
  • Because they sell so many of these computers, parts are easy to find. And because they are made to easily be repaired, they are easy to fix yourself when problems arise.
  • Because they sell so many, you can find these computers online for much cheaper than other manufacturers computers with similar specifications.

All of this means that if you go to ebay, or similar sites, looking for a dell computer that is manufactured for enterprise use, you are very likely to find lightly used computers with newer hardware for a much lower price than what you will find for sale to general retail, say at best buy or something.

The above can be true at times for HP hardware, and Lenovo hardware, just not to the same scale as Dell computers.

Here is an example of an ebay listing for a Dell Latitude 5420 (not the e5420.) Someone had 47 of these they were able to list on ebay. They have modern components, including a processor generation that is only a year or so old. A generous 16gb of RAM and a 256gb SSD (NVMe.) All of that for less than $300, including shipping.

There are many deals like the one noted above for someone looking to upgrade an older laptop, or just jump in to their first laptop. The issue some would have with this hardware is that, since it’s targeted to enterprises these computers are not made to look great and they aren’t made to be lightweight. Also, they are usually made out of plastic instead of metal. They generally have larger and louder fans then what laptops made for retail are equipped with. And since they are made to be repairable, they are thicker then modern laptops targeted to retail. Unlike the really thin laptops, these have replaceable RAM and SSDs, which makes the laptop thicker. These are trade-offs that you need to decide whether or not are worth the lower prices. Personally I prefer replaceable parts and a computer that I can work on, but again, that’s a preference thing.

Recommended Hardware for a Dedicated Bitcoin Node Running 24/7

As noted in the past, I really appreciate the Dell Micro line of desktops for use as a dedicated Bitcoin node. The newer models can be close to $1k, even used. But you can pick up a model that is only a few years old for a much better price, just be sure the one you find has a power cord, as many are listed without the dell proprietary power supply included. You can mitigate that by searching for a Dell Micro computer that is refurbished. These often come with a warranty, and the power supply. See example below:

The PC shown here is a few years old. Also, if you would want to run a full node, rather than a pruned node, you would need to pick up an SSD of at least 1tb, maybe even go straight to the 2tb option (around $99.) These are tradeoffs, but let’s talk about the alternatives for running a dedicated node.

The raspberry pi has been a staple amongst bitcoiners for running a dedicated full node, especially with the advent of pre-built node software like Umbrel, Start9, MyNode, etc. The tradeoff has been an underpowered machine, which is not a huge problem if all you are doing is verifying your own transactions and maybe running a few lightning channels. You can still run into issues with using the right power supply, overheating, etc., but really if you are keeping it simple then a raspberry pi 4 is capable enough for simple work, which is why bitcoin is great – it’s not that hard to run. All of that is fine if the price is good. Originally a raspberry pi would cost you around $35 for the board. Then you buy a case, a power supply, a memory card, heatsinks / fans… All of that can add up for sure.

I would much rather run a computer that is as cheap, or cheaper, that is also more capable, especially when doing more than just confirming Bitcoin transactions. Below are a few different applications that you can take advantage of when running a full node:

  • Electrum server – for verifying your bitcoin transactions
  • Mempool – a visualizer for your mempool
  • Dojo – allows you to coinjoin with whirlpool without sharing your xpub
  • Lightning – run your own lightning node via LND or other lightning protocol
  • BTCPay server – accept bitcoin payments

These are just a few examples of apps that run on top of bitcoin that can take computing power in order to run properly. While it is reasonable to run these apps on a single board computer, doing so for an extended period of time, or under duress, can cause reliability issues. Sometimes something as simple as an OEM power supply failing to supply enough power to the single board computer can cause problems with up-time. Combine the above with the rising cost of single board computers, due in part to supply chain constraints, and it increasingly makes more sense to pick up a refurbished desktop-class computer instead. Especially when you can find ones that take up about the same amount of space!

Kyc3.life’s Bitcoin Node Guide Overview

This is an overview of kyc3.life’s instructions for setting up a bitcoin node from source on an x86 computer. Since this install is similar to K3tan’s instructions for setting up a bitcoin node from source, I will compare and contrast the two guides.

In kyc3’s guide, you are given instructions for installing Ubuntu server, Bitcoin core running over Tor, setting up Fulcrum electrum server, setting up a Dojo and whirlpool, along with instructions for how to setup Tailscale. There are also instructions for setting up hardening measures to protect your node form malicious attacks.

I found the guide very easy to follow along. Kyc3 gives step by step instructions and makes it dummy-proof for newbs who may have never used command line for a project like this. The guide includes buttons to copy commands and paste them into a terminal. This makes it very fast to move along the guide. Places for copying commands are easy to spot.

The software he gives instructions for are mostly bare minimum tools needed to verify your own Bitcoin, verify and broadcast bitcoin transactions, and coinjoin using Whirlpool. The idea here is that you have a dedicated pc running at all times and probably connected to your Samourai wallet on Android. This allows you to level up your Samourai wallet use by ensuring that you are not doxing your xpub to anyone and you can continuously mix your coins using your own machine to participate in conjoin rounds, and you can do all of this while on the go with your mobile device. Very self-sovereign of you.

Kyc3’s guide is notably missing a few applications. There is no guide to setup LND or Core lightning, and there is no guide for setting up BTCPay server. I don’t think this is an oversight, it’s likely that kyc3 doesn’t think interacting with the lightning network preserves privacy.

We can compare this guide to K3tan’s excellent video series for installing the same software plus a few more applications.

  • K3tans guide includes an LND node guide and Ride the Lightning for interfacing with LND. He also includes a BTCPayserver installation guide with instructions on how to make that application public facing.
  • K3tan’s guide is in video format, which some people prefer over text. If you prefer watching youtube video guides over text-based instructions, then watch K3tan’s video series. You can ignore guides that include instructions for installing applications that you don’t intend to use.
  • K3tan spends extra effort going over commonly used Linux commands, and this makes it easier for new command line users to understand what they are doing when entering commands.
  • Ky3’s guide includes easily copied commands and links to software that you need in order to execute installations. This can be easier for people who have no command line experience. 
  • Kyc3’s guide includes instructions for installing Tailscale in order to be able to access your Mempool.space instance even when you aren’t on the same network as your node. Kyc3 also gives instruction for connecting to Fulcrum server while on the go. This makes your node useful when you are mobile, which is fantastic.
  • Kyc3’s guide also includes instructions for how to lock down your node from external attacks using UFW commands.
  • Both guides recommend using an x86 machine with a small footprint, like the Dell micro series of computers.

I think it’s fantastic that there are these types of instructional guides being put out for people interested in building their own node from scratch. In the case of these two guides, you can easily mix and match what you need between the two and setup a node with software downloaded from the source and built from scratch on a very capable x86 computer.

Start9 Labs releases an x86 version of EmbassyOS

Start9 released EmbassyOS for x86 machines this week so I set up an Embassy for the first time last night.

EmbassyOS is another one of the Bitcoin node options available for those who prefer a pre-built node stack. This is the easiest one to set up on an x86 computer as you do not even need to install Linux to do it. The EmbassyOS .iso comes with Linux already built on it, which makes it an actual operating system that you are installing.

Start9 is recommending a computer with bare minimum requirements of a 2Ghz CPU, 4 gb of RAM and 1TB of memory. I set this up on a Dell 7040 pc with 16 gb of RAM and a 1TB ssd, and again setup was super easy. I flashed with balenaEtcher and played with the BIOS to adjust the UEFI settings and that was it.

The folks at Start9 bill EmbassyOS as more than just a bitcoin node, there are also apps available that work to help you take control of your data.


  • Easiest setup of any Node stack on an x86 computer. Most node stacks have an easy setup on a Raspberry Pi, but not so much for x86 computers.
  • Easy to use backup options which means you can safeguard your lightning funds.
  • Friendly UI.
  • Easy installation of different popular apps built on top of Bitcoin core.


  • No coinjoin apps (Dojo, Joinmarket)
  • As with other Node stacks, there is a degree of trust that comes with using third party software to install and maintain Bitcoin core. As long you you are aware of that and take care before updating, you should be fine.

Overall this has to be the easiest way to get a node stack running on an x86 computer, coupled with the excellent back up tools, this might be the easiest way to run a secure lightning node. And because you can do this easily on a beefy computer you can run plenty of channels.

Install Ride the Lightning GUI on Ubuntu server – Upgrade your Bitcoin Node

If you prefer a video guide to install RTL on your upgraded Bitcoin Node on Ubuntu Server, here is Ketan’s guide:

Install Ride the Lightning as a GUI for setting up and managing Lightning Channels.

  • We will be using instructions from the Ride the Lightning github here: https://github.com/Ride-The-Lightning/RTL/
  • One of the requirements is to run node.js. We will find installation instructions for that here: https://github.com/nodesource/distributions/blob/master/README.md#debinstall
  • Run this command [curl -fsSL https://deb.nodesource.com/setup_18.x | sudo -E bash -]
  • Then this one [sudo apt-get install -y nodejs]
  • If you want to avoid permission errors for npm installs, do the following command [mkdir ~/.npm-global] and then [npm config set prefix ‘~/.npm-global’]
  • Enter [nano .profile]
  • At the bottom of that file add this line [export PATH=~/.npm-global/bin:$PATH]
  • Then command [source .profile]
  • cd into downloads [cd downloads]
  • From this webpage copy the RTL archive and wget that into your downloads directory example: [wget https://github.com/Ride-The-Lightning/RTL/archive/refs/tags/v0.12.3.tar.gz]
  • Use this command but keep an eye on your version number [tar -xvf v0.12.2.tar.gz]
  • In the example above I installed 12.3, but the command show on the RTL install page doesn’t have that updated, so be aware.
  • You can move this to your home directory if you prefer: [mv RTL-0.12.3/ ~] (again, beware of version numbers)
  • Go to home directory [cd ~]
  • Make a directory for your LND backups with the command [mkdir lndbackup]
  • Verify RTL directory is in /home with [ls]
  • Rename it with command [mv RTL-0.12.3/ RTL] (beware of version number)
  • cd into RTL [cd RTL]
  • install this [npm install –only=prod –legacy-peer-deps]
  • Check [ls] to view files. You should see a sample .json file
  • Copy that file and rename it [cp RTL-Config.json]
  • Edit that file using [nano RTL-Config.json]
  • You should see the   “multiPass”: “password”, line, change the password to one of your choosing. This is how you will login to RTL.
  • Confirm that your admin.macaroon file is in /home/<YOURUSERNAME>/data/chain/bitcoin/mainnet and you can then paste that into the line that says “macaroonpath”
  • The “configpath” line should have the filepath /home/<YOURUSERNAME>/.lnd/lnd.conf
  • The “channelbackupath” should be /home/figure8/lndbackup
  • Control x, y, enter to save and return to command line
  • Start the server with [node rtl]
  • Visit <YOURNODEIPADDRESS>:8080 to see if Ride the Lightning is up
  • If it is, stop it in terminal using ‘Control c’
  • Now we will create a service file to make it start automatically on boot
  • There are instructions here: https://github.com/Ride-The-Lightning/RTL/ at the bottom of the page
  • Create the service file using [sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/RTL.service]
  • Paste the below into that file:
Description=RTL daemon

ExecStart=/usr/bin/node /home/<YOURUSERNAME>/RTL/rtl

  • Make sure you update your username in the above
  • Control x, y, enter
  • Enable it with [sudo systemctl enable RTL.service]
  • Start it with [sudo systemctl start RTL.service]
  • Check status with [sudo systemctl status RTL.service]

Install Lightning (LND) on Ubuntu Server – Upgrade your Bitcoin Node

If you prefer a video guide in order to install Lightning LND on your AMD64 machine, please see Ketan’s tutorial. This guide is based on that tutorial and is meant to serve as a companion in case you run into any issues finding links, commands, etc.

Install Lightning

  • Using the installation instructions from https://raspibolt.org/guide/lightning/lightning-client.html we will install LND
  • Don’t use the link from raspibolt for your version of LND since that is for an arm based machine. If you are running an AMD64 go here to find latest release of LND: https://github.com/lightningnetwork/lnd/releases/
  • Scroll down until you find the Assets section. Find your version for the hardware you are running. If you are installing on a dell optiplex machine the version you want has ‘amd64’ in it.
  • Download into your downloads directory with [cd downloads] then [wget <link to LND version>]
  • Now using the instructions from the raspibolt.org page we can download the PGP file  and verify
  • When you’ve verified the release, unzip the file [tar -xzf lnd-linux-amd64-v0.14.3-beta.tar.gz]
  • Install with this [sudo install -m 0755 -o root -g root -t /usr/local/bin lnd-linux-amd64-v0.14.3-beta/*]
  • After install you need to setup a .conf file. Go to this github page to download an example and then we can edit that https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lightningnetwork/lnd/master/sample-lnd.conf
  • In your home directory create a directory called .lnd using [mkdir .lnd] and use [ll] to confirm it is there
  • Use [wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lightningnetwork/lnd/master/sample-lnd.conf] to copy that file to your .lnd directory. [ls] to confirm it is there.
  • Rename that file using [mv sample-lnd.conf lnd.conf]
  • This is a giant file. Edit the settings. In order to ‘activate’ a line the semi-colon must be removed.
    • From [; tlsextraip=] to [tlsextraip=.]
    • [; tlsextradomain=] to [tlsextradomain=.]
    • [;   listen=] remove the semi-colon to activate
    • [;   rpclisten=localhost:10009] remove the semi-colon
    • [;   restlisten=] remove the semi-colon
    • [;  alias=My Lightning] to [alias=<NAME YOUR LIGHTNING NODE>]
    • [; bitcoin.mainnet=true] to [bitcoin.mainnet=true]
    • [bitcoin.simnet=true] put a semi-colon in front of it to de-activate
    • [bitcoin.node=btcd] de-activate with the semi-colon
    • [; bitcoin.node=bitcoind] remove the semi-colon to activate
    • Scrolling down until you see Bitcoind settings
    • [; bitcoind.rpcuser=kek] remove the semi-colon and change to your username for bitcoind
    • Same for the password line
    • Remove the semi colons from both of these lines:
    • ; bitcoind.zmqpubrawblock=tcp://
    • ; bitcoind.zmqpubrawtx=tcp://
  • Control x, y, enter to save the file and return to the command line
  • Run lnd with the command [lnd]
  • Open a new terminal window and login
  • Type the command [lncli create]
  • It will ask for a password, enter a strong one to login to lightning. Later this will be the password to login to Ride the Lightning
  • It will ask you to confirm password
  • It will ask if you have an existing seed, or if you want to create a fresh wallet for this lightning instance. Choose your options
  • Create a password.txt file in your .lnd directory with [cd .lnd] and [nano password.txt] and put your lightning password in there.
  • Edit the lnd.conf file with [sudo nano lnd.conf]
  • Find the below two lines in the lnd.conf file and edit them
    • change [; wallet-unlock-password-file=/tmp/example.password] to [wallet-unlock-password-file=/home/<YOURUSERNAME>/.lnd/password.txt
    • change [; wallet-unlock-allow-create=true] remove the semi-colon
  • Scroll down to the tor settings
  • [; tor.active=true] remove the semi-colon
  • [; tor.streamisolation=true] remove the semi-colon
  • [; tor.v3=true] remove the semi-colon
  • Control x, y , enter to save and exit back to terminal
  • Stop lnd using the terminal that is running lnd using control c
  • Type [lnd] to start it up again
  • We will use this link to create a service file in order to boot lnd on restart: https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lightningnetwork/lnd/master/contrib/init/lnd.service
  • Go to directory cd /etc/systemd/system with [cd cd /etc/systemd/system]
  • Now [sudo wget https://raw.githubusercontent.com/lightningnetwork/lnd/master/contrib/init/lnd.service]
  • In the terminal that is running lnd, stop with Control c
  • Edit the service file with [sudo nano lnd.service]
  • Scroll down to the ‘Service’ area and change the user and group to your node’s username
  • Control x, y, enter to save and exit back to terminal
  • Start up again with [sudo systemctl start service.lnd]
  • Check status with [sudo systemctl start service.lnd]

In the other terminal window check that lnd is running with [journalctl -fu lnd.service]

If all went well you should have LND running on your node. Next we will move on to installing Ride the Lightning so that you can start opening channels using a GUI.

Make your BTCPay Server on Ubuntu Server public facing using Cloudflare – Upgrade your Bitcoin Node

If you prefer video in order to install Cloudflare and make your BTCPay Server public-facing, see this video for instructions. Use the below text as a way to help when you run in to something you don’t understand.

Make BTCPay Server public facing

  • Go to dash.cloudflare.com and make a free account. No need to dox any personal info.
  • Click “add a site”
  • Enter a domain name.
  • Much of the instructions will vary here depending on who your registrar is. You will want to familiarize yourself with changing settings for domain name servers and different record types. Cloudflare will try to walk you through domain nameserver settings depending on who your registrar is.
  • After you setup your domain name with cloudflare and have confirmed the connection, we can now install the downloads we need to make that work with your node.
  • Go here: https://pkg.cloudflare.com/#ubuntu-title
  • You can follow the install instructions there as they update often
  • Install cloudflared using [sudo apt install cloudflared]
  • Next use this guide to create the tunnel: https://developers.cloudflare.com/cloudflare-one/connections/connect-apps/install-and-setup/tunnel-guide/
  • Start with this command [cloudflared tunnel login]
  • Terminal will show you a webpage to visit in order to authenticate. Go to that webpage and click on your domain name.
  • Next create a tunnel and name it with [cloudflared tunnel create <pick a name>]
  • Remember the name you choose. Make it simple, something like btcpayserver.
  • Verify that by listing out with this command [cloudflared tunnel list]
  • Check .cloudlfared directory with [ls .cloudflared] you should see a .json file that has a string of characters as its name.
  • Make a config file in your .cloudflared directory with command [nano config.yml]
  • Paste this into the config.yml file:
url: http://localhost:23001
tunnel: <Tunnel-UUID>
credentials-file: /home/<yourusername>/.cloudflared/<Tunnel-UUID>.json
  • Change the part that says <yourusername> to match your node username
  • Open a second terminal window and login to your node
  • cd into the .cloudeflared directory with [cd .cloudflared]
  • Use [ls] to see that .json file again and copy the string of characters in front of the .json
  • In that config file you are editing in the other window, paste in that string of characters to replace the two parts that say <Tunnel-UUID>
  • Connect to an application with this command [cloudflared tunnel route dns <UUID or NAME> <hostname>] edit the command to change the UUID or NAME part to the name you chose for the tunnel earlier. The <hostname> is your domain name.
  • Run it with [cloudflared tunnel run <UUID NAME>] changing name to the one you chose for the tunnel earlier
  • You should see activity in terminal and should also now be able to go to your domain name in a browser and see your btcpay server instance
  • In the terminal window that has cloudflared running, stop it using ‘control c’
  • Now we will setup the service file so that cloudflared fires up when the node starts
  • Run [cloudflared service install]
  • We need to copy a file to the cloudflared directory. In the .cloudflared directory type the command [sudo cp /home/<yourusername>/.cloudflared/config.yml /etc/cloudflared]
  • Run it again with [sudo cloudflared service install]
  • Check status with [sudo systemctl status cloudflared] (should show active)

Install your own instance of BTCPay Server on Ubuntu Server – Upgrade your Bitcoin Node

If you prefer video and don’t need help to install your own BTCPay Server instance on Ubuntu server, see this video for instructions. Use the below text as a way to help when you run in to something you don’t understand.

Install BTCPay Server

wget https://packages.microsoft.com/config/ubuntu/22.04/packages-microsoft-prod.deb -O packages-microsoft-prod.deb

  • Install more software with:

sudo dpkg -i packages-microsoft-prod.deb

  • Remove a file that you no longer need:

rm packages-microsoft-prod.deb

  • Check for software updates:

sudo apt-get update

  • Install this package:

sudo apt-get install -y apt-transport-https

  • Check for updates to that package with:

sudo apt-get update

  • Install the .net package

sudo apt-get install -y dotnet-sdk-6.0

  • Next we install a database

sudo apt install postgresql postgresql-contrib

  • Change to user postgres with:

sudo -i -u postgres

  • Create a new user with:
createuser --pwprompt --interactive
  • You will be prompted to enter a username for this. Use whatever you’d like and make sure to take note of it.
  • You will be prompted to enter a password. It should be a secure password that you will remember.
  • You will be asked if this should be a ‘superuser’ – say no.
  • You will be asked if this user should be able to create a database – say yes.
  • You will be asked if this user should be able to create new roles – say no.
  • Create two databases, one for BTCPay Server and one for NBXplorer

createdb -O <the username you picked above> btcpayserver

createdb -O <the username you picked above> nbxplorer

  • Type command [exit] to get out of that username. You should be back in your downloads folder.
  • cd into your home directory with [cd ~]
  • Clone NBXplorer with the command:

git clone https://github.com/dgarage/NBXplorer

  • cd into NBXplorer with:

cd NBXplorer

  • Build NBXplorer with:


  • Create data directory in your home folder

mkdir -p ~/.nbxplorer/Main

  • cd into that using

cd ~/.nbxplorer/Main

  • Create a settings file

nano settings.config

  • Past this into the file:
btc.rpc.auth=<bitcoind rpc user>:<bitcoind rpc password>
postgres=User ID=<your db user>;Password=<your db password>;Host=localhost;Port=5432;Database=nbxplorer;
  • Change the bitcoin user to your bitcoind username, same with password. Also fix the postgres username and password you setup above. Control x, y, enter to save and exit
  • Back to the NBXplorer directory using: [cd ~]
  • Then cd into nbxplorer directory using [cd NBXplorer]
  • Run it using


  • You should see NBXplorer syncing up
  • Hit ‘control c’ to close it
  • Now we make a file to auto-start NBXplorer whenever the machine boots
  • cd into [cd /etc/systemd/system]
  • Paste this command into terminal:

sudo wget https://gist.githubusercontent.com/mariodian/de873b969e70eca4d0a7673efd697d0a/raw/acfc70c5694cd53d8a3df7ff54a35ff2caba7532/nbxplorer.service

  • Edit that file with command

Sudo nano nbxplorer.service

  • Edit the line that starts with ExecStart and find that part that says “netcoreapp2” to “net6.0”. Also remove the word /source from the filepath. Ensure username is accurate. Freedomnode uses ‘satoshi’ as the username, you may have changed that.
  • An example of that line: ExecStart=/usr/bin/dotnet “/home/<username>/NBXplorer/NBXplorer/bin/Release/net6.0/NBXplorer.dll” -c /home/<username>/.nbxplorer/Main/settings.config
  • Change User and Group to your username.
  • Control x, y, enter to save and leave
  • Enable this using:

sudo systemctl enable nbxplorer.service

  • Start it:

sudo systemctl start nbxplorer.service

  • Check status:

sudo systemctl status nbxplorer.service

  • You should see a green dot showing NBXplore is up and running
  • Now we install BTCPay Server
  • Open a new terminal window and login to your node
  • In your home directory install BTCPay server

git clone https://github.com/btcpayserver/btcpayserver.git

  • cd into btcpayserver using:

cd btcpayserver

  • Build it with:


  • Make another directory:

mkdir -p ~/.btcpayserver/Main

  • cd into it:

cd ~/.btcpayserver/Main

  • Create a config file:

nano settings.config

  • Add these lines to it and change your username and pass to match what you entered for the postgres install:
#BTC.lightning=type=lnd-rest;server=;macaroonfilepath=~/.lnd/data/chain/bitcoin/mainnet/admin.macaroon;certthumbprint=<finger print>
postgres=User ID=<yourusername>;Password=<your db password>;Host=localhost;Port=5432;Database=btcpayserver;
  • Go to home directory using

Cd ~

  • cd into btcpay server folder using

cd btcpayserver

  • Run it


  • Use a web browser to visit your ip address with :23001 at the end to see btcpay server running
  • Now we edit a service file

cd /etc/systemd/system

  • Now we download BTCPay service file:

sudo wget https://gist.githubusercontent.com/mariodian/07bb13da314e2a321784b380f543651a/raw/6cef554d9e8311e683a017d5e63a07822dee7642/btcpayserver.service

  • Edit the file using

sudo nano btcpayserver.service

  • Fix the file path to remove the /source part
  • Fix the username in the file path also
  • Fix the user to match what you made
  • Fix the group to match you username
  • Enable the service:

sudo systemctl enable btcpayserver.service

  • Start it
sudo systemctl start btcpayserver.service
  • Check status:
sudo systemctl status btcpayserver.service

Run your own Samourai Dojo and Whirlpool client on Ubuntu Server – Upgrade your Bitcoin Node

If you prefer video and don’t need a text based guide to install your own Samourai Dojo and Whirlpool client on Ubuntu server, see this video for instructions. Use the below text as a way to help when you run in to something you don’t understand.

Install Samourai Dojo

This guide is intended to be used by users who intend to spend sats. Spending bitcoin leaves a permanent mark on the timechain, and if you want to spend privately it’s best to use Samourai’s post-mix spending tools to do so. Installing your own Dojo and pairing that with a Samourai mobile wallet on android is a great way to mix coins and then spend them in a way that preserves your privacy in a self-sovereign manner.

It is important to note that Samourai Wallet is only available on android devices.

  • Login to your node and go to your downloads directory with [cd downloads]
  • We will need to unzip a file so we need software to do that. Install that with [sudo apt install unzip]
  • Go to Samourai’s dojo downloads page and copy the path to their latest release https://code.samourai.io/dojo/samourai-dojo/-/releases
  • Download with command [wget <filepath>]
  • Unzip with [unzip samourai-dojo-v1.15.0] (keep an eye on version number)
  • You should already have docker setup on your Ubuntu server from the mempool guide we did previously
  • cd into your home directory with [cd ~]
  • Make a new directory with [mkdir dojo-app]
  • You should see that directory now with [ls]
  • Now let’s move the samourai download to that new directory with [mv ~/downloads/samourai-dojo-v1.15.0/* ~/dojo-app/] (be aware of version number and change to yours)
  • You should see a new directory in the dojo-app directory [cd dojo-app] then [ls]
  • cd into the conf folder with [cd docker/my-dojo/conf/
  • Type [ls] to see the different conf files that all need editing
  • First file we will edit is the bitcoind conf [nano docker-bitcoind.conf.tpl]
  • It’s a long file. Find the lines below and edit them for your setup. We need to update the bitcoind username and password. We need to tell dojo not to install bitcoind since you already have it installed. We need to update the IP address to match your node’s IP address. And we need to update some port settings to match your bitcoind installation. In a second terminal you can login to your node to see your bitcoind settings and verify that they match the lines below [nano .bitcoin/bitcoin.conf]

BITCOIND_RPC_USER=<bitcoind user name>

BITCOIND_RPC_PASSWORD=<Bitcoind user password>

  • Control x, y, enter to save and exit that
  • Next edit [nano docker-explorer.conf.tpl] and edit one line:
  • Next edit [nano docker-indexer.conf.tpl] and edit these lines:
  • Control x, y, enter to save and exit
  • Next edit [nano docker-mysql.conf.tpl] you will be entering some passwords here that are sensitive. You may want to use a password manager to generate these and save them securely.
  • Control x, y, to save and exit
  • Next edit [nano docker-node.conf.tpl] and edit the lines with more strong passwords:
  • cd back one directory with [cd ..]
  • Use [./dojo.sh install] to install. It will ask you to confirm
  • This is going to take some time to finish. Leave running in the background and use a different terminal for now
  • In the new terminal cd into your my-dojo directory with [cd dojo-app/docker/my-dojo/]
  • Get your onion address with [./dojo.sh onion]
  • Copy your onion address and paste it into a tor browser. Add [/admin] at the end of it.
  • This password is the NODE_ADMIN_KEY password you set earlier
  • Underneath “tools” click “Pair”
  • In the Samourai wallet android app, setup your wallet. It is recommended that you use a fresh wallet for this. Go through the wallet setup instructions and be sure to use a strong passphrase. Be sure to backup your wallet in a way that cannot be corrupted.

Install Whirlpool CLI

  • In a terminal, make a whirlpool directory with [mkdir whirlpool]
  • cd into that with [cd whirlpool]
  • Find the whirlpool client here: https://code.samourai.io/whirlpool/whirlpool-client-cli/-/releases
  • In the terminal type [wget https://code.samourai.io/whirlpool/whirlpool-client-cli/uploads/3259fdd4a6ea87de3e138db592593558/whirlpool-client-cli-0.10.15-run.jar] keep an eye on the version number
  • We need java installed on our node for whirlpool cli to work. The command [java] to see a list of available java installs. Use the most recent version. The command will look something like this depending on the latest version number available [sudo apt install openjdk-17-jre-headless]
  • Then run [java -jar whirlpool-client-cli-0.10.15-run.jar –init] keep an eye on version number and make sure it matches what you downloaded.
  • It will ask you for your pairing payload from your Samourai wallet. You can find that under settings à transactions à experimental à pair to whirlpool GUI. It is a long string of characters that you can copy. That should be pasted into the terminal request and hit enter
  • It might ask you to OK using over tor. Say yes. It will ask you for your wallet’s passphrase. Enter that. CLI will be running in that window.
  • Control C to stop the service so that we can setup a service file to ensure whirlpool fires up everytime your nodes powers on.
  • Use the command [sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/whirlpool.service] to add that file and copy and paste this in (keep an eye on version number, change the NODEUSERNAME places to yours)

ExecStart=/usr/bin/java -jar whirlpool-client-cli-0.10.15-run.jar --server=mainnet --tor --auto-mix --mixs-target=0 --listen

  • Let’s start that with [sudo systemctl daemon-reload]
  • Enable with [sudo systemctl enable whirlpool]
  • Start with [sudo systemctl start whirlpool]
  • Check status with [sudo systemctl status whirlpool]
  • If status looks good you can now download the Whirlpool GUI to your computer (not your Bitcoin node, the computer you will interface with your node) here https://samouraiwallet.com/download
  • Open up the GUI and select advanced option
  • In the URL type <your node’s IP address>:8899
  • In the API key you can find that in a file in your whirlpool directory called whirlpool-cli-config.properties. Nano into that with [nano whirlpool-cli-config.properties] and you should see that key that you need to copy and paste into the whirlpool GUI.
  • The GUI will ask you for your wallet’s passphrase

At this point you can navigate around the GUI and learn the different mixing pools available, configurations, etc.

Install your own mempool.space instance on Ubuntu Server – Upgrade your Bitcoin Node

If you prefer video and don’t need help to install your own mempool.space instance on Ubuntu server, see this video for instructions. Use the below text as a way to help when you run in to something you don’t understand.

Install mempool.space

Install mempool

  • Go to https://github.com/mempool/mempool
  • There is a green button there that says ‘code’ click that
  • Copy the link https://github.com/mempool/mempool.git
  • In your home directory type command [git clone https://github.com/mempool/mempool.git]
  • cd into mempool directory using [cd mempool]
  • [ls] should show you that there is a docker directory there
  • cd into docker directory using [cd docker]
  • [ls] there to see the docker-compose.yml file
  • Edit that file using the command [sudo nano docker-compose.yml]
  • On the lines that reads “    restart: on-failure” change on-failure to ‘always’ so that this file always starts up when the system boots.
  • On the line that has – 80:8080 change to – 4080:8080 (you don’t have to change this, but the rest of the guide assumes you did)
  • The line that has “      CORE_RPC_HOST: “” change the IP address to match your nodes IP address on your network. IT IS CRITICAL THAT YOU REMEMBER THIS CHANGE FOR FUTURE MAINTENANCE. If the IP address on your node changes in the future you will need to go into this file and edit that again.
  • On the lines that have username and password for core, change to your user name and password you used for bitcoind.
  • This page will have directions for linking your mempool instance to your fulcrum server https://github.com/mempool/mempool/tree/master/docker
  • Those directions are: Change the line that says “ MEMPOOL_BACKEND: “none” change none to “electrum”
  • At the line that says “environment:” hit enter at the end of the line to add a new space below it and add the lines:
      ELECTRUM_PORT: "50002"
      ELECTRUM_TLS: "true"
  • Add this to the bottom of the file if you intend to add other software that will use docker:
    driver: bridge
        - subnet:
  • Control x, y, enter to save and leave the file back to the directory
  • Now type command [docker-compose up] and you should see activity happening
  • Login to a different terminal window and type in [docker ps] and you should see the docker container for mempool being run there
  • Go to your web browser to test this. Use your IP address to visit your mempool instance. An example is: Use your IP addres and add :4080 at the end (or whatever extension you used)

You should now have your own working mempool.space instance. It will take some time for yours to have the graphs looking the same as mempool.space.

EDIT: Some people noted in the comment section on youtube that there are connection errors caused by the docker-compose.yml directions from above. Twitter user @gwaaan1 noted that if you replace the below and use it instead of the above it should work:

      ELECTRUM_PORT: "50002"

Install Fulcrum server on Ubuntu Server – Upgrade your Bitcoin Node

If you prefer video and don’t need my help to install Fulcrum Server on Ubuntu server, see this video for instructions. Use the below text as a way to help when you run in to something you don’t understand.

  • Go to https://github.com/cculianu/Fulcrum/releases
  • Find the right download for you (likely the /Fulcrum-*.*.*-x86_64-linux.tar.gz version)
  • Right click and copy that link
  • Go to your downloads folder in terminal with the [cd downloads] command
  • Now download that file using the command [wget <link to file>]
  • You should see the file get downloaded in the terminal window
  • In your home directory make a new folder. You can go to your home folder with the command [cd ~]
  • Then type [mkdir fulcrum] to create that directory in your home directory
  • Make another directory [mkdir fulcrum_db] also in your home directory
  • You can type [ls] to confirm those directories are there
  • Back to downloads directory [cd downloads]
  • Unzip the fulcrum download using [tar xvf <fulcrum filename>] (you can copy the filename by typing [ls] in the downloads directory and copying the file name there.
  • The terminal should show you new filepaths written
  • Copy the file path
  • Now move all of those files to the fulcrum files you already created with the command [mv Fulcrum-1.7.0-x86_64-linux/* /home/<your username>/fulcrum ] (replace with your version number. Replace <your username> with your username)
  • Verify the move by [cd ~] to your home directory, then [cd fulcrum] to go to the fulcrum directory. Use command [ls] to check that the files are there
  • Use this command to allow fulcrum to query the network in an encrypted way [openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -new -nodes -x509 -days 3650 -keyout key.pem -out cert.pem]
  • You will be asked to answer some questions. No need to answer, leave blank hitting ‘enter’ for each.
  • Type [ls] command to verify the key.pem file and the cert.pem are created
  • Change the filename of the fulcrum-example-config.conf file to just fulcrum.conf with the command [mv fulcrum-example-config.conf fulcrum.conf]
  • Edit that file with [sudo nano fulcrum.conf]
  • Under basic options change datadir path to: /home/<username>/fulcrum_db
  • Make rpcuser = <your bitcoin username> (you set this when you installed bitcoind)
  • Make rpcpassword = <your bitcoin password> (you set this when you installed bitcoind)
  • On the line that reads “#ssl =” remove the #
  •  Go to the line that reads “#cert = /path/to/server-cert.pem” remove the # and change the path to /home/<yourusername>/fulcrum/cert.pem
  • Go the the line that has the key.pem file, remove the # and change the path to “key = /home/<YOURUSERNAME>/fulcrum/key.pem”
  • Find line that reads #peering = true and remove the hashtag. Change true to false.
  • Find  line that reads #fast-sync = 0 and remove the #. Change zero to 5000. This means you are letting fulcrum use 5 gigs of ram capacity to sync up. Adjust accordingly based on your scenario.
  • Control x, y, enter to save the file and exit
  • Create a service file in order for fulcrum to start up on boot. Do that by going to your home directory with [cd ~] and command [sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/fulcrum.service]
  • Paste this into the fulcrum.service file:

ExecStart=/home/<username>/fulcrum/Fulcrum /home/<yourusername>/fulcrum/fulcrum.conf

  • Hit control x, y, and enter to save and exit
  • Now we enable the fulcrum service [sudo systemctl enable fulcrum.service]
  • Start it [sudo systemctl start fulcrum.service]
  • Check the status [sudo systemctl status fulcrum.service] to see if it worked
  • Check the logs to see fulcrum downloading in a different terminal with [journalctl -fu fulcrum.service]

This will take hours to finish syncing, maybe half a day. When it is done you should be able to connect Sparrow Wallet to your fulcrum server if you are on the same network. Here are instructions for connecting (if you already have Sparrow Wallet on your computer, you can jump to timestamp 4:45 for connection instructions):