Ravenland Developer Blog

Do the chains

RavencoinOS – A blockchain Suite of Tools

Ravenland is proud to announce it’s latest version of RavencoinOS which started as a bit of a fun experiment to see what blockchain automation Ravenland could make with a small embedded-like device such as a Raspberry pi. Also as an inspiration for running a super-low-powered blockchain full node and IPFS node, and datacentre mirror of blockchain objects. Our long term goal is to produce an operating System powered by blockchain completely, instead of just as an application layer.

The shorter term goal quickly became providing a suite of tools that could allow professionals and amateurs alike to create small ioT appliances for the blockchains. This was well received by the Ravencoin community, and was useful in the sense that people who wanted to support the Ravencoin and IPFS blockchain, could do so with very limited expense and help the network in a big way running a full node. We knew that we could take the idea much further, so we continued developing our ideas.

With a cost typically under 25 cents a month to run, its 2.5 watt power draw was something that impressed, and the rpi4, with significantly more ram and capability coming in at just under 1 watt greater at 3.5 watts draw. In stark contrast from the level of resources a 100-200 watt pc might consume to perform the same thing, and without the disruption or load of running a blockchain software on a desktop, the power efficiency and convenience of the device was quite inspirational to us. It made us want to go further if we could.

After a few months of development we created a suite of tools (albeit a simple CLI) for service management, “RavenXtools” , a “bootstrap mirror”, automation that synchronises all of the Ravencoin objects from the Ravenland Ravencoin IPFS ‘master node’, and other substantial customisations that followed. The later support we added was a little bit too powerful for the rpi3, so our latest images are still in testing and do require some tweaking to get the same usability as an Rpi4. New features such as allowing a specification for the minimum and maximum file size of objects to mirror via ravencoin and IPFS DHT network, as well as setting limits on the size of files, timeout of files, or custom ravencoin asset lists to mirror were also a top priority.

When we looked back, we realised we’d done something quite interesting with the automation we’d created for RavencoinOS. And it eventually helped result in our other ideas about the RavenX exchange and Mypin, a IPFS and Ravencoin specific CDN and blockchain manager product. We know it’s early days but we really thought the sky was the limit, and we stuck to it.

 

The latest version being a much more complete solution than previous versions designed specifically for the more powerful Rpi4, RavencoinOS being an open source OS for blockchain stuff is now completely automated in creating a new Ravencoin wallet, auto-starting services via systemd unit files for Ravencoin , IPFS (or virtually any other linux app or daemon you can think of running), and completely native functions retrieving objects via ravencoin chain, and the IPFS DHT in the latest versions represents a very decentralized fileserver, which could be used for filesharing and retail services alike, or potentially, even as a low-cost stockmarket engine and ticker.  Vending machine. pretty much anything you can build an electronic relay for the Rpi GPIO. There is no call to home and we’ve tried to our best ability to keep it as simple as it can be. We know it can be better and we are releasing new updates and features all the time.

We have plans to support more devices in the future as well as other external devices for the OS. So watch this space! We’d like to thank the many hundreds of people that have used our devices both to support the Ravencoin Network Consensus rules by running the RavencoinOS, as well as those kind people that run it, contributing their sdcard to part of the global Ravencoin worldwide swarm on the IPFS DHT.

You guys rock!

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