This is a quick guide for setting up a Bitcoin Lightning node on
mainnet. For simplicity, only the Go based implementations are used. Other setups might be easier on resources (e.g. using
bitcoind instead of
btcd might sync faster).
I try to show what to do first and provide context second.
Be aware that you are now entering the danger zone! I tested this tutorial thoroughly but cannot take any responsibility for any lost funds or other harm resulting from following it.
$GOPATH, and add
$ go get -u github.com/Masterminds/glide $ git clone https://github.com/btcsuite/btcd $GOPATH/src/github.com/btcsuite/btcd $ cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/btcsuite/btcd $ glide install $ go install . ./cmd/...
$ btcd -u someUserName -P someRandomPassword -b /ssd/with/300/gb --addcheckpoint='optional/checkpoint'
This is a long running process, so you should probably run it in a
screen session, or better yet using some process manager like
-P are needed so
lnd can connect to
btcd later. Use a strong password!
To speed up syncing a little more, you can add a recent checkpoint, e.g.
--addcheckpoint='510873:0000[…]f16a'. The checkpoint consists of a block along with its hash. You should not blindly copy it but instead validate via multiple sources (Blockchain explorers, etc.).
btcd should start syncing, validating and indexing the Blockchain to the folder you provided via
-b. This folder should reside on a large fast SSD, since there will be a lot of disk access.
The process will also use a lot of CPU, memory and bandwidth. If you value time more than money, start up a powerful virtual machine somewhere and scale it down when syncing is done. You may then also switch from SSD to HDD to save cost. I used google compute engine with a high CPU, 8 core instance and 300gb SSD. After 3 days of syncing I scaled down to 1 core and a HDD (by using a snapshot).
Let's go ahead and install
$ go get -u github.com/golang/dep/cmd/dep $ go get -u -d github.com/lightningnetwork/lnd $ cd $GOPATH/src/github.com/lightningnetwork/lnd $ dep ensure -v $ go install -v ./...
Now start it and provide the user and password params chosen when starting
$ lnd --bitcoin.active --bitcoin.mainnet --btcd.rpcuser=btcdUser --btcd.rpcpass=btcdPassword
This again is a long running process.
If you want other nodes to be able to initiate channels from their sides, depending on where your
lnd is running, you might either want to use
--nat (e.g. if your external IP is often changing), or bind to a specific IP and port to listen to:
--listen 126.96.36.199:9735. In case of my setup I had to use my node's local IP to bind to. Again, make sure that ingress to port
9735 is allowed!
To further encourage people to connect to your node, you might also want to add an alias, e.g.
--alias ln.example.com, and publish your
lnd comes with a command line interface. Use it to create a bitcoin wallet like this:
$ lncli create
Follow the instructions and use a strong wallet password.
You will need the seed (and the optional encryption passphrase) in case you want to restore your BTC wallet elsewhere. Make sure to keep a backup in a safe place or you
might will lose funds in the future!
Coming next: funding your wallet and opening channels.