Running a Validator

What is an Akash Validator?

Validators are responsible for committing new blocks to the blockchain through voting. A validator’s stake is slashed if they become unavailable or sign blocks at the same height. Please read about Sentry Node Architecture to learn how to protect your node from DDOS attacks and to ensure high-availability on mainnet.

Akash Validator General Info

Validator Hardware Requirements and Recommendations

  • CPU - 4/8 Core
  • Memory - 8/16GB
  • Disk - SSD or NVMe
    • Size - 512GB or larger

Active Validator Set

  • 100 (current) which was extended from 85 recently
  • Tokens to stake to be active = more than last active validator
  • Check with the command $votingpower in the Akash Discord server’s > validators-status channel for current requirements to get into the active validator set
  • You can stake by yourself or from external wallets within your community

Akash Node Build

Before setting up your validator node, make sure you’ve already gone through the Full Node Setup guide.

Create Your Validator

Validator Account and Network Configuration

Validator Account

Prior to validator creation we must create an Akash account for validator use. Use the steps covered in this guide to create this account. NOTE - only the `Create an Account` and `Fund your Account` sections of this guide need to be completed for this purpose.

Network Configuration

Configure settings to communicate with the Akash blockchain as follows:

export AKASH_CHAIN_ID="$(curl -s "$AKASH_NET/chain-id.txt")"

Validator Creation

Your akashvalconspub can be used to create a new validator by staking tokens. You can find your validator pubkey by running:

Terminal window
akash tendermint show-validator

The file that stores this private key lives at ~/.akash/config/priv_validator_key.json. To create your validator, just use the following command.

Note that in the output of this command your `akashvaloper` address will be revealed. Note this address for future use including the verification steps later in this guide.

Terminal window
akash tx staking create-validator \
--amount=1000000uakt \
--pubkey="$(akash tendermint show-validator)" \
--moniker="$AKASH_MONIKER" \
--chain-id="$AKASH_CHAIN_ID" \
--commission-rate="0.10" \
--commission-max-rate="0.20" \
--commission-max-change-rate="0.01" \
--min-self-delegation="1" \
--gas="auto" \
--gas-prices="0.025uakt" \
--gas-adjustment=1.5 \

::: tip When specifying commission parameters, the commission-max-change-rate is used to measure % point change over the commission-rate. E.g. 1% to 2% is a 100% rate increase, but only 1 percentage point. :::

::: tip min-self-delegation is a stritly positive integer that represents the minimum amount of self-delegated voting power your validator must always have. A min-self-delegation of 1 means your validator will never have a self-delegation lower than 1000000uakt :::

You can confirm that you are in the validator set by using a third party explorer for the testnet you are joining.

Edit Validator Description

You can edit your validator’s public description. This info is to identify your validator, and will be relied on by delegators to decide which validators to stake to. Make sure to provide input for every flag below. If a flag is not included in the command the field will default to empty (--moniker defaults to the machine name) if the field has never been set or remain the same if it has been set in the past.

The $AKASH_KEY_NAME specifies the key for the validator which you are editing. If you choose to not include certain flags, remember that the --from flag must be included to identify the validator to update.

The --identity can be used as to verify identity with systems like Keybase or UPort. When using with Keybase --identity should be populated with a 16-digit string that is generated with a account. It’s a cryptographically secure method of verifying your identity across multiple online networks. The Keybase API allows explorers to retrieve your Keybase avatar. This is how you can add a logo to your validator profile.

Terminal window
akash tx staking edit-validator
--new-moniker="$AKASH_MONIKER" \
--website="" \
--identity=6A0D65E29A4CBC8E \
--details="The SUPERCLOUD IS HERE!" \
--chain-id="$AKASH_CHAIN_ID" \
--gas="auto" \
--gas-prices="0.025uakt" \
--gas-adjustment=1.5 \
--from="$AKASH_KEY_NAME" \

Note: The commission-rate value must adhere to the following invariants:

  • Must be between 0 and the validator’s commission-max-rate

  • Must not exceed the validator’s commission-max-change-rate which is maximum

    % point change rate per day. In other words, a validator can only change

    its commission once per day and within commission-max-change-rate bounds.

View Validator Description

View the validator’s information with this command:

Terminal window
akash query staking validator $AKASH_VALIDATOR_ADDRESS

Track Validator Signing Information

In order to keep track of a validator’s signatures in the past you can do so by using the signing-info command:

Terminal window
akash query slashing signing-info $AKASH_VALIDATOR_PUBKEY \

Unjail Validator

When a validator is “jailed” for downtime, you must submit an Unjail transaction from the operator account in order to be able to get block proposer rewards again (depends on the zone fee distribution).

Terminal window
akash tx slashing unjail \
--from="$AKASH_KEY_NAME" \

Confirm Your Validator is Running

Ensure Validator Sync

  • Ensure that the field `catching_up` is false and that the latest block corresponds to the current block of the blockchain
akash status

Example Output when Validator is in Sync


Confirm Validator’s Staking Status


akash query staking validator <akashvaloper-address>


akash query staking validator akashvaloper16j3ge9lkpgtdkzntlja08gt6l63fql60xdupxq

Example Output

  • Status will display as `BOND_STATUS_UNBONDED` after initial build
max_change_rate: "0.010000000000000000"
max_rate: "0.200000000000000000"
rate: "0.100000000000000000"
update_time: "2022-10-31T15:24:25.040091667Z"
'@type': /cosmos.crypto.ed25519.PubKey
key: 1+dVHZD7kfqnDU6I+bKbCv4ZE1LPieyMH+mwsOowhqY=
delegator_shares: "1000000.000000000000000000"
details: ""
identity: ""
moniker: cznode
security_contact: ""
website: ""
jailed: false
min_self_delegation: "1"
operator_address: akashvaloper1jy7ej9t6r8q5dyjrst88nt9rjgkdltgx97wfvd
tokens: "1000000"
unbonding_height: "0"
unbonding_time: "1970-01-01T00:00:00Z"

Active Set Confirmation

Your validator is active if the following command returns anything

NOTE - this command will only display output of your validator is in the active set

Terminal window
akash query tendermint-validator-set | grep "$(akash tendermint show-validator)"

You should now see your validator in one of the Akash Testnet explorers. You are looking for the bech32 encoded address in the ~/.akash/config/priv_validator.json file.

Halting Your Validator

When attempting to perform routine maintenance or planning for an upcoming coordinated upgrade, it can be useful to have your validator systematically and gracefully halt. You can achieve this by either setting the halt-height to the height at which you want your node to shutdown or by passing the --halt-height flag to akash. The node will shutdown with a zero exit code at that given height after committing the block.

Common Problems

Problem #1: My validator has voting_power: 0

Your validator has become jailed. Validators get jailed, i.e. get removed from the active validator set, if they do not vote on 500 of the last 10000 blocks, or if they double sign.

If you got jailed for downtime, you can get your voting power back to your validator. First, if akash is not running, start it up again. If you are running systemd this will be different:

Terminal window
akash start

Wait for your full node to catch up to the latest block. Then, you can unjail your validator

Lastly, check your validator again to see if your voting power is back.

Terminal window
akash status

You may notice that your voting power is less than it used to be. That’s because you got slashed for downtime!

Problem #2: My akash crashes because of too many open files

The default number of files Linux can open (per-process) is 1024. akash is known to open more than 1024 files. This causes the process to crash. A quick fix is to run ulimit -n 4096 (increase the number of open files allowed) and then restart the process with akash start. If you are using systemd or another process manager to launch akash this may require some configuration at that level. See the systemd configuration doc for details on how to configure systemd to aleviate this issue.


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