Lighthouse is an Eth client with a heavy focus on speed and security. The team behind it, Sigma Prime, is an information security and software engineering firm who have funded Lighthouse along with the Ethereum Foundation, Consensys, and private individuals. Lighthouse is built in Rust and offered under an Apache 2.0 License.

1. Initial configuration

Create a service user for the consensus service, create data directory and assign ownership.

sudo adduser --system --no-create-home --group consensus
sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/lighthouse
sudo chown -R consensus:consensus /var/lib/lighthouse

Install dependencies.

sudo apt install curl -y
sudo apt install jq -y

2. Install Binaries

  • Downloading binaries is often faster and more convenient.

  • Building from source code can offer better compatibility and is more aligned with the spirit of FOSS (free open source software).

Option 1 - Download binaries

Run the following to automatically download the latest linux release, un-tar and cleanup.

BINARIES_URL="$(curl -s $RELEASE_URL | jq -r ".assets[] | select(.name) | .browser_download_url" | grep x86_64-unknown-linux-gnu.tar.gz$)"

echo Downloading URL: $BINARIES_URL

cd $HOME
# Download
wget -O lighthouse.tar.gz $BINARIES_URL
# Untar
tar -xzvf lighthouse.tar.gz -C $HOME
# Cleanup
rm lighthouse.tar.gz

Install the binaries.

sudo mv $HOME/lighthouse /usr/local/bin/lighthouse
Option 2 - Build from source code

Install rust dependency

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh

When prompted, enter '1' to proceed with the default install.

Update your environment variables.

echo export PATH="$HOME/.cargo/bin:$PATH" >> ~/.bashrc
source ~/.bashrc

Install rust dependencies.

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install -y git gcc g++ make cmake pkg-config libssl-dev libclang-dev clang protobuf-compiler

Build the binaries.

mkdir -p ~/git
cd ~/git
git clone -b stable
cd lighthouse

In case of compilation errors, run the following sequence.

rustup update
cargo clean

Verify lighthouse was built properly by checking the version number.

lighthouse --version

Install the binary.

sudo cp $HOME/.cargo/bin/lighthouse /usr/local/bin/lighthouse

3. Setup and configure systemd

Create a systemd unit file to define your consensus.service configuration.

sudo nano /etc/systemd/system/consensus.service

Paste the following configuration into the file.

Description=Lighthouse Consensus Layer Client service for Goerli

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/lighthouse bn \
  --datadir /var/lib/lighthouse \
  --network goerli \
  --staking \
  --validator-monitor-auto \
  --metrics \
  --checkpoint-sync-url= \
  --port 9000 \
  --execution-endpoint \
  --execution-jwt /secrets/jwtsecret


To exit and save, press Ctrl + X, then Y, then Enter.

Run the following to enable auto-start at boot time.

sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable consensus

Finally, start your consensus layer client and check it's status.

sudo systemctl start consensus
sudo systemctl status consensus

Press Ctrl + C to exit the status.

Check your logs to confirm that the consensus client is up and syncing.

sudo journalctl -fu consensus | ccze

Press Ctrl + C to exit the logs.

4. Helpful consensus client commands

sudo journalctl -fu consensus | ccze

Example of Synced Lighthouse Consensus Client Logs

Feb 03 01:02:36.000 INFO New block received                      root: 0xb5ccb2f85d981ca9e1c0d904f967403ddf8c47532c195fe213c94a28ffaf6a2e, slot: 2138
Feb 03 01:02:42.000 INFO Synced                                  slot: 2138, block: 0x1cb281a, epoch: 121, finalized_epoch: 120, finalized_root: 0x1dce0, exec_hash: 0x6827aeb (verified), peers: 50, service: slot_notifier

Now that your consensus client is configured and started, you have a full node.

Proceed to the next step on setting up your validator client, which turns a full node into a staking node.

If you wanted to setup a full node, not a staking node, stop here! Congrats on running your own full node! 🎉

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