Set up a systemd service

This page will take you through how to set up a systemd service for your beacon node.

Systemd is used in order to have a command or program run when your device boots (i.e. add it as a service). Once this is done, you can start/stop enable/disable from the linux prompt.

systemd is a service manager designed specifically for Linux. There is no port to Mac OS. You can get more information from or

1. Create a systemd service

⚠️ If you wish to run the service with metrics enabled, you'll need to replace --metrics:off with --metrics:on in the service file below. See here for more on metrics.

Create a systemd service unit file -- nimbus-eth2-prater.service -- and save it in /lib/systemd/system/ (your Linux distribution might recommend another default - for example archlinux recommends /etc/systemd/system/).

The contents of the file should look like this:

Description=Nimbus beacon node

ExecStart=<BASE-DIRECTORY>/build/nimbus_beacon_node \
  --non-interactive \
  --network=prater \
  --data-dir=build/data/shared_prater_0 \
  --web3-url=<WEB3-URL> \
  --rpc:on \


Where you should replace:

<BASE-DIRECTORY> with the location of the nimbus-eth2 repository on your device.

<USERNAME> with the username of the system user responsible for running the launched processes.

<WEB3-URL> with the WebSocket JSON-RPC URL you are planning to use.

N.B. If you're running Nimbus on a Pi, your <BASE-DIRECTORY> is /home/pi/nimbus-eth2/ and your <USERNAME> is pi

If you want to run on mainnet, simply replace all instances of prater with mainnet.

2. Notify systemd of the newly added service

sudo systemctl daemon-reload

3. Start the service

sudo systemctl enable nimbus-eth2-prater --now

4. Monitor the service

sudo journalctl -u nimbus-eth2-prater.service

This will show you the Nimbus logs at the default setting -- it should include regular "slot start" messages which will show your sync progress.

To rewind logs - by one day, say - run:

sudo journalctl -u nimbus-eth2-prater.service --since yesterday

For more options, see here.

Further examples