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I need(ed) to generate wallet addresses and being new to working with cryptocurrencies, the initial research I did about how to generate wallets (via the official documentation) told me that running a full node was a way to do it.

So I downloaded the package from getmonero.org and fired it up ( ./monerod via the command line), it started sync but was ungodly slow (I just wanted to experiment and get familiar with everything).

After spending multiple days in a coffeeshop waiting on the sync to complete, I decided to search for ways to speed up the initial sync of the blockchain.

It suggested using wget to directly download blockchain.raw file and then import it, so I did.

The peer to peer sync had managed to download about 80% of the blockchain previous to this but it just kept getting slower and slower and was driving me crazy.

I have an SSD, plenty of memory, CPU and GPU, and I had checked the internet speed of the coffeeshop (over 250 Mbps, and not many users) and so those were not the issue.

Since then I have bought a hardware wallet that I can use to generate wallet addresses, and found software that seems to let me generate wallets (and I'm now in the process of installing the full node on a dedicated machine) so I'm not in need of a solution to this, just explaining the situation...I had no idea that installing it on my laptop just so I could get familiar with it would be such an ordeal.

Anyway, when I download the blockchain it only downloaded about 90%. I assumed it was incomplete and that my download had been interrupted so I downloaded it again (I'm pretty certain that downloading it directly is faster than P2P sync for me, because I can download "all" of it, which is about 90% in 6 hours, whereas it took me about 10-15 hours to sync to 80%).

Between everything, I have downloaded it 3 different times now so this isn't a fluke.

Anyway, the direct download for import gets about 90% of the blockchain and that's it. The file has a timestamp of Feb 7, 2022 at 6:04am, which is nearly 2 years ago.

Simply put, what gives?

Obviously the people that have uploaded the file to their server for download haven't updated it, but is there some reason why not?

At this point, I have been sitting here in the coffeeshop working (with it syncing as I do other things) for 5 additional hours today and I'm up to 93% (so less than 3% took over 5 hours).

It does seem to get slower and slower as I sync more of it (which is aggravating when you are trying to calculate how long it takes and the first day of syncing I was able download 10% in under an hour so at that rate, I figured I'd be done by the end of the day, then on day 2 or 3, I was able to sync 7% in 3:45), is that true for everyone? Is it really slower as it gets closer to the end of the sync?

It is not a bandwidth limit in the coffeeshop, the same things happens in a bar where I work when I've had too much coffee, and thinking might be a bandwidth regulating router I even installed a program that lets me spoof my MAC address and it didn't help at all.

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This isn't a complete answer but a partial one:

At first (when I posted this question), just to get familiar with everything, I installed Monero on my regular laptop, which has a 1TB SSD hard drive and already had about 500GB on it.

By the time I had installed all the relevant software (there was other software not mentioned above that I installed as part of the same project) and synced the entire Monero blockchain, I was up to about 850 or 900 GB (total of 350-400GB, with approximately half of that being used just by Monero and its blockchain) and my entire computer started acting really buggy.

Simply put, my everyday computer did not like having that much data, at least not that was being accessed that frequently, on my hard drive.

And the Monero daemon/software just didn't like being stopped/interrupted/re-started...at least not in a timeframe like I was accustomed to for my everyday laptop which at most I'd spend 5 minutes after giving a "stop" command before I was packed up, shutting the lid and moving to a different location (or stopping until whatever time I sat down to work again).

In my experience, the software is finicky. It's OK if you just start it and leave it alone and let it run (on a hard drive that is no more than 50-75% full) but anything that interrupts it does not go over well.

In the end, I was able to get everything up and running smoothly and fairly quickly, without manually importing the blockchain, just by using a fresh (newly formatted) 1TB external SSD hard drive and not messing with it.

I haven't played with it, or even had it running, in a while, but due to how finicky it is, my plan now is to set up a VPS for my full node and only use the machines in my physical possession as miners.

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