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The Bitcoin.org page on Bitcoin Core Requirements and Warnings lists three types of setups:

# Type Disk Gb Gb / mo RAM Mb Windows
1 Bare Min (default) 350 8 / 150 512 7/8.x
2 Bare Min (custom) 5 5 / 0.3 256 7/8.x
3 Minimum Recommended 350 15 / 150 1,024 7/8.x/10

I don't think I want to dedicate 1/3 Tb to running Bitcoin Core, so #1 and #3 are impractical, but #2 seems feasible. However, there are two problems with #2:

  • The download specs for all three types have the footnote, "Plus a one-time 340 GB download the first time you start Bitcoin Core." That seems like a contradiction of the requirement of only 5 Gb of disk space for type #2. So which of the following is correct?

    • The footnote should not appear in type #2, or
    • The Disk space spec of 5 Gb is wrong, or
    • I'm allowed to discard the initial download after starting Core.
  • The spec says type #2 is not compatible with Windows 10. Is that true?

Summary: For the Bare Minimum (With Custom Settings), i.e., type #2 above:

  • Is the spec of 5 Gb minimum disk space correct? How is that not a contradiction of the footnote stating a requirement of an initial download of 340 Gb?
  • Is it compatible with Windows 10, even though that OS is not listed in the spec?
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The 350 GB (approximately) mentioned at the page - is the "whole blockhain". In order to run full node (like Bitcoin Core) the client must rerun full blockchain. After dowloading it, almost all blocks can be removed (this is called pruning is settings) which results to reducing storage capacity to 5 GB.

So, you are right with the guess #3 - your are allowed to discard initial download after starting Bitcoin Core.

Regarding the second question. Yes, it is compatible with Windows 10. Why win10 is mentioned in confusing way - I don't know. Perhaps it was meant that win10 is recommened but later someone added win7 and win8. Bitcoind requirements are in the documentation, so if you have any doubts you can look at spec.

Edit: there is already pull request to clarify documentation.

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Bare min setup uses the bitcoin's feature called pruning.

In prune mode your node will sync the whole blockchain (the data on the website is a bit outdated, it's closer to 400GB now), but it has to start from block 0. If you set your pruning to 5 GB, it will start syncing from block 0 till the 5GB limit and after that will still sync (so your internet connection has to go through whole 400GB) but will delete older blocks. So at the end your history will be only latest few dozen k blocks. But your node in the process will "parse" all the 400+ GB of data, just keeping latest 5GB at a time.

Yes, bitcoind/bitcoinqt works on windows 10 :)

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  • So does that mean that I start with a download of 400 Gb, but almost all of it will be deleted by the pruning process? – NewSites Jan 14 at 17:25
  • And when you say I have to go through the whole 400 Gb, is that once a day? Seems like that would blow way past limits set by my ISP. So using Core would seem to be only suitable for people with massive bandwidth available. Is that right? – NewSites Jan 14 at 17:31
  • @NewSites you will download 400GB in total (not every day) and you don’t need a hard drive with 400GB free space, only as much as your pruning is set to. – Mike D Jan 14 at 19:23
  • @NewSites you'll download 400Gb just once (first time) and if you'd run the node on a daily basis, you'll just download the update - so only the newest blocks - about 145Mb a day. – Tony Sanak Jan 14 at 19:32
  • @TonySanak , so what do you mean by, "your internet connection has to go through whole 400GB"? – NewSites Jan 14 at 21:06

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