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How to setup a ZelNode – START to FINISH

ZelNode Setup — The easy peasy, lemon squeezy way!!

Ali Malik Follow

Dec 15 · 13 min read

“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” ― Warren Buffett

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What are ZelNodes ??

ZelNode operators supply dedicated computing power, which generates rewards in Zel for powering the network. There are multiple options for supplying computing power, including renting from a VPS provider, renting a dedicated server to host multiple ZelNodes, or purchasing a server outright and hosting it in a data center or well-equipped home/office.

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The Zel Tiered Node

ZelNodes are not like any other masternode in the space. Infact, it’s unfair to even call it a masternode.

There are three tiers of Zelnodes (Basic|Super|BAMF).Each providing massive amounts of computing and storage power that is fully decentralized in both ownership and geographic location around the world. When compared to other projects, where masternodes only process transactions. ZelNodes will be running Flux dapp backends, smart contracts, sidechains for asset layers, among other uses we haven’t even thought of yet. All this will be possible because of the sheer amount of resources available before being absolutely needed.

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How much is the ROI ?

The rewards & ROI will depend heavily on the total VPS cost, ZelNode Tier & the price of ZEL !! To help you understand better, we have created a “ZelNodes dashboard” to help you make that decision & choosing what is right for you. You can easily navigate & find the total enabled nodes, daily, monthly, yearly rewards, revenue, ROI & much much more..

https://dashboard.zel.network/d/MbFdic9mz/zelnodes-dashboard?orgId=1

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Deterministic ZelNode Install Guide

This guide will be using the install script on Contabo VPS platform. I personally use them for my nodes and I find their prices relatively competitive. I am not in anyway affiliated with them nor we recommend any of the VPS providers. Please do your research before you commit. As a side note, benchmarking is an important criteria & must meet minimum specs, uptime requirement: > 97%

Let’s Begin !!

Download the latest ZelCore Wallet. Go to zel.network/zelcore & choose your platform..

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1. The Login Screen

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Existing users can login OR if you haven’t logged in for a long time, click on the “add existing account”

If you are a brand new user or haven’t never used the wallet ever, then “register new account”. It will also give you a option of “Create recovery password mechanism” which is great to recover lost password in case you ever forget your login credentials.

2. Change the Auto Logout

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Go to settings and change the Automatic Log Out to “Never”. This will insure the ZelCore wallet doesn’t log you out automatically during the ZelNode setup.

3. Enabling d2Fa & adding Assets (Optional)

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💡 Although not required for the node setup. However, it’s a good practice to enable Decentralized Two-factor authentication (d2FA) as an extra step, added to the log-in process.

It helps verify your identity and prevent cybercriminals from accessing your private information. d2FA offers an extra level of security that cyberthieves can’t easily access, because the criminal needs more than just your username and password credentials.

Note: Enabling d2Fa requires a small amount of 0.0002 ZEL to be present in your wallet in order to broadcast a d2Fa enable transaction. Your d2Fa pin will be set after the transaction is confirmed on the blockchain & you have to re-login. This will be a one time transaction.

Click on the Apps > ZelId > d2Fa to enable the decentralized two way factor authentication

Click on the “+ sign” to add ZEL & other assets you like to see and use.

4. Initiate ZEL Full Node

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Click on “three dots” on the right & initiate the ZEL full node. Starting full node for the first time will take about “3 mins ~5 mins”, so be patient…

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Confirm if your blockchain is getting synced. You can’t setup your ZelNode if it’s not ‘100% synced’. Check the connection peers & the percentage. In case of no connections try to use different proxy server (Settings>Proxy). If your blockchain starts from 0 % go to “Step 3” & repeat the procedure..

You can also see I am running SUPER node. This is where your nodes will be displayed 🙂

💡 To exit Full Node, click on “Back” and hit “Exit Full Node” Always exit full node first, before clicking on “Quit”

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5. Download the latest Bootstrap

Go to http://161.97.145.233/zel-bootstrap.zip & download the latest bootstrap, unzip and replace it in your existing directory. When prompted to replace the existing files/folder accept “Yes” .The bootstrap file contains most of the current blockchain data in a downloadable zip file. You can use this data with your full node to more quickly sync your full node. This step will speed up the blockchain sync process..

Windows: C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Zelcash

Mac OS: ~/Library/Application Support/zelcash

6. Starting ZelNode Setup

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It’s a good idea now to backup all your addresses and save it. It will be helpful in case you want to recover your ZELs in case of any issues. This will backup all your Private Keys to your destination folder “NEVER SHARE YOUR PRIVATE KEYS WITH ANY ONE”

The next step is to select the Zel Tier you want to run. In this setup, we will be setting up a “Super Node”. Enter the IP of the VPS..

Note: “You can easily find the IP of the VPS host by visiting your VPS provider or contact them directly if you are having problems”

Click Next Step ..

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Send the exact collateral to one of your transparent addresses as shown Collateral (10K Basic/ 25K Super/ 100K BAMF)

The collateral should now reflect in your address shown above. This is the available output that is not currently been reserved by ZelNode & you can use this to setup a Super ZelNode

Click on the address to continue…

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Name your ZelNode and click on “Continue ZelNode Setup”

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Copy the generated private key, Output TX ID & the output Index and save it in a notepad OR alternatively copy the entire string in the bottom and save it..

Click “Save and Continue”

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This is the generated “Zel Configuration file” Optionally, if you miss the previous step, you can click on “Copy configuration to clipboard”

Do Not Click on “Activate my ZelNode” not just yet…

Note: It requires by minimum 100 Block confirmations on the chain to even start the node. Please wait patiently. It would take about 3.5 hrs.

Go to https://explorer.zel.cash/

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You can check on the block explorer to see confirmations…

7. VPS Host Setup

As mentioned earlier, I will be using the Contabo VPS provider here. Click on the banner below:VPS | Dedicated Server 🥇 German Quality At Great Price 🥇 Contabo.comGet 4 CPU Cores, 8 GB RAM, 200 GB SSD + Unlimited Traffic for €4.99/mo. Full root access. Email & phone support. Over…contabo.com

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Select the “Ubuntu 18.04″ as the operating system & location either European Union (Germany) or United States (Missouri). It costs extra 2€ when choosing US location.

8. VPS Hardware Requirements by Tier

BAMF:

  • CPU: Intel Xeon E5–2690v1 (circa 2012+) or better
  • RAM: 32GB DDR3 or better (Xeons typically come with ECC)
  • SSD: 600GB (SATA III, 6Gb/s) or better w/ I/O speeds > 160 MB/s
  • Bandwidth: 6TB total up/down transfer w/ speeds of 100mbps+

Super:

  • CPU: Intel i5/i7 with 4+ cores & hyperthreading (circa 2017+) or better
  • RAM: 8GB DDR3/4 or better
  • SSD: 150GB (SATA III, 6Gb/s) or better w/ I/O speeds > 160MB/s
  • Bandwidth: 4TB total up/down transfer w/ speeds of 100mbps+
  • Possible to run in NUC-style configuration

Basic:

  • CPU: Intel i3 2.0GHz, Haswell Gen4 family or better
  • RAM: 4GB DDR3/4 or better
  • SSD: 50GB (SATA III, 6 Gb/s) or better w/ I/O speeds > 160MB/s
  • Bandwidth: 2.5TB total up/down transfer w/ speeds of 100mbps+
  • Possible to run in NUC-style configuration

Recommended Packages

Basic Node : VPS S SSD Package — 4.99 EUR/Month

Super Node: VPS M SSD — 8.99 EUR /Month

BAMF Node: VPS XL SSD — 26.99 EUR /Month

9. Using SSH in Putty (Windows)

Putty is a free SSH & telnet client for windows and UNIX platform which can be used to make an SSH connection to your server. You would need this client to access your VPS server

You can download the latest client from the link below:

https://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/latest.html

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Putty

Enter your connection settings:

Host Name (Or IP address) — Your VPS assigned IP address

Saved Sessions — Name your session or simply put whatever you want to call

Hit Save & Click Open to launch the Putty

Contabo will send you the credentials as soon as the VPS setup is complete. Look for an email coming from “Contabo Support <[email protected]> ” with subject “Your login data!”. Example below from Contabo

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Login Data from Contabo

10. Use Root Credential

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First step is to log in as “root”. Use the password provided by Contabo.

💡 You can always change your root password by typing “passwd” after logging in as root.

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Root Credentials

11. Benchmarking VPS Hosts

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Sysbench is used for benchmarking purposes. To install Sysbench copy and paste the entire command below:

curl -s https://packagecloud.io/install/repositories/akopytov/sysbench/script.deb.sh | sudo bash

Install Sysbench

apt install sysbench

Benchmark Command: Replace the threads with your tier. Basic=2, Super=4 & BAMF=8

sysbench — test=cpu — threads= 4— cpu-max-prime=60000 — time=20 run

Confirm the results…

DD (data duplicator)

  • Command: dd if=/dev/zero of=sb-io-test bs=1M count=10k conv=fdatasync; rm -rf sb-io-test
  • Check: Drive speed

Contabo is notorious in providing low I/O speeds & you need to contact the customer support & ask them to increase the SSD speeds. They are fast in responding & would re-adjust accordingly..

Note: SSD speeds should be better w/ I/O speeds > 160 MB/s in order to pass Benchmarks. The node will fail otherwise..

12. The Famous XK4MiLX Multitool box Script

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This is by far the easiest way to setup ZelNode created & developed by our team member XK4MiLX and others. This Multitoolbox script is used by everyone, novice or professional due to its simplicity & step by step procedure.

Setting up a ZelNode or troubleshooting your node, this script would help you resolve issues

13. Docker Install

Option 1 : Install Docker & Option 2: Install ZelNode.

Copy the command below & paste it by “clicking right mouse button” on the VPS

bash -i <(curl -s https://raw.githubusercontent.com/XK4MiLX/zelnode/master/multitoolbox.sh)

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Option 1: Install Docker — Select 1 on your keyboard. This will start the docker install process..

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Type in your favorite ZelNode name and press “Enter”. Type the password you want & confirm by entering the password again. The Docker will start the install process. It will take couple of minutes to complete.

When prompted to switch to user account, press (Y)

14. ZelNode Install

Option 2: Install ZelNode — Select 2 on your keyboard. This will start the install process..

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Enter the password of the ZelNode you created in previous step & hit enter to continue. This will start the install process…

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Confirming port 22 for SSH. Press enter to continue…

15. ZelNode Configurations

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Copy the PrivKey which was generated by your Zelcore wallet & right click the mouse button to paste & hit “enter”

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Copy the collateral txid & paste by clicking the right mouse button then press “enter” to continue..

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Copy the output index, paste & hit enter

16. Bootstrap File

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Hit “Enter” to download or choose your source. Zel Team updates the bootstrap file from time to time, therefore it’s recommended to use “option 1″

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This will start the bootstrap download process… This may take approximately “10 min~15 min” to complete…

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Optional: Select <Yes> or <No> to remove or keep the bootstrap archive file. For this setup we will remove by selecting <Yes>

17. The ZelId

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Click on Apps > ZelTools > Zel Id > Copy or click the QR Code.

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18. Zel Blockchain Sync and Status

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Check the connections & failed connections. Ideally, failed blockchain sync should be zero. It does fail sometimes but as long as the syncing process is continuing. It should be OK

Track the progress of the left remaining blocks . This process may take longer & depending on how many blocks needs to be downloaded & synced with the current chain.

This process may take between “45 Mins ~ 60 Mins” to be completed. Please be patient…

19. Mongodb Database

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This process will restore the mongodb database from the bootstrap. This process may take “3 Mins ~5 Mins”

20. Install Watchdog for ZelNode

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Press “enter” to install Watchdog for the ZelNode. This kernel is used in monitoring ZelNode & automatically reboots hanged systems due to unrecoverable errors. This will reduce manual restarts of the nodes incase if the node goes offline for any reason…

21. ZelNode Install Complete

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Hooray !! If you have made it this far, then you have successfully configured ZelNode on your VPS.

22. Test Benchmark Pass/Fail

Confirm that your benchmark passes & it’s reflecting the type of node you will be running. In my case, I will be running Super Node, therefore, if my benchmarking has passed it will display “SUPER” on the status

Check Benchmarks: zelbench-cli getbenchmarks

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If your benchmark didn’t pass it will display status as “Failed” & you need to restart the benchmark process again. Use the following command:

Restart Benchmarks: zelbench-cli restartnodebenchamarks

23. Final Checklist

Complete the following checklist. This will fix any steps you may have forgot or missed.

✅ Verify the IP address

Verify the private key/Output TX ID/Output Index

✅ Confirm 100 Block confirmations

 Verify the transparent address

✅ Benchmarks Pass/Fail

24. Starting Node from ZelCore Wallet

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Launch full node. Check the Daemon information. Make sure you have peers connected and the blockchain 100% synced before starting up the node (important)

The node will display “Offline”. Click on 3-dots and click on “Start”. After 1–2 blocks your node will display “Started” & few blocks after your node will show “Confirmed”

Confirmed means “Your Node has been successfully launched” & you will start receiving the rewards within the next 24hrs.

If your node status is stuck in “Started” for a long time. This means either the benchmark didn’t pass or it failed shortly after. It could also mean you entered wrong configuration. It’s a good idea to check your configuration and make sure they were entered correctly.

Your node eventually will display “DOS” & you will have to further troubleshoot to determine the root cause

Head over to the discord & someone from our team will gladly help you out…

⭐Links:
💻Zel Website: https://zel.network
💻ZelDocs: https://zel.gitbook.io/zeldocs/
💻Ann: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topi
💻Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/ZelOfficial/
💻ZelNode Dashboard: https://dashboard.zel.network
🔊The Core Podcast: https://anchor.fm/zelcash

👨‍👩‍👧‍👦 Social:
◆ Discord: https://discord.gg/F6VeCS4
◆ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Zelcash
◆ Twitter: https://twitter.com/Zel_Core
◆ Medium: https://medium.com/@ZelOfficial

⭐More Helpful Links:
💡ZelDocs: https://zel.gitbook.io/zeldocs/
💡ZelCore FAQ/Helpdesk: https://faq.zelcore.io

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