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Can I run a Pyrsia node?

Yes, have a look at Quick Installation and one of the package specific tutorials on Docker or Maven.

Do I have to participate in artifact distribution?

The more nodes participate in artifact distribution, the better of course. But if you only want to run a Pyrsia node to consume artifacts, that works as well.

How can I clean a Pyrsia storage on my local machine?

To reset your environment, you can remove the pyrsia directory where all data created through the Pyrsia transactions such as cached artifacts and transparency logs are stored.

This sometimes solves issues which occur due to backward-incompatible changes.

On Linux, you can run this command:

rm -rf /usr/local/var/pyrsia

On Windows and macOS, the location varies up to the way you install Pyrsia. If you just followed Quick Installation, use the following commands:

# Windows (Command Prompt)
rd /s c:\Pyrsia\Pyrsia\service\pyrsia
# macOS
rm -rf $(brew --prefix)/var/pyrsia