Installing a Relay Node


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.

Ark offers an easy to setup solution for running a v2 node using core-commander. The experience is similar to the deprecated v1 Ark Commander and best suited for bare-metal deployments.

core-commander only supports Ubuntu (16.04, 18.04) and depends on PostgreSQL as the persistent store.

Hardware Requirements

  • 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 yes yes reference
    public API 4003 no yes reference
    webhook 4004 no no reference
    graphQL 4005 no no reference
    JSON-RPC 8080 no no reference

Using the official core-commander tool

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. Obtain the Installation Script

Switch to the new user account and use git to obtain the installation script. Git is a required dependency of core-commander, as it relies on git to check for updates.

sudo su - username
git clone

4. Execute using bash

bash core-commander/

5. Install dependencies

Let core-commander install and update software dependencies. It might request sudo privileges depending on which version of the script you are using.

    ___    ____  __ __    ______                   ___    ____
   /   |  / __ \/ //_/   / ____/___  ________     |__ \  / __ \
  / /| | / /_/ / ,<     / /   / __ \/ ___/ _ \    __/ / / / / /
 / ___ |/ _, _/ /| |   / /___/ /_/ / /  /  __/   / __/_/ /_/ /
/_/  |_/_/ |_/_/ |_|   \____/\____/_/   \___/   /____(_)____/

   ______                                          __
  / ____/___  ____ ___  ____ ___  ____ _____  ____/ /__  _____
 / /   / __ \/ __ `__ \/ __ `__ \/ __ `/ __ \/ __  / _ \/ ___/
/ /___/ /_/ / / / / / / / / / / / /_/ / / / / /_/ /  __/ /
\____/\____/_/ /_/ /_/_/ /_/ /_/\__,_/_/ /_/\__,_/\___/_/

==> Installing system dependencies...

==> Installing node.js & npm...

==> Installed node.js & npm!
==> Installing Yarn...

==> Installed Yarn!
==> Installed system dependencies!
==> Installing program dependencies...
==> Dependencies [libcairo2-dev ] are not installed.
==> Installing program dependencies...

==> Program dependencies Installed!
==> Installing PostgreSQL...

==> Starting PostgreSQL...
==> Started PostgreSQL!
==> Installed PostgreSQL!
==> Installing NTP...

==> Stopping NTP...
==> Stopped NTP!

==> Starting NTP...
==> Started NTP!
==> Installed NTP!
==> Installed program dependencies!
==> Installing node.js dependencies...
==> [pm2 lerna ] are not installed.
==> Installing node.js dependencies...

==> Installed system updates!
==> All system dependencies have been installed!
Press any key to continue

6. Reboot your system

Depending on the installed dependencies, a reboot might be required.

==> Checking for system updates...

==> All system dependencies have been installed!

==> A reboot is required to complete the system update. It is recommended to reboot now.

If a reboot was required, log back in and run Core Commander with bash again.

bash core-commander/

If your repository is not at the current branch's HEAD, core-commander will inform you that an update is available.

An update is available for Ark Core, do you want to install it? [Y/n] :

7. Inspect the main console

Afterward, you will be told that your system is up to date and the command console is shown. The top two rows display:

Variable Description
core the current HEAD
NodeJS version of NodeJS uses by the relay node
PG version of the configured PostgreSQL database
Relay status of the relay service
Forger status of the forging service; indicates if this relay is configured as a delegate.
NTP Network Time Protocol
PG connection status with the PostgreSQL
Core: a71f007f             NodeJS: 10.15.0             PG: 10.6
Relay: Off         Forger: Off         NTP:  On         PG:  On
A. Manage Ark Core
R. Manage Relay
F. Manage Forger
E. Manage Explorer
C. Manage Commander
M. Miscellaneous
L. Show Log
P. Show Process Monitor
H. Show Help
X. Exit
Please enter your choice:

8. Database configuration

Choose A. Manage Ark Core to configure the relay node, then C. Configure Ark Core. We will now configure the database connection parameters and logging level.

U. Update Ark Core
P. Uninstall Ark Core
C. Configure Ark Core
L. Configure Log Level
D. Configure Database
A. Configure Hosts & Ports
R. Reset Configuration
H. Show Help
X. Back to Main Menu

You will be presented with a selection of networks. mainnet is the actual Ark network, devnet and testnet are used by the core developers and community to develop Ark and test surrounding infrastructure. Choose 1. mainnet for production use.

==> Which network would you like to configure?
1) mainnet
2) devnet
3) testnet

You will be requested to enter different settings by a series of prompts.


Credentials are not censored in the console, ensure they are not observed nor logged.

Enter the database host, or press ENTER for the default [localhost]:
Enter the database port, or press ENTER for the default [5432]:
Enter the database username, or press ENTER for the default [$USER]:
Enter the database name, or press ENTER for the default [ark_mainnet]:

==> Which log level would you like to configure?
1) debug
2) info
3) warning
4) error

9. Creating a database

core-commander will attempt to create the specified user and database. You may be prompted if the user or database already exists. Decline to overwrite existing users or databases.

==> Creating Database...
The database user $USER already exists, do you want to overwrite it? [y/N] : N
createdb: database creation failed: ERROR:  database "ark_mainnet" already exists
==> Created Database!

10. Final check

Lerna will perform a check on old dependencies and remove outdated/unused packages. Afterward, it will prompt you to start the relay node, enter Y.

lerna notice cli v3.5.0
lerna info versioning independent
lerna info clean removing /home/$USER/ark-core/packages/core-API/node_modules
lerna info clean removing /home/$USER/ark-core/packages/core-blockchain/node_mod

Ark Core has been configured, would you like to start the relay? [Y/n] :

11. Verify status using the main console

Check the node status. Back in the main console, Relay should be set to On.

Core: a71f007f             NodeJS: 10.15.0             PG: 10.6
Relay:  On         Forger: Off         NTP:  On         PG:  On

12. Monitoring the synchronization process

Monitor the sync progress using the log stream. Enter R. Manage Relay, and then L. Show Log

1|ark-core-relay  | [2019-01-08 09:37:40][INFO]                       : Starting Round 898 🕊
1|ark-core-relay  | [2019-01-08 09:37:40][INFO]                       : Saving round 898

Each round represents ~51 blocks synced. ::: info A single round consists of 51 delegates each forging a single block. Sometimes a delegate misses a block, and thus around contains < 51 blocks on average. :::

Generic Linux installation

If your organization policy doesn't allow the use of other installation tools - meaning requirements clearly state that a standalone installation is needed, then the following scripts will help you with the installation of the Ark blockchain. The script assumes you have configured the other services such as PostgreSQL and is not idempotent.


The following scripts assume that NodeJs and PostgreSQL are already installed on your system. For minimum versions, please use NodeJs >10 and Postgres database >9.5. Install them according to your operating system instructions.

Installation script

The script below is an ARK Core install script. You can adjust it to your own needs and system requirements.

sudo yarn global add pm2 lerna
sudo -u postgres psql -c "create user ark with password 'password';"
sudo -u postgres psql -c "create database ark_mainnet with owner 'ark';"
mkdir -p ~/.ark/config
cat > ~/.ark/.env <<EOL
cd ~/
git clone ark-core
cp -f ~/ark-core/packages/core/lib/config/mainnet/* ~/.ark/config/
cp -f ~/ark-core/packages/crypto/lib/networks/ark/mainnet.json  ~/.ark/config/network.json
cd ark-core
lerna bootstrap
cd packages/core
pm2 --name 'ark-core-relay' start -l ~/ark-core.log --merge-logs ./bin/ark -- relay --config ~/.ark/config --network mainnet

Update script

pm2 stop all
cd ark-core
git reset --hard
git pull
lerna bootstrap
rm -f ~/.ark/config/peers_backup.*
cp -f ~/ark-core/packages/core/lib/config/mainnet/* ~/.ark/config/.
cp -f /home/node/ark-core/packages/crypto/lib/networks/ark/mainnet.json /home/node/.ark/config/network.json
pm2 start all --update-env


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


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:


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.

Last Updated: 1/18/2019, 9:48:58 AM