Raspberry-Pi-DigiNode

Build a DigiNode with Raspberry Pi 4

There are many ways to build a DigiNode but using a Raspberry Pi 4 is probably the easiest. A Raspberry Pi is a single-board computer and its small form factor and relatively low price make it ideal for this purpose. It does not need a display, keyboard or mouse, and once built, you can place it on a shelf out of the way - the device can be entirely managed remotely from your main computer.

In addition to the Raspberry Pi itself, you will also need a SSD, PSU, a case and an ethernet cable (unless you are using wifi). Links for all these items are below. For the case and SSD, two options have been provided to suit different budgets:

  • The Argon One M.2 case holds both the Raspberry Pi and the SSD so your DigiNode is very compact and self-contained. This is the recommended case.
  • The Flirc case makes the entire build slightly cheaper, but it is less compact as the SSD in a separate external case.

Once you have all the parts you need, go here to begin setting up your DigiNode.

Shopping List

Option A: Argon One M.2 Case with Internal SSD
Elegant self-contained unit with fan cooling.
Option B: Flirc Case with External SSD
Cheaper. Passively cooled. Less compact.
Raspberry Pi 4 8GbRaspberry Pi 4 8Gb
Raspberry Pi 4 PSURaspberry Pi 4 PSU
Argon One M.2 SATA CaseFlirc Case for Pi 4
M.2 SATA SSD - 250GbCrucial 2.5" SSD 250Gb
USB A to USB A CableOrico USB 3.1 10Gbps USB-C SSD Enclosure
Ethernet CableEthernet Cable

Raspberry Pi 4 Model B 8Gb

The Raspberry Pi 4 Model B is available in 8Gb, 4Gb, 2Gb and 1Gb models. Only the 8Gb model is recommended. It can safely run a DigiByte Mainnet node, a DigiByte Testnet node and a DigiAsset Node at the same time on the same device.

With a 4Gb Pi 4, you should be able to run a single DigiByte Node ONLY (i.e. No DigiAsset Node). However, performance will be very sluggish, and it will require a large swap file that puts a lot of strain on the SSD. In short, 4Gb is fine for testing, but definitely not recommended for long term use.

The Pi 4 2Gb and 1Gb models do not have enough RAM and are not supported. Similarly, earlier Raspberry Pi models (Pi 3, Pi Zero etc.) are also not supported.

Be wary of price gouging - the MSRP of the Pi4 8Gb is $75 USD.

Purchase:

Genuine Raspberry Pi 4 Power Supply

Third-party power supplies can be cheaper but are frequently prone to voltage issues. Since the Pi is also powering the SSD, it is highly recommended to purchase a genuine official Raspberry Pi 4 power supply.

Purchase:

Option A: Argon One M.2 Case with internal SSD

ProsCons
More compact - SSD is enclosed in the Pi caseNot the cheapest option
Active cooling (Fan included)
Better performance with an optional NVMe SSD

Argon ONE M.2 Case for Raspberry Pi 4 (SATA SSD Model)

The Argon One case is aluminium which helps to passively cool the Pi, and the SSD is housed within the case making the entire device nice and compact. The fan can be controlled by software to activate it at the desired temperature threshold.

Note that there are two variants of the Argon One M.2 Case - one that supports a M.2 SATA SSD (slower) and the other supports a M.2 NVME SSD (faster). Either is suitable but you need to buy the correct SSD to match your chosen case. (See SSD info below.). These links below are for the SATA case.

Purchase:

M.2 SATA SSD

Depending on which Argon M.2 case you choose, you need to choose the correct type of M.2 SSD - SATA or NVME. NVME is newer technology and faster, but SATA is more than adequate for a DigiNode, unless you want the extra performance. Note that M.2 NVME and M.2 SATA connectors are different - SATA connectors have two gaps whereas NVME connectors have one. Learn more about the diference between NVME and SATA here. The links below are for a SATA SSD.

As of January 2024, a DigiNode requires approximately 50GB of space. You can choose any size of SSD you want that is larger than this. A 250Gb SSD would be an excellent choice, or 500Gb to be more future proof.

Purchase:

USB-A to USB-A Cable (or USB-A to USB-C if you have a newer computer)

Since the SSD is enclosed in the Argon One M.2 case, this cable helps you connect the SSD directly to your computer to write the operating system image. Without it you will likely need to first boot the Raspberry Pi from Raspberry Pi OS on a microSD card and then burn the image on to the SSD from that making the setup process longer and more complicated. This cable makes the setup process much simpler, and avoids unnecesary headaches! It is optional but highly recommended.

If your computer is newer, and only has USB-C ports (e.g. most new Macs) then you will need a USB-A to USB-C cable.

Option B: Flirc Case with external SSD

ProsCons
Slightly cheaperPassive Cooling Only (No Fan)
Less compact (SSD is in a seperate case)

Flirc Case for Raspberry Pi 4

This Flirc case is made of aluminium, and the entire case acts as a heat sync to keep your Pi cool. It does not inculde a fan. During the intial sync of the blockchain it can get quite hot, but the rest of the time is should be fine. If you choose a case without a fan make sure it has passive cooling of some kind.

Purchase:

Orico USB 3.1 10Gbps USB-C SSD Enclosure

You can use whichever SSD enclosure you like but try to ensure it is at least USB 3.1 Gen 2 10Gbps. Some enclosures are only Gen 1 5Gbps.

Purchase:

Crucial 2.5" SSD

As of December 2022, DigiNode requires approximately 45GB of space. You can choose any size of SSD you want that is larger than this. A 250Gb SSD would be an excellent choice, or 500Gb to be more future proof.

Purchase:

Ethernet Cable

While it is possible to connect your DigiNode to the Internet using the Pi 4's built-in Wi-Fi, for a more reliable connection, it is advisable to use an ethernet cable to connect it directly to your router. This is not required but is recommended. That said, as long as there there is a decent Wi-Fi signal where you plan to locate your DigiNode, it should work fine.

Purchase:

  • Amazon.fr
  • Amazon.it
  • Amazon.nl
  • Amazon.se
  • Amazon.sg

Disclaimer: This page includes affiliate links. By using them, you are helping to support development of DigiNode Tools. Thank you for your support, Olly

DigiFact # 42 - Did you know...
DigiBytes MultiAlgo means 5x algorithms all continuously compete for every single block. Others such as X16R are very different, instead rotating through each sub-algorithm with all miners swapping and using that same. As such, X16R is still a "single algorithm" compared with DigiBytes 5x MultiAlgo implementation.

Copyright 2021-2024 Olly Stedall © All Rights Reserved

Please Donate: dgb1qv8psxjeqkau5s35qwh75zy6kp95yhxxw0d3kup