How to set up a node with Umbrel

Needed:

Optional:

The Raspberry Pi 4 Kit with the Samsung SSD and hard drive case
  1. You probably have most of this already laying around the house in one form or another.
  2. I would recommend buying the 4 GB RAM Pi4. You can save some money and use the 2 GB version but it will limit the services you can use with the MyNode software. Conversely, you can future proof and buy the 8 GB version but since the software isn’t 64 bit compatible it will only take advantage of 4 of the 8 GB so you aren’t getting the full performance boost and wasting money.
  3. When I synched the blockchain and downloaded the Electrum server, it reached 573 GB before it was compressed down to 480 GB despite the Bitcoin blockchain being about 320 GB. Depending upon how you want to use it, you may want to use a 1 TB driver rather than a 512 GB model.
  4. Finally, if you use an old hard drive, it will erase everything on the drive so make sure you remove any important files you have on it.
Pi 4 with three heat sinks

Apps to download

On the left hand side, click on the app store. There are all kinds of applications you can start to use but here are the ones you should definitely take advantage of immediately:

  1. Mempool.space — Mempool.space is a great website in general that can help you save on fees, enhance your privacy, and more. For a full introduction, you can read the article I wrote about it here.
  2. BTC RPC Explorer — BTC Explorer is your very own block explorer. Rather than looking up transactions on a public block explorer that can link your IP address to the transaction hash, this like mempool.space, queries your own node to ensure the transaction went through.
  3. Thunderhub — There are numerous lightning wallets you can use but find that Thunderhub has the most comprehensive set of features for node management beyond the standard ability to send and receive.

Apps to consider

  1. Samourai Server — This is the backend to the popular Samourai Wallet that will allow you to coinjoin your transactions with Whirlpool.
  2. Vaultwarden — You may have a password manager already like Lastpass or 1Password but Vaultwarden is the self hosted version of Bitwarden. This mitigates the backdoor risk of having all of your passwords with a trusted third party. Rather than having that data on their servers, it is stored locally on your own node.
  3. NextCloud — This is an open source and self hosted version of Google Drive, iCloud, or Dropbox. Rather than relying on another company to store your files, you can store them yourself. Note that the size of your SSD required will probably change if you use this depending upon how many photos and files you would like to store.

Settings to change

On the left hand side, click on the settings icon.

  1. Turn on 2FA. I recommend Yubico, Aegis, or Google Authenticator. If you use Authy, be sure to turn off the setting where additional devices can be added so a hacker cannot get into your account.
  2. Ensure Tor is running for Bitcoin, Lightning, and Remote access.
  3. Change the temperature to your preferred unit of account.
  4. Backup your seed phrase if you skipped it above!
  5. Copy and save that remote access Tor address and save it somewhere so you can access your node on your phone or laptop while away from home.

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Raymond Durk

Raymond Durk

Making shoes you love @atoms. Under caffeinated and over connected. MBA in Sustainability. Please consider the environment before printing this tweet.