Hardware Requirements for Nodes

Hello, I have recently noticed a pain point for decentralization in the Algorand network. I am sure I’m not the first person to notice or think of this, but I feel this may be a topic worth discussing.

It seems that the hardware requirements for running a node on the Algorand network are pretty steep. From the developer documentation, the requirements for participation and relay nodes are as follows:

Recommended system specification for participation nodes is:

  • 8 vCPU
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 100 GB NVMe SSD or equivalent
  • 1 Gbps connection with low latency

Recommended system specification for relay nodes is:

  • 16 vCPU
  • 32 GB RAM
  • 3 TB NVMe SSD or equivalent
  • 30 TB/month egress
  • 1 Gbps connection with very low latency

As someone who lives in an apartment complex and would like to contribute to the network, these requirements make it difficult for me. I am currently using a 2017 Macbook Pro with 8 GB DDR3 RAM (which may be outdated, but still), and my internet speed is around 100-150 Mbps with some latency. As it stands right now, this device does not meet the requirements.

I have another laptop, a Dell G5 5587, that meets the hardware requirements of 16 GB RAM and is equipped with a 128 GB SSD. I checked my internet speed and it was still coming in around 100 Mbps (I know I should probably contact my ISP or upgrade). This is still insufficient for a participation node.

TLDR: My main point is that the barrier-to-entry to participate is too high to be the most decentralized blockchain network. I am familiar with some networks that allow for mining on a mobile phone. I understand that the PPoS consensus mechanism may require faster speeds and better hardware to maintain TPS. But the more nodes we have, the more decentralized the network. For now, it seems running a node is limited to those who are more tech-savvy or have more expensive hardware. Governance is one aspect of participating, but I feel nodes go hand-in-hand with that, and lowering the barrier-to-entry will attract more users and strengthen the network. I’m interested in hearing the community’s thoughts on this.


I think those participation node requirements are for nodes with at least 100,000 Algos. I run a participation node on a 8GB Raspberry Pi with an external Samsung T7 SSD. My nodes has been running well for almost a year, even after the upgrade to 4-second block times.

You can check out my Reddit post about how I set up my node: https://www.reddit.com/r/AlgorandOfficial/comments/vlbrha/setting_up_a_raspberry_pi_4_participation_node/
The post is for setting up a node with a Ledger device, but most of the information applies when you’re setting up a node without a Ledger.


The connection speed isn’t the biggest issue. Lots of people run nodes. In my experience, it’s trying to do it on a Macbook Pro xD I have tried with 2 different models on multiple OS versions and having very little experience with the Mac terminal I could not get any of the provided autoupdaters to function, even on the latest 2021 Macbook Pro just for a participation node. The relay is another thing entirely. That I can understand needing to have high requirements due to the amount of traffic. Luckily these things are on the Foundation’s radar, and I’ve been told by quite a few people that easy to use portals are in development. In the meantime, I’d check out https://twitter.com/d13_co/status/1580654043596480512?s=20&t=wfJFbD-ghgWbtA9TVG88NA for a great guide on setting up a participation node using a cloud server if you cant get your Mac up and running!