I have a Raspberry Pi with 925 MB of memory. Bitcoin Core, operating as a full node, uses between 600-900 MB. How can I reduce bitcoind's memory usage?

I tried setting maxmempool to its minimum allowed value, 5. What about maxreceivebuffer and maxsendbuffer? Would setting these to a low value reduce memory usage?

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    Short comment before writing a full answer: a 5 MB mempool isn't particularly useful. You might as well disable the mempool entirely with -blocksonly. – Pieter Wuille Jan 6 '17 at 0:26
  • @PieterWuille That's a good suggestion. I didn't know about that option. It probably lowers memory usage, too. In fact, this Reddit post on running a node on a 512 MB Raspberry Pi mentions using that flag, too. – Geremia Jan 6 '17 at 0:50
  • With -blocksonly you don't have any mempool at all. – Pieter Wuille Jan 10 '17 at 2:10

The largest consumers of memory are:

  • The memory pool (reduce with -maxmempool, or disable entirely with -blocksonly if you don't care about unconfirmed transactions).
  • The UTXO cache (reduce with -dbcache, at the cost of potentially much slower syncing).
  • The signature cache (reduce with -maxsigcachesize).

In addition, you can also reduce the maximum number of connections (-maxconnections) or the number of RPC threads (-rpcthreads).

A viable minimum configuration without mempool could be -blocksonly -dbcache=20 -maxsigcachesize=4 -maxconnections=4 -rpcthreads=1.

  • -blocksonly alone brought my node's memory footprint down to about ~700 MB. I also have -banscore set to 1, which seems to help get rid of spammy nodes that flood my node with bad transactions. – Geremia Jan 12 '17 at 15:04
  • Was still crashing with me! But setting also maxmempool=100 was causing bitcoind to be at ca. 570MB RSS, that works on my 1GB VPS. – Borph Mar 20 '17 at 8:48
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    I used the follow options: blocksonly=1 dbcache=50 maxorphantx=10 maxmempool=100 maxconnections=32 and bitcoind is running smoothly on my raspberrypi with the follow Memory footprint VSZ 422524 and RSZ 266956 – Alex Sep 4 '17 at 19:39

Followed your parameter:

bitcoind -blocksonly=1 -dbcache=50 -maxorphantx=10 -maxmempool=100 & 

Now I have only 286M memory used with bitcoind running.

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    Please don't use the "answer" box to write "thank you" type comments. Please take the tour and check this faq on deleted answers. – Hannah Vernon Sep 21 '18 at 19:29
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    In my opinion this answer does add a bit more new information so I don't think it needs to be deleted – MeshCollider Sep 23 '18 at 12:55
  • Why are you setting -maxmemool if you already have -blocksonly? Seems redundant to me but I might be missing something. – Gunar Gessner Jan 31 at 18:39

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