Every tutorial I have gone through to download bitcoind, I haven't been able to complete because my computer can't handle the full node download.

These are my specs: 2017 Processor - 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 Memory - 8 GB Storage: 50.8 GB available.

What's the lightest way I can run testnet so I can develop applications / hardware with the protocol but not buy new hardware (can't afford it)?

Many thanks for any suggestions.

  • Can't handle it in what way? You can run in 'pruning mode', so that you won't have to keep the entire blockchain history (lessen the storage requirement).
    – chytrik
    Commented Sep 13, 2019 at 10:10

2 Answers 2


I develop on regtest, and only later test on testnet; my regtest folder is 18Mb in size. Regtest also has on-demand mining meaning I don't have to wait on the miners among other advantages.

My testnet3 folder is now 27Gb in size suggesting you should be able to accommodate it without problem. The full blockchain for mainnet is almost 250Gb. A second-hand 300Gb disk is less than $20 however if you're out of cash I suggest you get in contact with Bitcoin groups local to you, and local computer fixing stores - if they're anything like me, they'll have an old, small disk you can take for free.

  • This was very helpful, thank you! Do you mean an external or internal hard drive?
    – user98291
    Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 17:00
  • If your machine can support an internal disk you would want to prefer one on the grounds they are cheaper and cause fewer problems than equivalent capacity external disks. IME they are also more likely to be surplussed over from upgraded machines and so just waiting on someone's shelf. Commented Sep 11, 2019 at 20:42

You can run your node in pruned mode if storage is your concern. Reduce Storage

If you want to try to use bitcoin on testnet you can use Electrum wallet. Be sure to download it from their official website https://electrum.org/. (Do not download Electrum from another source than electrum.org, and learn to verify GPG signatures.)

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