RaspiBlitz Integrates c-lightning for Lightweight, Customizable Functionality
Lightning Network

RaspiBlitz Integrates c-lightning for Lightweight, Customizable Functionality

Blockstream Team

RaspiBlitz, the most popular DIY Lightning node package, has integrated c-lightning, our lightweight, modular Lightning implementation, with its v1.7.1 update.

Due to c-lightning’s low operational costs, users can run many Lightning nodes on the RaspiBlitz hardware, including concurrently with the LND implementation.

With c-lightning, users also get a more privacy-optimized, customizable software program that provides them with a diverse toolkit to run their node as they so choose.

Why c-lightning

In addition to its low memory and CPU footprint, c-lightning has unique hallmarks not yet available or widely used in other Lightning implementations that many RaspiBlitz owners may like to experiment with firsthand.

  • Privacy-focused: c-lightning automatically increases privacy by using multi-part payments, randomizing selection of paths, and selecting for a diversity of channels to help defend against deanonymization techniques.
  • Dual-funded channels: c-lightning is also the first Lightning implementation to allow opening channels with funds from both parties, reducing the cost of deploying capital into the Lightning Network and helping to increase overall liquidity.
  • Liquidity advertisements: ads are an excellent way to coordinate inbound liquidity, giving users the ability to leverage the gossip protocol to see who is leasing liquidity and their existing channels before initiating a contract. This is in stark contrast with existing centralized options.
  • BOLT12: designed by c-lightning developer Rusty Russell, who also wrote the BOLT11 specifications, BOLT12 introduces offers that allow spontaneous payments with proof of payment, blinded paths, recurring payments for subscriptions and donations, onion messages, and even the basis for multisig Lightning nodes in the future.

Tap into the Plugin Ecosystem

c-lightning is a plugin-rich implementation, allowing developers to extend and customize Lightning with their own applications written in any language. If you have ever written a basic “Hello, World!” program, you likely have all the necessary skills to build a c-lightning plugin.

A few of the optional plugins that are available in the RaspiBlitz release include:

CLBOSS, an automated node manager designed to make running a node as simple as funding it (recommended 0.1 BTC or more) and having reliable access to the internet and power. Currently, CLBOSS can open channels, acquire incoming capacity, rebalance, and set forwarding fees to compete with other nodes. There is also an experimental feature available that can monitor channels and close them if they are not profitable for your node.

Sparko, is a standalone version of the Spark wallet as a plugin with BOLT12 support. You can either use it as a personal wallet with a full UI or as an HTTP-RPC bridge to your node to help develop apps.

See here for a complete list of plugins, new features, and other changes introduced in the RaspiBlitz v1.7.1 update.

Not Your Nodes, Not Your Rules

RaspiBlitz is a do-it-yourself project made from off-the-shelf consumer hardware and open-source software intended to be an inexpensive Lightning node for end-users that can be run from home.

Like running a Bitcoin full node, having your own Lightning node allows you to maintain the custody of your coins and avoid having to trust third parties. Running a node and utilizing payment channels also makes you an active contributor to network liquidity, payment efficiency, and an essential piece of Lightning’s overall success as a layer-2 solution for Bitcoin.

Regardless of whether you are an end-user looking for an excellent way to access the Lightning Network, a Bitcoiner wanting to help make the Lightning Network more stable, or a tinkerer aspiring to build and implement your own idea on Lightning, the Raspiblitz is the go-to solution for you. Easy to set up, with loads of ways to extend the functionality and integrate it into your workflow, it can serve as a perfect entry point into the larger Bitcoin ecosystem.

Where Do I Start?

For those starting out, there are two options for RaspiBlitz: you can build it yourself or purchase a prepackaged version available through carriers like Fulmo and Lightning in a Box. A quick search for RaspiBlitz will also yield many walkthroughs and guides to help you along your journey. The RaspiBlitz community is very active, and their Telegram group is a great resource to fall back on when you have technical questions.

For those already running a node on RaspiBlitz and thinking about migrating to c-lightning or just wanting to try it out in tandem with other implementations, you can explore and get familiar with the c-lightning Github and repository. To get in touch with our team about collaborating and helping to build the many software innovations on c-lightning, such as plugin infrastructure, we recommend contacting us on Libera IRC in #c-lightning and our official Telegram.