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What Will We Do

Hopefully the previous page didn't scare you off. It's not going be too bad as you will see.

We have already outlined, in very broad strokes, what a HAB Node does in How? So, let's now look a little closer at what is needed to get that how working. Looking at the menu/outline at the left will get you a decent outline, but considering it seems like a lot, let's bring some cohesion to it.

To create a Highly Available Bitcoin Node, we will:

  1. Design a cluster on paper tailored to your specific situation (up next)
  2. Review guide terminology and methodology for achieving that design
  3. Prep our Control Computer with needed software
  4. Name, organize, network and prep host computers, so they are ready to enter into a cluster (Layer 1 - Hosts)
  5. Cluster these host computers together with Kubernetes (Layer 2 - K3s: Vanilla)
  6. Provision our cluster with apps and services that make it welcoming for Bitcoin (Layer 2 - K3s: Live)
  7. Add Bitcoin to the cluster (Layer 3 - Bitcoin)

Undoubtedly, this can seem intimidating. But don't grow faint-hearted, the vast majority of this guide is reading and comprehension not doing.

The Content vs The Commands

To that end, here is a (nearly) full list of the commands that will be required to spin up a HAB Node from this guide, assuming your hosts are imaged and networked, and your Control Computer has all the software installed correctly:


It should go without saying but, DO NOT run this code block. We will run these commands one by one in the guide.

git clone
echo $0
echo 'alias apb="ansible-playbook"' >> ~/.zshrc && source ~/.zshrc
mkdir ~/.HAB
echo '#!/bin/sh\n\necho '"\"$(/usr/bin/openssl rand -base64 63 | tr -d '\n')\"" > ~/.HAB/.ansible_vault_access
chmod +x ~/.HAB/.ansible_vault_access
cd hab-plays
ansible-config dump --only-changed
apb Hosts/validate-hostname.yml --extra-vars "hostName=test1"
apb Hosts/prep-raw-pis-for-boot-from-usb.yml -e "subnet="
apb Hosts/standup-vanilla.yml -e "rawhosts=pi1,pi2,pi3,pi4,pi5"
apb Hosts/standup-vanilla.yml -e "rawhosts=nuc1,nuc2 nameservers=, timezone=EST"
touch ~/.HAB/vault-hosts
ansible-vault encrypt ~/.HAB/vault-hosts
cat ~/.HAB/vault-hosts
awk 'NR>=6' ~/.HAB/inventory/host-plan.tpl > ~/.HAB/inventory/host-plan-$(date "+%Y-%m-%d")
apb Hosts/standup-live.yml -e "plan=host-plan-2022-03-17"
apb K3s/standup-vanilla.yml -e 'vip= serviceRange='
kubectl get nodes -o wide
apb K3s/standup-live.yml
helm repo add gildedpleb
helm show values gildedpleb/hab > values.hab.yml
helm install hab gildedpled/hab -f values.hab.yaml

Yup. That's it. That's the entire guide. Just short of 25 commands, many of which can be combined, and some of which are not needed but offer some fun or verification. Less than 25 commands will get you a production grade industrially defended node, and nearly unlimited optionality, a setup not dissimilar to how trillions of value in the legacy web is presently managed and defended—all from home. Of course, you will have to edit some text files, change some settings, the exact commands you run will be slightly different, and you'll have to work with additional UIs, but the above commands constitute all the heavy lifting.


We are striving to make it so a full 95% of what this guide entails is reading to understand what the few lines of codes you are to execute are doing. This is for at least two reasons:

  1. We hope that this seems intuitively important; this will hopefully make any future HAB Node work that seeks to wrap these commands (or commands like them) into a friendly GUI as easy as possible, so that future HAB Node setups may not have to run commands at all but instead can simply open up a management GUI and drag and drop.
  2. We hope that this teaches other developers unfamiliar with the stack the entry level architecture needed to get up to speed on the technology quickly so that they can start thinking about this stuff practically in how they develop other bitcoin ecosystem apps.

This is also a note on just how fresh this technology truly is. We hope that from here, this guide would become two separate setup paths: a guide like RaspiBolt and a straightforward GUI solution.

Is "One Click" Possible?

Unfortunately, we don't think it's feasible to get a HAB Node set up with "1 click" until we can codify best practices around choosing roles for hosts. The difficulty lies in an answer to this question: Under what metrics should the quorum of leaders be distinguished from the workers? Presently, it depends on number of hosts, host type, location, compute, hardware, storage, stability, connectivity, etc., and for all of those loose metrics, we must determine how they are quantified. Until best practices are known, the answers here will be opinionated and dependent on operator capabilities, resources, and budget.

Point is, it seems like there will be, for a while to come, a needed step where the operator decides who is who among his hosts and how each should be provisioned. As such, a HAB Node can not be created in "1 click". But let's not overstate that: with netbooting and a GUI, we can get incredibly close. It's not inconceivable to get there with "n clicks" where n does not exceed the number of hosts.

A first order solution to achieve that may be to investigate the feasibility of making all hosts control plane hosts, so long as there are an odd number of these hosts, and they meet control plane best practices, then make the remainder (if any) workers.

Now that we have some more details about what we are about to do, let's address a few design and practical considerations which will affect how we build our node, the hardware that we choose to employ, and how we will think about roles.