This tutorial provides you with the very first steps you need to take in order to set up a IOTA node. If at any point you don’t understand the meaning of a term used in this guide check out the Glossary.
Subscribe to the IOTA slack channel (slack.iota.org). This is where you can gather the latest information and the number one platform if you need help! Make sure to join the sub-channels #releases, #nodesharing, #trading and #botbox (You will learn later what you need those for).
Now you need to know how an IOTA node works in general. A node (let’s call it "Bert") is part of the global IOTA network and is constantly exchanging information with its neighbours (nodes that are connected with Bert). This information is the status of the network: who made transactions, how many transactions etc.
An example: A node, Grover, is connected with Ernie, and Ernie is connected with Bert (meaning that Grover and Ernie, as well as Ernie and Bert, are neighbours). Grover broadcasts a new transaction and Ernie is getting this information directly from him. Because Ernie and Bert are also connected, Bert gets this information, too. In this way, everybody in the network is kept up to date.
Sometimes nodes in a network might search automatically for neighbours (automatic peer-to-peer discovery). However, this is not the case for IOTA (this is by design as IOTA is designed to be as easy as possible for machines) and you need to add neighbours manually to your node. You do this by exchanging IP addresses with other users that run nodes on the network using the slack channel #nodesharing.
At this point it becomes important that you have a static IP address, as otherwise, your neighbours need to update your IP address every time it changes in order to stay connected to you. If you don’t have one, check out our tutorial here
In the future, the IOTA Foundation will be releasing services making it easier to find neighbours.
If you need further help feel free to ask the community on Slack or in the forums.