ElectrumX should run on any flavour of unix. I have run it successfully on MacOS and DragonFlyBSD. It won’t run out-of-the-box on Windows, but the changes required to make it do so should be small - pull requests are welcome.
ElectrumX uses asyncio. Python version >= 3.7 is required.
Python library for asynchronous HTTP. Version >= 2.0 required.
Python LRU cache package.
A database engine package is required; two are supported (see Database Engine below).
Some coins need an additional package, typically for their block hash functions. For example, x11_hash is required for DASH.
You must to be running a non-pruning ravencoin daemon with:
set in its configuration file. If you have an existing installation of ravend and have not previously set this you will need to reindex the blockchain with:
which can take some time.
While not a requirement for running ElectrumX, it is intended to be
run with supervisor software such as Daniel Bernstein’s
daemontools, Gerrit Pape’s runit package or systemd.
These make administration of secure unix servers very easy, and I
strongly recommend you install one of these and familiarise yourself
with them. The instructions below and sample run scripts assume
daemontools; adapting to
runit should be trivial for someone
used to either.
When building the database from the genesis block, ElectrumX has to flush large quantities of data to disk and its DB. You will have a better experience if the database directory is on an SSD than on an HDD. Currently to around height 1,750,000 of the Ravencoin blockchain the final size of the leveldb database, and other ElectrumX file metadata comes to just over 3GB. LevelDB needs a bit more for brief periods, and the block chain is only getting longer, so I would recommend having at least 5GB of free space before starting.
You can choose from LevelDB and RocksDB to store transaction information on disk. The time taken and DB size is not significantly different. We tried to support LMDB but its history write performance was much worse.
You will need to install one of:
Install the prerequisites above.
Check out the code from Github:
git clone https://github.com/Electrum-RVN-SIG/electrumx-ravencoin.git cd electrumx
You can install with
setup.py or run the code from the source
tree or a copy of it.
You should create a standard user account to run the server under;
your own is probably adequate unless paranoid. The paranoid might
also want to create another user account for the daemontools logging
process. The sample scripts and these instructions assume it is all
under one account which I have called
Next create a directory where the database will be stored and make it
writeable by the
electrumx account. I recommend this directory
live on an SSD:
mkdir /path/to/db_directory chown electrumx /path/to/db_directory
You must ensure the ElectrumX process has a large open file limit. During sync it should not need more than about 1,024 open files. When serving it will use approximately 256 for LevelDB plus the number of incoming connections. It is not unusual to have 1,000 to 2,000 connections being served, so I suggest you set your open files limit to at least 2,500.
Note that setting the limit in your shell does NOT affect ElectrumX
unless you are invoking ElectrumX directly from your shell. If you
are using systemd, you need to set it in the
.service file (see contrib/systemd/electrumx.service).
Next create a daemontools service directory; this only holds symlinks (see daemontools documentation). The svscan program will ensure the servers in the directory are running by launching a supervise supervisor for the server and another for its logging process. You can run svscan under the electrumx account if that is the only one involved (server and logger) otherwise it will need to run as root so that the user can be switched to electrumx.
Assuming this directory is called
service, you would do one
mkdir /service # If running svscan as root mkdir ~/service # As electrumx if running svscan as that a/c
Next create a directory to hold the scripts that the
supervise process spawned by svscan will run -
this directory must be readable by the svscan process.
Suppose this directory is called
scripts, you might do:
mkdir -p ~/scripts/electrumx
Then copy the all sample scripts from the ElectrumX source tree there:
cp -R /path/to/repo/electrumx/contrib/daemontools ~/scripts/electrumx
This copies 3 things: the top level server run script, a
directory with the logger run script, an
You need to configure the environment variables
env/ to your setup. ElectrumX server currently takes no
command line arguments; all of its configuration is taken from its
environment which is set up according to
env/ directory (see
envdir man page). Finally you need to change the
log/run script to use the directory where you want the logs
to be written by multilog. The directory need not exist as
multilog will create it, but its parent directory must
Now start the svscan process. This will not do much as the service directory is still empty:
svscan ~/service & disown
svscan is now waiting for services to be added to the directory:
cd ~/service ln -s ~/scripts/electrumx electrumx
Creating the symlink will kick off the server process almost immediately. You can see its logs with:
tail -F /path/to/log/dir/current | tai64nlocal
This repository contains a sample systemd unit file that you can use
to setup ElectrumX with systemd. Simply copy it to
cp contrib/systemd/electrumx.service /etc/systemd/system/
The sample unit file assumes that the repository is located at
/home/electrumx/electrumx. If that differs on your system, you
need to change the unit file accordingly.
You need to set a few environment variables in
Now you can start ElectrumX using systemctl:
systemctl start electrumx
You can use journalctl to check the log output:
journalctl -u electrumx -f
Once configured you may want to start ElectrumX at boot:
systemctl enable electrumx
systemd is aggressive in forcibly shutting down
processes. Depending on your hardware, ElectrumX can need several
minutes to flush cached data to disk during initial sync. You
should set TimeoutStopSec to at least 10 mins in your
Installing on Raspberry Pi 3¶
To install on the Raspberry Pi 3 you will need to update to the
stretch distribution. See the full procedure in
See also contrib/raspberrypi3/run_electrumx.sh for an easy way to configure and launch electrumx.
Time taken to index the blockchain depends on your hardware of course.
As Python is single-threaded most of the time only 1 core is kept
busy. ElectrumX uses Python’s
asyncio to prefill a cache of
future blocks asynchronously to keep the CPU busy processing the chain
Consequently there will probably be only a minor boost in performance if the daemon is on the same host. It may even be beneficial to have the daemon on a separate machine so the machine doing the indexing has its caches and disk I/O tuned to that task only.
Here is my experience with the codebase of early 2017 (the current codebase is faster), to given heights and rough wall-time. The period from heights 363,000 to 378,000 is the most sluggish:
Machine A Machine B 181,000 25m 00s 5m 30s 283,500 1h 00m 321,800 1h 40m 357,000 12h 32m 2h 41m 386,000 21h 56m 4h 25m 414,200 1d 12h 29m 6h 30m 447,168 2d 13h 20m 9h 47m
Machine A: a low-spec 2011 1.6GHz AMD E-350 dual-core fanless CPU,
8GB RAM and a DragonFlyBSD UFS filesystem on an SSD. It requests
blocks over the LAN from a bitcoind on machine B.
the default of 1,200. LevelDB.
Machine B: a late 2012 iMac running Sierra 10.12.2, 2.9GHz quad-core
Intel i5 CPU with an HDD and 24GB RAM. Running bitcoind on the same
DB_CACHE set to 1,800. LevelDB.
For chains other than bitcoin-mainnet synchronization should be much faster.
ElectrumX will not serve normal client connections until it has fully synchronized and caught up with your daemon. However LocalRPC connections are served at all times.
The preferred way to terminate the server process is to send it the
stop RPC command:
or alternatively on Unix the
TERM signals. For a
daemontools supervised process this can be done by bringing it down
svc -d ~/service/electrumx
ElectrumX will note receipt of the signals in the logs, and ensure the block chain index is flushed to disk before terminating. You should be patient as flushing data to disk can take many minutes.
ElectrumX uses the transaction functionality, with fsync enabled, of the databases. I have written it with the intent that, to the extent the atomicity guarantees are upheld by the DB software, the operating system, and the hardware, the database should not get corrupted even if the ElectrumX process if forcibly killed or there is loss of power. The worst case should be having to restart indexing from the most recent UTXO flush.
Once the process has terminated, you can start it up again with:
svc -u ~/service/electrumx
You can see the status of a running service with:
svscan can of course handle multiple services simultaneously from the same service directory, such as a testnet or altcoin server. See the man pages of these various commands for more information.
Understanding the Logs¶
You can see the logs usefully like so:
tail -F /path/to/log/dir/current | tai64nlocal
Here is typical log output on startup:
INFO:BlockProcessor:switching current directory to /crucial/server-good INFO:BlockProcessor:using leveldb for DB backend INFO:BlockProcessor:created new database INFO:BlockProcessor:creating metadata diretcory INFO:BlockProcessor:software version: ElectrumX 0.10.2 INFO:BlockProcessor:DB version: 5 INFO:BlockProcessor:coin: Bitcoin INFO:BlockProcessor:network: mainnet INFO:BlockProcessor:height: -1 INFO:BlockProcessor:tip: 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 INFO:BlockProcessor:tx count: 0 INFO:BlockProcessor:sync time so far: 0d 00h 00m 00s INFO:BlockProcessor:reorg limit is 200 blocks INFO:Daemon:daemon at 192.168.0.2:8332/ INFO:BlockProcessor:flushing DB cache at 1,200 MB INFO:Controller:RPC server listening on localhost:8000 INFO:Prefetcher:catching up to daemon height 447,187... INFO:Prefetcher:verified genesis block with hash 000000000019d6689c085ae165831e934ff763ae46a2a6c172b3f1b60a8ce26f INFO:BlockProcessor:our height: 9 daemon: 447,187 UTXOs 0MB hist 0MB INFO:BlockProcessor:our height: 52,509 daemon: 447,187 UTXOs 9MB hist 14MB INFO:BlockProcessor:our height: 85,009 daemon: 447,187 UTXOs 12MB hist 31MB INFO:BlockProcessor:our height: 102,384 daemon: 447,187 UTXOs 15MB hist 47MB [...] INFO:BlockProcessor:our height: 133,375 daemon: 447,187 UTXOs 80MB hist 222MB INFO:BlockProcessor:our height: 134,692 daemon: 447,187 UTXOs 96MB hist 250MB INFO:BlockProcessor:flushed to FS in 0.7s INFO:BlockProcessor:flushed history in 16.3s for 1,124,512 addrs INFO:BlockProcessor:flush #1 took 18.7s. Height 134,692 txs: 941,963 INFO:BlockProcessor:tx/sec since genesis: 2,399, since last flush: 2,400 INFO:BlockProcessor:sync time: 0d 00h 06m 32s ETA: 1d 13h 03m 42s
Under normal operation these cache stats repeat once or twice a minute. UTXO flushes can take several minutes and look like this:
INFO:BlockProcessor:our height: 378,745 daemon: 447,332 UTXOs 1,013MB hist 184MB INFO:BlockProcessor:our height: 378,787 daemon: 447,332 UTXOs 1,014MB hist 194MB INFO:BlockProcessor:flushed to FS in 0.3s INFO:BlockProcessor:flushed history in 13.4s for 934,933 addrs INFO:BlockProcessor:flushed 6,403 blocks with 5,879,440 txs, 2,920,524 UTXO adds, 3,646,572 spends in 93.1s, committing... INFO:BlockProcessor:flush #120 took 226.4s. Height 378,787 txs: 87,695,588 INFO:BlockProcessor:tx/sec since genesis: 1,280, since last flush: 359 INFO:BlockProcessor:sync t ime: 0d 19h 01m 06s ETA: 3d 21h 17m 52s INFO:BlockProcessor:our height: 378,812 daemon: 447,334 UTXOs 10MB hist 10MB
The ETA shown is just a rough guide and in the short term can be quite volatile. It tends to be a little optimistic at first; once you get to height 280,000 is should be fairly accurate.
Creating a self-signed SSL certificate¶
These instructions are based on those of the
To run an SSL server you need to generate a self-signed certificate
using openssl. Alternatively you could not set
the environment and not serve over SSL, but this is not recommended.
Use the sample code below to create a self-signed cert with a recommended validity of 5 years. You may supply any information for your sign request to identify your server. They are not currently checked by the client except for the validity date. When asked for a challenge password just leave it empty and press enter:
$ openssl genrsa -out server.key 2048 $ openssl req -new -key server.key -out server.csr ... Country Name (2 letter code) [AU]:US State or Province Name (full name) [Some-State]:California Common Name (eg, YOUR name) : electrum-server.tld ... A challenge password : ... $ openssl x509 -req -days 1825 -in server.csr -signkey server.key -out server.crt
Starting with Electrum 1.9, the client will learn and locally cache the SSL certificate for your server upon the first request to prevent man-in-the middle attacks for all further connections.
If your certificate is lost or expires on the server side, you will need to run your server with a different server name and a new certificate. Therefore it’s a good idea to make an offline backup copy of your certificate and key in case you need to restore them.
Running on a privileged port¶
You may choose to run electrumx on a different port than 50001 / 50002. If you choose a privileged port ( < 1024 ) it makes sense to make use of a iptables NAT rule.
An example, which will forward Port 110 to the internal port 50002 follows:
iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp --dport 110 -j DNAT --to-destination 127.0.0.1:50002
You can then set the port as follows and advertise the service externally on the privileged port: