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Run Vara Validator Node

Validators are special network participants who, if selected in an active validator set, produce blocks for the chain. Validators receive a reward for their bets.

Running a validator on a live network is a responsible role. The validators are responsible not only for their own stake, but also for the stake of their current nominators. Nevertheless, this is an important role that is also well rewarded.

Initial Set Up

Hardware requirements


The most common way for a beginner to run a validator is on a cloud server running Linux. To do this, choose whatever VPS provider corresponds to the characteristics below.

Minimum system hardware requirements : 2vCPUs, 4GB RAM, 100GB SSD storage

OS: Ubuntu 20.04 or later, Amazon Linux 2 or later

Install Vara Node

Download gear node from the nightly builds repo and unpack (choose the binary according to your host operating system):


curl -O


Windows x64:

Unzip the downloaded package then you can try to run the node:

❯ gear.exe --version
gear.exe 0.1.0-a1a44748703

Create Stash and Controller accounts

For security reasons, we recommend creating two separate accounts: Stash and Controller. It's important to make sure that each of them has enough funds to pay the transaction fee. Most of the funds should be stored on the stash account since it's meant to store staking funds.

To generate new seed phrase:

./gear key generate | grep phrase

Both seed phrases should be carefully saved in a secure place. If you want to use your own seed phrase, you can skip the previous step. Also you can use Polkadot.{js} or Polkadot extension

Run Node

The most convenient and easiest way to run a node in validator mode will be to use the ansible script we have prepared.

Install ansible

  • macOS:
brew install ansible

# Optional
# If you access your server using SSH login and password instead of SSH key

brew install esolitos/ipa/sshpass

  • Ubuntu Linux:
sudo add-apt-repository --yes --update ppa:ansible/ansible
sudo apt install ansible

# Optional:
sudo apt install sshpass

Next, download this Ansible playbook:


Run the Ansible playbook then enter the node name and the seed phrase generated above when prompted (this node name will be visible on the telemetry site, see below):

ansible-playbook install-validator.yml -i <my-host>, -u <user> --key-file <path-to-key-file>

# use flad -k instead --key-file if you use sshpass

Wait until the playbook completes and check in Ansible log that vara-node.service has running state:

TASK [Write vara-node status] ************************

ok: [<my-host>] => {
"[\"vara-node.service\"]": {
"name": "vara-node.service",
"source": "systemd",
"state": "running",
"status": "enabled"

You can also see your node with the name you set when running the playbook in telemetry:

Get session keys

You need to tell the chain your Session keys. If you are on a remote server, it is easier to run this command on the same machine (while the node is running with the default HTTP RPC port configured):

curl -H "Content-Type: application/json" -d '{"id":1, "jsonrpc":"2.0", "method": "author_rotateKeys", "params":[]}' http://localhost:9933



The output will have a hex-encoded result field. Copy and save it!

Setup Validator

If your node is live and synchronized, appears in telemetry, and session keys are prepared it's time to set up the validator.

Go to Polkadot.{js} app and navigate to Network → Staking → Account actions section and click +Validator:

Select stash and controller account and specify the amount of own stake. It's recommended to use different accounts for stash and controller.


How much VARA do I need to become a Validator? Now the minimum amount of own stake to be selected equals 1 VARA. Anyhow the minimum stake that is necessary to be elected as an active validator is dynamic and can change over time.

setup validator

Set the session key and reward commission.

setup validator

And sign the transaction. Make sure that you have been added to the stash account and wait for the next Era. When the next Era starts, your validator will be added.

setup validator