Marketplace has launched, further enabling blockchain developers! Learn more

How to install and run a Prysm Beacon node

September 09, 2022


Even if you're a newbie, rookie, or a pro in Ethereum it really excites all of us to see these developments in Ethereum. Whether it's all the hard forks like Istanbul, Atlantis, etc. or the development of Ethereum 2.0 - there is a lot to keep up with.

In this guide, we're going to show you up to set up a node that is part of the Phase 0 Ethereum 2.0 transition process.

Understanding ETH2 terminology / roadmap

Ethereum is moving towards Ethereum 2.0 (aka ETH2) - the main reason behind this is that the network needs to be upgraded to keep things running smoothly and scale beyond its ~15/transactions per second limit, Ethereum is going to move to Proof Of Stake (POS) from Proof Of Work (POW) so that the network will become easier to run on basic computers.

Such a huge change can't be made at once, so this update will take place in phases

  • Phase 0 is called the beacon chain, it's the core of ETH2, which manages validators and the coordination of shards. Once the beacon chain is deployed, other aspects of ETH2 will be bootstrapped from it.
  • Phase 1 will have what is called shard chains, which will allow parallel transaction throughput and will be a key to future scalability of the network, 64 Shard chains will be deployed in this phase and more will be added over time.
  • Phase 2 is the last phase, where the entire system will come together functionally. Shard chains will be transitioned to a structured chain state from simple data containers and Smart contracts will be reintroduced. There will be virtual machines based on eWASM, which will be managed by a Shard chain.

Since ETH2 will use the Proof of Stake consensus algorithm, there will be validator nodes attesting and proposing new blocks on the beacon chain. ETH2 makes the distinction between beacon nodes and validator clients. A beacon node (or just node) concerns itself with maintaining a view of the beacon chain as well as the shard chain (data chain). As their name suggests, validator clients (or just clients) handle the logic of a single validator. This is achieved by communicating with the beacon nodes to understand the current state of the chain, by attesting to and proposing blocks. Finally, validators ask the beacon node to send this information to its peers. 

If you're not running a validator, a beacon node contains all of the information you need to interact in a trustless manner with ETH2, much like a full node in ETH1.

To become a validator you need both, A beacon node and a validator client. You need to deposit exactly 32 ETH on the ETH1 contract to become a validator, therefore if you want to stake more ETH you'll need to run multiple validator clients. Now let’s see how to install and run a beacon node and validator client.

Install Beacon node & validator using Docker

Now, let's install a beacon node and validator. We'll require Docker to accomplish this, to check if docker is already installed on your system  type the following in your command prompt/terminal

install beacon node validator using docker

$ docker -v

If not installed head to the docker installation guide.

Now, as we have Docker installed let’s pull docker image for beacon node and validator.

install beacon node validator using docker

$ docker pull
$ docker pull

We are going to run our beacon node now. 

install beacon node validator using docker

$ docker run -it -v $HOME/prysm:/data -p 4000:4000 -p 13000:13000 --name beacon-node --datadir=/data --p2p-host-ip --min-sync-peers 7

We have included the --p2p-host-ip and --min-sync-peers 7 flags to improve peering.

NOTE: It is recommended to open up port 13000 on your local router to improve connectivity and receive more peers from the network.

Useful commands

The following are some useful commands for interacting with the beacon chain node.

- To stop the beacon chain docker:

install beacon node validator using docker

$ docker stop beacon-node

- To restart the beacon node, issue the following command:

install beacon node validator using docker

$ docker start -ai beacon-node

- To delete a corrupted container, issue the following command:

install beacon node validator using docker

$ docker rm beacon-node

- To recreate a deleted container and refresh the chain database, issue the start command with an additional --clear-db parameter:

install beacon node validator using docker

$ docker run -it -v $HOME/prysm:/data -p 4000:4000 -p 13000:13000 --name beacon-node 
  --datadir=/data --clear-db --p2p-host-ip --min-sync-peers 7

Staking ETH: Running a validator client

As soon as the beacon node is up, the chain will be waiting for you to deposit 3.2 Goerli ETH (in mainnet it's equivalent to 32 ETH) into a validator deposit contract in order to activate the validator. Every staked 3.2 Goerli ETH represents a validator, in order to stake more ETH, we need to run multiple validator clients. We'll explain how to get some free ETH to deposit in the next section...

Activating your validator

You can find more instructions on setting up a validator and using the Göerli ETH faucet for deposit at

It may take a while for the node to process a deposit in the network, Once the node is active the validator will begin to perform it's tasks immediately. In the validator client, we can see the validator balance as it goes up over time.

Note: The node should not go offline for a long period or else a validator will start gradually losing its deposit until it is removed from the network entirely.

If you don’t want to become a validator, then the beacon node is enough to read chain data and create Dapps (Dapps support will not be available until phase 1). 


If you want to participate in ETH2 testnet, check out the complete instructions here, and if you're facing any problem you can reach out to Prysmatic lab's team via their discord server. 

Subscribe to our newsletter for more articles and guide on Ethereum. If you have any feedback, please feel free to reach out to us via Twitter and you can always chat with us if you have a question via our community server on Discord, thanks :)

Related articles 11

Ethereum Full Node vs Archive Node
Published: Apr 8, 2021
Updated: Sep 20, 2022

Ethereum runs on a network of computers (also known as nodes) that verify transactions based on a consensus protocol and ledger, which make up the blockchain. In this guide, you will learn...

Continue reading
How to setup a Chainlink node
Published: Jul 6, 2020
Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Smart-contracts are the heart and soul of all the development happening on the Ethereum blockchain, and as more and more people develop on Ethereum, smart contracts are becoming more...

Continue reading
Introduction to Ethereum Rollups
Published: Dec 28, 2021
Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Ethereum, the most popular blockchain, has seen scaling issues for quite a long time now. With high gas fees due to congestion being the primary pain point. With the increasing cost to use the...

Continue reading
How to run a Hyperledger Besu node
Published: May 18, 2021
Updated: Sep 9, 2022

As the Ethereum network continues to grow, the need for an enterprise-ready Ethereum client arises. Hyperledger Besu is an enterprise-friendly Ethereum client that can implement both public...

Continue reading
How to Run a Binance Smart Chain Node
Published: Jul 2, 2021
Updated: Oct 11, 2022

Binance Smart Chain, BSC for short, is a blockchain that seeks to provide both an alternative and extension to the Ethereum Blockchain. It has done this through several clever implementations...

Continue reading
How to install and run a Geth node
Published: Apr 5, 2020
Updated: Sep 12, 2022

Ethereum nodes are computers participating in Ethereum blockchain network. These nodes are actual computers running software that verifies, stores, and sometimes creates blocks. The actual...

Continue reading
How to run Nethermind node
Published: May 18, 2021
Updated: Nov 18, 2022

To run an Ethereum node without any problems, it is essential to choose a good node client. Nethermind is one of the oldest and most trusted Ethereum node clients. In this guide, let’s see how...

Continue reading
How to Install and Run a Stacks Node
Published: Aug 26, 2022
Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Stacks 2.0 is an open-source layer-1 blockchain that allows developers to build smart contracts and decentralized blockchain applications. This guide will demonstrate how to install the Stacks...

Continue reading
How to Use Laika with QuickNode
Published: Apr 22, 2022
Updated: Sep 9, 2022

Developers spend most of their time writing code, testing, and fixing bugs. A lot of the time spent with these tasks can be simplified by using a tool like Laika. Laika is a Web3 development...

Continue reading