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Installing execution client

Ethereum requires a connection to execution client in order to monitor for 32 ETH validator deposits. Hosting your own execution client is the best way to maximize decentralization.
The subsequent steps assume you have completed the best practices security guide.
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Do not run your processes as ROOT user.
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Create a jwtsecret file

A jwtsecret file contains a hexadecimal string that is passed to both Execution Layer client and Consensus Layer clients, and is used to ensure authenticated communications between both clients.
#store the jwtsecret file at /secrets
sudo mkdir -p /secrets
#create the jwtsecret file
openssl rand -hex 32 | tr -d "\n" | sudo tee /secrets/jwtsecret
#enable read access
sudo chmod 644 /secrets/jwtsecret

Pick an execution client

Your choice of either Geth, Besu, Nethermind, or Erigon.
To strengthen Ethereum's resilience against potential attacks or consensus bugs, it's best practice to run a minority client in order to increase client diversity. Find the latest distribution of execution clients here: https://clientdiversity.org/
Geth
Besu
Nethermind
Erigon
Geth - Go Ethereum is one of the three original implementations (along with C++ and Python) of the Ethereum protocol. It is written in Go, fully open source and licensed under the GNU LGPL v3.
Review the latest release notes at https://github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum/releases
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Install from the repository
sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:ethereum/ethereum
sudo apt-get update -y
sudo apt-get install ethereum -y
Setup and configure systemd
Run the following to create a unit file to define your eth1.service configuration.
Simply copy/paste the following.
cat > $HOME/eth1.service << EOF
[Unit]
Description=Geth Execution Layer Client service
Wants=network-online.target
After=network-online.target
[Service]
Type=simple
User=$USER
Restart=on-failure
RestartSec=3
TimeoutSec=300
ExecStart=/usr/bin/geth \
--mainnet \
--metrics \
--pprof \
--authrpc.jwtsecret=/secrets/jwtsecret
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
EOF
Move the unit file to /etc/systemd/system and give it permissions.
sudo mv $HOME/eth1.service /etc/systemd/system/eth1.service
sudo chmod 644 /etc/systemd/system/eth1.service
Run the following to enable auto-start at boot time.
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable eth1
Start geth
sudo systemctl start eth1
Hyperledger Besu is an open-source Ethereum client designed for demanding enterprise applications requiring secure, high-performance transaction processing in a private network. It's developed under the Apache 2.0 license and written in Java.
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Install java dependency
sudo apt update
sudo apt install openjdk-17-jdk -y libjemalloc-dev
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Download and unzip Besu
Review the latest release at https://github.com/hyperledger/besu/releases
Run the following to automatically download the latest linux release, un-tar and cleanup.
BINARIES_URL="$(curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/hyperledger/besu/releases/latest | grep -o 'https://hyperledger.jfrog.io/hyperledger/besu-binaries/besu/.*tar.gz' | sed -e 's/.*\\n\(https.*.tar.gz$\)/\1/')"
echo Downloading URL: $BINARIES_URL
cd $HOME
wget -O besu.tar.gz "$BINARIES_URL"
tar -xzvf besu.tar.gz -C $HOME
rm besu.tar.gz && mv besu-* besu
Setup and configure systemd
Run the following to create a unit file to define your eth1.service configuration.
Simply copy/paste the following.
cat > $HOME/eth1.service << EOF
[Unit]
Description=Besu Execution Layer Client service
Wants=network-online.target
After=network-online.target
[Service]
Type=simple
User=$USER
Restart=on-failure
RestartSec=3
KillSignal=SIGINT
TimeoutStopSec=300
Environment="JAVA_OPTS=-Xmx5g"
ExecStart=$HOME/besu/bin/besu \
--network=mainnet \
--metrics-enabled=true \
--sync-mode=X_CHECKPOINT \
--data-storage-format=BONSAI \
--data-path="$HOME/.besu" \
--Xplugin-rocksdb-high-spec-enabled \
--engine-jwt-secret=/secrets/jwtsecret
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
EOF
Good to know: --Xplugin-rocksdb-high-spec-enabled allows Besu increased database performance. Recommended for machines with 16GB of RAM or more.
Move the unit file to /etc/systemd/system and give it permissions.
sudo mv $HOME/eth1.service /etc/systemd/system/eth1.service
sudo chmod 644 /etc/systemd/system/eth1.service
Run the following to enable auto-start at boot time.
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable eth1
Start besu
sudo systemctl start eth1
Nethermind is a flagship Ethereum client all about performance and flexibility. Built on .NET core, a widespread, enterprise-friendly platform, Nethermind makes integration with existing infrastructures simple, without losing sight of stability, reliability, data integrity, and security.
Install dependencies
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install curl libsnappy-dev libc6-dev jq libc6 unzip -y
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Download and unzip Nethermind
Run the following to automatically download the latest linux release, un-zip and cleanup.
cd $HOME
curl -s https://api.github.com/repos/NethermindEth/nethermind/releases/latest | jq -r ".assets[] | select(.name) | .browser_download_url" | grep linux-amd64 | xargs wget -q --show-progress
unzip -o nethermind*.zip -d $HOME/nethermind
rm nethermind*linux*.zip
Setup and configure systemd
Run the following to create a unit file to define your eth1.service configuration.
Simply copy/paste the following.
cat > $HOME/eth1.service << EOF
[Unit]
Description=Nethermind Execution Layer Client service
Wants=network-online.target
After=network-online.target
[Service]
Type=simple
User=$USER
Restart=on-failure
RestartSec=3
KillSignal=SIGINT
TimeoutStopSec=300
WorkingDirectory=$HOME/nethermind
ExecStart=$HOME/nethermind/Nethermind.Runner \
--baseDbPath $HOME/.nethermind \
--Metrics.Enabled true \
--Metrics.ExposePort 6060 \
--Metrics.IntervalSeconds 10000 \
--Sync.SnapSync true \
--JsonRpc.JwtSecretFile /secrets/jwtsecret
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
EOF
Move the unit file to /etc/systemd/system and give it permissions.
sudo mv $HOME/eth1.service /etc/systemd/system/eth1.service
sudo chmod 644 /etc/systemd/system/eth1.service
Run the following to enable auto-start at boot time.
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable eth1
On Ubuntu 22.xx+, a workaround is required.
sudo ln -s /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libdl.so.2 /usr/lib/x86_64-linux-gnu/libdl.so
Start Nethermind
sudo systemctl start eth1
Erigon - Successor to OpenEthereum, Erigon is an implementation of Ethereum (aka "Ethereum client"), on the efficiency frontier, written in Go.
Erigon is considered alpha software and requires at least 16GB RAM.
Install Go dependencies
Find the latest release of Go from here and update the download URL for the tar.gz file below.
wget -O go.tar.gz https://go.dev/dl/go1.19.linux-amd64.tar.gz
sudo rm -rf /usr/local/go && sudo tar -C /usr/local -xzf go.tar.gz
echo export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin>> $HOME/.bashrc
source $HOME/.bashrc
Verify Go is properly installed and cleanup files.
go version
rm go.tar.gz
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Build and install Erigon
Install build dependencies.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt install build-essential git
Review the latest release at https://github.com/ledgerwatch/erigon/releases
cd $HOME
git clone --recurse-submodules -j8 https://github.com/ledgerwatch/erigon.git
cd erigon
make erigon
Make data directory and update directory ownership.
sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/erigon
sudo chown $USER:$USER /var/lib/erigon
Setup and configure systemd
Run the following to create a unit file to define your eth1.service configuration.
Simply copy/paste the following.
cat > $HOME/eth1.service << EOF
[Unit]
Description=Erigon Execution Layer Client service
Wants=network-online.target
After=network-online.target
[Service]
Type=simple
User=$USER
Restart=on-failure
RestartSec=3
KillSignal=SIGINT
TimeoutStopSec=300
ExecStart=$HOME/erigon/build/bin/erigon \
--datadir /var/lib/erigon \
--chain mainnet \
--metrics \
--pprof \
--prune htc \
--authrpc.jwtsecret=/secrets/jwtsecret
[Install]
WantedBy=multi-user.target
EOF
By default with Erigon, --prune deletes data older than 90K blocks from the tip of the chain. For example, if tip block is no. 12'000'000, then only the data between 11'910'000-12'000'000 will be kept).
Move the unit files to /etc/systemd/system and give it permissions.
sudo mv $HOME/eth1.service /etc/systemd/system/eth1.service
sudo chmod 644 /etc/systemd/system/eth1.service
Run the following to enable auto-start at boot time.
sudo systemctl daemon-reload
sudo systemctl enable eth1
Start Erigon
sudo systemctl start eth1

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Helpful execution client commands

View logs
Stop
Start
View Status
journalctl -fu eth1
sudo systemctl stop eth1
sudo systemctl start eth1
sudo systemctl status eth1

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Next Steps

If you're checking the logs and see any warnings or errors, please be patient as these will normally resolve once both your execution and consensus clients are fully synched to the Ethereum network.