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Part 1 - Rocket Pool - Node Operator's Configuration Guide for Dummies

Updated: Feb 5, 2022


Rocket Pool is an Ethereum 2.0 staking pool. The protocol seeks to lower both the capital and hardware requirements for staking on ETH 2.0, adding to the decentralization and security of Ethereum. To achieve this, Rocket Pool allows users to stake trustlessly towards a network of node operators. Run a validating node requires 16 ETH rather than the 32 ETH minimum and offers higher APY interest vs. solo staking.

The dummies guide is mostly copy-paste from the official documentation but slightly simplified, pertaining to Mainnet and Docker installations only, contains my recommendations, and follows a strong security posture without overwhelming new operators. I highly encourage running this guide alongside their documentation!

If you get stuck along the way, or you have questions before you begin, please feel free to join the Rocket Pool Discord. The community is active and highly supportive.

I don't accept any responsibility for lost funds. You must read and understand everything thoroughly from this guide and the official documentation before you begin! You should set up a test node on the Prater network before attempting Mainnet.

This will be an eleven-part series covering the following topics:


Part 1 - Rocket Pool - Node Operator's Configuration Guide for Dummies


  1. 16 Ethereum

  2. 1.6 Ethereum worth of Rocket Pool Tokens - currently ~137 RPL (You can use the Rocket Pool Tool to calculate your RPL requirements)

  3. A physical computer/server/NUC or Virtual Private Server (VPS) This guide is not applicable for Raspberry Pi installations; please refer to the official documentation.

  4. Basic familiarity with SSH and command-line interface (CLI) terminal

  5. Running a node in the Rocket Pool protocol is a long-term commitment until withdrawals are enabled from the beacon chain. You will not be able to withdraw your funds until later!

  6. Grab a coffee; you need to focus.

Hardware Requirements

  • A stable Internet connection. The longer you stay online, the better your rewards. A spotty Internet connection will hurt your returns, and by extension, the rETH ratio growth.

  • At least 1 MB/s of bandwidth. A full node usually takes around 500 KB/s to 1 MB/s of network traffic, depending on your settings.

  • No data cap is imposed by your ISP. Running a full node will take a lot of data - we have seen reports of over 1 TB per month on-chain data alone. This can be mitigated somewhat with a few settings tweaks to the ETH clients, but as a rule of thumb, don't run a full node if your Internet plan comes with a monthly data cap.

  • Stable electricity. For the same reason as needing a stable Internet connection, you also want to have reliable power. This can be mitigated with a large UPS (backup battery) to deal with short blackouts.

  • A computer with sufficient specs. The computer can be a local machine, or it can be a Virtual Private Server (VPS) hosted in the cloud.

The following are considered minimum requirements:

  • Linux

  • Quad-core CPU (or dual-core hyperthreaded); both x64 and arm64 are supported

  • 8 GB of RAM (preferably DDR4) (I recommend 16 GB for future-proofing)

  • 2 TB of free SSD Disk Space (It must be a solid-state drive, disk platter hard drives (HDD) is not fast enough to handle the constant read/writes)

Virtual Private Server (VPS) Recommendations

If you have opted not to use your own physical machine, you may utilize either of these VPS recommendations:

Virtual CPUs: 16 Cores

Memory Size: 64 GB

Disk Space: 2 TB SSD

Bandwidth: 80 TB

Price: €40.00 Monthly

Virtual CPUs: 10 Cores

Memory Size: 60 GB

Disk Space: 1.6 TB SSD

Bandwidth: 32 TB

Price: $40.00 Monthly

You may also opt to use the larger enterprise cloud providers, e.g., Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and Amazon AWS.

Security Hardening

Now that you have selected your machine type, you should complete the following guides in their entirety to secure your server.

If you find this article informative, please support my efforts by donating to my Ethereum ENS address: geekbyte.eth

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