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Full node setup

Following you will find the instructions on how to manually setup your Desmos full node.


Before starting, make sure you read the overview to make sure your hardware meets the needed requirements.

1. Build the software

Choose your DB backend

Before installing the software, a consideration must be done.

By default, Desmos uses LevelDB as its database backend engine. However, since version v0.6.0 we've also added the possibility of optionally using Facebook's RocksDB, which, although still being experimental, is known to be faster and could lead to lower syncing times. If you want to try out RocksDB you can take a look at our RocksDB installation guide before proceeding further.

In your terminal, run the following:

# Make sure we are inside the home directory
cd $HOME

# Clone the Desmos software
git clone && cd desmos

# Checkout the correct tag
git checkout tags/v2.3.1

# Build the software
# If you want to use the default database backend run
make install

# If you want to use RocksDB run instead
make install DB_BACKEND=rocksdb

If the software is built successfully, the desmos executable will be located inside your $GOBIN path. If you setup your environment variables correctly in the previous step, you should also be able to run it properly. To check this, try running:

desmos version --long

2. Initialize the Desmos working directory

Configuration files and chain data will be stored inside the $HOME/.desmos directory by default. In order to create this folder and all the necessary data we need to initialize a new full node using the desmos init command.

Starting from v0.15.0, you are now able to provide a custom seed when initializing your node. This will be particularly useful because, in the case that you want to reset your node, you will be able to re-generate the same private node key instead of having to create a new node.

In order to provide a custom seed to your private key, you can do as follows:

  1. Get a new random seed by running

    desmos keys add node --dry-run

    # Example
    # desmos keys add node --dry-run
    # - name: node
    # type: local
    # address: desmos126cw9j2wy099lttf2qx0qds6k7t4kdea5ualh9
    # pubkey: desmospub1addwnpepqdpfv4lh0vqjvmu43spz4lq0l92qret9hv6007j4r28z05wuthw2jz3frd4
    # mnemonic: ""
    # threshold: 0
    # pubkeys: []
    # **Important** write this mnemonic phrase in a safe place.
    # It is the only way to recover your account if you ever forget your password.
    # sort curious village display voyage oppose dice idea mutual inquiry keep swim team direct tired pink clinic figure tiny december giant obvious clump chest

    This will create a new key without adding it to your keystore, and output the underlying seed.

  2. Run the init command using the --recover flag.

    desmos init <your_node_moniker> --recover

    You can choose any moniker value you like. It will be saved in the config.toml under the .desmos working directory.

  3. Insert the previously outputted secret recovery phrase (mnemonic phrase):

    > Enter your bip39 mnemonic
    sort curious village display voyage oppose dice idea mutual inquiry keep swim team direct tired pink clinic figure tiny december giant obvious clump chest

    This will generate the working files in ~/.desmos


    By default, running desmos init <your_node_moniker> without the --recover flag will randomly generate a priv_validator_key.json. There is no way to regenerate this key if you lose it.\ We recommend running this command with the --recover so that you can regenerate the same priv_validator_key.json from the secret recovery phrase (mnemonic phrase).

3. Get the genesis file

To connect to an existing network, or start a new one, a genesis file is required. The file contains all the settings telling how the genesis block of the network should look like.

  • If you are setting up a testnet node refer to this procedure;
  • If you are setting up a mainnet node refer to this procedure.

4. Setup seeds

The next thing you have to do now is telling your node how to connect with other nodes that are already present on the network. In order to do so, we will use the seeds and persistent_peers values of the ~/.desmos/config/config.toml file.

Seed nodes are a particular type of nodes present on the network. Your fullnode will connect to them, and they will provide it with a list of other fullnodes that are present on the network. Then, your fullnode will automatically connect to such nodes.

  • If you are looking for testnet seeds please check here: Testnet seeds;
  • If you are looking for mainnet seeds please check here: Mainnet seeds.

5. State sync

Starting from Desmos v0.15.0, we've added the support for Tendermint' s state sync. This feature allows new nodes to sync with the chain extremely fast, by downloading snapshots created by other full nodes. Here below, you can find the links to check for the correct procedure depending on which network you're setting up your node:

Changing state sync height

If you change the state sync height, you will need to perform these actions before trying to sync again:

  • If you're running a validator node:
    1. Backup the ~/.desmos/data/priv_validator_state.json;
    2. Run desmos unsafe-reset-all;
    3. Restore the priv_validator_state.json file.
    4. Restart the node.
  • If you're running a full node:
    1. Run desmos unsafe-reset-all;
    2. Restart the node.

6. Full sync - Sync from block 1

Full sync from scratch

With version 2.3.1 it's no longer possible to sync the node from scratch. If, for any reason, you need to do it, please follow the procedure below.


Remember that this procedure takes time (hours, or days) and you will not be able to perform any operation on the node in the meantime.

1. Downgrade the software

The first thing you need to do in order to start sync from scratch is getting the correct Desmos version according to the network you're connecting to:

2. Disable state-sync

  1. Open the ~/.desmos/config/config.toml file.
  2. Disable state sync by setting enable = false.
  3. Run a desmos unsafe-reset-all.

3. Setup Cosmovisor

Since we're relying on the Cosmos SDK x/upgrade module to update the network, you will need to set up Cosmovisor in order to handle the updates that happened at different heights in the past. Check how to do it here.

7. (Optional) Edit snapshot config

Currently, the snapshot feature is enabled by the default. This means that your node will periodically create snapshots of the chain state and make them public, allowing other nodes to quickly join the network by syncing the application state at a given height.

By default, we have set Desmos to take snapshots every 500 blocks, and persist the last 2 snapshots, deleting older ones. If you want to provide other nodes with more (or less) frequent snapshots, you can do this by editing a couple of things inside your ~/.desmos/config/app.toml file, under the state-sync section:

# snapshot-interval specifies the block interval at which local state sync snapshots are
# taken (0 to disable). Must be a multiple of pruning-keep-every.
snapshot-interval = 500

# snapshot-keep-recent specifies the number of recent snapshots to keep and serve (0 to keep all).
snapshot-keep-recent = 2

Note: Make sure that snapshot-interval is a multiple of pruning-keep-every in the base section

pruning-keep-recent = "100"
pruning-keep-every = "500"
pruning-interval = "10"

You can find out more about pruning here. You can find out more about pruning here.

8. (Optional) Change your database backend

If you would like to run your node using Facebook's RocksDB as the database backend, and you have correctly built the Desmos binaries to work with it following the instructions at point 1, there is one more thing you need to do.

In order to tell Tendermint to use RocksDB as its database backend engine, you are required to change the following like inside the config.toml file:

db_backend = "goleveldb"

To become

db_backend = "rocksdb"

9. Open the proper ports

Now that everything is in place to start the node, the last thing to do is to open up the proper ports.

Your node uses vary different ports to interact with the rest of the chain. Particularly, it relies on:

  • port 26656 to listen for incoming connections from other nodes;
  • port 26657 to expose the RPC service to clients.

A part from those, it also uses:

  • port 9090 to expose the gRPC service that allows clients to query the chain state;
  • port 1317 to expose the REST APIs service.

While opening any ports are optional, it is beneficial to the whole network if you open port 26656. This would allow new nodes to connect to you as a peer, making them sync faster and the connections more reliable.

For this reason, we will be opening port 26656 using ufw. \ By default, ufw is not enabled. In order to enable it please run the following:

# running this should show it is inactive
sudo ufw status

# Turn on ssh if you need it
sudo ufw allow ssh

# Accept connections to port 26656 from any address
sudo ufw allow from any to any port 26656 proto tcp

# enable ufw
sudo ufw enable

# check ufw is running
sudo ufw status

If you also want to run a gRPC server, RPC node or the REST APIs, you also need to remember to open the related ports as well.

10. Start the Desmos node

After setting up the binary and opening up ports, you are now finally ready to start your node:

# Run Desmos full node
desmos start

The full node will connect to the peers and start syncing. You can check the status of the node by executing:

# Check status of the node
desmos status

You should see an output like the following one:

"NodeInfo": {
"protocol_version": {
"p2p": "8",
"block": "11",
"app": "0"
"id": "84cc13d6acf22c32c209f4205d2693f70f458dde",
"listen_addr": "tcp://",
"network": "morpheus-13001",
"version": "",
"channels": "40202122233038606100",
"moniker": "fullnode",
"other": {
"tx_index": "on",
"rpc_address": "tcp://"
"SyncInfo": {
"latest_block_hash": "9BA7801C0935C4E18B4E2F8C6E8A2FF4C598C8E5F71A94113D2F0595524FD4E3",
"latest_app_hash": "375C9F0E4E63B7ACAD497F8DEDF5E2382F469668DE671B2FF92A5D2B8B50C6D2",
"latest_block_height": "204393",
"latest_block_time": "2021-02-03T08:03:06.448549383Z",
"earliest_block_hash": "839FEB9ED0257B71116CE54618C7E3C15189239CB571066DDBE9E0F1C101DCC8",
"earliest_app_hash": "E3B0C44298FC1C149AFBF4C8996FB92427AE41E4649B934CA495991B7852B855",
"earliest_block_height": "1",
"earliest_block_time": "2021-01-20T07:00:00Z",
"catching_up": false
"ValidatorInfo": {
"Address": "E457913A98EC0F9251BB40008E6680A8EFF93F99",
"PubKey": {
"type": "tendermint/PubKeyEd25519",
"value": "BLT8jjQ+ODKa0ERcrhHfOVFVVrJDq7hxyXx6bLXnCdw="
"VotingPower": "0"

If you see that the catching_up value is false under the sync_info, it means that you are fully synced. If it is true, it means your node is still syncing. You can get the catching_up value by simply running:

desmos status 2>&1 | jq "{catching_up: .SyncInfo.catching_up}"

# Example
# $ desmos status 2>&1 | jq "{catching_up: .SyncInfo.catching_up}"
# {
# "catching_up": false
# }

After your node is fully synced, you can consider running your full node as a validator node.

11. (Optional) Configure the background service

To allow your desmos instance to run in the background as a service you need to execute the following command

tee /etc/systemd/system/desmosd.service > /dev/null <<EOF
Description=Desmos Full Node

ExecStart=$GOBIN/desmos start


Once you have successfully created the service, you need to enable it. You can do so by running

systemctl enable desmosd

After this, you can run it by executing

systemctl start desmosd

Service operations

Check the service status

If you want to see if the service is running properly, you can execute

systemctl status desmosd

If everything is running smoothly you should see something like

$ systemctl status desmosd
● desmos.service - Desmos Node
Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/desmosd.service; enabled; vendor preset:
Active: active (running) since Fri 2020-01-17 10:23:12 CET; 2min 3s ago
Main PID: 11318 (desmos)
Tasks: 10 (limit: 4419)
CGroup: /system.slice/desmosd.service
└─11318 /root/go/bin/desmos start

Check the node status

If you want to see the current status of the node, you can do so by running

journalctl -u desmosd -f

Stopping the service

If you wish to stop the service from running, you can do so by running

systemctl stop desmosd

To check the successful stop, execute systemctl status desmos. This should return

$ systemctl status desmosd
● desmos.service - Desmos Node
Loaded: loaded (/etc/systemd/system/desmosd.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
Active: failed (Result: exit-code) since Fri 2020-01-17 10:28:04 CET; 3s ago
Process: 11318 ExecStart=/root/go/bin/desmos start (code=exited, status=143)
Main PID: 11318 (code=exited, status=143)

10. Cosmovisor

In order to do automatic on-chain upgrades we will be using cosmovisor. Please check out Using Cosmovisor for information on how to set this up.