Installing a Relay Node

Introduction

A Relay Node is a full node in the ARK network; it maintains a complete copy of the ledger (blockchain). These nodes serve as a public API endpoint, use an internal service discovery mechanism to locate other nodes and keep each other in sync. Public nodes are used by the SPV clients to transmit signed transactions.

  • 4GB RAM
  • 40GB SSD
  • 2 Cores

ARK Nodes execute many query intensive operations. The most cost-effective approach for running a high-performance node is choosing SSD over HDD. Increasing the total RAM improves cache performance.

Configuration Requirements

  • Stable internet connection

  • Access to multiple open ports (actual ports may be configured)

    Service Port Required Enabled by default Documentation
    p2p 4001 reference
    public API 4003 reference
    webhook 4004 reference
    JSON-RPC 8080 reference

Using the Official Installation Script

On a fresh Ubuntu installation, follow these commands.

1. Update and Upgrade

Always ensure your server has the latest set of updates, due to performance and security considerations.

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade

2. Add a New User and Add to the Sudo Group

It is best to create a specific ARK-related user, which can later own the required databases as well.

sudo adduser username
sudo usermod -aG sudo username

3. Switch to the New User

Switch to the new user account and go to the base directory.

sudo su - username
cd ~

4. Install Dependencies and ARK Core

We will use ARK installer script that will install all of the necessary dependencies, ARK Core onto your server and publish configuration files for it. To install essentials run this command.

bash <(curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ARKEcosystem/core/master/install.sh)

You will be asked to input your current users password for sudo privileges. Write or paste it and press enter to start installation process.

Process might take a while, don't interrupt it and wait for it to finish.

5. Selecting ARK Core Network

Once installation of dependencies and ARK Core is finished you will need to select on which network you wish to operate, since we are setting mainnet node select it. This can be achieved by pressing up or down arrow keys and confirming selection with enter.

After you made your selection you will need to confirm by pressing y and confirm with enter.

6. Configuring ARK Core Database

Last step of the ARK Core essential configuration is to configure database parameters. You will be presented with a prompt:

Would you like to configure the database? [y/N]:

Press y and confirm with enter.

You can input any custom database credentials you want to use or use the one provided below:

Enter the database username: ark
Enter the database password: password
Enter the database name: ark_mainnet

This will create PostgreSQL role and database to be used for storing blockchain data.

7. Starting ARK Relay Process

To start ARK relay process and with it synchronization process with ARK blockchain we need to start relay process with our integrated CLI:

ark relay:start

If the process has started you will get a message:

Starting ark-relay... done

TIP

All CLI commands with description can be viewed at CLI Commands or by executing the ark help command.

8. Checking to See if Everything Is Working

Now we want to see if the ARK relay process has started the synchronization process you can do that by running one of these two commands

ark relay:log

or

pm2 logs

If the process has started you will see a lot of messages like this (with actual data)

[YYYY-DD-MM hh:mm:ss][DEBUG]: Delegate <delegate name> (<public key>) allowed to forge block <#> 👍

TIP

Synchronization of the blockchain can take upwards of 10 hours so let it run, once its synronized allowed to forge block messages will only pop-up every 8 seconds. A single round consists of 51 delegates each forging a single block.

DANGER

Ensure you properly restart the node process when editing your .env file. Use the --update-env flag, for example:

pm2 restart all --update-env

Next Steps

WARNING

Please note that API will be available when the node has synced with the network, which can take up to 15 hours depending on your network speed.

Now that the relay node has been configured, you should head over to the JSON-RPC installation guide or look at relevant Public API endpoints related to blockchain functionality to manage your wallets and transactions.

If you need to configure your node further, go to:

Notes

Please read the documentation pages for all of our ARK API clients and cryptography libraries (offered in many programming languages).

Also, read the API documentation.