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Known as a 'client', this software downloads a copy of the Ethereum blockchain and verifies the validity of every block, then keeps it up-to-date with new blocks and transactions, and helps others download and update their own copies.
Ethereum is designed to run a node on average consumer-grade computers. You can use any personal computer, but most users opt to run their node on dedicated hardware to eliminate the performance impact on their machine and minimize node downtime.
Running an Ethereum node may sound complicated at first, but it's merely the act of continuously running client software on a computer while connected to the internet. While offline, your node will simply be inactive until it gets back online and catches up with the latest changes.
Everyone! Nodes are not just for proof-of-stake validators. Anyone can run a node—you don't even need ETH.
In the earlier days of the network, users needed to have the ability to interface with the command-line in order to operate an Ethereum node.
Spin up an Ethereum node
If this is your preference, and you've got the skills, feel free to check out our technical docs.
Now we have DAppNode, which is free and open-source software that gives users an app-like experience while managing their node.
In just a few taps you can have your node up and running.
DAppNode makes it easy for users to run full nodes, as well as dapps and other P2P networks, with no need to touch the command-line. This makes it easier for everyone to participate and create a more decentralized network.
You'll need some hardware to get started. Although running node software is possible on a personal computer, having a dedicated machine can greatly enhance the performance of your node while minimizing its impact on your primary computer.
When selecting hardware, consider that the chain is continually growing, and maintenance will inevitably be needed. Increasing specs can help delay the need for node maintenance.
Order a plug and play option from vendors for the simplest onboarding experience.
No command-line required.
A cheaper and more customizable option for slightly more technical users.
4 - 8 GB RAM
2 TB SSD
SSD necessary for required write speeds.
Not required, but provides easier setup and most consistent connection
Unless you're using DAppNode, or ssh/headless setup
When you're ready with your hardware, the DAppNode operating system can be downloaded using any computer and installed onto a fresh SSD via a USB drive.
For maximum control, experienced users may prefer using the command line instead.
See our developer docs for more information on getting started with client selection.
Online platforms such as Discord or Reddit are home to a large number of community builders willing to help you with any questions you may encounter.
Don't go at it alone. If you have a question it's likely someone here can help you find an answer.
Though not required, with a node up and running you're one step closer to staking your ETH to earn rewards and help contribute to a different component of Ethereum security.
To maximize the efficiency of your validator, a minimum of 16 GB RAM is recommended, but 32 GB is better, with a CPU benchmark score of 6667+ on cpubenchmark.net(opens in a new tab). It is also recommended that stakers have access to unlimited high-speed internet bandwidth, though this is not an absolute requirement.
EthStaker goes into more detail in this hour long special - How to shop for Ethereum validator hardware(opens in a new tab)
Raspberry Pis are lightweight and affordable computers, but they have limitations that may impact the performance of your node. Though not currently recommended for staking, these can be an excellent and inexpensive option for running a node for personal use, with as little as 4 - 8 GB of RAM.