Validator Requirements

Minimum SOL requirements

There is no strict minimum amount of SOL required to run a validator on Solana.

However in order to participate in consensus, a vote account is required which has a rent-exempt reserve of 0.02685864 SOL. Voting also requires sending a vote transaction for each block the validator agrees with, which can cost up to 1.1 SOL per day.

Hardware Recommendations

  • CPU
    • 12 cores / 24 threads, or more
    • 2.8GHz, or faster
    • AVX2 instruction support (to use official release binaries, self-compile otherwise)
    • Support for AVX512f and/or SHA-NI instructions is helpful
    • The AMD Threadripper Zen3 series is popular with the validator community
  • RAM
    • 128GB, or more
    • Motherboard with 256GB capacity suggested
  • Disk
    • PCIe Gen3 x4 NVME SSD, or better
    • Accounts: 500GB, or larger. High TBW (Total Bytes Written)
    • Ledger: 1TB or larger. High TBW suggested
    • OS: (Optional) 500GB, or larger. SATA OK
    • The OS may be installed on the ledger disk, though testing has shown better performance with the ledger on its own disk
    • Accounts and ledger can be stored on the same disk, however due to high IOPS, this is not recommended
    • The Samsung 970 and 980 Pro series SSDs are popular with the validator community
  • GPUs
    • Not strictly necessary at this time
    • Motherboard and power supply speced to add one or more high-end GPUs in the future suggested

Virtual machines on Cloud Platforms

While you can run a validator on a cloud computing platform, it may not be cost-efficient over the long term.

However, it may be convenient to run non-voting api nodes on VM instances for your own internal usage. This use case includes exchanges and services built on Solana.

In fact, the mainnet-beta validators operated by the team are currently (Mar. 2021) run on GCE n2-standard-32 (32 vCPUs, 128 GB memory) instances with 2048 GB SSD for operational convenience.

For other cloud platforms, select instance types with similar specs.

Also note that egress internet traffic usage may turn out to be high, especially for the case of running staked validators.

Docker

Running validator for live clusters (including mainnet-beta) inside Docker is not recommended and generally not supported. This is due to concerns of general Docker's containerzation overhead and resultant performance degradation unless specially configured.

We use Docker only for development purposes. Docker Hub contains images for all releases at solanalabs/solana.

Software

  • We build and run on Ubuntu 20.04.
  • See Installing Solana for the current Solana software release.

Be sure to ensure that the machine used is not behind a residential NAT to avoid NAT traversal issues. A cloud-hosted machine works best. Ensure that IP ports 8000 through 10000 are not blocked for Internet inbound and outbound traffic. For more information on port forwarding with regards to residential networks, see this document.

Prebuilt binaries are available for Linux x86_64 on CPUs supporting AVX2 (Ubuntu 20.04 recommended). MacOS or WSL users may build from source.

GPU Requirements

CUDA is required to make use of the GPU on your system. The provided Solana release binaries are built on Ubuntu 20.04 with CUDA Toolkit 10.1 update 1. If your machine is using a different CUDA version then you will need to rebuild from source.