Nethermind Sedge
November 21st, 2022

Set up an Ethereum /Gnosischain validator in under 30mins

What is Sedge: A one-click setup tool for PoS network/chain validators for Ethereum and Gnosischain, Sedge takes care of the entire on-premise full node setup based on the chosen client, using generated docker-compose scripts based on the desired configuration.

You of course, still need to sync chain data which can take a while, but the whole set-up process is minutes as sedge will automate much of the configuration that goes into a validator setup. Simply download Sedge select client for Execution layer node and consensus layer node, it will configure the setup including checking and installing dependencies on your system.

Sedge is developed by Nethermind client team

Sedge is a tool that focuses on ease of use and, as such, lowers the entry barrier for non-technical users. If you are interested in being a solo-validator for Ethereum or Gnosischain but have little technical experience then this tool may be for you.

Sedge, will not run or maintain the validator for you, with sedge you are a solo-staker, you should be comfortable with the responsibilities involved

To Run a Validator

To run a validator for Ethereum or Gnosischain there are two main Nodes, an Execution Layer client is required this is typically referred to as a full node, it stores the state of the blockchain and connects to other full nodes. This is needed to interact with the chain.

Consensus Layer Client (or Beacon Node) uses beacon node client software to coordinate Ethereum/Gnosischain proof-of-stake consensus.

Validator Client, This is special piece of software that manages validator keys and duties such as producing new blocks and voting on others' proposed blocks. Validator clients connect to the Ethereum network through beacon nodes, which depend on execution nodes.

There are a number of different client implementations for these node types (you can find many here) To setup a Validator, these clients have to be configured correctly the process of which varies client to client. Sedge will handle the configuration of these node types for you.


You should run your validator on a dedicated server/device. Would recommend installing Linux Ubuntu 20.04LTS, find out how to boot to a new device here

Specs: You don’t need a $5k PC setup, both Ethereum and gnosischain were designed to be run on consumer hardware. I picked up a $300 PC tower, came with 16GB ram & intel i5 4Core CPU. No graphics card, whatever integrated graphics is fine, this is one thing we don’t care about at all.

Internet: You need Ethernet Connection (Wifi is no good). Internet should be at least 100 Mb/s download. But keep in mind you don’t need a data centre to run a validator on these networks, a little bit of downtime will not effect rewards/profitability badly.

Storage: the most important component, hard-disk is no go, its simply too slow, you won’t be able to keep in sync. Get a quality SSD (preferably NVMe SSD) but a higher grade SATA SSD is fine.

1. Install Sedge

Find the latest release of Sedge from here

Look for Releases find the latest version, under assets (as were using ubuntu) the file we want is for linux-amd64. At time of writing this was 0.4.0 but the latest version should be used if available.

You can copy the link to use in the command below
You can copy the link to use in the command below

Open the Terminal in Ubuntu, and download the Sedge binary with the following. This will download v0.5.0 release which is merge ready.

wget -O sedge 

Make Executable

chmod +x sedge

Add to Path

sudo cp sedge /usr/local/bin/sedge

Run this to confirm installation

sedge --help
This is what you should see if installed successfully
This is what you should see if installed successfully

2. Initialize Sedge

To start Sedge and start your Execution Node and Beacon Node with Validator Node

sedge cli 

This will default to Ethereum Mainnet and will select random clients for you

If we wanted to run a validator on Gnosischain we can select the network as follows, can display compatible networks with sedge networks

sedge cli --network gnosis

If we want to select our clients we can do so like this, for example lighthouse for our consensus layer, and nethermind for our execution layer

sedge cli --network gnosis -c lighthouse -e nethermind

As this is a fresh Ubuntu Install and you have likely not installed any dependencies Sedge will check this for you and suggest an install

Press Enter to install these Dependencies
Press Enter to install these Dependencies

Sedge will now generate docker-compose scripts to configure your nodes, the JWT secret is configured for you (this is required to allow communication between the EL and CL clients) and a working directory is created in /docker-compose-scripts here you can find the docker-compose.yml file that is created for you.

Enter Y to accept the configuration and start
Enter Y to accept the configuration and start

After accepting, press enter to start the containers, this will pull the docker images of the selected clients, and start syncing

Wait to Sync, At this point we need to wait for our Execution and consensus clients to fully sync, the validator node will not start until this happens.

Its best to get the next step done while waiting, which only takes a minute, after that you can come back to the service after 12-24hrs to check.

3. Generate Keys

To Generate Keys for Ethereum

sedge keys 

otherwise we would need to specify the network, example for Gnosischain

sedge keys --network gnosis

You will be asked to enter a passphrase, this is for our decrypt key, that will be stored on a password.txt file

Next you will be presented with your seed phrase


Save the Seed somewhere safe, press enter to continue
Save the Seed somewhere safe, press enter to continue

Once confirmed you will be asked to enter the number of validators, enter the number you wish to run (provided you have the tokens to back it for the deposit later)

You can now find in /docker-compose-scripts/keystore your Validator keystores in validator_keys, deposit_data.json which is needed for the deposit, and your password.txt

4. Start the Validator

After Syncing on the Beacon Node and Execution Client have finished you will be prompted to start the validator node

Press y and enter to continue
Press y and enter to continue

This will import your keystores, which should have been generated in Step 3, and start the validator service.

To Check the Validator service logs, go into our working directory

cd docker-compose-scripts
sudo docker-compose logs -f validator
Logs should look like this
Logs should look like this

Logs should read ‘awaiting activation’ this means the validator keys are detected and the validator service is connected to a working synced beacon node which is connected to a working synced execution node.

NOTE: this depends on the client type, in some clients it will display something like ‘unable to get validator ….. status’ which means its not active on the beacon chain, however you can find at the beginning of the logs an indication on the validators being dectected by the client.

To activate you must make the deposit

5. Deposit

You need to grab the deposit_data.json file in /docker-compose-scripts/keystore folder and head to the deposit UI

For Ethereum

Confirm both URL and Contract address from the official docs.

Contract Address: 0x00000000219ab540356cBB839Cbe05303d7705Fa

For Gnosischain

Confirm both URL and Contract address from the official docs.

Contract Address: 0x0B98057eA310F4d31F2a452B414647007d1645d9

Additional Information

Running containers / services

sudo docker ps -a

Checking logs for specific container

sudo docker logs -f <container-name>

Sedge Logs

sedge logs

Nethermind Sedge Documentation

Updating Sedge Image versions

If you used an old version of Sedge, it may have set older docker images when setup, you can manually update these images with this procedure. For example updating the Execution client to a newer release.

Example updating to: Nethermind v1.14.7

Stop Sedge Containers

cd docker-compose-scripts
sudo docker compose down

Edit .env file

nano .env

this opens the file where environment variables are defined, this is a hidden file within the docker-compose-scripts directory. We need to edit the docker image versions here.

EC_IMAGE_VERSION - this is the execution layer docker image
CC_IMAGE_VERSION - this is the consensus layer docker image
VL_IMAGE_VERSION - this is the validator node docker image, usually the same as your consensus layer

To write changes ctrl+O, then to close ctrl+X
To write changes ctrl+O, then to close ctrl+X

Restart Containers

sudo docker compose up -d executon
sudo docker compose up -d consensus
sudo docker compose up -d validator

If successful, when starting the client you have updated the image for it should pull the new image on start on like so

Open Ports/Port Forwarding

If you have trouble connecting to peers, you can try opening the p2p ports which are

Execution: 30303 tcp/udp

Consensus: 9000 tcp/udp

Open with UFW on Ubuntu device

sudo ufw allow 30303
sudo ufw allow 9000
sudo ufw enable

sudo ufw status 

NOTE: if you are running on a VPS, be careful not to lock yourself out and enable ssh also sudo ufw allow ssh

Port forwarding

if running locally, this can be done by logging into your router, usually on any browser while connected, you will need your admin log in details to get access (usually found on the router). The process will be different depending on your provider and you should consult the manual for more info.

Importing Existing Keystores with Sedge

should you wish to not generate new keys, and use existing keys. example: from an old setup that you want to migrate to using sedge.

Do not follow step 3, instead place your own keystores (your existing keystores) in the following folder

Place Keystores in


Place Decrypt key in


your decrypt key (which you created when generating these keystores) in a file called password.txt in the folder.

Run Validator Service

Once EL and CL have finished syncing you may be prompted to run the validator service, like so

if your keystores are in the correct folder with password.txt, Press y to confirm.

Troubleshooting problems

if you ran this and there was an issue with the import, you would have to close your containers for validator and validator-import and check the files are in the correct place, password is correct.

close containers

cd docker-compose-scripts
sudo docker stop validator-client && sudo docker rm validator-client
sudo docker stop validator-import && sudo docker rm validator-import

if you were not prompted to run the validator service from the terminal, but your EL and CL have finished syncing, the validator import and validator service can be run manually

Run Validator Manually

cd docker-compose-scripts
sudo docker compose up -d validator-import
sudo docker compose up -d validator

Adding more validators - gnosischain

Should you wish to add more validators the process is as follows, high level steps create more keystores with the deposit-generator tool, import these new keystores to our validator client and make the deposit for the new validators.

This is for Gnosischain, but similar steps can be taken for Ethereum build using the respective key generators for Ethereum network.

1. Create New Keystores

Download the Key Generator

sudo docker pull
mkdir /home/$USER/gnosis/keystore

Run the generator to create new keystore/s

This will restore from existing mnemonic seed phrase (where your keystores are derived from), place the amount of new Validators you wish to create for <# of val>, your ETH address in place of

And the <START_NUM> is the starting index of the seed, for example is you created/&imported 10 existing validators already the starting index is 10. This will derive keystores from this point instead of creating the same keystores again.

sudo docker run -it --rm -v /home/$USER/gnosis/keystore:/keystore \ existing-mnemonic \
--num_validators=<# of Val> --validator_start_index=<START_NUM> --chain=gnosis \
--folder=/keystore --eth1_withdrawal_address=<ETH-withdrawal-address>

Your password will need to be the same as the password in keystore_password.txt within sedge working folder, or the additional validators will not work with the validators already imported with sedge.

this will now generate your keystore/s (validators keys) and place them in the directory /gnosis/keystore/validator_keys along with deposit_data.json

2. Import new keystores to validator

Stop the Validator client

cd docker-compose-scripts
sudo docker stop validator-client && sudo docker rm validator-client

Place keystores in the keystore directory

sudo cp home/$USER/gnosis/keystore/validator_keys/* home/$USER/docker-compose-scripts/ keystore/validator_keys/

this can also be done manually or if the directories are different then change accordingly,

the * will copy the contents and not the folder itself.

this should now place your keystores in the working keystore folder along with your existing validator keystores.

Import new keystores to Validator client.

cd docker-compose-scripts
sudo docker compose up -d validator-import

You should see x number of keystores found, but only your new keystores imported

remove the validator import container

sudo docker stop validator-import-client && sudo docker rm validator-import-client

Restart validator

sudo docker compose up -d validator

You should see validator client logs indicating that some validators are awaiting activation.

3. Make Deposit

Now use the deposit_data.json for the new keystores from the folder home/$USER/gnosis/keystore/

To make the deposit the same way the deposit was made for the existing keystores in Step 5.

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