Starting Rocket Pool
At this point, you should have the complete Rocket Pool infrastructure running, including the Smartnode stack, an Execution and a Consensus client. You should also have hardened your operating system from outside attackers. If you've completed both of these steps, you're ready to create a Rocket Pool node and begin staking. If not, please review the previous sections and return here once you've completed those steps.
Starting and Stopping the Rocket Pool Services
Now that you have the Smartnode installed, starting the stack is easy. Simply enter the following command:
rocketpool service start
This command will create all of the necessary Docker images if they don't already exist, make sure the Rocket Pool docker network and storage volumes have been initialized, and update any containers if they no longer match the configuration settings from
rocketpool service config's UI.
The first time you do it, the output should look like this:
$ rocketpool service start
Creating network "rocketpool_net" with the default driver
Creating volume "rocketpool_eth1clientdata" with default driver
Creating volume "rocketpool_eth2clientdata" with default driver
Creating rocketpool_eth1 ...
Creating rocketpool_eth1 ... done
Creating rocketpool_eth2 ...
Creating rocketpool_api ...
Creating rocketpool_api ... done
Creating rocketpool_eth2 ... done
Creating rocketpool_watchtower ...
Creating rocketpool_mev-boost ...
Creating rocketpool_mev-boost ... done
Creating rocketpool_node ...
Creating rocketpool_validator ...
Creating rocketpool_validator ... done
Creating rocketpool_node ... done
Creating rocketpool_watchtower ... done
If it does, then the Smartnode stack has been successfully initialized and is now running.
If you ever need to stop the services (for example, during an upgrade or because you need to do maintenance), you can use
rocketpool service stop to shut everything down. The output should look like this:
$ rocketpool service stop
Are you sure you want to pause the Rocket Pool service? Any staking minipools will be penalized! [y/n]
Stopping rocketpool_node ...
Stopping rocketpool_validator ...
Stopping rocketpool_watchtower ...
Stopping rocketpool_mev-boost ...
Stopping rocketpool_eth2 ...
Stopping rocketpool_api ...
Stopping rocketpool_eth1 ...
Stopping rocketpool_validator ... done
Stopping rocketpool_node ... done
Stopping rocketpool_watchtower ... done
Stopping rocketpool_api ... done
Stopping rocketpool_mev-boost ... done
Stopping rocketpool_eth2 ... done
Stopping rocketpool_eth1 ... done
Once you call this, Rocket Pool will not automatically start after a system reboot. You will have to call
rocketpool service start to start all of the Docker containers and enable auto-start on reboot again.
Confirming the Correct Version and Network
Once the containers or services are up, a good first step is to confirm that you have the correct versions of the clients and are on the network that you expect. You can do this with the following command:
rocketpool service version
The output will look like this (note that you may have a newer version than what is displayed here, this is just an example):
Your Smartnode is currently using the Ethereum Mainnet.
Rocket Pool client version: 1.6.4
Rocket Pool service version: 1.6.4
Selected Eth 1.0 client: Geth (Locally managed)
Selected Eth 2.0 client: Lighthouse (Locally managed)
The first line will tell you if your Smartnode is configured for the Ethereum mainnet or for the Holesky testnet.
For Docker / Hybrid users: If you are not on the network you expect to be on, go back to the Installing Rocket Pool section and review the installation instructions - you may have missed the portion that has different instructions depending on which network you want to use.
For Native users: If you accepted the default settings when you first ran
rp service config, then it's possible that the network reported here is incorrect. Simply switch it in the
rp service config TUI, in the
Smartnode section, to the proper network and restart your
The second set of lines will tell you which clients you're using, and which versions of them are defined in Rocket Pool's configuration.
Checking the Service Status and Logs
Now that the Smartnode services have been started, it's a good idea to check that they're running correctly without errors.
The first thing to check is whether the Docker containers are running well, or if they are constantly restarting due to an error. Run the following command:
The results should look like this:
CONTAINER ID IMAGE COMMAND CREATED STATUS PORTS NAMES
4c1de08a352b prom/prometheus:v2.37.0 "/bin/prometheus --w…" 9 days ago Up 9 days 9090/tcp rocketpool_prometheus
56940decdd1f sigp/lighthouse:v2.5.1 "sh /setup/start-bn.…" 9 days ago Up 9 days 0.0.0.0:9001->9001/tcp, 0.0.0.0:9001->9001/udp, :::9001->9001/tcp, :::9001->9001/udp rocketpool_eth2
bd061e632535 grafana/grafana:8.5.9 "/run.sh" 9 days ago Up 9 days 3000/tcp, 0.0.0.0:3100->3100/tcp, :::3100->3100/tcp rocketpool_grafana
5c4db92762fb ethereum/client-go:v1.10.21 "sh /setup/start-ec.…" 9 days ago Up 9 days 8545-8546/tcp, 0.0.0.0:30303->30303/tcp, 0.0.0.0:30303->30303/udp, :::30303->30303/tcp, :::30303->30303/udp rocketpool_eth1
e20c560861fc rocketpool/smartnode:v1.5.0 "/bin/sleep infinity" 9 days ago Up 9 days rocketpool_api
4cf8d364fb90 rocketpool/smartnode:v1.5.0 "/go/bin/rocketpool …" 9 days ago Up 9 days rocketpool_watchtower
9eb944c29997 rocketpool/smartnode:v1.5.0 "/go/bin/rocketpool …" 9 days ago Up 9 days rocketpool_node
2ca5d3dcb471 sigp/lighthouse:v2.5.1 "sh /setup/start-vc.…" 9 days ago Up 9 days rocketpool_validator
dedc577fe361 prom/node-exporter:v1.3.1 "/bin/node_exporter …" 2 weeks ago Up 9 days rocketpool_exporter
The key thing to check is the
STATUS column. If none of the entries state
Restarting..., then the containers should be running properly (see the below note for an exception about the
If you are using Prysm or Lodestar as your Consensus client, you will likely notice the
rocketpool_validator container is constantly restarting. This is okay! The validator container will fail until a new validator has been created using the
rocketpool node deposit command, which we will cover in the Creating a Minipool (Validator) section. Once this is done, the container will function correctly - until then, just ignore it.
Still, it might be useful to check the logs of the various services.
To check on the logs, use the
rocketpool service logs <container> command, where
<container> is one of
For example, to check the logs for your ETH1 client:
$ rocketpool service logs eth1
Attaching to rocketpool_eth1
eth1_1 | INFO [06-17|05:17:19.052] Imported new block receipts count=25 elapsed=26.651ms number=247,000 hash=6583ec..35eb1c age=2y3mo2w size=15.72KiB
eth1_1 | INFO [06-17|05:17:19.098] Imported new block headers count=192 elapsed=18.515ms number=247,551 hash=b7d5e4..d49faf age=2y3mo2w
eth1_1 | INFO [06-17|05:17:19.334] Imported new block receipts count=371 elapsed=46.450ms number=247,371 hash=dd3240..1ed173 age=2y3mo2w size=266.59KiB
eth1_1 | INFO [06-17|05:17:19.354] Imported new state entries count=1271 elapsed=2.866ms processed=374,695 pending=3134 trieretry=0 coderetry=0 duplicate=0 unexpected=0
eth1_1 | INFO [06-17|05:17:19.441] Imported new block headers count=384 elapsed=35.331ms number=247,935 hash=4c4dba..5bf8b6 age=2y3mo2w
eth1_1 | INFO [06-17|05:17:19.460] Imported new block receipts count=180 elapsed=33.648ms number=247,551 hash=b7d5e4..d49faf age=2y3mo2w size=128.73KiB
eth1_1 | INFO [06-17|05:17:19.480] Imported new block headers count=192 elapsed=19.122ms number=248,127 hash=aa70b9..40d139 age=2y3mo1w
eth1_1 | INFO [06-17|05:17:19.486] Imported new block receipts count=6 elapsed=26.042ms number=247,557 hash=fd6656..ca2439 age=2y3mo2w size=3.77KiB
You should do this for both
eth2 to make sure both clients are running without any errors.
When you're done looking at the logs, you can exit and return to the command prompt using
Ctrl + C.
Waiting for Your ETH Clients to Sync
Now that your clients have started up, you're going to want to wait until your Execution and Consensus clients have finished syncing with the network before proceeding.
One easy way to check on their status is with the following command:
rocketpool node sync
This command will show how far along your Execution & Consensus clients are in the syncing process, similar to this:
$ rocketpool node sync
Your Smartnode is currently using the Holesky Test Network.
Your eth2 client is on the correct network.
Your primary execution client is fully synced.
You do not have a fallback execution client enabled.
Your consensus client is still syncing (99.69%).
You can call this occasionally to keep tabs on your clients' progress.
To get an actual ETA of the sync time, it's easiest to look at the logs for your clients with
rocketpool service logs eth1 and
rocketpool service logs eth2 respectively (or the equivalent log script commands if you're using the hybrid / native modes.) Each client typically provides an ETA on its sync status in its log output.
It can take days to fully sync both ETH1 and ETH2 depending on your client selection and your machine's hardware profile. This is expected. Sit back, relax, and wait for both of them to finish.
If your node is not syncing at all or has no peers, it may be because your router is blocking ports 30303 and 9001. If they're closed, you'll need to setup port forwarding on your router. Also, make sure your node has a static local IP address so the port forwarding does not break due to your node getting a new address.
Once your clients have synced, you're ready to either create a new wallet if this is your first node, or recover an existing wallet if you're restoring from a backup or migrating from another provider such as Allnodes to your own hardware.
Select which one you'd like to learn more about and follow the steps in the corresponding guide.