A dedicated machine for the Safe Network

I would like to provide a machine that is purely dedicated to the Safe network and whilst I’m aware of three of the four factors involved in determining a decent vault, CPU speed, bandwidth availability, disk space I’d like to ask for some advice on how to approach this.

My initial thought is to go for a windows machine because of the cheaper entry cost and ability to upgrade elements as and when. Although, where to start…? Buy one, build one? Which components are best and at what competitive price?

Any help or advice would be most appreciated. TIA


Welcome to the forum!

This part I don’t understand. Linux is free, as opposed to Windows. It also has stronger CLI support, among other benefits.


Your options are dependent on your budget but there is no need to spend $$$.
A second hand desktop or laptop with 4GB of RAM ( and you could get by with much less in reality) and a 64bit CPU will let you run the latest Linux distros.

There are many posts on the forum describig how to run a node on a $50 raspberry Pi and I expect to see more chat on this in the coming weeks. Keep your money for large drives is my basic advice.


Was also thinking of re-purposing my 5 year old Synology nas, but would not know where to start. Looking forward to the day I wipe it and start with a fresh project - assuming possible?

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Can it run docker images?

What is the RAM and CPU specs on that Synology NAS?

Thanks. It’s a DS214play.

  • Dual-Core 1.6GHz Processor
  • 1GB DDR3 RAM

Ps. Not sure how docker works.

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Thats a bit light for docker images. Is the RAM socketed? Could perhaps expand that.

To wildly oversimplify docker is a sofware computer inside a computer so with only 1Gb RAM its pushing it.

EDIT: Download Center - DS214play | Synology Inc. suggests its a custom OS on a 10 second look -

Maybe the drive bays could be repurposed but I doubt you could simply slap a cut-down Ubuntu (frexample) image on it.

Cheers. Was worth checking. Will see if an upgrade is possible.

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I’d look at getting a Pi and seeing what could be done with the drive bays. Send undraped photos of the system board and drive connections :slight_smile:

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I sussed this - he is a Mac person ANYTHING is cheaper from their standpoint :slight_smile:

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Consider that bandwidth is the limiting factor, you want to have a machine that will make the most of it. Depending on where you live, prices can range from $350 to $3500 per year for a decent internet connection. Any modern 64bit desktop or laptop computer that costs about the same as what you will spend for a year of bandwidth (50:50 ratio for hardware vs. bandwidth) is a good starting point imo. Just be sure you can add disk drives. If you are serious about managing a dedicated machine then install linux, learn it, love it, and forget about mac/windows. Building is ‘cheaper’ than buying only if you know what you are doing and your time is free.

The sites avadirect.com or pugetsystems.com are willing build a custom desktop computer for you that will likely be higher quality then a name brand, their prices are reasonable but not the lowest. There is always Ebay for used tech or just pickup a hpdellenovo and install linux.

In time, ideal hardware configurations will become more apparent. It’s still too early to know what the ideal setup is and everyone has a different opinion/strategy they are following for building their own rig. There are raspberry Pi guys at one extreme, and traditional server men at the other.


The easiest route is to go with the most popular server computer used on the safe network.
That way, whenever you have issues, you will most likely find someone that has already gone through
the same issues you have before and so you’ll more likely find an already ready-made solution to your problem.

That computer is very likely going to be a Raspberry Pi (4),
which is small, low-cost, silent and uses only a few Watts and is very popular,
with second to tenth most popular likely to be used for the safe network
will be some kind of a Orange Pi, Banana Pi, Tinkerboard (Pi), Odroid (Pi), etc.
So just look at Pi alternatives if you for whatever reason don’t like the Raspberry.

Same goes for the Operating system. Raspberry Pi OS (and for alternatives Debian ARM OS) is most popular, but I for example will be using Manjaro Linux ARM as I’ve fallen in love with it’s package manager.


  1. Buy a raspberry Pi 4
  2. Install Raspbian Pi OS on it.
  3. Install safe cli, auth & node from source
mkdir ~/safe 
cd ~/safe 
?Command(s) that downloads the latest source code of cli, auth & node?
cd ~/safe/sn_node-x.x.x/ 
cargo build --release --features=simulated-payouts -- 
cd ~/safe/sn_api-x.x.x/sn_cli 
cargo build --release --features=simulated-payouts -- 
cd ~safe/sn_authd 
cargo build --release --features=simulated-payouts -- 
mkdir -p ~/.safe/authd ~/.safe/cli ~/.safe/node 
mv ~/safe/sn_api-x.x.x/target/release/sn_authd ~/.safe/authd/ 
mv ~/safe/sn_api-x.x.x/target/release/safe ~/.safe/cli/ 
mv ~/safe/sn_node-x.x.x/target/release/sn_node ~/.safe/node
  1. Add your node to the network of your choosing
safe networks add ??
safe networks switch ??
safe node join



What kind of hard drive would you buy to go with it?

  • external HDD, lots of space for less money?
  • external SSD, more expensive but also faster?
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Just SD for now. The next generation will likely have an expansion slot for SSD.
Or if SD bothers you, just buy a board that contains eMMC, which is a step between SD and SSD.

HDD is going to way of the audio tape, video tape and CD/DVD/Blueray.

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HDD on the way out, however, they’re still way faster than an residential bandwidth will be able to handle - and still much cheaper than the other options.

My suggestion would be get whatever drive you plan on running your OS on, but hold off on buying drives until you’re ready to launch and get whatever option is best at the time. If it’s 6 months until launch, probably a tiered solution (fast cache drives HDD mass storage) if it’s a while, then faster solutions at scale may be a more viable option for the price.

I have no intention of throwing out my 60TB of HDDs just because there are faster options now. I can throw on a cache layer as needed. Then slowly my cache layer will turn into the storage layer.


I wonder if up/download speed have anything to do with farmers rewards?

I’ve been out the loop for a while, however, my understanding is that download speed will not effect rewards at all. You’ve gotta download and store stuff “on your time”. It would be upload speed that would matter to be able to be the first to get data to the client requesting it.

Yes up to a point. A 1 Mbit/sec uplink will not succeed as much as a 12Mbit/sec upload.

But I doubt that a 50Mbit/sec uplink will have the same advantage over a 5Mbit/sec uplink. There will still be an advantage but a lot less.

The biggest issue will be the lag time as this exceeds upload because the decision to use a Node for upload is not the time for uploading the 1MByte of data, but the time to get the initial response saying the node has the chink with the signature proving it.

The response is a small packet on the order of a few hundred bytes and takes less than

  • 10 milli-seconds for 1Mbit/sec ignoring lag time
  • even less time for 5Mbit/sec
  • even less time for 12Mbit/sec
  • etc
    But the lag from Australia to West Coast USA is like 1/6 second through cables/routers.

Even between two adjacent towns the lag will be on the order of milli-seconds due to light speed and router propagation. So we see that while the 1Mbit/sec uplink is slower than 5 or 50Mbit/sec the response packet will only be marginally slower than the faster links for short distances.

The lag time is all important for timing of response packet. Considering the elders will not be close together in the general case there is a more random factor about who gets to do the upload.

EDIT: I had stuffed up my calculations using 100’s of KBytes for the response packet but it is only hundreds of bytes. Thus my time for upload was out by a thousand.


Okay, I just looked at the Storj forum, because that’s the closest thing in existence of what Maidsafe is going to look like and they’re all talking about HDD’s, as they’re trying to rake in as much coins as possible.

Since external HDD’s are cheaper, I suggest RPi4’s with external HDD’s if possible.