Casa Node Update - May 16, 2019
Today's update includes upgrades to LND (now on v0.6, planning to update to v0.6.1 in our next release), a new loading screen, and a bug fix.
Upgrading LND to v0.6
The Lightning Labs team recently released v0.6 of LND, which is a huge update with lots of goodies. You can read the full release notes here, but here is a quick summary of what Casa Node users should see the most impact from.
- Static Channel Backups
- Multiple speed improvements
- Better shutdown process, resulting in less likelihood of data corruption
**IMPORTANT** This update will take longer to reset.
Let your Casa Node sit for ~26 minutes after you run the update and log in to "Unlock Lightning." This will give your channels time to come back online.
Static Channel Backups
We implemented our own version of channel backups in an April release. We're now switching to the official version made by Lightning Labs. The initial implementation of static channel backups ("SCB") isn't perfect, but it allows for recovering funds in Lightning channels in case your node hard drive is corrupted.
Each time you open a channel, your node saves that initial data to the backup file. We are currently saving this backup file directly to the Casa Node's SD card, but in the future could offer other forms of backup.
When you restore a node using SCB, your node checks the information for each channel to find the channel partner—the node on the other end of the channel. It then asks each channel partner to force close the channel they had open with you, resulting in the channel funds being deposited to your on-chain BTC wallet.
There are two downsides to this:
- To recover your funds in channels, your channels have to close, which can take some time. Then you need to reopen channels to get reconnected to the network.
- Your node doesn't know the current balance in each channel, only the opening channel balance. This means you're relying on the partner node to truthfully broadcast the latest balance in the channel. While it's unlikely, the partner could try to steal funds from you, since your node doesn't know the latest balance. This risk will be mitigated when watchtowers are added in a future release of LND.
Static channel backups are still in an early state, and the Lightning Labs team has some improvements in the works. For now, this is a big step forward in keeping your Lightning funds secure.
We're all understandably impatient when updating or rebooting our Casa Node, which can take a minute or two, especially during updates. Before now, we haven't stopped people from using the dashboard while the node is updating or booting up. Sometimes this has resulted in people trying to use their node before it has completely finished starting, which (go figure) results in a less than stellar experience.
To show when the node is still booting, we've added a loading screen. While nobody really likes waiting for a loading screen, we at least made ours real pretty, so you can get lost in the deep colors while your Casa Node gets ready for action.
- We fixed a bug where some nodes wouldn't be able to start up or access the dashboard due to an IPv4 address error.
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