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Node Running Guide

In this guide, we’ll be using DigitalOcean (DO) as our go-to Virtual Private Server (VPS) service. The same can be replicated on Vultr, AWS, any other cloud service or for node runners at home. While it is indeed possible to run a node on home infrastructure, this guide will not deal with those types of setups.

We work under the assumption that you’ve already created an account for your respective service, and provided it with a payment method.

Create a droplet

DO uses droplets, which are Linux-based virtual machines. When you’re logged in and have set up a default project, navigate to Droplets under the Manage section of your project, and click on Create Droplet.

Create droplet page.

On the Create Droplets page, select any of the provided regions under the Choose Region header. Choosing different regions is good for decentralization and resilience.

Under Choose an image, pick Ubuntu version 22.04 (LTS) x64.

Select region and image for the droplet.

Next, we have to pick the size of the droplet. The node requirements for a provisioner node are in line with the SHARED CPU -> Regular -> $24/mo option. Select it.

Select size of the droplet.

Choose an authentication method to access your droplet. Using a SSH key is more secure, but you can also use a password if you prefer. We recommend the SSH key approach. You can follow DOs instructions here: How to Add SSH Keys to New or Existing Droplets

Set an authentication method.

That’s it for creating your droplet! Give it a hostname, and click on Create Droplet:

Create the droplet.

DO will now set the droplet up for you. This can take a minute:

Droplet being created.

Configure Firewall

The Rusk node makes use of the Kadcast protocol to communicate messages between nodes on the network. This protocol uses UDP, and runs on a custom port. Due to the nature of how UDP works, Kadcast is not automatically port forwarded. Regardless of where the node is hosted, it is important that this is done.

Depending on the cloud provider, we need to either add a firewall rule on the instance you’re running, or add a firewall group. If you’re running a local setup, you will need to enable port forward in your router.

DO works with firewall groups. Navigate to Networking -> Firewalls under the Manage section of your project. Click on the Create Firewall button.

Create firewall page.

Give the firewall a name, open UDP under port 9000 and TCP under 8080. Leave all the Outbound rules as they are.

Apply the rules to the nocturne-node droplet you made.

Your firewall should look as follows:

Configure firewall.

Click on Create Firewall to apply this firewall to your node’s droplet.

Install Rusk

Navigate back to your droplets overview and select your Nocturne droplet:

Droplet overview.

You can connect to your node through SSH on your local machine, or simply click on Console on your droplets page:

Connect to droplet through web UI.

A terminal should pop-up and connect you to your Droplet

Droplet terminal.

Just like last time, we’ve created an easy to use node installer. This installer will set up Rusk as a service on your droplet, preconfigure parts of the node, and provide a couple of helper scripts.

Install Rusk by pasting the following command in your droplet terminal:

Terminal window
curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSfL | sudo sh

Configure Rusk

Once everything has been set up, you will be asked to add your consensus keys. These keys are used to sign and vote for blocks.

If you haven’t made a wallet yet, go to our Web Wallet and create a new wallet. You can request funds from our Discord faucet. The faucet will give you 400 nDUSK. The minimum to stake is 1000 nDUSK.

Once you have access to a Dusk mnemonic, run the following command:

Terminal window
rusk-wallet restore

If your node is not running, it will tell you some operations won't be available. This is fine, and happens due to your node not being online yet. You can still continue to follow the steps below.

You will be asked to provide your recovery phrase/mnemonic, in lowercase, and to enter a password for the wallet.

Once you’ve done so, run the following command to export a consensus key for the given wallet:

Terminal window
rusk-wallet export -d /opt/dusk/conf -n consensus.keys

You will be asked to set an encryption password for the consensus key. Remember it and run the following script to set it as an environment variable:

Terminal window
sh /opt/dusk/bin/

If you’ve configured everything correctly, you can now start rusk:

Terminal window
service rusk start

Your node will now start syncing. You can check if it indeed is by running:

Terminal window
ruskquery block-height

It is best to wait until your node is synced up. You can find the latest block height on our explorer.

Stake nDUSK

The final step is to stake. You can stake by running:

Terminal window
rusk-wallet stake --amt 1000 # Or however much you want to stake

Once the transaction has gone through, you can view your staking information by running:

Terminal window
rusk-wallet stake-info

To see if your node is participating in consensus and creating blocks, occasionally check:

Terminal window
grep "execute_state_transition" /var/log/rusk.log | tail -n 5

Note that this can take a while, given that your stake needs at least 2 epochs, or 4320 blocks, to mature. Your stake, relative to the total stake, also plays a factor.

If everything went right, and your node starts accepting and creating blocks, you have successfully set up your Nocturne node!