# Checking for Updates

One of the responsibilities of a node operator is making sure your system is up to date with the latest security patches. Automatic updates are convenient but can interfere with your node operation, so it may be preferable to run them manually. In either case, you must make sure that your machine is regularly patched!


Most of the time, updating will not require your system to be down for more than a few minutes. You might be concerned that such downtime will negatively affect your Beacon Chain balance. Rest assured, the penalty for being offline for such a short period of time is completely negligible.

Each attestation you miss will penalize you for slightly less than the amount you'd earn from a successful attestation. As a rule of thumb, if you're offline for an hour, you will earn it all back after being online for an hour again.

Also note that there is absolutely no chance that you will be slashed by going offline for a short time. Slashing only occurs if you attack the network, and going offline for maintenance does not count as attacking the network.

Please keep your systems up to date - don't worry about the downtime penalties!

# Updating your Operating System

You should frequently check your Operating System's package manager or update service to ensure that quickly apply any new important security patches. The exact instructions vary for each Operating System and can be found with your system's documentation, but here are a few examples.

# Updating the Smartnode Stack

Occasionally, Rocket Pool will release a new version of the Smartnode stack. Updates can contain new versions of the CLI or the Rocket Pool Docker containers, as well as new versions of the Execution and Consensus clients.

The most consistent way to find out about new releases is to subscribe to the Rocket Pool Discord server; they will always be posted in the Releases channel and you will receive a notification.


Note that running apt update will not update the node software. This must be done manually using the steps below.


When you have completed the Smartnode upgrade, the Grafana dashboard will still indicate there is still an update available. It will automatically clear within a day when the system next auto-checks for updates.

If you want to clear it immediately after the update, simply run: sudo apt update

The steps to upgrade depend on which mode your node uses. Select from the options below:

# Manually Updating the Execution or Consensus Client

Each new release of the Smartnode stack will come with updated references to the latest compatible versions to the Execution and Consensus Docker containers. In some cases, however, you might want to upgrade one of those clients before waiting for a new Smartnode stack release. This section will show you how to do just that.

When you're happy with your changes, save and exit as usual. The Smartnode will offer to restart all of the affected containers automatically.