Hardware and Software Requirements to run an Ethereum 2.0 Validator

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A lot of people are interested in staking ETH once Ethereum 2.0 launches. Before doing so, users will need to make sure they can put together the proper hardware. Even then, there is still a long way to go before the actual staking can begin. 

Staking With Ethereum 2.0 is a Challenge

As we alluded to in yesterday’s article, the concept of staking Ethereum is more complicated than people first imagine. There are some tough decisions to be made, as this is unlike any other proof-of-stake currency in existence. Locking up funds for up to several years will be a psychological challenge for most users. 

The first step after making the decision to partake in Ethereum 2.0 staking is figuring out how to run the validator node. Especially those users who do not feel comfortable trusting a third-party provider will have some work to do. A validator node needs to connect to the network around the clock, and it seems using smaller devices such as a Raspberry Pi will not get the job done. 

Instead, the current hardware requirements for Ethereum 2.0 are rather steep. It clearly requires modern hardware to make a dent. Additionally, users need to make sure their device can remain online at all times, even if a power outage were to occur. Overcoming all of these hurdles will not be easy. 

The current recommended hardware recommendations are as follows:

  • Operating System: 64-bit Linux, Mac OS X, Windows
  • Processor: Intel Core i7-4770 or AMD FX-8310 (or better)
  • Memory: 8GB RAM
  • Storage: 100GB available space SSD

Additionally, having broadband internet is a must, although these validator nodes can work on mobile data connections if need be. Computer hardware that is one generation older can get the job done too, but it may require a bit more monitoring and upkeep to ensure a smooth operation. 

Finding the Right Software Client

Sorting out the hardware side is only one facet of becoming an Ethereum 2.0 validator. Choosing the right software to get the job done is equally crucial. Several ETh2 clients are already on the market today, yet they all provide something different from one another. More software clients may become available over time. For now, these four will serve everyone’s needs. 

Of the four Ethereum 2.0 clients to choose from, Prysm and Lighthouse may appeal to most users. Teku is designed for institutional needs first and foremost, whereas Nimbus can get the job done on mobile hardware. This latter client will prove to be of some interest, as smartphones and tablets are small computers these days. 

One caveat to take into account is how users need to run an Eth1 node as well. Without this node, they will not be able to access Ethereum 2.0 and its staking aspect. The node will monitor for deposits of 32 ETH in size. Several clients exist for an Eth1 node, including OpenEthereum, Geth, Besu, and Nethermind

With all of these requirements in place, the concept of becoming an Ethereum 2.0 validator may seem daunting. Rightfully so, as there are a lot of different boxes to be checked. Whether this effort will prove worthwhile when everything is said and done, remains to be determined. No one knows how well Ethereum’s staking will perform, or what the impact on the ETH price will be. 


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