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Tutorial: Blockchain Explorer with Raspberry Pi

How to setup the Chain-Grabber module on a Raspberry Pi device

This is a guide for developers and data scientists interested in storing the Ergo blockchain to a standardized database format using a Raspberry Pi.

We will focus specifically on the Chain Grabber module from the Ergo Blockchain Explorer (backend).


  • Raspberry Pi with official OS installed
  • Minimum 60GB of disk space available
  • SSH enabled with stable internet connection

Preparing the RPi

sudo apt update
sudo apt full-upgrade

Download latest Java version

sudo apt install default-JDK

Download sbt

echo "deb /" | sudo tee -a /etc/apt/sources.list.d/sbt.list
curl -sL "" | sudo apt-key add
sudo apt update
sudo apt install sbt

Download and unzip precompiled JAR

If you are reading this in the future, please visit the code release repo and replace it with the appropriate version.


unzip explorer-backend-<version>

Install PostgreSQL

In the code snippet below, we created "ergo" as the username.

sudo apt install postgresql
sudo su postgres
createuser ergo -P --interactive

Setup and load database schema

create database explorer;
\c explorer;
\i /explorer-backend-9.4.3/modules/explorer-core/src/main/resources/db/V9__Schema.sql
The final line of code above executes a SQL script that creates a bunch of tables and indices to be populated later by the Chain Grabber.

Update app config

This is where you need to edit the database username and password you set up earlier.

sudo nano explorer-backend-9.4.3/modules/chain-grabber/src/main/resources/application.conf

Launch chain-grabber

Run the following command from within the explorer-backend directory.

sbt chain-grabber/run


If all goes well, the code below returns the latest block height that was stored in the database.

select max(height) from node_headers;