We’ve setup several masternodes ourselves, but we are no programmers. We know how Windows works, we can work on a Macbook, but we can’t code. This makes installing masternodes a little bit challenging. Also, before diving into this, we want you to know that this is a very general idea on how installing a MN works. This guide will work for the majority of the nodes, but there will always be some exceptions.
What do yo need?
If you want to setup a masternode, you will need to get yourself organized. This is what you need to get started:
- The core wallet installed on your (Windows) desktop. We call this the Main Wallet.
- Collateral – the amount of coins needed to setup your MN. This amount is different for each blockchain / currency.
- A virtual private server, or VPS. We’ll get to this in a bit.
- PuTTY installed on your home computer
In this guide we take into account that you will be setting up just one MN. It’s possible to setup multiple masternodes, but that would require you multiple times the same amount of collateral.
1. Getting started on your home computer
- Download the core wallet and install it on your desktop. Make sure you only use the links provided on the official website of the currency you will be working with. This download are generally hosted on their official website or on Github. Installing will be done quick, but than you’re wallet will need to synchronize with the blockchain. This can take 20 minutes up to several hours, depending on your internet speed and the size of the blockchain / the currency you’re working with.
- Also download PuTTY and install it. This will be the software we’ll use to interact with your VPS. Download PuTTY here.
- Learn how much collateral you need and buy this from an exchange. CryptoBridge is a decentralized exchange that offers lots of smaller coins with MN technology. Binance would be the more popular exchange to get your coins. Make sure you have some Bitcoins, because you will need them to exchange for your MN coins. Buy Bitcoins here.
- Once you have the coins in your exchange wallet. It’s time to withdraw them. Open your desktop main wallet click File > Receiving Address. In the pop-up you need to click “new”, and you fill in the label (for example: MyMN1). Press OK, and the wallet will have created a new address for you.
- Now go to the exchange, and withdraw the EXACT amount of coins needed for the masternode, and send them to the address that we labeled as MyMN1. When you’ve send the coins, the transaction will need to be confirmed. This will take anywhere between 5 and 20 minutes. You will need approximately 15 confirmations.
2. Getting your VPS up and running
- While waiting for the confirmations, it’s time to start working on that VPS. Go to Vultr.com and get an account there. Vultr is the service we will be using for our Virtual Private Server. Sign up, get some credit on your account and than it’s time to setup your server.
- In the left menu you see the tab servers, click it. Currently you have none, but by clicking the big + in the top right of the website, we can start setting one up. Pick a location where you want your server to be hosted. It makes the most sense to choose a location close to your home, so you won’t have too much lag interacting with your server.
- The Server Type – we will be using an Ubuntu 16-4 server for our nodes. Ubuntu is a version of Linux, and that’s less demanding to a computer… which means you are able to install multiple MN on one computer without running into trouble with RAM.
- For most MN the $5 package will do, but some MN require 2GB of RAM. Which means you will need to get the $10 per month package. Keep this in mind. When you’re done choosing, click “deploy” and your server will be setup. This generally takes 2~5 minutes maximum.
- If you now click the Servers tab again, you will see your server. Click its name and leave this tab of your browser open. We will need it soon.
3. Logging into your server
- Open PuTTY. At Host Name / IP address, enter the IP address if your VPS. Please mind that with most coins, every MN of the same coin needs an unique IP address. So in most cases you can’t run two MN for one currency on the same server. Make sure the connection type in the tab is set to SSH. Click open.
- PuTTY has now opened a black window. Type the login name. Default name = root
- Now you need to give the password for the user ‘root’. You can find your password in your Vultr dashboard. It’s hidden. Just click the copy-symbol next to your invisible password. Go back to the PuTTY window and right click on the place where you need to fill in your password. This is how copy-paste works between your Windows desktop and the Ubuntu interface in your PuTTY windows. So you can do CTRL+C in Windows, followed by a right-click in your VPS. Remember this, you will be using it a lot in the coming steps.
- Enter. And welcome, you’re now inside your – still empty – VPS server!
4. Preparing your VPS
- Remember. Your VPS is running Ubuntu, which is not as graphical as Windows. Installing your core wallet will not be about double clicking icons. We will start with updating Ubuntu, to make sure you have the latest version.sudo apt-get update
- After a short while everything will be updated. Followed by following command to upgrade any packages.apt-get upgrade
- If you get a prompt, press the Y-button to confirm any updates / downloads.
- Now we will install a simple text editor to change the config files later on:apt-get install nano -y
5. Installing the Core Wallet into your VPS
- When all this is done, we are going to download the actual Core Wallet. Make sure you find the core wallet on Github. You will need the version for Linux 64-bit. Copy the URL from the file you need to download (the file extension ends with *.tar.gz)
- Now it’s time to download the file:wget https://github.com/yourcoinsproject/releases/download/filename.tar.gz
- When the download is done and hit 100%, you’re ready to unpack the file:tar xzvf filename.tar.gz
6. Identifying your VPS wallet as a masternode
- Now it’s time to create a link between the wallets your VPS and your home computer. The transaction with the exact amount of coins should be confirmed by now. You can double check this in the ‘transactions’ tab in your main wallet.
- Once confirmed, it’s time to enable to Masternodes tab in your main wallet.Options > Wallet > Show masternode tab (or something similar)
- Next we will open the debug console.Tools > Debug console
- In the bottom of the debug console you will find an area to write text. Let’s start by generating a masternode private key, often called privkey. To do this, type the following all in lower case:masternode genkey
- Make sure you write that private key down and lock it in a secure place. For now, copying and saving it to a Notepad file should do the trick. Now also type the next command:masternode outputs
- Masternode outputs needs to confirm the transaction you made with the exact amount of coins needed for the masternode. If the transaction has not been confirmed, or you sent to many or the few coins, this command will give an error. When you did everything correct, it will give you a long string of letters and numbers, and one separate number (often a 0 or a 1). NEVER share your masternode privkey and the masternode outputs with others!
- Now we go back to your VPS in PuTTY. Make sure you’re logged in. In the root of your server, we are going to open the configuration file of the core wallet on your VPS.nano .directorylocation/coinname.conf
- Now a very, very primitive text editor will open. Here you will need to provide some basic information, and this information is a bit different for each of the blockchain currencies. So make sure you have the information you need from the official website of your currency.rpcallowip=127.0.0.1 (depends on the coin, information provided on official website)
rpcuser= (choose your username)
rpcpassword= (choose your password)
staking=1 (dependent on currency)
server=1 (dependent on currency)
listen=1 (dependent on currency)
port=23654 (dependent on currency)
masternode=1 (dependent on currency)
masternodeaddr=XXX.XXX.X.X:23654 (IP address of your Vultr server : the port mentioned two places up)
externalip=XXX.XXX.X.X:23654 (same as above)
masternodeprivkey=MNGENKEY (your privkey that was generated and that you saved on notepad!)
- Done? Good! Now press CTRL+X to exit, followed by the Y-button to save your config file. Now you’ve made a configuration file that identifies your VPS core wallet as a masternode.
7. Desktop Wallet needs to connect to VPS wallet
- Now it’s time to go back to your main wallet on the desktop of your home computer. Close the wallet. And re-open it. The wallet will re-synchronize to the network. After that’s done:Tools > Open Masternode Configuration file
- You will now open the configuration file on your main wallet. This one needs to be synced with the config file on the VPS. You will do this by adding the following information WITHOUT using any [ENTER].WalletLabel <IP Address VPS server>:<port number, same as VPS config file> <privkey> <transaction id> <tx hash>So for example (keep an eye on the space between the information you supply… it’s very important:MyMN1 126.96.36.199:23654 TH1s1SY0uRpr1v4t3k3Y TH1sw1llb3YOURtr4ns4ct10n1dc0de 1 Done? Click File > Save
- Close wallet again. Then re-open. Wait until the wallet is FULLY synchronized with the network!
8. Let’s turn on the switch
- On the VPS server in PuTTY. Open the server, login.
- Locate the folder where your core wallet is installed on the VPS and run the wallet. Use the “-daemon”. Most of the time this will be something like:coinnamedirectory/bin/coinnamed -daemon
- It will tell you the masternode is running. Often referred to as: ACTIVE.
- Now go back to your desktop main wallet on your home computer.
- Go to Tools > debug console, and type:masternode start-alias MyMN1
- It should tell you starting the masternode has been succesful
- Let’s go back to the VPS now, and run the following command to check the status of your masternode client.coinnamedirectory/bin/coinname-cli masternode status
- It will give your all kinds of information, but the bottom line should say: “masternode successfully started”
9. Now what?
- When you launch a new masternode it usually takes at least 48 hours before you start making your first revenue. You can always see how much you made by opening the main wallet on your home computer. Incoming transactions from a masternode always have a special symbol next to it, so it’s easy for you to identify what you’ve earned by running the node.
- Make sure you keep an eye on your masternode, and make sure you follow the coin on Twitter. This way you will know when to update your node. Note: official updates for your masternode will only be provided through Github. NEVER giveaway your private key.
- Also keep an eye on the value of your coin. If your benefits from running the node are not bigger than the costs, cancel your node and setup one for a different coin (unless you have a reason to invest in a coin and hope for a brighter future).