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Validator management

The following instructions are required for stakers utilizing Lodestar.

Wallet configuration

A wallet helps to manage many validators from a group of 12/24 words (also known as a "mnemonic" or "recovery phrase"). All validators and withdrawal keys can be re-generated from a backed-up mnemonic.

The mnemonic is randomly generated during wallet creation and printed out to the terminal. It's important to make one or more backups of the mnemonic to ensure your ETH wallets are not lost in the case of data loss.


It is very important to keep your mnemonic private as it represents the ultimate control of your ETH wallets.

Create a wallet

Lodestar is deprecating its functionality to create wallets.

To create a wallet, we recommend using the official staking-deposit-cli from the Ethereum Foundation for users comfortable with command line interfaces.

Alternatively, for a graphical user interface, you can use the Stakehouse Wagyu Key Generator developed by members of the EthStaker community.


These tools will generate files for staking validators as well as the important mnemonic. This mnemonic must be handled and stored securely.

Setup your validator

Validators are represented by a BLS keypair. Use your generated mnemonic from one of the tools above to generate the keystore files required for validator duties on Lodestar.

Import a validator keystore from your wallet to Lodestar

To import a validator keystore that was created via one of the methods described above, you must locate the validator JSON keystores exported by those tools (ex. keystore-m_12381_3600_0_0_0-1654128694.json).

Inside the keystore JSON file, you should have an EIP-2335 keystore file.

You will also need the passphrase used the encrypt the keystore. This can be specified interactively, or provided in a plaintext file.

Option 1: Import Keys To Lodestar's Keystores Folder

You can load the keys into the keystore folder using the validator import command. There are two methods for importing keystores:

Interactive passphrase import

./lodestar validator import --importKeystores ./validator_keys

Plaintext passphrase file import

./lodestar validator import --importKeystores ./validator_keys --importKeystoresPassword ./password.txt


The interactive passphrase import method will prompt every keystore in the validator_keys folder for import and will ask for the individual password for each keystore. This method will allow you to import multiple keystores with different passwords.

The plaintext passphrase file import method will allow to import all keystores in the validator_keys folder with the same password contained in password.txt for efficiency.

Once imported with either method, these keystores will be automatically loaded when you start the validator. To list the imported keystores, use the validator list command.

Option 2: Import Keys When Starting the Validator

To import keys when you start the validator specify the --importKeystores and --importKeystoresPassword flags with the validator command:

./lodestar validator --importKeystores ./validator_keys --importKeystoresPassword ./password.txt


If you import keys using --importKeystores at runtime (Option 2) any keys loaded to the keystores folder from Option 1 will be ignored.

Configuring the fee recipient address

Post-Merge Ethereum requires validators to set a Fee Recipient which allows you to receive priority fees when proposing blocks. If you do not set this address, your priority fees will be sent to the burn address.

Configure your validator client's fee recipient address by using the --suggestedFeeRecipient flag. Ensure you specify an Ethereum address you control. An example of a fee recipient set with the address 0xB7576e9d314Df41EC5506494293Afb1bd5D3f65d would add the following flag to their configuration: --suggestedFeeRecipient 0xB7576e9d314Df41EC5506494293Afb1bd5D3f65d.

You may choose to use the --strictFeeRecipientCheck flag to enable a strict check of the fee recipient address with the one returned by the beacon node for added reassurance.

Submit a validator deposit

Please use the official tools to perform your deposits

Run the validator

To start a Lodestar validator run the command:

./lodestar validator --network $NETWORK_NAME

You should see confirmation that modules have started.

Nov-29 10:47:13.647[]                 info: Lodestar network=sepolia, version=v1.2.2/f093b46, commit=f093b468ec3ab0dbbe8e2d2c8175f52ad88aa35f
Nov-29 10:47:13.649[]                 info: Connecting to LevelDB database path=/home/user/.local/share/lodestar/sepolia/validator-db
Nov-29 10:47:51.732[]                 info: 3 local keystores
Nov-29 10:47:51.735[]                 info: 0x800f6be579b31ea950a50be65f7de8f678b23b7466579c01ac26ebf9c19599fb2b446da40ad4fc92c6109fcd6793303f
Nov-29 10:47:51.735[]                 info: 0x81337ebe90d6942d8b61922ea880c4d28ebc745ddc10a1acc85b745a15c6c8754af1a73b1b3483b6a5024b783510b35c
Nov-29 10:47:51.757[]                 info: 0xb95fc0ec39596deee2c4363f57bb4786f5bb8dfb345c1e5b14e2927be482615971d0d81f9a88b3389fac7079b3cb2f46
Nov-29 10:47:51.776[]                 info: Genesis fetched from the beacon node
Nov-29 10:47:51.781[]                 info: Verified connected beacon node and validator have same the config
Nov-29 10:47:51.837[]                 info: Verified connected beacon node and validator have the same genesisValidatorRoot
Nov-29 10:47:51.914[]                 info: Discovered new validators count=100
Nov-29 10:48:00.197[]                 info: Published SyncCommitteeMessage slot=1165140, count=27
Nov-29 10:48:02.296[]                 info: Published attestations slot=1165140, count=6
Nov-29 10:48:08.122[]                 info: Published aggregateAndProofs slot=1165140, index=0, count=2
Nov-29 10:48:12.102[]                 info: Published SyncCommitteeMessage slot=1165141, count=27
Nov-29 10:48:14.236[]                 info: Published attestations slot=1165141, count=4