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Bitcoin on Raspberry Pi

by Alan Milligan — last modified Jan 22, 2014 05:55 PM

Running your bitcoin wallet on a Raspberry Pi - an excellent idea!

I think almost everyone would agree that having your Bitcoin wallet on a separate, dedicated, secure server would be an excellent way to reduce the risk of compromising - and having your bitcoins stolen.  What better way to do this than using the creditcard-sized Raspberry Pi - which can be set up for around AUD 70.00.

 Raspberry Pi + Router


The above image shows a minimally sufficient setup with a consumer-grade ADSL modem/router's USB powering up a Pi and one of it's ports providing fast Ethernet for a online 24/7 BastionLinux™ server with annual electricity/running costs of less than a burger.

We've got bitcoin, BitcoinArmory, and a range of other bitcoin-orientated software compiled for Raspberry Pi/ARM (and other Enterprise Linux platform architectures).  With the BastionLinux™ distro, you get software upgrades, security patches and even our remote cloud-based configuration and monitoring management if you wish.

The most excellent thing regarding your bitcoin wallet for the Raspberry Pi is that even though the entire server is only cigarette-packet sized, it's all contained within the easily removable - and much smaller SD card (micro SD even).  It's also very cheap and easy to create an offline wallet (simply unplug the ethernet) on a separate SD for safekeeping.

Do note that presently the bitcoin blockchain is about 12GB so we'd recommend splashing out on a 32GB SD card.  If you're into offline wallets et al and are budget conscious, then 4GB would be fine (the full graphical desktop BastionLinux™ OS on the Pi is ~2GB).

So - why would you wish to do this?  Well clearly because you've got full physical control of the wallet.  You can advertise your bitcoin payment address(s) on other public web assets (your company/eCommerce website/wordpress blog etc) without the possibility of any third-party compromising your wallet!

In addition, BastionLinux™ on Raspberry Pi is delivered with a number of scripting languages and libraries (Perl, Python, Ruby) and it's easy to set up walletnotify and blocknotify triggers to integrate wallet transactions with other external systems you may have.  The Raspberry Pi is a server after all!  In fact, we even recommend full non-graphical daemon setup of bitcoin with our bitcoin-systemd background setup package and command-line bitcoin client.

Further, it's quite straightforward to set up and use the RPC interface with other clients such as Bitcoiner to access your wallet and accept and pay bitcoins in the full knowledge that your wallet and bitcoin value is physically safe regardless of whatever happens to you handset/ipad etc.

Instructions for downloading, installing, and setting up your BastionLinux™/Bitcoin wallet are here.

We're also very interested to know how much interest there is in us shipping pre-installed SD cards and/or SD + Raspberry Pi + cables. Please do feel free to drop us any feedback here.



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Alan Milligan

Alan Milligan

Alan Milligan

Location: Sydney, Australia
Alan Milligan
Alan is the principal technical architect of Last Bastion Network solutions in Australia. Alan's background is in application development with a number of global titans of retail and investment banking. Alan also has a history of CIO roles for a number of start ups where he delivers business value with open source solutions. Talk to Alan about how you can deliver critical infrastructure while mitigating risk and managing your existing vendor relationships.