Grant for Developing “How to Become a Node Operator with RocketPool” YT Video Instructional Series

Why is this important for RP?

Currently, the RP protocol is suffering from a lack of node operators (NOs). Although there are many multi-factorial theories as to why there is scarcity there are two commonly stated perspectives shared by recent NOs. First, many NOs have stated a lack of confidence in understanding the RP node setup procedure. Second potential NOs have stated a lack of confidence that their computer skills are sufficient to successfully and profitably opetare an RP node and they feared using a Linux CLI. By providing a complete series of how-to videos potential NOs would be able to observe the process, start-to-finish of creating a minipool. This video walk-through would ideally allow the viewer to obtain a higher level of confidence and reinforce that the demonstrated node installation steps are within their technical abilities.

Rocket Pool’s continued growth is entirely dependent on the ability for it to find more NOs. With the merge anticipated in the middle of 2022, there is a unique opportunity for RP to attract both transitioning solo-stakers and ex-miners that wish to retool their hardware from POW to POS validating.

This video series will be an excellent recruiting tool to attract and invite these valuable NOs to the Rocket Pool protocol.

Full Description

This proposal is intended to be an instructional video series hosted on YouTube that will be broken into eleven major sections that cover setting up a home-based node and minipool with RP. The videos are envisioned to be each about 10 minutes and when viewed together in a combined playlist will walk the viewer through the process of bare metal to fully validating. The initial video series proposed in this grant will only cover the essential, minimally-viable, steps needed to build a node and successfully launch a single minipool. This initial series will demonstrate the process using the most popular consumer-grade hardware solution that is presently available in stores: a late-model Intel NUC (AMD64); 16 GB RAM; 2 TB SSD; Ubuntu Server; and a Windows-11 based laptop as the client device.

It’s important that the video series spend time educating the viewer about the financial incentive for an individual to choose to validate with RP as a NO vs running as a solo staker or staking with a centralized service. The series will have to help the viewer have an “a-ha” moment as to why RP node operating is a more lucrative pathway to running validator.

The video series will use the excellent RP documentation ( as the instructional basis and will refer the viewer to the docs at critical points to tie the video instruction to the existing written documentation. This will provide a seamless instructional tool for new NOs. The proposed list of content topics is as follows:

  1. Basics of Validating and Node Operating on the Ethereum Network.

    1. What is ETH staking

    2. What is Rocket Pool

    3. Earning rewards

    4. Avoiding penalties - Slashing and Leaking

      1. Don’t worry about being off-line for small durations

  1. Tokenomics of RP

    1. Why you would want to NO with RP vs solo and liquid staking.

    2. What are the costs of purchasing and running your node (hardware and ISP)

    3. What is the financial stake to node operate with RP (16 ETH + 10% in RPL + gas costs)

    4. Understanding the financial returns from ETH rewards

    5. Understanding the final returns from inclusions fee and MEV

    6. Understanding the financial returns from RPL rewards

  1. Selecting Hardware

    1. CPU selection

    2. Memory selection

    3. SSD selection

      1. IOPS specifications
    4. Cooling Solutions.

    5. Assembling the components for the first boot.

    6. BIOS / UEFI settings

      1. Power on Boot.

  1. Installing Ubuntu Server

    1. Creating an Ubuntu install USB from the Windows client.

    2. Installing Ubuntu

    3. Logging indirectly from the node.

    4. Updating the software

    5. Confirming the SSD speed and performance

    6. Expanding the LVM

    7. Installing SSH

    8. Accessing the node from a client using the PUTTY terminal.

  1. Securing your Node

    1. Replacing the password SSH with a key pair

    2. Enabling automatic security updates

    3. Creating port forwarding rules in your NAT.

  1. Installing RP (Using Docker Mode)

    1. Introduction to the new 1.3 TUI.

    2. Selecting the Execution Client (eth1)

    3. Selecting an Execution backup (Eth 1 fallback) (Maybe remove if PC will be mandatory)

    4. Selecting the Consensus Client (Eth2)

    5. Enabling Monitoring / Metrics

  1. Stating RP and Synincg the Nodes

    1. Starting RP service

    2. Syncing the chains using snap synchronization

    3. Viewing the logs

    4. Creating a wallet

    5. Verifying the wallet seed words

    6. Funding the wallet

      1. Transfer ETH from a CEX

      2. Purchasing RPL from a DEX

      3. Sending coins from MM to the node wallet.

    7. Registering on the RP network

    8. Setting a secure Withdrawl Address.

    9. Verifying that synchronization is complete.

  1. Creating a Minipool

    1. Staking RPL

    2. Creating a minipool

    3. Understading the scrub period.

    4. Calling stake to complete the minipool formation.

    5. Tracking the minipool using and the CLI.

    6. The first attestation

  1. Monitoring the Node

    1. Setting up Granfana

    2. Using and understanding Grafnana

    3. Using notifications.

  1. Maintaining the Node

    1. OS updates

    2. RP updates

    3. Claiming for RPL rewards

    4. Pruning Geth

    5. Disaster Recovery. - All you need is the seed words.

  1. Getting Support

    1. Accessing the Rocket Pool Discord

    2. Accessing the r/rocketpool sub-Reddit

    3. Join the community!

The videos will be produced and edited to show both the in-person view of critical steps like assembling the NUC components and using the connected keyboard and monitor to access the BIOS and assure the first boot. The remaining steps will mainly be composed of a combination of picture-in-picture views of the terminal CLI window and the presenter describing the steps. Viewers will be able to jump to key time marks in the video for each of the above-outlined steps. It is envisioned that a novice node operator could replay the videos during their own installation for use as a video instruction manual. For some of the more complex topics like understanding staking simple white-board-like graphics will be developed to help convey the concept visually.

If successful this series could be expanded in the future to include more advanced topics such as:

  • Adding a VPN, Aegis Key, and Akasa Case.

  • Advanced Grafana; Metrics Exporter; node monitoring tool practices.

  • Other HW platforms like ARM, macintosh, and VPS. (Maybe Windows WSL)

  • Staking with service providers like AllNodes.

  • Advanced RP topics like Governance, pDAO, oDAO, etc.

  • MEV, tips, and eth2 withdrawals.

Estimated cost (denominated in RPL)

Current per min production costs for instructional videos is typically quoted at 37 to 186 RPL per finished minute (Google “instruction video production costs.”) It is important that these quality videos be produced quickly to take advantage of the timing of the new contract deployment, version 1.3 interface and the announcement of the merge date. Based on an average length of time per topic of 10 minutes per topic, 11 topics, the lower bound of the production cost estimate, and a bulk discount of 15% due to the duration of the series the amount needed is projected to be 3,480 RPL

To prevent any adverse impact to the pDAO I propose that this grant be made payable over a 6-month duration even though the vides would be deliverable before the merge. This equates to about 2.6% of the annual pDAO RPL award allocation.

I welcome feedback about the content of the video course and any other aspect of the proposal to strengthen the grant proposal and to add value to new RP node operators.


I agree this definitely deserves a grant/bounty. We are working on a protocol wide grant/bounty budget and putting together some ideas about sizing.

I will post some more information on the budget once we have drafted.


Addendum: As part of this I think the videos should be hosted and distributed on a Rocket Pool-owned YT account. This will help RP establish a brand identity by owning their YT channel. Further, it opens the possibility that any revenue obtained from the monitorization of the video (not really expected but possible) can be returned to the pDAO that funded the project. It will also allow others to create RP-related content (e.g., The Merge Party zoom, DeFI Lego 101 explainers involving RPL or rETH tokens, and pDAO shareholder’s annual meetings (do DAOs do such a thing?), etc.) to have a platform for distributing the recorded video call.


Do you have an kind of prior videos you have worked on that you could share? The gist of this sounds great, but the execution is a very important factor, especially for something audiovisual. I wouldn’t feel comfortable commiting to any kind of reward without exactly knowing what we are paying for :stuck_out_tongue:


I wouldn’t helping work on this project. I used to hold an RHCE and I’ve been a linux professional for nearly a decade (enthusiast and semi-professional for another 7 years). I was also a Systems Dev Engineer for the last 3.5 years at a large cloud provider, so I understand the underlying systems as well as how to scale and avoid a lot of pitfalls newer Linux, docker, blockchain, and OSS users can run into and how to avoid potential significant outages to help new NOs properly maximize their yield.

I think some solid how-to step-by-step videos in everything from simple maintenance and troubleshooting videos (things to look for) is definitely great ideas like you call out there. In fact, there could just be a video library built up over time of troubleshooting issues as we run across them as a community.

So, I would add (as I figure out a fast/easy solution and build it…it’s already on my to-do list when I kick off my business) an OSS repo on github that would add functionality to rocketpool to manage SSL on the node through letsencrypt and get that merged in with the rocketpool client.

A letsencrypt client would give us trusted certs to use when accessing the rewards dashboard as that could be a potential attack vector on the node (if there’s a security issue with grafana or docker where privileges leak across containers, an attacker could theoretically get your key. HIGHLY unlikely, but a free, open-source initiative for REAL trust certificates and CAs that isn’t based on the level of fraud, gouging, and press-ganging companies into outrageous fees for something that is now free in that market today.

Anyway, I think this is a great idea. May be a good thing for this to be an ongoing or on-demand grant as additional videos get lined up and delivered.

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I’ve got a slight tweak suggestion instead of youtube account (though we should ALSO upload there), we could support other crypto chains by using a crypto with IPFS and store the videos on one of those chains to refer back to the website embedded videos.

Then, we’re moving our dependence off of web 2.0, but still give people the ability to view in either “web3.0” or “web2.0” as marketing seems to be deeming it now, depending on what the viewer is comfortable with and/or how they find the video (ie. if they’re browsing rocketpool directly because they heard about it or searched it on youtube).

Might be good to foster relationships with other chains/consensus systems that’s mutually beneficial. It might also attract more users to rocketpool.

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