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How to Become a Node Operator

SubQuery TeamAbout 5 min

How to Become a Node Operator


Welcome to this guide on how to become a Node Operator. Let's take an overview of the basic steps involved in the process:

Summary of Steps

StepsProcess Flow
1Setup & Start your Node Operator services locally in Docker or on an external VM
2Setup SSL on your new server and consult security guide
3Register yourself as a Node Operator
4Index a project, restore dictionary databases, or sync an RPC endpoint (coming soon)
5Create a Plan from a Plan Template
6Set a Node Operator Commission Rate
7Troubleshooting and FAQs
8Optional: Setting up a Grafana Dashboard
9Ongoing: Update Node Operator Services

1. Deploy an environment

For those who are new to SubQuery, it is recommended to try running the Node Operator Service on your local machine first. For intermediate to advanced users, it is recommended to set up a VM on AWS (or similar) to host your Node Operator service.

Select the appropriate link to follow the guide to setup a Node Operator:

Please return here after following these guides.

Recommend resources for the machine

subql_node (per project)22G400G

Port configurations

Here are the recommended port configurations for running a Node Operator service:

  • Port 8000 / TCP: This port should be configured to only allow access from your own IP address, used by indexer_coordinator.
  • Port 7370 / UDP: This port can be opened to the public and used for broadcasting data to multiple clients or nodes in a peer-to-peer network, used by indexer_proxy.
  • Port 80 / HTTP: This port can be opened to the public and used by indexer_proxy.

It's important to ensure that these ports are properly configured and secured to prevent any unauthorised access or security breaches.


Note that you may or may not need to install Docker. If you use the SubQuery community image in AWS, it comes with everything you need to set up and run quickly. If you have your own customised VM, you will need to install Docker and some command tools, and then obtain the docker-compose.yml file.

Running indexer services

Important: Login to your VM and create a folder, such as subquery-indexer

  1. Run cd subquery-indexer
  2. Run the follow cmd to download the latest docker-compose.yml:
curl -o docker-compose.yml

This will overwrite the existing docker-compose.yml file. Always use the latest versions (use pre-release versions at your own risk).

ServiceVersion Tag
subquerynetwork/indexer-coordinatoropen in new windowv2.0.0
subquerynetwork/indexer-proxyopen in new windowv2.0.0


Please go through the docker-compose file carefully, and change the following parameters to your own values:

  • Your POSTGRES_PASSWORD under your postgres container, as well as --postgres-password under coordinator container.
  • Your --secret-key under both coordinator and proxy containers.
  • Your --jwt-secret and --metrics-token under proxy container.

2. Setup SSL on your new server and consult security guide

We highly recommend setting up SSL on your new server and consulting our security guide carefully. You will be penalised for not setting up SSL, firewalls, or following our security guidelines.

3. Register in the Node Operator Admin App

Once your Indexing Service is all set and running successfully, you should open the Node Operator Admin App and follow the steps to register yourself (usually this is http://localhost:8000/ depending on your installation). This includes:

  • Connect your metamask
  • Register and stake your minimum required stake (see the current value)
  • Add metadata information for your node operator

4. Index or Sync a Project

To index a data indexing project, please follow the instructions here.


If you are wanting to index a Dictionary, then you may be able to restore your project from our dictionary snapshots to save a lot of time. Instructions are here

Guides to setup RPC endpoints will come shortly.

5. Create a Plan from a Plan Template

For the initial stages of Mainnet, the SubQuery Council will set some default plan templates to make plan management and creation easier. As a result, plan creation is very easy and just requires to you enter a price. See the guide here.

6. Configure a Node Operator Commission Rate (NOCR)

Please update your Node Operator Commission Rate (NOCR) in order to attract more Delegators. You can read more about this here. You can do this by viewing your Node Operator Delegators page, and you can change it by clicking Change commission rate

Viewing your NOCR

Enter a new value (in a percent) and submit via your wallet.

Changing your NOCR

Changes will come into effect at the start of the next Era.

7. Troubleshooting and FAQs

Visit Troubleshooting or FAQs if you run into technical issues.

8. Setting up a Grafana Dashboard (Optional)

This guide will walk you through setting up a preconfigured Grafana Dashboard to view metrics from the indexer-coordinator and indexer-proxy.

Backup your Docker Compose

Make a backup of your existing docker-compose.yaml file (in the Node Operator services folder) before proceeding with Grafana setup.

We will automatically pull and overwrite your version with the latest

Navigate to the directory where your docker-compose.yml file is located (this will be referred to as indexer-services-folder) and run the command

cd indexer-services-folder
# Note the next step will overwrite your existing docker-compose.yml, make sure you have a backup
mkdir network-indexer-services-temp && curl -L | tar -xzf - --strip-components=1 -C ./network-indexer-services-temp && rm -rf ./ipfs ./metrics && mv ./network-indexer-services-temp/deploy/* . && rm -rf ./network-indexer-services-temp

This will generate a folder named metrics containing all the necessary setup files for your Dashboard.

Before using the docker-compose file in the metrics directory, you should port over your previous changes from your backup that you created earlier, and make several additional modifications:

  1. Open the docker-compose-metrics.yml file and update the GF_SECURITY_ADMIN_PASSWORD variable. This is the password you'll use to log in to the Grafana dashboard.
  2. Navigate to metrics/datasources/datasource.yml and update the Authorization token. It should match the --metrics-token specified in the proxy container section of your docker-compose.yml file.
  3. In the metrics/prometheus.yml file, update the bearer_token. It should also match the --metrics-token value, but in the format of Bearer <metrics-token-here>.
  4. If your indexer-proxy runs on a non-default port, update the target under query_count -> static_configs -> targets in the metrics/prometheus.yml file.

For Linux Users

If you are running your Node Operator services on linux you need specify the exact ip instead of host.docker.internal inside metrics/prometheus.yml file.

You can get this for indexer-proxy and indexer-coordinator by running:

docker inspect -f '{{range .NetworkSettings.Networks}}{{.IPAddress}}{{end}}' <container_name>

After doing this configuration you can start up the compose file:

docker-compose -f ./metrics/docker-compose-metrics.yml up -d

Head to http://<indexer-endpoint>:3000, your username will be admin and password will be whatever you set for GF_SECURITY_ADMIN_PASSWORD

Once you have successfully logged in, look for 'dashboards' on the left-hand side of the screen. Under the 'general' section, you will find a dashboard that looks like this:


9. Upgrade Node Operator services (Ongoing)

To upgrade a Node Operator service, you will need to update the version of the image used in the docker-compose file. This can be done by updating the image field in the service definition to the new version you want to use.

Once the image version has been updated in the docker-compose file, you can restart the specific container that needs to be upgraded. This can be done by running the following command in the terminal:

docker-compose up -d --no-deps container-service-name

The up command starts the container in the background, while the --no-deps flag prevents Docker Compose from starting any linked services. Finally, the container-service-name argument specifies the name of the container that needs to be restarted.

By following these simple steps, you can upgrade your Node Operator services in Docker Compose and ensure that they are running the latest version of the image.