Setup a Lodestar validator client

Create a service user for the validator service, as this improves security, then create data directories.

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

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

cd /usr/local/bin/lodestar
sudo ./lodestar validator import \
  --network mainnet \
  --dataDir="/var/lib/lodestar/validators" \

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 ./lodestar validator list \
  --network mainnet \

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/lodestar/validators
sudo chmod 700 /var/lib/lodestar/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=Lodestar Validator Client service for mainnet

ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/lodestar/lodestar validator \
  --network mainnet \
  --dataDir /var/lib/lodestar/validators \
  --beaconNodes \
  --metrics true \
  --metrics.port 8009 \
  --graffiti "🏠🥩🪙🛡️" \
  • 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: 100% of local keystores imported. current=2 total=2 rate=975.61keys/m
info: 2 local keystores
info: 0x82b225f66476962b161ed015786df00a0b7b28231915e6d09e81ba8d5c4ae8502b6d5337e3bf101ad72741dc69f0a7cf
info: 0x95d39860a0d6ea3b92cba78069d21f3a987988f3b8417b14f0945353d79ed9e338bbe6e9d63d487abc044a710ce34866

Press Ctrl + C to exit the logs.

Example of Synced Lodestar 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: Published attestations".

Feb-1  03:33:30.228     info: Published aggregateAndProofs slot=2662, index=13, count=1
Feb-1  03:37:48.393     info: Published attestations slot=2699, index=20, count=1
Feb-1  03:46:36.450     info: Published attestations slot=2713, index=2, count=1
Feb-1  03:53:48.944     info: Published attestations slot=2765, index=21, count=1
Feb-1  04:01:48.812     info: Published attestations slot=2809, index=17, count=1

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