The whole process is explained here.

This is a bitcoin wallet that fully validates transactions and blocks.

By downloading bitcoin core I become a bitcoin node (this is not the same as miner). A client that is downloading the blockchain and validating using the local computer.

I used this link.

This is a very heavy installation, currently the bitcoin blockchain is ~200GB and it continues to grow every month. You can use pruning to reduce the space required by creating a file “bitcoin.conf” in the blockchain data folder with this content:

prune=550

You can find default locations fo the blockchain data folder here. In my case as I am running linux is:

~/.bitcoin

Another solution to save disk space might be to use another network as testnet or regnet.

Some people install the blockchain on an external hard drive to keep the machine HD clean.

After downloading it, I just need to untar the file:

tar xvzf bitcoin-0.17.0.1-x86_64-linux-gnu.tar.gz

Install it:

sudo install -m 0755 -o root -g root -t /usr/local/bin bitcoin-0.17.0/bin/*

And run the GUI by executing this:

bitcoin_qt

I’ll start downloading the blockchain from the very beginning. You can close the application and the sync will continue when you run the application again.

Within the config file ~/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf you may add a configuration line in order to access a certain network (testnet or regnet). Mainnet is default, so you can comment the lines if you like to access to it.

#~/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf

#testnet=1
regtest=1

Bitcoin Mainnet: Primary Network where real live transactions take place.
Bitcoin Testnet: Alternative Bitcoin blockchain that provides a test environment for applications.
Bitcoin Regnet: Alternative test network for testing bitcoin applications locally.