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Running a cardano node

There are 2 types of nodes in Cardano:
  • normal nodes (relay nodes)
  • block producing nodes
They are very similar, they have both a full copy of the Cardano blockchain and they can communicate with other nodes, distributing blocks and transactions. But the block producing nodes can also produce (mint) blocks, when the stake pool they belong to has enough delegation and is selected to produce a block.
When running a cardano node, it can be started in a few of ways:
  • from the command line directly
  • from a command line inside a screen or tmux session
  • as a systemd service
  • as a container
When the intention is to run it all the time, the best way is to start it as a systemd service or as a container (depending on your preference). For example, I prefer starting them as docker containers for testnets and as systemd services for mainnet.