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Managing Multiple PoST Services On A Single Node


This guide is your roadmap to efficiently managing multiple Proof of Space-Time (PoST) services using just a single node. With the Spacemesh protocol's latest advancements, it's now possible to extend a node's capabilities beyond the previous one-identity-per-node model. It means users can streamline their operations, reduce overhead, and increase their participation in the network without multiplying their hardware or maintenance efforts. This approach requires only one database for all identities, reducing local storage needs and minimizing data broadcasted or fetched from the network. It not only simplifies the lifecycle management of multiple identities but also enhances operational efficiency and network performance. Whether you're looking to add new identities, consolidate existing services, or simply optimize your setup for possibly greater rewards, you're in the right place.

Getting Started

Before diving into managing multiple PoST services on your node, ensure you have the following aspects covered.


  1. Familiarity With CLI Operations: Basic knowledge of command-line interfaces (CLI) and blockchain concepts.
  2. System Specifications: Ensure your system meets the recommended hardware specifications for running multiple PoST services, including sufficient storage and processing power, as well as OpenCL support.


Important Reminder: Before you begin following this guide or making any changes to your node and PoST services setup, it's crucial to back up all your critical data. These steps will help ensure that you can recover your system to its correct state in case of unexpected issues.

What to Back Up:

  1. Node and PoST configuration details, node state.
  2. Private Keys and credentials, especially identity.key files for each of your PoST identities. If you're upgrading from earlier releases make sure that you backup key.bin from the post directory too.
  3. Other sensitive information: Any other details from your custom setup, e.g. concerning external drives, encrypting etc.

Initial Setup And Configuration

  1. Spacemesh Node Setup: Ensure your Spacemesh node is operational, utilizing the latest release supporting multiple PoST services (1.4.x series or newer). For detailed setup instructions, refer to the go-spacemesh documentation.

For this feature setup process, make sure your node is not smeshing. You should specify in your config:

"smeshing": {
"smeshing-start": false

Additionally, you should not have any smeshing-opts in your configuration, but it will not negatively impact the system if they are present. If you are migrating from existing nodes, you can transfer all smeshing-proving-opts directly to the corresponding post-service configuration without issues.


You must ensure the node is set to not smeshing, as supervised PoST service and remote PoST services cannot operate simultaneously. This guide focuses on adding multiple PoST services to the node, so the supervised PoST service must be disabled.


You still need to set the coinbase on the node where the PoST services are connected. The configuration option for this remains unchanged, specifically smeshing-coinbase.

  1. Software Requirements: The latest versions of postcli and post-service from the Spacemesh GitHub repository.
  2. Your Case: Gather info and organize all your node and PoS data paths, POST services configs and details, and hardware access if necessary.

For the sake of conciseness, we assume you have:

  • node-data in ./node_data (specified by --data-folder argument).
  • ./node_data/identities/ directory (create it if it doesn't exist)
  • PoS data in: ./data1/ and ./data2/ directories

Adding New Identities And PoST Services

Procedure Overview

Adding new identities and PoST services involves initializing PoST data for each new identity with specific parameters using postcli. This process generates a new private key, so a new identity.

Detailed Steps

  1. Initialized PoST Data : We assume that the data is already initialized. If it's not the case yet then please visit docs for that.
  2. Store The Private Key : Upon initialization, postcli generates a new private key stored as identity.key in the PoST data directory. This key should then be moved to your ./node_data/identities/ directory, renamed for unique identification.
  3. Configure The PoST Service : Set up the post-service with the newly initialized data, ensuring it's configured to connect to your node. This step integrates the new identity with your node's operational framework.

Migrating Existing Identities/PoST Services

Migration Strategy

Consolidating your Spacemesh identities / PoST services onto a single node streamlines operations and enhances efficiency. The key to a successful migration lies in safely transferring identity keys and PoST data to your chosen node, ensuring no identities are active on more than one node simultaneously to prevent equivocation (the act of a node signing two different blocks at the same layer, which is considered malicious) and being permanently banned and disqualified for rewards.

Step-By-Step Migration

  1. Preparation : Before starting, stop all operations on your current nodes to ensure data integrity during the migration. Make sure that all nodes were running the latest version of Spacemesh newer or equal 1.4.0. This is crucial to avoid any potential issues with the migration process. Nodes that were running 1.3.x series only cannot be migrated directly.
  2. Rename your source node's local.key file to a more descriptive name, such as my_super_secret_key.key. This naming convention is for your convenience only. Ensure that on the target node, there is no file named local.key.
  3. In the go-spacemesh release you'll find merge-nodes tool. It's a tool that allows you to merge two or more nodes into one. Currently, it assumes all or nothing during merging.

Run it with the following command:

./merge-nodes --from <source_path> --to <target_path>

Where: source_path is the path to the node data you want to merge from and target_path is the path to the node data you want to merge to.


It is possible to merge nodes by hand too

  • Locate the identity.key files within the PoST data directories of each node.
  • Copy these files to the ./node_data/identities directory on the node you're consolidating to.
  • Rename the key files respectively for easy identification of each identity.
  • Run: sqlite3 target_node.sql where target_node.sql is the database file of the node you're consolidating to.
insert into initial_post select * from srcDB.initial_post;
insert into challenge select * from srcDB.challenge;
insert into poet_registration select * from srcDB.poet_registration;
insert into nipost select * from srcDB.nipost;
detach srcDB;

However, it is recommended only for advanced users as it does not cover all the corner cases and may lead to data corruption.

  1. Configure PoST Services :
  • For each identity, set up a PoST service that utilizes the existing PoST data linked to that identity. This ensures the node can continue participating in the network without redoing the PoST.
  • Detailed configuration steps can be found in the post-service README, guiding you through connecting each PoST service to your node.

Operational Guide


This is just an example, in the real world you should use some kind of process manager like systemd or supervisord to manage your services. Or use some orchestration tool like kubernetes or docker-compose.

Starting And Stopping PoST Services

For the prerequisites and initial setup, visit post-service README.

To start the PoST service, follow these steps:

  1. Create a directory for post-service and put there the most recent post service release from post-rs repository.

  2. Prepare command arguments. Remember to cd to the correct directory and chmod service file. Then you will need to run the post service with the following arguments:

    ./service --address=http://localhost:9094 --dir=../data1 --operator-address= --threads=1 --nonces=128 --randomx-mode=fast
    • --address: Points to the node's gRPC address. Ensure it matches the grpc-post-listener config option.
    • --dir: Specifies the directory of PoST data. Adjust the path according to your setup.
    • --operator-address: The address for the simple operator API. Change port numbers as needed for your environment. If it's not specified, it will be disabled.
    • --threads, --nonces, --randomx-mode: Configuration options specific to the post service, not the node.
  3. Enable debug logs (Optional): For additional logging, set the RUST_LOG environment variable to DEBUG:

  1. Start the service: Run the command prepared in Step 2. Upon starting, the service will log its configuration and connection attempts to the node. Successful logs will look like this:
[INFO  service] POST proving settings: PostSettings { threads: 1, nonces: 128, randomx_mode: Fast }
[INFO service] not configuring TLS
[DEBUG post_service::client] connecting to the node on http://localhost:10094/ (attempt 1)

These messages indicate that the PoST service is correctly configured and has started.

Stopping PoST Services

To stop a PoST service, typically, you would terminate the process using your operating system's standard procedure for stopping applications. For services running in a container or through a managed service, use the appropriate command or interface provided by the environment to safely stop the service. Otherwise, you can follow these steps:

  1. Identify the process: Use a process management command like ps to find the process ID (PID) of the post service. You can filter the results using grep:

    ps aux | grep service
  2. Terminate the process: Once you've identified the PID, use the kill command to stop the service:

kill [PID]

Replace [PID] with the actual process ID of your post service. If the service does not terminate gracefully, you can use kill -9 [PID] to force it to stop.

General Tips

Configuration Flexibility

You can adjust the PoST service configuration (e.g., --threads, --nonces, --randomx-mode) based on your hardware capabilities and preferences.

Multiple Directories

If you have multiple ./dataN directories, repeat the starting process for each, adjusting the --dir argument accordingly.

Service Management

Feel free to start, stop, or restart PoST services whenever you need it. However, the node should remain running continuously for the system to function properly. Each PoST service exposes operator-api you can use it to query its state and to stop it.

# Not doing anything
❯ curl http://localhost:50051/status

# Proving
❯ curl http://localhost:50051/status

# Proving, read some data already
❯ curl http://localhost:50051/status

# Started second pass
❯ curl http://localhost:50051/status

# Finished proving, but the node has not fetched the proof yet
❯ curl http://localhost:50051/status

More info about operator API can be found in the post-rs repository.

Before stopping a post service with DoneProving state you need to make sure that the node fetched the proof. You can check it by running grpcurl command:

grpcurl --plaintext localhost:9094 spacemesh.v1.PostInfoService.PostStates

if a given post service is PROVING then you should NOT stop it.

Verifying the setup

After adding or migrating identities and PoST services, verify they're correctly connected to your node and eligible for rewards by monitoring the node's Events. Look for indicators of successful identity recognition and PoST data validation. For example, you can list the Post states with:

grpcurl --plaintext localhost:9094 spacemesh.v1.PostInfoService.PostStates

you can also query

grpcurl -plaintext spacemesh.v1.SmesherService.SmesherIDs

to list the configuered SmesherIDs.

Node Events

Method spacemesh.v1.AdminService.EventsStream have been extended with smesher field in the events. So you're expected to see the event PER post service now.


The security of your private keys is fundamentally tied to the control and safety of your digital assets and your identity within the Spacemesh network and any mesh or blockchain ecosystem.

Given the significant risks associated with the exposure of private keys, it is crucial to take proactive measures to secure them. This includes:

  • Using Hardware Wallets: Hardware wallets are physical devices designed to securely store private keys offline, providing a high level of security against online attacks.
  • Secure Storage Solutions: For backup, use encrypted storage solutions and consider distributing backups in secure locations to prevent loss from local disasters.
  • Strong Access Controls: Implement strong access controls and use multi-factor authentication to protect any digital storage or interfaces that can access the private keys.
  • Regular Security Reviews: Regularly review your security practices and stay informed about new threats and security solutions in the blockchain space.
  • Regular Software Updates: Regularly check and upgrade your operating system, antimalware programs, and of course, the Spacemesh software, making sure you always run the official, stable releases from trusted sources.

Troubleshooting Tips

  • Check Configuration Files : Ensure all identity and service configurations are correctly set up.
  • Review Logs For Errors : Any connectivity or initialization errors will be detailed in the node's logs.
  • Ensure Unique Operation : Running multiple nodes with the same identity can lead to issues. Verify that each identity is only active on one node

Advanced Configurations

Customizing Settings For Optimal Performance

As mentioned previously each post service accepts its own configuration. You can adjust the --threads, --nonces, --randomx-mode based on your hardware capabilities and preferences.

Smart Orchestration For Running Multiple PoST Services

We have prepared a demonstration of how to operate multiple PoST services efficiently. You can access it here. While it simplifies certain aspects, the emphasis is on showcasing the capabilities.


Q: I Want To Generate More PoS Data. How Do I Add A New Identity To My Node? A: Initialize PoST data for the new identity using postcli, which will generate a new private key. Then, move the generated identity.key to your data/identities directory, ensuring it's uniquely named.

Q: What Should I Do If I Encounter Errors During Identity Or PoST Service Setup? A: Check your configuration files for accuracy and review node logs for specific error messages. Ensure all paths and identifiers are correctly specified and that there's no overlap of identities across multiple nodes.

Q: How do I verify that my PoST services are correctly set up and running? A: After adding or migrating identities and PoST services, verify they're correctly connected to your node and eligible for rewards by monitoring the node's Events and using grpcurl commands to list configured SmesherIDs and check POST states.