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Docker Install

Setup a Witness Node using a pre-configured Docker container
This document assumes that you are running Ubuntu 18.04 or 20.04. Other Debian based releases may also work with the provided script.
The following steps outline the Docker installation of a Witness Node:
  1. 1.
    Preparing the Environment
  2. 2.
    Installing Docker
  3. 3.
    Installing the Peerplays image
  4. 4.
    Starting the Container
  5. 5.
    Update the config.ini File
  6. 6.
    Create a Peerplays Account
  7. 7.
    Update config.ini with Witness Account Info
  8. 8.
    Start the Container and Vote for Yourself
Before we begin, to set up a Witness node requires about 15 PPY. This is to pay for an upgraded account (5 PPY) and to create a new witness (8 PPY). The remaining funds are to pay for various transaction fees while setting up the node (like voting for yourself!). Please see Obtaining Your First Tokens for more info.
Note that these fees will likely change over time as recommended by the Committee of Advisors.

1. Preparing the Environment

1.1 Hardware requirements

Please see the Witness node hardware requirements.
For the docker install on Peerplays Mainnet, the requirements that we'll need for this guide would be as follows (as per the hardware requirements doc):
Node Type?
4 Cores
Ubuntu 18.04

1.2 Installing the required dependencies

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install git curl
Then we'll clone the Peerplays Docker repository.
git clone -b release

2. Installing Docker

It is required to have Docker installed on the system that will be performing the steps in this document.
Docker can be installed using the script inside the Peerplays Docker repository:
cd peerplays-docker
sudo ./ install_docker
The script contains many commands to make managing the node easy. A list of all its commands are listed in section 9 of this document.
Since the script has added the currently logged in user to the Docker group, you'll need to re-login (or close and reconnect SSH) for Docker to function correctly.
You can look at to learn more on how to install Docker. Or if you are having permission issues trying to run Docker, use sudo or look at

2.1. Setting up the .env file

Copy the example.env to .env located in the root of the repository (ie peerplays-docker folder)
cp example.env .env
We're going to have to make some changes to the .env file so we'll open that now using a text editor.
nano .env
Here are the important parts of the .env file. These will be the parts that need to be edited or optionally edited. The rest of the file should be unchanged.
# Comma separated port numbers to expose to the internet (binds to
# Expose 9777 to the internet, but only expose RPC ports 8090 and 8091 onto (localhost)
# allowing the host machine access to the container's RPC ports via and
# We'll need ports 8090 and 8091 open to our localhost to interact with the Peerplays CLI Wallet.
# Websocket RPC node to use by default for ./ remote_wallet

3. Installing the Peerplays image

Use to pull the node image:
cd ~/peerplays-docker
sudo ./ install

4. Start the Container

With at least 8GB of disk space available in your home folder, we'll start the node. This will create and/or start the Peerplays docker container.
sudo ./ replay
Then we'll check the status of the container to see if all is well.
sudo ./ logs
Last we'll stop the container so we can make updates to the config.ini file.
sudo ./ stop

5. Update the config.ini File

We need to set the endpoint and seed-node addresses so we can access the cli_wallet and download all the initial blocks from the chain. Within the config.ini file, locate the p2p-endpoint, rpc-endpoint, and seed-node settings and enter the following addresses.
nano ~/peerplays-docker/data/witness_node_data_dir/config.ini
p2p-endpoint =
rpc-endpoint =
seed-node =
seed-node =
seed-node =
seed-nodes = []
Save the changes and start the container back up.
sudo ./ replay

6. Create a Peerplays Account

We'll need an account as the basis of creating a new Witness. The easiest way to do that is to use the Peerplays DEX.

6.1. Download the Peerplays Core GUI Wallet to Make an Account

  1. 1.
    Install, open, and create an account. It's pretty self-explanatory.
  2. 2.
    Wait for your node to sync the blocks (about 7.3GB at the time of writing). We need to do this before we can use the CLI wallet.
  3. 3.
    From this point on, please note the results of the following commands as you'll need them later.

6.2. Use the cli_wallet to set a password and unlock the wallet

Back in the command line window, we can access the cli_wallet program after all the blocks have been downloaded from the chain. Note that "your-password-here" is a password that you're creating for the cli_wallet and doesn't necessarily have to be the password you used in the GUI wallet earlier.
sudo ./ remote_wallet
set_password your-password-here
unlock your-password-here
The CLI wallet will show unlocked >>> when successfully unlocked.
A list of CLI wallet commands is available here:

6.3. Generate OWNER private keys for the cli_wallet and import them

This will return an array with your owner key in the form of ["PPYxxx", "xxxx"]. Note that the "created-username" and "created-password" used here are the username and password from the GUI wallet!
get_private_key_from_password created-username owner created-password
The second value in the returned array is the private key of your owner key. Now we'll import that into the cli_wallet.
import_key "created-username" SECONDVALUEFROMLASTCOMMAND

6.4. Generate ACTIVE private keys for the cli_wallet and import them

Once again, this will return an array with your active key in the form of ["PPYxxx", "xxxx"]. Note that the "created-username" and "created-password" used here are the username and password from the GUI wallet!
get_private_key_from_password created-username active created-password
The second value in the returned array is the private key of your active key. Now we'll import that into the cli_wallet.
import_key "created-username" SECONDVALUEFROMLASTCOMMAND
The keys that begin with "PPY" are the public keys.

6.5. Upgrade to lifetime membership

You will need some PPY for this command to succeed. The account must have lifetime membership status to create a new Witness.
upgrade_account created-username true

6.6. Create yourself as a Witness

The URL in this command is your own URL which should point to a page which describes who you are and why you want to become a Peerplays witness. Note your block signing key after you enter this command.
This command will require some PPY as well.
create_witness created-username "https://your-url-to-witness-proposal" true
The above command will also return YOURBLOCKSIGNINGKEY

6.7. Gather your Witness account info

First we'll get the private key for your block_signing_key.
Then dump your keys to check and compare. One of the returned values from the following command should match your block_signing_key.
Last we'll get your witness ID.
get_witness created-username

7. Edit config.ini to include your Witness ID and your private key pair

Exit the cli_wallet with the quit command. We'll stop the container and edit the config.ini file once again.
sudo ./ stop
nano ~/peerplays-docker/data/witness_node_data_dir/config.ini
witness-id = "your_witness_id"
private-key = ["block_signing_key", "private_key_for_your_block_signing_key"]

8. Start the container and vote for yourself

sudo ./ start
Once again, we need to wait for the node to sync the blocks to use the cli_wallet. After the sync, you can vote for yourself.
sudo ./ wallet
unlock your-password-here
vote_for_witness created-username created-username true true
Now you can check your votes to verify it worked.
get_witness your_witness_account
Complete! You've installed your Witness node and you're up and running.

9. What's Next?

9.1. Auto-starting your node

Up until this point we have been running the node in the foreground which is fragile and inconvenient. So let's start the node as a service when the system boots up instead.

9.2. Creating a backup node

After that, it would be smart to create a backup server to enable you to make software updates, troubleshoot issues with the node, and otherwise take your node offline without causing service outages.

9.3. Fire up another node

You've got a Witness node. Now you'll need a BOS node. And since you're in the node making mood, how about a SON too?

9.4. Enable SSL to encrypt your node traffic

If you have a node that is accessible from the internet (for example, an API or Seed node) it would be wise to enable SSL connections to your node.

10. Docker commands list

  • start - starts seed container
  • start_son - starts son seed container
  • start_son_regtest - starts son seed container and bitcoind container under the docker network
  • clean - Remove blockchain, p2p, and/or shared mem folder contents, seed, bitcoind, and son docker network (warns beforehand)
  • dlblocks - download and decompress the blockchain to speed up your first start
  • replay - starts seed container (in replay mode)
  • replay_son - starts son seed container (in replay mode)
  • memory_replay - starts seed container (in replay mode, with --memory-replay)
  • shm_size - resizes /dev/shm to size given, e.g. ./ shm_size 10G
  • stop - stops seed container
  • status - show status of seed container
  • restart - restarts seed container
  • install_docker - install docker
  • install - pulls latest docker image from server (no compiling)
  • install_full - pulls latest (FULL NODE FOR RPC) docker image from server (no compiling)
  • rebuild - builds seed container (from docker file), and then restarts it
  • build - only builds seed container (from docker file)
  • logs - show all logs inc. docker logs, and seed logs
  • wallet - open cli_wallet in the container
  • remote_wallet - open cli_wallet in the container connecting to a remote seed
  • enter - enter a bash session in the currently running container
  • shell - launch the seed container with appropriate mounts, then open bash for inspection

11. Glossary

Witness: An independent server operator which validates network transactions.
Witness node: Nodes with a closed RPC port. They don't allow external connections. Instead these nodes focus on processing transactions into blocks.