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. If you wish to run on pyrmont, replace all instances of prater with pyrmont.

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