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The Parity Ethereum client has four sync modes, two of which are active and passive. Active makes perfect sense to me, Parity continuously syncs the chain. However passive says "parity syncs initially, then sleeps and wakes regularly to resync".

Why would anyone choose passive instead of active? In other words, what is the use case for passive sync?

  • I'd guess the case you are over a metered connection or a low bandwith link. – Ismael Oct 14 '17 at 18:11
  • @Ismael Thank you for the reply. Wouldn't they both use the same amount of overall data though, just passive would do it in small bursts? Or does the active mode propogate more transactions which uses more bandwidth? – Maximillian Laumeister Oct 14 '17 at 18:38
  • I think you are right from their configuration wiki page. In active mode it communicates all the time with other nodes; and in passive mode it wakes up regularly but most of the time it is sleeping. – Ismael Oct 18 '17 at 2:30
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Parity passive basically lets you to fine tune the way how active your node is. This can be due to multiple reasons:

  • energy consumption of IoT devices (less CPU cycles, etc.)
  • bandwidth consumption on mobile connections (less tx-forwarding, etc.)

To understand the power of that configuration options, also have a look at --mode-timeout and --mode-alarm

--mode=[MODE]
    Set the operating mode. MODE can be one of:
        last - Uses the last-used mode, active if none.
        active - Parity continuously syncs the chain.
        passive - Parity syncs initially, then sleeps and wakes regularly to resync.
        dark - Parity syncs only when the RPC is active.
        offline - Parity doesn't sync. (default: last)
--mode-timeout=[SECS]
    Specify the number of seconds before inactivity timeout occurs when mode is dark or passive (default: 300)
--mode-alarm=[SECS]
    Specify the number of seconds before auto sleep reawake timeout occurs when mode is passive (default: 3600)

Which gives you full control beyond the default configuration options.

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