So you want to install an SSV node? You've come to the right place!
Once you have your node running you'll be able to participate in multiple validator clusters and earn rewards 🥳
SSV node setup is also available using eth-docker and Stereum Launcher, so you can use those if you prefer.

System Requirements

The SSV node that you are installing with these instructions is only the SSV node, not an Ethereum Execution Client or Beacon Client (e.g. not Get/Lighthouse or Besu/Teku, etc.). You will need those clients to already be running and synced, either on a different machine or the same machine.
All cloud services are supported for your node setup (see a reference example on AWS here).
The minimum system requirements shown below are for a machine that is only running an SSV node. If you plan to run the SSV node on the same machine as your Execution Client and/or Beacon Client, these minimum requirements will be needed in addition to your existing requirements.
💻 Machine running Ubuntu
🎛️ 4 cores (3 minimum)
⚡️ 4GB RAM
📀 20GB storage (5GB minimum)
🧮 IOPS > 10K

Ethereum Node Requirements

The Ethereum clients used by your SSV node can be running on the same machine or a different machine. Ideally, to improve client diversity (Erigon client is still not supported), you will be running minority clients 👀 .

Execution Client

This can be any Ethereum Execution client (e.g. Geth, Besu, etc.). You will see this node referenced as ETH1 in the SSV configuration.
You MUST enable WebSocket on your Execution Client as the SSV node requires that connection to work.
The specific configuration will be different for each Execution Client. For example, for Geth, add the command line flag --ws to the Geth start command to enable the WebSocket RPC server.

Beacon Client

This can be any Ethereum Beacon Node client (e.g. Prysm, Lighthouse, Tekou, Nimbus, or any client utilizing standard REST HTTP). You will see this node referenced as ETH2 in the SSV configuration.


Enable SSH

You will need to be able to connect to your server:
SSH into a Cloud server (e.g. AWS)
If you have generated an SSH key for your server or downloaded one from your Cloud hosting provider (e.g. AWS)
cd ./{path to the folder to which the key pair file was downloaded}
chmod 400 {key pair file name}
ssh -i {key pair file name} ubuntu@{instance public IP you took from AWS}
cd /{path to the folder to which the key pair file was downloaded}
ssh -i {key pair file name} ubuntu@{instance public IP you took from AWS}

Install Docker

Another fundamental pre-requisite is to have Docker installed on the machine hosting the SSV Node. In order to do so, please refer to the official Docker documentation, and find the option that better fits your server configuration.
In order to run the SSV Node, in a server, only Docker engine is necessary, you can still go ahead and install Docker Desktop, but it will not be necessary unless you plan to use the Graphical Interface.
Once you're connected and on the command line, the next steps are to configure and run the SSV Node docker image to create keys and start your SSV Node. If you are not familiar with Docker, and run into some issues while running the node, try and take a look at the FAQ at the bottom of this page.

Generate Operator Keys

Your Operator Public Key (PK) and Secret Key (SK) are generated with this command:
docker run -it --rm bloxstaking/ssv-node:latest /go/bin/ssvnode generate-operator-keys
Your PK is required when registering your operator to the network.
The command output will look like this:
PK Example
SK Example
Be careful when you select and copy the entire Secret Key (SK) and make sure to include any "=" characters at the very end 👀
Make sure to store and back up your operator's Secret Key (SK) in a safe place.
Do not share this key with anyone.

Create Configuration File

Copy the following config.yaml file, just be sure to replace all the placeholders (ETH2_NODE, ETH1_WEBSOCKET_ADDRESS, OPERATOR_SECRET_KEY, etc.) with actual values.
In particular, substituteOPERATOR_SECRET_KEY with the operator secret key generated above (e.g. LS0tLS1CRUdJTiBSU0EgUFJJVkF...)
# Console output log level
LogLevel: info
# Debug logs file path
LogFilePath: ./data/debug.log
# Path to a persistent directory to store the node's database.
Path: ./data/db
# The SSV network to join to
# Mainnet = Network: mainnet (default)
# Testnet = Network: jato-v2
Network: mainnet
# Whether to enable MEV block production. Requires the connected Beacon node to be MEV-enabled.
BuilderProposals: false
# HTTP URL of the Beacon node to connect to.
BeaconNodeAddr: <ETH2_NODE> # e.g. http://example.url:5052
# WebSocket URL of the Eth1 node to connect to.
ETH1Addr: <ETH1_WEBSOCKET_ADDRESS> # e.g. ws://example.url:8546/ws
# Optionally provide the external IP address of the node, if it cannot be automatically determined.
# HostAddress:
# Optionally override the default TCP & UDP ports of the node.
# TcpPort: 13001
# UdpPort: 12001
# Note: Operator private key can be generated with the `generate-operator-keys` command.
OperatorPrivateKey: <OPERATOR_SECRET_KEY>
# This enables monitoring at the specified port, see
MetricsAPIPort: 15000
Make sure your ETH1Addr endpoint is communicating over WebSocket and not over HTTP in order to support subscriptions and notifications.

Create and Start the Node using Docker

Now, for the part you've been waiting for... actually starting your SSV node!
To start your node, run the following Docker command in the same folder you created the config.yaml file in the previous step:
docker run -d --restart unless-stopped --name ssv_node -e \
CONFIG_PATH=/config.yaml -p 13001:13001 -p 12001:12001/udp -p 15000:15000 \
-v "$(pwd)/config.yaml":/config.yaml -v "$(pwd)":/data -it \
"bloxstaking/ssv-node:latest" make BUILD_PATH="/go/bin/ssvnode" start-node && \
docker logs ssv_node --follow

Other Configuration

If you don't want to use those default ports, it's best to change them in your config.yaml file as well as changing the ports on the container creation command (simply changing the host port mappings on the Docker command isn't enough!).
You can also add your HostAddress to the config, which is the public static IP address of the machine.
UdpPort: 12001
TcpPort: 13001
When you set up your firewall on your SSV node machine, make sure to expose the ports that you set in the container creation command. The defaults are 12001 UDP and 13001 TCP.

Docker FAQ

What happens if my machine restarts?
If you look at the Docker command you ran to start the node you'll see the part that says:
--restart unless-stopped
This means that the Docker container running your node will always try to restart if it crashes, or if the whole machine turns off and then restarts.
How do I stop the node?
In the command above, you named your node:
This is how you will reference your node with other docker commands.
To stop the node run:
docker stop ssv_node
How do I start the node?
If for some reason your node has stopped (maybe you manually stopped it 🤔) you don't need to run the full creation command again, as that will actually throw an error saying that the Docker container already exists.
In the command above, you named your node:
This is how you will reference your node with other docker commands.
To start a container, run the command:
docker start ssv_node
How do I view the logs again?
In the command above, you named your node:
This is how you will reference your node with other docker commands.
To view the logs when your node is running, use the command:
docker logs ssv_node
How do I update my node?
In the command above, you named your node:
This is how you will reference your node with other docker commands.
To update your SSV node, you will need to stop your current node:
docker stop ssv_node
Then remove it (this only removes the old Docker image, not all of your data!):
docker rm -f ssv_node
Then pull the latest image from SSV:
docker pull bloxstaking/ssv-node:latest
And finally... run the creation command again from the top of this section to create a new Docker container with the latest SSV image.