I am trying to synchronize a full node, and this is going very slowly, the progress alternates between bursts of high CPU usage (which is fine, it is heavy but importing), and long times with nothing happening (0% CPU usage).

Restarting eth gets it to immediately start importing again, but since it gets stuck every few thousand blocks, this means letting it synchronize on its own will take a very long time.

So before I go for a cron that will stop/restart the node every 10 minutes, I would like to know if there is a better solution.

There is an "import" command for instance, but I could not find any downloadable bootstrap?

Addendum: this would be for eth, not geth, and the aim is to explore the blockchain, so I need all the data (as far as I understand "geth --fast" f.i. would not get all the data)


There is no official downloadable boostrap available, as that would require trusting the provider.

You can, however, use geth --fast if you are using the geth client. This trades bandwidth for computation power, and should speed up your bootstrapping considerably.

  • I am using eth, not geth... however why would the provider need to be trusted? All the blocks could be validated, just using the file as data source rather than the network. If the file is tampered with, it would either fail the checks, or end up in a fork incompatible with the network. Worst risk would thus be wasted time importing a fork. I am not asking for db files, but a bootstrap like bitcoin's bootstrap.dat, which is trustless – Fairglu Mar 3 '16 at 10:38
  • Oh, I see, you want to have a download that can then be verified by the client. I don't think that would be all that useful, since the limiting factor tends to be CPU power, not network speed – Tjaden Hess Mar 3 '16 at 14:45
  • Well the synchronization so far does not seem to be stressing either the CPU or the network, could be network bugs, or peers without enough bandwidth, but CPU is sitting at 0% most of the time, with only shorts bursts when a bunch of blocks gets downloaded. – Fairglu Mar 4 '16 at 7:27
  • "I don't think that would be all that useful" It's very useful, that's why most blockchains have bootstraps. – Sandwich Nov 6 '17 at 14:14
  • 1
    Even Bitcoin stopped doing bootstraps because header-first syncs are faster. See bitcoin.stackexchange.com/q/37927/32674 – Tjaden Hess Nov 6 '17 at 14:45

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