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I want to install the bitcoind daemon on a computer with relatively little free space (about 35GB available). I thought that the blockchain was some 20 GB in size and figured that would be no problem, but I'm running into disk space issues. What I did was:

  • First I tried the torrent file to bootstrap the blockchain. I downloaded the whole dat file and then tried importing, but on importing it I ran into disk issues. About half of it was imported before the disk was full.
  • I then removed the bootstrap file and let bitcoind load the blockchain from peers. I seems that it did use the half-imported bootstrap file so the first bit was quite fast.
  • However, I now have 36GB in the blocks directory, and my drive is full. Still not all is downloaded!

My question is:

  • Is the blockchain really this big?
  • Are there any files I could remove, given my particular way of going about this?

I have a blk00001-00253, and rev00001-rev00253 in my blocks directory. Can I remove those rev files perhaps?

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    Forget about the torrent file completely. It's slower and actually requires double the disk space while it's being processed (as you've discovered). – Jannes May 21 '15 at 8:00
  • The answer given is correct but I would add that you can also move the blockchain to external storage if you have a spare drive. You can specify the data directory like so: -datadir=<dir> on command line launch but there is no similar setting for the bitcoin.conf file so running bitcoind that way you might want to write a simple shell script to launch it for you. – John May 22 '15 at 13:08
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Depends what you want to do. Remember, to use bitcoin you don't necessarily need a full-node. You can use many of the lightweight clients that exist out there which rely on Simplified Payment Verification (SPV). But if you want to be a full node (perhaps you're mining or you want to verify transactions yourself), then you need to download the entire blockchain which is almost 35GB large: https://blockchain.info/charts/blocks-size

  • Thanks. I need the full blockchain for my purposes. Weird that it is 35GB and mine is already 36GB and not yet fully downloaded. – user May 21 '15 at 7:52
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    @user on disk a few indexes are created in addition to just the blockchain data. Also depending on how you look at it, you might be comparing 1 GB as 1,000,000,000 bytes in one place to 1024*1024*1024 in another. You could consider running a pruning node, which is practically the same as a full node (including security), except it throws away some of the old history. Version 0.11 will make that possible. – Jannes May 21 '15 at 8:07
  • Yeah I guess that accounts for the small difference. In any way the answer is: yes, the blockchain is currently ~35GB, so I'll mark this answer as accepted. Thanks! – user May 21 '15 at 8:56

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