Set up your node

This guide will help you set up a Core Lightning node. You'll be up and running in a jiffy!

The Core Lightning implementation has been in production use on the Bitcoin mainnet since early 2018, with the launch of the Blockstream Store. We recommend getting started by experimenting on testnet (or regtest), but the implementation is considered stable and can be safely used on mainnet.

The following steps will get you up and running with Core Lightning:

1. Prerequisites

  • Operating System

    Core Lightning is available on Linux and macOS. To run Core Lightning on Windows, consider using docker.

  • Hardware

    The requirements to run a Core Lightning node, at a minimum, are 4 GB RAM, ~500 GB of storage if you're running a Bitcoin Core full node, or less than 5 GB of storage if you run a pruned Bitcoin Core node or connect to Bitcoin Core remotely. Finally, a trivial amount of reliable network bandwidth is expected.

    For a thorough understanding of the best hardware setup for your usage / scenario, see guidance at hardware considerations.

  • Bitcoin Core

    Core Lightning requires a locally (or remotely) running bitcoind (version 0.16 or above) that is fully caught up with the network you're running on, and relays transactions (ie with blocksonly=0). Pruning (prune=n option in bitcoin.conf) is partially supported, see here for more details. You can also connect your Core Lightning node to a remotely running Bitcoin Core, see here to learn how.

2. Install Core Lightning

3. Configure your node as per your requirements (optional)