Ansible playbook for creating a lightning network node on Bitcoin mainnet
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README.md

lightning-node-ansible

This repository contains configuration for creating automated Bitcoin Core + Lightning Network installations by utilizing Ansible. A blog post by @dougvk outlines the manual setup very nicely: https://medium.com/@dougvk/run-your-own-mainnet-lightning-node-2d2eab628a8b

Each node runs the official Bitcoin Core binaries as described in the blog post, except I have built both containers myself by utilizing multi-stage builds. This minimizes the amount of data Docker has to pull upon container startup. This is about 30 MB per container. Container configuration can be found from vtorhonen/lightning-node and from my Dockerhub registries:

Prequisites

Deploy a fleet of Debian hosts. Make sure you have plenty of storage space available under /data directory on each host. This playbook expects that.

Next create a file at inventories/lnd-nodes.yml and define your target hosts. See inventories/example.yml for reference.

As a final step install Ansible to your control machine. This playbook has been tested by using Ansible 2.4.3.

Installing bitcoind nodes

First run the playbook deploy-bitcoind.yml, which installs Docker and runs the Bitcoin Core container.

$ ansible-playbook -i inventories/lnd-nodes.yml deploy-bitcoind.yml

You now have a Bitcoin Core node running, which exposes itself to the network through port tcp/8333. Node start synchronizing the blockchain. Use the following command to see it's progress.

$ ansible all -b -i inventories/lnd-nodes.yml -a "docker logs --tail=1 bitcoind"
foohost | SUCCESS | rc=0 >>
2018-02-02 20:15:07 UpdateTip: new best=0000000000000007b4511e0e0fe84f191bf6451e2e31e33da5445ec298e40c6c height=263627 version=0x00000002 log2_work=72.758038 tx=25379178 date='2013-10-14 16:04:00' progress=0.086696 cache=570.9MiB(4120711txo)

A wrapper script is installed at /usr/local/bin/bitcoin-cli, which you can use to send commands to the RPC interface of the node.

$ ansible all -b -i inventories/lnd-nodes.yml -a "bitcoin-cli getnetworkinfo"
foohost | SUCCESS | rc=0 >>
{
  "version": 160300,
  "subversion": "/Satoshi:0.16.3/",
  "protocolversion": 70015,
  "localservices": "000000000000040d",
  "localrelay": true,
  "timeoffset": -1,
  "networkactive": true,
  "connections": 29,
  "networks": [ ... ]
}

Installing lightning network nodes

Once the Bitcoin blockchain is synchronized you can deploy a c-lightning Lightning Network daemon. It shares the same Docker network configuration with the Bitcoin node and is exposed to the network through port tcp/9735.

$ ansible-playbook -i inventories/lnd-nodes.yml deploy-lnd.yml

A similar wrapper script is installed at /usr/local/bin/lightning-cli.

$ ansible all -b -i inventories/lnd-nodes.yml -a "lightning-cli getinfo"
foohost | SUCCESS | rc=0 >>
{ "id" : "", "port" : 9735, "address" :
	[  ], "version" : "v0.6.1", "blockheight" : 543607, "network" : "bitcoin" }

That's it. Next setup your payment channels and start buying.