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Rasp-bee-ry Pi


It is not recommended to run a full node on a Raspberry Pi. Please ensure Bee is running in 'light-node' mode.

You will need:

  • Raspberry Pi 4
  • 128GB Micro SD Card
  • SD card reader or some way to write to your SD Card
  • Micro to Normal HDMI Cable (Male->Male)
  • USB keyboard and mouse
  • USB C power adapter suitiable for your Pi
  • A monitor or TV with a HDMI input
  • Another computer
  • The password for you WiFi network or an ethernet connection*

Install Raspbian OS and Start Your Pi#

To get started download the official SD card formatter and format your card . A 'quick format' should suffice. You may try to skip this step, but completing it will ensure your best chance of success.

Next download the official Raspberry Pi Imager and use it to image the Raspberry Pi OS on to your SD card. This is a port of the Debian Linux operating system which is designed to work well with your Raspberry Pi's hardware.

Once you have installed the operating system. Take your SD card and place it into your Raspbery Pi. Connect the HDMI cable to suitable monitor, plug in your keyboard and mouse, and then connect the USB C power connector to power on the Pi.

If all goes well, you should see the Raspbian OS starting to to boot up on your Pi! πŸŽ‰

Now all that is left is to click on the WiFi icon to the immediate left of the speaker icon, and connect to your WiFi network. If you are using an ethernet connection, you may simply plug it in to your router.

Now click on the >_ terminal icon on the right hand side. This is the login shell g33ks use to interact with the computer. Welcome, you are now one of us. 🧑

Type the following, followed by the enter key to ping Wikipedia.


If you see something like this, your Pi is now connected to the Internet!

sig@rapberrypi:~ $ ping
PING ( 56 data bytes
64 bytes from icmp_seq=0 ttl=60 time=1469.724 ms
64 bytes from icmp_seq=1 ttl=60 time=22.271 ms

Install Bee Clef and Bee#

Next we will install the Bee software, accompanied by a special port of Ethereum's Clef signer, Bee Clef.

We must install Bee Clef before Bee. To do so, open the browser (the 🌐 icon) and type the following to open these docs on your Raspberry Pi

Click Install > Bee Clef and scroll down to find the installation commands for Bee Clef ARM (Raspberry Pi) ARMv7. These should look something like:

sudo dpkg -i bee-clef_0.12.0_armv7.deb

Click Copy on the right hand side of the box containing the instructions, then go back to your terminal on your Raspberry Pi, right click with your mouse and paste in the commands. The first one will execute immediately because there is a 'newline' or 'enter' character.

You should see some output from the wget command which is a Linux utility this is used to download the correct Bee Clef 'package' from Github, where the development of the Bee utilities takes place.

bee-clef_0.12.0_armv7.deb.1 100%[===================================================================>] 9.99M 8.21MB/s in 1.2s
2021-05-15 17:34:02 (8.21 MB/s) - β€˜bee-clef_0.12.0_armv7.deb’ saved [10473282/10473282]
pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo dpkg -i bee-clef_0.12.0_armv7.deb

The other command will be left in your terminal, this uses the dpkg utility, the Debian Package Manager to install Bee Clef. Package Managers are used to conveniently install software on Linux systems.

Press enter to start the installation process. All being well, you will see some output like this:

pi@raspberrypi:~ $ sudo dpkg -i bee-clef_0.12.0_armv7.deb
Selecting previously unselected package bee-clef.
(Reading database ... 98610 files and directories currently installed.)
Preparing to unpack bee-clef_0.12.0_armv7.deb ...
Unpacking bee-clef (0.12.0) ...
Setting up bee-clef (0.12.0) ...
Created symlink /etc/systemd/system/ β†’ /lib/systemd/system/bee-clef.service.

Finally, if running a mainnet node, amend the configuration at /etc/default/bee-clef to include:


Congratulations! You just installed Bee Clef!

Now to repeat the process for Bee itself.

Go back to the and click Installation > Quick Start. Scroll down and copy the commands for ARM (Raspberry Pi) ARMv7.

As before, right click and paste these into your terminal, wget will download the package file, you may then press enter to install the Bee package using dpkg.

After download and installation are complete you will see output similar to the following:

Please make sure there is sufficient ETH and BZZ available on the node's Ethereum address: 738853974f852a40f6ea9f598596ca8556bd578f.
learn how to fund your node by visiting our docs at
Once the node's wallet has received the funds it will begin joining the Swarm network.

Your Bee node needs BZZ to be able to properly interact with the network. In order to receive these, you will need to sign into our Discord and request your BZZ test tokens from our #faucet channel using the above Ethereum address.

Sign into Discord (make an account if you don't have one yet), join our Discord server, complete verification and go to the #faucet channel.

Here you must type (not copy paste) the following, replacing the address with your own:

/faucet sprinkle 0xabeeecdef123452a40f6ea9f598596ca8556bd57

After some time, you should receive a notification indicating your transaction has been successful. The faucet will have made a transfer of XDAI (for gas), and BZZ (so that you can interact with the Swarm network). You can check out what's been going on in the blockchain by navigating to and searching your address. All being well, you will see two succesfull transactions.

Bee Tidy#

Now, for a moment, let's have a little look around in our Bash Terminal so we can start to feel at home in the command line. Type the following command and press enter:

ls -la

You can think of your terminal as a very old way of interacting with your computer that was always there while you were in the graphic user interface, you just didn't know it. The terminal is home to many small programs that are designed to do one purpose very well. This is the Linux mantra. The command line is very powerful, but can be a little unwieldy and clunky at times. Once mastered, your fingers will have gained a magical control of the bits and the bytes.

ls was originally written way back in 1987 but still persists to this day. It is still entered into terminals literally millions of times a day by thousands of engineers, hobbyists and geeks all over the world and is present in even very basic Linux distributions.

Here, we have specified the l 'flag' (l is for 'long') to get the long version of the information and the h flag to get 'human readable' file sizes.

Your output should looks something like this:

-rw-r--r-- 1 pi pi 3523 Mar 4 22:47 .bashrc
-rw-r--r-- 1 pi pi 10787806 Mar 23 08:18 bee_1.6.0_armv7.deb
-rw-r--r-- 1 pi pi 10473282 Feb 24 18:00 bee-clef_0.12.0_armv7.deb
drwxr-xr-x 2 pi pi 4096 Mar 4 22:57 Bookshelf

For more information, you can use the man utility to read the manual. Type man ls for a full list of the options you can specify as flags. Press q to exit the man program.

Now, let's use the rm program to remove the clutter and delete the .deb files we no longer need.

rm bee_1.6.0_armv7.deb

The rm program gives no output, so let's check it's dissapeared by checking the contents of the directory. This time we will also you the 'pipe' command, which passes the output of one command to the next, and the grep command which searches through the output and only prints lines that match the pattern.

ls -la | grep "bee"
-rw-r--r-- 1 pi pi 10473282 Feb 24 18:00 bee-clef_0.12.0_armv7.deb

Success! The Bee package file is deleted! Note at the command line there is no undelete. With great power comes great resposibility. Please use your new powers wisely, and only for the good of the swarm as a whole. 🐝🧑

All that is left now is to delete the Bee package file, since we have completed this step. Type rm bee and press your tab button. Bash (the name of the shell/program running the terminal) will autocomplete your file name. Now press enter to delete your file.

Start Your Bee#

If all has gone to plan, by this point your Bee will have been funded by our faucet and you should bee ready to start up your client.

The dpkg package manager has used our .deb package file to install Bee and set up the the systemd service which will manage and control our bee program as it runs happily in the background on our computers, earning BZZ, and serving and forwarding content to other bees all over the planet!

We can now use the systemctl utility to interact with systemd. For more info, you can type man systemctl to read about it.

Let's see what the status of your bee service is.

systemctl status bee

You will be shown a bunch of information including the current status and the output of the logs. Press q to exit.

Let's see what the current logs are saying.

journalctl -u bee -f

Here we have used the -u flag (u is for unit) to only show the output for the bee process, and f for follow, to continuously update the logs as new ones appear.

Open another terminal window using the same button as before and type:

systemctl restart bee

This will restart the Bee process. You should see some activity in the logs (journal) as Bee shuts down and restarts.

Now we need to specify some Bee configuration. In order to access the blockchain, your Bee needs to access an Ethereum blockchain node. We recommend running your own XDAI Node, but for now let's take the easy way and sign up to Once you have created an account, go to your dashboard and make a new project (you can call it whatever you'd like to). Then use the api key to create your api url as follows http://localhost:8545. Keep this open for later.

Now we will configure your Bee node so it can access the blockchain, deploy your chequebook and start making transactions to cash out those BZZ cheques from your peers! Type:

sudo nano /etc/bee/bee.yaml

To open the nano program which is a old time text editor, we're going to party like it's 1999. Note we're using the sudo command to wrap nano. This is short for super user do and gives us full permissions to do anything in our Raspberry Pi OS.

Hold down Ctrl and press W to access the where is? functionality. Type swap-endpoint and press Enter. This will take you to the correct part of the config file. Here we will change the value to look like the following, using your Infura url from before. Most configuration at the command line is done by changing files and then restarting processes just like this! Make sure to pay attention to detail so that everything is exact, even one misplaced character can cause issues. πŸ”

## swap ethereum blockchain endpoint (default "http://localhost:8545")

To save and exit, hold Ctrl and press X, then Y and finally Enter to agree to write the file. You can see the different commands that are available listed at the bottom of the screen, for example ^X Exit.

Ok! We're all set! Let's restart Bee and watch our logs as the chequebook transactions begin to be processed.

systemctl restart bee

There are many other configuration options available to fine tune Bee. Please check out the configuration section of the docs for more info.

Now, in your other terminal window where Bee's logs are still being output, you should start to see transactions being submitted by Bee to the blockchain and processed. Eventually Bee will begin to connect to other Bee 'peers' in the Swarm.

Once you start to see messages like:

successfully connected to peer 7fa40ce124d69ecf14d6f7806faaf9df5d639d339a9d343aa7004373f5c46b8f (outbound)

You're connected to the swarm. Let's do a quick check to find out how many peers we have using the curl command line utility:

curl localhost:1635/peers
"peers": [
"address": "339cf2ca75f154ffb8dd13de024c4a5c5b53827b8fd21f24bec05835e0cdc2e8"
"address": "b4e5df012cfc281e74bb517fcf87fc2c07cd787929c332fc805f8124401fabae"

If you see peers listed here - congratulations! You have joined the swarm! Welcome! 🐝