Ethereum on ARM64 is a custom Ubuntu Linux image for the NanoPC-T4 ARM SoC  and the RockPro64 ARM SoC  that runs Geth or Parity Ethereum clients as a boot service and automatically turns the device into a full Ethereum node. It includes other components of the Ethereum ecosystem such as Trinity, Status.im, Raiden, IPFS, Swarm and Vipnode as well as initial support for Eth2.0 clients.
Images take care of all necessary steps, from setting up the environment to running the Ethereum software and synchronizing the blockchain. All you need is to flash the MicroSD card with the image, plug an ethernet cable and power on the device.
These are the main Ethereum on ARM64 features:
- Based on Armbian Ubuntu Bionic 18.04
- Automatically resizes the SD card
- Partitions and formats the NVMe SSD drive (in case is detected) and mount it as /home for storing the Ethereum blockchain under the ethereum user account
- Adds some swap memory (4GB) to prevent memory issues (applies only if a NVMe drive is detected)
- Changes the hostname to something like “ethnode-e2a3e6fe” (HEX chunk based on the MAC hash)
- Limits cpu frequency to prevent database corruption issues due to high temperature (Only for NanoPC-T4)
- Automatically reboots once for hostname change and swap to take effect
- Runs Geth by default as a Systemd service in Light Server mode and starts syncing the Blockchain
- Watches the Ethereum client binary and respawns it in case it gets killed
- Includes Parity Ethereum client as well so you can switch both clients
- Includes other components of the Ethereum framework such as Status.im, Raiden, IPFS and Swarm.
- Includes an APT repository for upgrading packages
- Includes automatic upgrades through "Unattended upgrades" system
- Includes Fan control service on RockPro64 board
Software installed (image)
Run the following command to update to last versions available
Ethereum 1.0 clients
- Geth: 1.9.12 (official binary)
- Parity: 2.7.2 (cross compiled)
- Nethermind: 1.7.4 (cross compiled)
- Hyperledger Besu: 1.4.2 (compiled. ARM64 only)
Ethereum 2.0 clients
- Prysm: 0.3.4 (official binary. ARM64 only)
- Lighthouse: 0.1.1 (compiled. ARM64 only)
- Swarm: 0.5.7 (official binary)
- Raiden Network: 0.200.0~rc1 (official binary)
- IPFS: 0.4.23 (official binary)
- Status.im: 0.34.0~beta3 (cross compiled)
- Vipnode: 2.3.3 (official binary)
What you need
- A Friendly Elec NanoPC-T4 ARM SoC  or a RockPro64 ARM SoC 
- Micro SD Card and SD Adaptor (for flashing the MicroSD)
- NVMe M.2 SSD (minimum 256GB, 500GB recommended). Keep in mind that without a NVMe M.2 SSD drive there’s absolutely no chance of syncing the blockchain.
- An ethernet cable
- EthArmbian image, download link below (see build instructions if you don't own a NanoPC-T4)
- (Optional) 30303 Port forwarding. This is a recommended setting (see below)
- (Optional) USB keyboard, Monitor and HDMI cable
Ethereum on ARM64 Images
Current Geth and Parity packages version: 2020/04/10
- Geth: 1.9.12 (official binary)
- Parity: 2.7.2 (cross compiled)
- Nethermind: 1.7.17 (cross compiled)
- Hyperledger Besu: 1.4.3 (compiled. ARM64 only)
Run "update-ethereum" command to update to the latest versions. This is now an apt-get install alias
Current image release date: 2020/03/23
There are 2 images available. One for the Nanopc-T4 ARM Soc, and one for RockPro64 with Geth as default client:
For other compatible devices please check below instructions for building the image by yourself.
In a nutshell
- Flash the Armbian Image on your MicroSD Card (in your desktop or laptop computer, see below for detailed instructions)
- Get the NanoPC-T4 or the RockPro64
- Plug in the MicroSD card
- Plug in the NVMe M.2 SSD drive
- Plug in the Ethernet cable
- Power on the board
You are all set. Take into account that the installer needs to perform some operations before it wakes up so you may need to wait about 1 minute (this includes 1 reboot).
For a full Ethereum node to be online the whole blockchain needs to be synced (to the very last block) so it will take some time to get there (see the FAQ section).
Flashing the Ethereum on ARM64 image
MicroSD Install instructions for Linux
Insert the MicroSD in your SD adapter and plug it into your desktop or laptop computer. It is recommended to umount partitions in case you have a preformated card.
Note: If you are not comfortable with command line, you can use Etcher:
- Open a terminal and check your MicroSD device name running:
sudo fdisk -l
You should see a device named
sdd (that matchs with the size of your card. This is a dangerous operation so be careful). For further info please visit:
- Flash the MicroSD:
unzip Armbian_20.05.0-trunk_Nanopct4_bionic_legacy_4.4.213.img.zip sudo dd bs=1M if=Armbian_20.05.0-trunk_Nanopct4_bionic_legacy_4.4.213.img of=/dev/mmcblk0 && sync
- Extract the MicroSD card
You are done. Insert the MicroSD into your ARM SoC and power it on.
Instructions for Windows
Instructions for Mac
If you are going to run a full Ethereum node you may forward the 30303 port from your router to your device. This is an optional but recommended setting. There are 2 ways of doing this:
- Enable uPNP on your router. This automates the forwarding process (geth and parity take care of it), but it is less secure
- Forward the 30303 port to your NanoPC-T4 IP on your router. There are plenty of tutorials out there for doing this (it depends on your router model)
Both clients (Geth and Parity) are included in the image so you can switch from one to another anytime. Let’s say you are running parity, by typing:
sudo systemctl stop parity && sudo systemctl disable parity sudo systemctl enable geth && sudo systemctl start geth
these commands will disable parity and start the geth daemon.
Managing the daemon
Starting, stopping and getting the client status
Geth and Parity run as a bootup service so the client wakes up automatically. You can stop, start, restart and check the console output using systemctl:
sudo systemctl stop|start|restart|status geth or
sudo systemctl stop|start|restart|status parity
Both clients settings are stored on /etc/ethereum/ directory (geth.conf file for geth and parity.conf file for parity), so you just have to edit these files and restart the daemon, for instance, changing cache value in geth:
These are some common asked questions:
How do I connect to the board?
You can use SSH or a Monitor + USB keyboard. If you don't have a monitor connected you can discover the Nano IP by connecting to your router or using tools like nmap in order to connect though SSH.
How can I log in?
User: ethereum Password: ethereum
It is strongly recommended to change the default password by running:
You can access as root as well:
User: root Password: 1234 (you will be prompted to change the default password the first time you log in)
How long does it take to sync the Ethereum blockchain?
For Parity client, just a few hours (4-5). Geth takes 2 and a half days. (as of September 2018).
Which is the blockchain size once synced?
For Parity, 180 GB. For Geth, about 160GB. (as of July 2019). Please note that there is currently an issue with Geth 1.9
I'm seeing lots of "Database compacting, degraded performance" messages (geth)
You are fine. This is an expected behaviour in LevelDB databases. See:
I'm seeing lots of "Imported new state entries" messages, is the node synced? (geth)
No, not yet. You will need to wait for the whole import process to finish (as of September 2018, about 218 million state entries). More info:
The snapshot synchronization is stuck (parity).
The most probably reason is that the snapshot is no longer available (it changes from time to time). Just stop parity, remove the data and restart the sync process by running:
sudo systemctl stop parity sudo rm -rf /home/ethereum/.local/share/io.parity.ethereum/ sudo systemctl start parity
Time is not accurate or the Time Zone is incorrect
Run the following command to sync time and change the Time Zone
Go to "Personal" --> "Time zone" and choose the correct one.
Is it possible to sync the blockchain with a SD card or a HDD drive?
Absolutely not. You will need an NVMe M.2 SSD Drive.
Which client is better?
Both clients are great. If you want to keep the blockchain size as low as possible and sync ASAP, Parity is probably the best option. If you want to support light clients or test swarm, you may go for Geth.
Where can I find more info about the blockchain synchronization?
These links are a good start:
Where can I see Geth or Parity logs?
By running one of these commands (depends on the client):
systemctl status geth systemctl status parity
Also, by running:
tail -f /var/log/syslog
You can also monitor a tail of the log of any service running in the background like so:
sudo journalctl -u geth -f
Can I buy a board with the image preinstalled?
Yes, see the links section. This is ran by Bruno Skvorc and the store is non-profit
-  https://www.friendlyarm.com/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=225
-  https://store.pine64.org/?product=rockpro64-4gb-single-board-computer
Armbian image build instructions (for other devices)
If you don't own a Nanopc-T4 you can build an Armbian custom image for your board (in case is powerfull enough to sync the blockchain). Check here if your device is supported:
- Ubuntu 18.04 (virtual or physical machine)
- Superuser rights
I strongly recommend the vagrant environment.
Git branch and instructions
For building your own image, please check the Armbian documentation.
If you want to support EthArmbian you can drop some Ether here :-)