New xDai Validator: Node setup

After you are approved as a new validator, you will setup your node and complete the onboarding process.

For prior steps in the process, see the New Validator Process Flow.

If you experience any issues during installation, post your questions in the https://forum.poa.network/c/xdai-chain/validators-support-private.

8.Setup and configure your Validator Node

I. Prerequisites of control machine

+---------------------+ +-------------------------+
| | | |
| local host | ansible | remote host |
| (control machine) +------------------> (validator node) |
| | | |
+---------------------+ +-------------------------+

Operating system

MacOS/Linux-based.

SSH Keys

If you know what ssh keys are, skip this section.

  1. Check if you already have a keypair:

    ls -la ~/.ssh

    if you get an error that the directory does not exist or the directory is empty, follow the instructions below. If you already have key pair, you can skip the rest of this section.

  2. Generate new ssh key-pair

    ssh-keygen -t rsa -b 4096 -C "your_email@example.com"

    insert your email address and a strong password. By default, keys will be saved to ~/.ssh/ and named id_rsa with your public key being ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub.

Python

Check that you have python 2 version >= 2.6.5 or python 3 version >= 3.3 installed

python --version

if not - install using appropriate binary from here

Ansible

  1. Check that you have ansible version >= 2.3 installed

    ansible --version

    if not - follow this guide to install ansible. For example, you can use pip to do it:

    sudo pip install ansible

Git

Check that you have git installed

git --version

if not - install it following instructions here

II. Validator Node setup

Node setup is at your discretion - criteria are included in the following instructions.

  • Non-AWS Instructions: Create a node yourself with your favorite hosting provider (e.g. AWS/Azure/OVH/etc).

  • AWS Instructions: Use our automated playbooks to create a node on AWS (requires creating an account on AWS).

III. Ansible Playbook Configuration

  1. clone repository with ansible playbooks and checkout branch corresponding to xDai:

    git clone https://github.com/poanetwork/deployment-playbooks.git
    cd deployment-playbooks
    git checkout dai
  2. prepare files with ssh keys (replace id_rsa.pub with your key name)

    cat ~/.ssh/id_rsa.pub > files/admins.pub
    cp files/admins.pub files/ssh_validator.pub
  3. create file with configuration settings:

    cat group_vars/all.yml.network group_vars/validator.yml.example > group_vars/all.yml
  4. edit group_vars/all.yml file in your favorite text editor, e.g. nano:

    nano group_vars/all.yml

Provide the following configuration parameters:

  • NODE_FULLNAME - enter your organization name (this will be publicly visible)

  • NODE_ADMIN_EMAIL - enter your public email (this will be publicly visible)

  • NETSTATS_SERVER - ask an existing validator (e.g. POA) to provide you with correct url of the netstats server

  • NETSTATS_SECRET - ask an existing validators (e.g. POA) to share the netstats secret code with you or look it up in the private part of the forum if you already have access. Do not share it with non-validators or people outside of xDai network

  • MINING_KEYFILE - insert content of your mining keystore file here, enclosed in single brackets (content of json keystore file for your mining key). The result should look similar to this:

    MINING_KEYFILE: '{"address":"..."}'
  • MINING_ADDRESS - insert your mining key address, e.g.

    MINING_ADDRESS: "0x..."
  • MINING_KEYPASS - insert passphrase from keystore file

In nano, to save file and exit, use CTRL+X and then Y

IV. Running ansible playbook

1) create a file named hosts from the hosts.example file (again, using nano as an example)

cp hosts.example hosts
nano hosts

Add only the following content - other fields can be deleted / commented out. (replace 192.0.2.1 with your node's actual ip address):

[validator]
192.0.2.1
[ubuntu]
192.0.2.1

2) run ansible playbook, replace path of --key-file argument with your desired SSH key

ansible-playbook -i hosts validator.yml -K --key-file "~/.ssh/id_rsa"

The process should complete successfully. During installation you may be asked to provide sudo password for the user on remote host.

3) open https://dai-netstat.poa.network and check that your node appears on the list and has >0 peers. Wait until it synchronizes with the rest of the blockchain (block number and block hash should match the rest of the network).

4) Inform the current validators that your node is running. You can do this through the public or private forum.

9. Wait for vote finalization by current validators

The current validators will finalize the vote. After this occurs, they will let you know to proceed through the forum.

9a. [Optional] Wait for bridge validation setup

Only if you are also being added as a bridge validator. If so, wait for confirmation before proceeding to step 10.

10. Set Metadata

After the approval vote has been finalized by the current validators, you will provide a description of your organization (metadata). To set your metadata for the first time, go to https://validators.poa.network/poa-dapps-validators/set, connect to xDai chain, and select your VOTING key.

Select I’m a Company and provide the full company name and contact email address. Then click Update metadata and sign the transaction.

Once this is complete, open https://blockscout.com/poa/dai and find a block generated by you (your mining key) in the last few blocks. This will be the final confirmation that your node is running and mining blocks. Unless you are also on boarding as a bridge validator, the process is complete!

11. [Optional] Bridge validator setup

If you are also becoming a bridge validator, setup your bridge node.