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You can install Stellar Core a number of different ways, and once you do, you can configure it to participate in the network on a several different levels: it can be a Watcher, a Basic Validator, or a Full Validator. No matter how you install Stellar Core or what kind of node you run, however, you need to set up to connect to the peer-to-peer network, store the state of the ledger in a SQL database, and most likely connect to Horizon, the Stellar API.

Compute Requirements

We recently asked Stellar Core operators about their setups, and should have some updated information soon based on their responses. So stay tuned. In early 2018, Stellar Core with PostgreSQL running on the same machine worked well on a m5.large in AWS (dual core 2.5 GHz Intel Xeon, 8 GB RAM). Storage-wise, 20 GB was enough in 2018, but the ledger has grown a lot since then, and most people seem to have at least 1TB on hand.

If you are running Stellar Core in conjunction with Horizon, you will need to ensure that your setup is also equipped to handle Horizon’s compute requirements as well.

Stellar Core is designed to run on relatively modest hardware so that a whole range of individuals and organizations can participate in the network, and basic nodes should be able to function pretty well without tremendous overhead. That said, the more you ask of your node, the greater the requirements.

Network access

Stellar Core interacts with the peer-to-peer network to keep a distributed ledger in sync, which means that your node needs to make certain TCP ports available for inbound and outbound communication.

  • Inbound: a Stellar Core node needs to allow all ips to connect to its PEER_PORT over TCP. You can specify a port when you configure Stellar Core, but most people use the default, which is 11625.
  • Outbound: a Stellar Core needs to connect to other nodes via thier PEER_PORTs TCP. You can find information about other nodes’ PEER_PORTs on a network explorer like Stellarbeat, but most use the default port, which is, again, 11625.

Internal System Access

Stellar Core also needs to connect to certain internal systems, though exactly how varies based on your setup.

  • Outbound:
    • Stellar Core requires access to a postgreSQL database. If that databse resides on a different machine on your network, you’ll need to allow that connection. You specify the databse when you configure Stellar Core.
    • You can block all other connections.
  • Inbound: Stellar Core exposes an unauthenticated HTTP endpoint on its HTTP_PORT. You can specify a port when you configure Stellar Core, but most people use the default, which is 11626.
    • The HTTP_PORT is used by Horizon to submit transactions, so may have to be exposed to the rest of your internal ips
    • It’s also used to query Stellar Core info and provide metrics
    • And to perform administrative commands such as scheduling upgrades and changing log levels
    • For more on that, see commands

Note: if you need to expose your HTTP endpoint to other hosts in your local network,we recommended using an intermediate reverse proxy server to implement authentication. Don’t expose the HTTP endpoint to the raw and cruel open internet.

Last updated Sep. 23, 2020

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