How to setup a Q Root Node

Setup your Server

The Q Root Node is required to run on a server or (virtual) machine on linux. One possibility is to use a local machine, alternatively you can use a cloud instance on AWS for example. A good external tutorial on how to get started with Ethereum on AWS can be found here. Any other linux machine will work as well if it meets the following requirements:

  • Linux machine with SSH access
  • Min. 2(v)Cores (x86), 20 GB storage and 2 GB RAM
  • Installed applications: docker, docker-compose, git (optional)

Application Installation

If you are running Ubuntu, use these commands to install all mentioned required applications using apt:

Update apt:

$ sudo apt-get update

Install git:

$ sudo apt-get install git

Install docker:

$ sudo apt-get install docker

Install docker-compose:

$ sudo apt-get install docker-compose

Please check corresponding online resources for your operating system and the third party application you want to install for further questions.

Basic Configuration

Clone the repository

$ git clone https://gitlab.com/q-dev/testnet-public-tools

and go to the /testnet-rootnode directory

$ cd testnet-public-tools/testnet-rootnode

This directory contains the docker-compose.yaml file for quick launch of a full node using files .env for basic configuration and genesis.json that contains the genesis block config of Q Testnet.

Note: If git is not installed on your machine, you can manually copy all files from public repo testnet-public-tools onto your machine. Using git is much more comfortable, since it allows to pull file updates with one single command.

Set Password for Keystore File

To act as a root node, your node needs a keypair to sign transactions and L0 governance messages. First, create a /keystore directory with

$ mkdir keystore

then create a file pwd.txt

$ nano keystore/pwd.txt

then set a password that will be used for future account unlocking by entering it into pwd.txt. The password needs to be entered at the beginning of the file. Save your changes with CTRL+O, then close nano with CTRL+X (if you use a different editor, commands might be different).

Generate a Keypair

Assuming you are in /testnet-rootnode directory, issue this command in order to generate a keypair:

$ docker-compose run --rm --entrypoint "geth account new --datadir=/data --password=/data/keystore/pwd.txt" testnet-rootnode

The output of this command should look like this:

Your new key was generated

Public address of the key:   0xb3FF24F818b0ff6Cc50de951bcB8f86b52287dac
Path of the secret key file: /data/keystore/UTC--2021-01-18T11-36-28.705754426Z--b3ff24f818b0ff6cc50de951bcb8f86b52287dac

- You can share your public address with anyone. Others need it to interact with you.
- You must NEVER share the secret key with anyone! The key controls access to your funds!
- You must BACKUP your key file! Without the key, it's impossible to access account funds!
- You must REMEMBER your password! Without the password, it's impossible to decrypt the key!

This way, a new private key is generated and stored in /keystore directory encrypted with password from pwd.txt file. In our example, 0xb3FF24F818b0ff6Cc50de951bcB8f86b52287DAc (you will have a different value) is the address corresponding to the newly generated private key.

Alternatively, you can generate a secret key pair and according file here and save it to the /keystore directory manually. Also you may use create-geth-private-key.js script in /js-tools folder.

Whether you chose to provide your own vanity keys or use the above command to create a keypair, please ensure that the directory /keystore contains the following files:

testnet-rootnode
|   ...
|   ...
└ keystore
  |   UTC--2021-01-18T11-36-28.705754426Z--b3ff24f818b0ff6cc50de951bcb8f86b52287dac
  |   pwd.txt

Note: Following our example, pwd.txt contains the password to encrypted file "UTC--2021-01-18T11-36-28.705754426Z--b3ff24f818b0ff6cc50de951bcb8f86b52287dac" in clear text.

If you want to change the password in the future, you need to stop the node first.

$ docker-compose down

Then start password reset procedure with

$ docker-compose run testnet-rootnode --datadir /data account update 0xb3ff24f818b0ff6cc50de951bcb8f86b52287dac

Note: You need to remove address 0xb3ff24f818b0ff6cc50de951bcb8f86b52287dac and add your account address instead.

Configure Node

Edit .env file in /testnet-rootnode directory:

$ nano .env

Enter your (newly created) root node address without leading 0x here:

# your q address here (without leading 0x)
ADDRESS=b3FF24F818b0ff6Cc50de951bcB8f86b52287DAc

Then add your machines public IP address (please make sure your machine is reachable at the corresponding IP since it's required for discoverability by other network participants) here:

# your public IP address here
IP=193.19.228.94

Optionally choose a port for p2p protocol or just leave default value (use different ports for every node you are running):

# the port you want to use for p2p communication (default is 30313)
EXT_PORT=30313

The resulting .env file should look somehow like this:

# docker image for q client
QCLIENT_IMAGE=qblockchain/q-client:testnet

# your q address here (without leading 0x)
ADDRESS=b3FF24F818b0ff6Cc50de951bcB8f86b52287DAc

# your public IP address here
IP=193.19.228.94

# the port you want to use for p2p communication (default is 30313)
EXT_PORT=30313

# the initial root node set if never connected before
INITIALROOTS=0xB6fs1878e60B7D9152695c1b3D190c3a3DC,0x3313ba4c7EbDa55C038316C77679b2909da7a5

# only root lists later than this will be considered for updates
ROOTTIMESTAMP=1647418453

Add your Root Node to https://stats.qtestnet.org

If you want your root node to report to the network statistics, you can add an additional flag to the node entrypoint within file /rootnode/docker-compose.yaml, it should look like this:

testnet-rootnode:
  image: $QCLIENT_IMAGE
  entrypoint: ["geth", "--ethstats=<Your_RootNode_Name>:<Testnet_access_key>@stats.qtestnet.org", "--datadir=/data", ...]

<Your_RootNode_Name> can be chosen arbitrarily. It will be displayed in the statistics and could be something like "OurCoolCompany - 0xABC123". You can use special characters, emojis as well as spaces. We would appreciate to include the beginning of your Root Node Q address, so there is a link between your client and your address.

In order to find out the <Testnet_access_key> we ask you to write to us on Discord.

Launch Root Node

Now launch your root node using docker-compose file in rootnode directory:

$ docker-compose up -d

Check your nodes real-time logs with the following command:

$ docker-compose logs -f --tail "100"

Find additional peers

In case your client can't connect with the default configuration, we recommend that you add an additional flag referring to one of our additional peers ($BOOTNODE1_ADDR, $BOOTNODE2_ADDRor $BOOTNODE3_ADDR) within docker-compose.yaml file:

testnet-rootnode:
  image: $QCLIENT_IMAGE
  entrypoint: ["geth", "--bootnodes=$BOOTNODE2_ADDR", "--datadir=/data", ...]

Get Q Tokens

In order to become a root node, you will need to make an onchain proposal to add yourself to the root node panel. You need Q tokens for this. For Q testnet, you can get some Q using the faucet. Check the faucet documentation for more information. Finally, please verify that tokens were sent by looking up your address within Block Explorer.

Put Stake in Roots Contract

You can use the dApp "Your HQ" that can be found at https://hq.qtestnet.org. Go to Consensus Services -> Root Node Staking for stake management. Also, you may want to check our Consensus Services documentation.

Updating Q-Client & Docker Images

In case of major updates to the Q-Client, you will be required to update the root node files and configs. To do so, within directory /rootnode, use the following commands:

  1. Stop current root node and delete volume:
$ docker-compose down -v
  1. Pull latest configs
$ git pull
  1. Pull (and overwrite) the latest docker images
$ docker-compose pull
  1. Restart with new configs & images
$ docker-compose up -d

Now your root node should restart and synchronise with the testnet again. Please ensure you have enough Q staked on your root node. Check this section for more information.