Create a service user for the validator service and create data directories.

sudo adduser --system --no-create-home --group validator
sudo mkdir -p /var/lib/lighthouse/validators

Import your validator keys by importing your keystore file. Be sure to enter your keystore password correctly.

sudo lighthouse account validator import \
  --network mainnet \
  --datadir /var/lib/lighthouse \
  --directory=$HOME/staking-deposit-cli/validator_keys \

WARNING: Do not import your validator keys into multiple validator clients and run them at the same time, or you might get slashed. If moving validators to a new setup or different validator client, ensure deletion of the previous validator keys before continuing.

Verify that your keystore file was imported successfully.

sudo lighthouse account_manager validator list \
  --network mainnet \
  --datadir /var/lib/lighthouse

Once successful, you will be shown your validator's public key.

For example, 0x8d9138fcf5676e2031dc4eae30a2c92e3306903eeec83ca83f4f851afbd4cb3b33f710e6f4ac516b4598697b30b04302

Setup ownership permissions, including hardening the access to this directory.

sudo chown -R validator:validator /var/lib/lighthouse/validators
sudo chmod 700 /var/lib/lighthouse/validators

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

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

Paste the following configuration into the file.

Description=Lighthouse Validator Client service for mainnet

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/lighthouse vc \
  --network mainnet \
  --beacon-nodes http://localhost:5052 \
  --datadir /var/lib/lighthouse \
  --graffiti="🏠🥩🪙🛡️" \
  --metrics \
  --metrics-port 8009 \

  • Replace<0x_CHANGE_THIS_TO_MY_ETH_FEE_RECIPIENT_ADDRESS> with your own Ethereum address that you control. Tips are sent to this address and are immediately spendable.

  • If you wish to customize a graffiti message that is included when you produce a block, add your message between the double quotes after --graffiti. Maximum length is 16 characters.

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 validator

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

sudo systemctl start validator
sudo systemctl status validator

Check your logs to confirm that the validator clients are up and functioning.

sudo journalctl -fu validator | ccze

For example when using 2 validators, logs will show the following:

INFO Enabled validator          voting_pubkey: 0x82b225f66476962b161ed015786df00a0b7b28231915e6d09e81ba8d5c4ae8502b6d5337e3bf101ad72741dc69f0a7cf, signing_method: local_keystore
INFO Enabled validator          voting_pubkey: 0x95d39860a0d6ea3b92cba78069d21f3a987988f3b8417b14f0945353d79ed9e338bbe6e9d63d487abc044a710ce34866, signing_method: local_keystore
INFO Initialized validators     enabled: 2, disabled: 0

Press Ctrl + C to exit the logs.

Example of Synced Lighthouse Validator Client Logs

  • Once the validator is active and proceeded through the validator activation queue, attestation messages will appear indicating successful attestations.

  • Notice the key words "INFO Successfully published attestations".

Feb 08 01:01:0 INFO Successfully published attestations type: unaggregated, slot: 12422, committee_index: 3, head_block: 0xabc111daedf1281..., validator_indices: [12345], count:1, service: attestation 
Feb 08 01:01:30 INFO Connected to beacon node(s) synced: 1, available: 1, total: 1, service: notifier

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