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Getting Started with Turbo-Geth on Ubuntu

Turbo-Geth is an Ethereum client that was originally a fork of the popular Go-Ethereum (Geth) client. It has since seen significant re-writing of the database structure, data model, and sync process enabling node operators to run “Full Archive” without needing > 4TB of storage. Work is even being done to test HDD sync (as opposed to SSD).

Github

In this article I’m going to walk through a step by step setup of how to download, build, and execute Turbo-Geth as a service using Supervisor. I’m going to assume you’re running Ubuntu but other Linux distros should work fine/similarly. It may be possible to run on Windows, however, building and running as a service on Windows is an entirely different can of worms that I won’t get into here. If you’d rather use Systemd as opposed to Supervisor, there are other sources available.

At the time of this writing my Turbo-Geth installation consumes 690GB of storage at block #10,795,444

I’m going to assume that you’re root for the duration of the setup.

Prerequisites

The essentials: build-essential, supervisor, wget, and git

apt-get install -y build-essential supervisor wget git

Go Language

At the time of this writing the most recent Go Language version is 1.15.1. Check here.

wget https://golang.org/dl/go1.15.1.linux-amd64.tar.gz
tar -C /usr/local -xzf go1.15.1.linux-amd64.tar.gz
echo 'export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin' >> ~/.profile
. ~/.profile

Isolated turbogeth user

Ideally we don’t want our Turbo-Geth process running as root so I’m going to create a new user account for the service to run under.

useradd -m -s /bin/bash turbogeth

Building Turbo-Geth

cd /opt
git clone https://github.com/ledgerwatch/turbo-geth.git
cd turbo-geth
make

Setting up the Services

Unlike Go-Ethereum (geth), Turbo-Geth has a separate RPC service called rpcdaemon that we also need to setup. I will setup both as Supervisor services.

First, let’s create a data directory for Turbo-Geth to work with, as the default sucks (~/.local/share/turbogeth). You can change this to whatever you want. I personally have a secondary SSD attached to /data so I’m going to use that. I’m also going to make the tubogeth user the owner of the new folder.

mkdir -p /data/turbo-geth/datadir
chown -R turbogeth:turbogeth /data/turbo-geth

tg service

Next let’s create our service… use your favorite editor and create the following file:

vi /etc/supervisor/conf.d/tg.conf

[program:tg]
command=bash -c '/opt/turbo-geth/build/bin/tg --datadir="/data/turbo-geth/datadir"'
user=turbogeth
autostart=true
autorestart=true
stderr_logfile=/var/log/supervisor/tg.err.log
stderr_logfile_maxbytes=1000000
stderr_logfile_backups=10
stdout_logfile=/var/log/supervisor/tg.out.log
stdout_logfile_maxbytes=1000000
stdout_logfile_backups=10
stopwaitsecs=300

Breaking this down section by section, we’re telling Supervisor to create a service called tg which will run the tg executable, specifying the datadir. By default the tg executable is going to listen only on 127.0.0.1:9090 which is fine if you run the rpcdaemon on the same system. Be careful adding additional flags here, as not all geth flags are supported. If you have a static IP address you could also add: --nat extip:1.1.1.1

Next we’re telling Supervisor to run it as the turbogeth user we created earlier, telling it to auto start and auto restart.

The stderr and stdout lines tell Supervisor where to log the console output to and sets up log rotation. Logs can get rather big if you don’t rotate them.

stopwaitsecs=300 tells Supervisor to wait at least 5 minutes after the kill signal before forcefully shutting it down. This is probably not required for Turbo-Geth, but I got into the habit of including it with my Ethereum node processes because nothing sucks more than pre-mature killing of the process resulting in a corrupt DB.

rpcdaemon service

Now, let’s create the service for the rpcdaemon

vi /etc/supervisor/conf.d/rpcdaemon.conf 

[program:rpcdaemon]
command=bash -c '/opt/turbo-geth/build/bin/rpcdaemon --private.api.addr="127.0.0.1:9090" --http.addr="0.0.0.0" --http.port=8545 --http.vhosts="*" --http.corsdomain="*" --http.api="eth,debug,net" --ws'
user=turbogeth
autostart=true
autorestart=true
stderr_logfile=/var/log/supervisor/rpcdaemon.err.log
stderr_logfile_maxbytes=1000000
stderr_logfile_backups=10
stdout_logfile=/var/log/supervisor/rpcdaemon.out.log
stdout_logfile_maxbytes=1000000
stdout_logfile_backups=10

Here we have created our second service. The important thing here is that we’re pointing rpcdaemon at the private.api.addr that tg is listening on. From there we’re exposing our RPC endpoint to “all IPs” by using --http.addr="0.0.0.0" and we’re listening on port 8545. We’ve basically disabled any host or cors checking by using ="*", we’re exposing all available methods (currently: eth,debug,net) and we’re also enabling WebSocket support.

The rpcdaemon doesn’t have a database to get corrupted so no need to worry about killing the process.

LISTENING ON ALL IP ADDRESSES AND DISABLING HOST/CORS CHECKING IS NOT RECOMMENDED IF YOUR SERVER IS REACHABLE FROM THE INTERNET.

I assume that most people reading this are just trying to run a node inside their own network, and that some sort of firewall should be protecting their node from external connections. Otherwise, you should setup ufw or similar on your node to protect your endpoints. Of course if you’re running Tubo-Geth on your workstation or you have no reason to access it remotely you can change 0.0.0.0 to 127.0.0.1 and then only local connections will be accepted.

If you are running this on a cloud server and you don’t really know what you’re doing here’s a quick firewall using ufw:

# Allow SSH form anywhere so we don't get locked out
ufw allow ssh
# Allow TPC/UDP 30303 from anywhere for peering
ufw allow 30303
# Turn on the firewall
ufw enable

# If you want to allow specific IPs (e.g. 1.1.1.1) to hit your RPC endpoint:
ufw allow proto tcp from 1.1.1.1 to any port 8545

Let the nodling commence

systemctl enable supervisor
systemctl start supervisor

This should enable supervisor, telling it to start at startup, and it should start supervisor which in turn should start your tg and rpcdaemon services.

You can check on the status of stuff:

# Check on the tg service:
supervisorctl status tg
tail /var/log/supervisor/tg.err.log

# Check on the rpcdaemon status:
supervisorctl status rpcdaemon

If for some reason the services don’t start it’s probably a typo in your supervisor config files /etc/supervisor/conf.d/tg.conf or /etc/supervisor/conf.d/rpcdaemon.conf

Once you make whatever changes you need to make to the config you reload it with this:

supervisorctl reread
supervisorctl reload

Updating Your Node

Updating Tubo-Geth is fairly straight forward, we simply pull the latest changes from github, run make, and restart our services.

cd /opt/turbo-geth/
git pull
make
supervisorctl restart tg
supervisorctl restart rpcdaemon

I would suggest excising some caution in updating, although the Turbo-Geth team does their best to ensure that the master branch of Turbo-Geth is safe and stable, it’s always best to be safe. Also, some updates might not be reversible, as the database model can change, when that happens, the startup of your node after update will include a migration of data (no need to re-sync). However, if you want to downgrade, you would likely have to re-sync.

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