Enabling DKG

The ssv-dkg tool enable operators to participate in ceremonies to generate distributed validator keys for Ethereum stakers.

The ssv-dkg tool is separate from the ssv-node, and could be running on a different machine, but the two are heavily correlated, as the keyshare generated by the ssv-dkg tool, will ultimately be used by the Node itself to manage the related validator.

If you wish to take part in DKG ceremonies initiated by stakers and increase your opportunity to run their validators, it is crucial to have your ssv-dkg client online at all times.

Also, in order to access logs it is necessary to utilize permanent storage when running this software.


In order to successfully participate in DKG ceremonies initiated by stakers, you will need to possess and/or provide this information:

  • Operator ID - the ID of your operator within the SSV network.

  • Operator Key Pair

  • Machine Endpoint - the endpoint (protocol:ip:port) of the machine intended to run the ssv-dkg client (if you have a domain name, instead of an ip that works as well)

You must use the same key of your SSV operator when running ssv-dkgnode. Using a different key will result in the inability to successfully complete the DKG ceremony.


It is advised launching the tool as a Docker image as it is the most convenient way and only requires to have Docker installed. The team builds a Docker image with every release of the tool.

All of the necessary configuration information can be provided in a YAML file.

A good way to manage all the necessary files (encrypted_private_key.json, password) is to store them in a single folder (in this case operator-config), together with the operator.yaml configuration file, like so:

ssv@localhost:~/ssv-dkg# tree operator-config
├── encrypted_private_key.json
├── operator.yaml
└── password

1 directory, 3 files

With this configuration, a typical configuration file would look like this:

privKey: /data/encrypted_private_key.json
privKeyPassword: /data/password
port: 3030
logLevel: info
logFormat: json
logLevelFormat: capitalColor
logFilePath: /data/debug.log
outputPath: /data/output

In the config file above, /data/ represents the container's shared volume created by the docker command itself with the -v option.

Under the assumption that all the necessary files (encrypted_private_key.json, operator.yaml, password) are under the same folder (represented below with <PATH_TO_FOLDER_WITH_CONFIG_FILES>) you can run the tool using the command below:

docker run -u $(id -u):$(id -g) --restart unless-stopped --name ssv_dkg -p 3030:3030 -v "<PATH_TO_FOLDER_WITH_CONFIG_FILE>":/data -it "bloxstaking/ssv-dkg:latest" start-operator --configPath /data/operator.yaml

A quick explanation of the command flags is due:

  • -u flag makes sure the container will write any output as the current user

  • --restart unless-stopped makes sure that, in case of a crash, the container will automatically restart. It will only stop when manually stopped

  • --name provisions the container with the specific name, so it's easier to find, with docker ps

Just make sure to substitute <PATH_TO_FOLDER_WITH_CONFIG_FILES> with the actual folder containing all the files (e.g. /home/my-user/operator-config/).

You can, of course, change the configuration above to one that suits you better, just be mindful about changing the path references in the docker command and in the operator.yaml file as well. The two need to be consistent with each other.

This command will keep the terminal busy, showing the container's logs. It is useful to make sure that the tool start up sequence runs correctly.

You can detach the terminal at any time by hitting Ctrl-c key combination, or closing the terminal itself. The tool will be stopped, but it will restart automatically, thanks to the --restart unless-stopped startup parameter.

If you are sure that the tool works, and don't care about the logs, you can add the -d parameter right after docker run.

When you set up your firewall on your DKG node machine, make sure to expose the port you set in the configuration (and Docker container creation command ,if running on Docker). The default is 3030.

Update Operator Metadata

To participate in DKG ceremonies without coordination and to enable others to initiate ceremonies with you via your provided endpoint, it's crucial to update your operator metadata with the correct information.

Once the DKG tool is up and running, please make sure to update your operator metadata, and provide your DKG Operator endpoint, in the form of protocol:ip:port (if you have a domain name, instead of an ip that works as well).

Please head over to the Operator User guide on how to update metadata and follow the instructions

Test the setup

You can test out if your DKG node is correctly setup, with these simple steps:

  • fetch operator metadata from SSV-API (e.g. https://api.ssv.network/api/v4/<holesky | mainnet>/operators/<OPERATOR_ID> choosing the right network and substituting your operator ID) and get dkg_address from the output

  • run the command:docker run "bloxstaking/ssv-dkg:latest" ping --ip ${dkg_address} where dkg_address comes from previous step

It should tell you if the operator is online and is updated to the latest version.

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