Find the newest guides for becoming a Steem witness here including hosting, server setup, security tutorials, Steem installation, and optimization! No experience with Ubuntu Linux? Me either! I did the research to make this post because I wanted to have everything I needed to get started today setting up my witness and seed without ever having used Linux before! My relevant experience is spending hours every day using computers and playing video games for over twenty years now including command line interfaces as far back as middle school although I have not used many recently. I am completely new to Ubuntu Linux and feel absolutely confident after reading everything I linked on this page several times that I can setup my own witness by following the instructions and asking for help when I encounter a problem!
Why even think about becoming a Steem witness?
- Steem witnesses are literally creating the blockchain in real time meaning being a witness is a position of trust.
- To attack Steemit, witnesses are the likely targets and therefore also are the defenders of our ability to use Steemit.
- Witnesses are chosen by votes at https://steemit.com/~witnesses and paid based on approval.
- The top 20 witnesses earn about $300 to $600 a day in Steem Power with Steem prices at $1 to $2 while the rest of the witnesses in the top 100 have the ability to earn $100 to $3,000 a month depending on the price of Steem and how close each is to the top.
- Witnesses can make reports each week about what they are doing for our community. Most witness reports earn at least $50 in upvotes with many earning over $100.
In summary, we need as many great witnesses as possible and being a witness is rewarding! Before trying to become a witness, here is what I have considered!
- Am I willing to do this indefinitely? Becoming a witness is not worth the time/energy to just do it for a month or a couple months. I see setting up a witness as a long term investment in Steem and Steemit.
- Can I maintain Linux servers? This was the most difficult for me because up until today I have never made any effort to do anything with Linux outside of paying those that know how to use it to make courses teaching others how to use it. After reading the guides on this page, I feel confident I can setup secure Linux servers and continue to get better at using them over time! My hope in writing this is to inspire more with no Linux experience to take the time reading the guides here and get started as a witness.
- Do I have a plan to get witness votes? For most with the experience to maintain a Linux server, the most challenging part is getting votes which makes being a Steem witness a unique opportunity where both technical experience and community relationships are required for success. While my lack of experience with Linux is currently my weak point, I hope that my relationships with our community here is my strong point. Trust according to the questionnaire linked way below is the most critical factor for a witness. Being an active daily user of Steemit authoring new posts and interacting with posts is the basic way I see to ask for votes. My plan to get witness votes is to ask in every one of my posts going forward to vote for me as a witness or set me as a proxy.
Thank you for learning about the basics of becoming a witness! Here is all the product of the hours of research I did to give me the tools to setup my witness which I hope are also helpful for you!
Summary of steps in becoming a Steem witness!
- Decide whether becoming a witness is a desirable goal using what is written above and more in the guides below.
- Get the servers either with a hosting provider or buying them. Renting is preferred for reliability and security.
- Secure the servers against hackers using a few Linux security programs and tutorials.
- Install Steem, edit the config file, and sync the blockchain.
- Use the CLI wallet to make a WIF Private Key and edit the config file again.
- Update the witness to verify it is working and publish the price feed.
- Verify the witness is working, post a witness declaration thread, and update the witness with the post link.
If this sounds scary at first, that is okay because that is how it looked to me as well! I currently have only went through steps 1 and 2 with starting the rest today because those are the real challenges. While I have attempted to minimize the technical steps here because the guides linked below go into that in detail, I value any corrections or feedback that I can use to improve this post!
Over the last several weeks, I read and read and read the guides linked below and am ready to knock out the rest during the next week to get my witness online. Once I have went through the steps here, I will post my witness declaration because I hope in sharing this BEFORE having done all of these, I am able to meet you closer to where you are if you have not done any of this yourself. Here are the guides that helped me get to this point and that I am confident will give you everything you need too!
What type of server to rent?
64GB DDR4 RAM
2x Intel Xeon E5-2630 V3
2x 240GB SSDs
I rented two of these for my witness and seed because @someguy123 said these should be good enough to run at the top 20 level. While less than this is acceptable to get started as a backup witness, I believe that if I am going to make a great backup witness, I should be prepared as needed during an attack or outage or disaster to step in at the top 20 level at a moment's notice.
- What I use is Privex at https://steemit.com/introduceyourself/@privex/we-are-privex-inc-we-accept-steem-protecting-your-privacy-in-the-cloud because several other witnesses are already using their hosting and witness @someguy123 is the CEO of Privex.
- DigitalOcean recommended by @kyle at https://www.digitalocean.com/
- OVH recommended by @krnel at https://www.ovh.com/
- BUYVM recommended by @personz which accepts Bitcoin. https://buyvm.net/
Best 2017 Steem witness guides!
- Complete Witness Installation Guide by @krnel at https://steemit.com/witness-category/@krnel/complete-witness-installation-guide
- Your guide to setting up a Witness Server (STEEM-in-a-box HF19) by @someguy123 at https://steemit.com/steem/@someguy123/your-guide-to-setting-up-a-witness-server-steem-in-a-box-hf19
- The REALLY gentle guide to becoming a witness by @personz at https://steemit.com/witness-category/@personz/the-really-gentle-guide-to-becoming-a-witness
- How To Setup A Low Cost, Low Memory Basic Witness + Seed Node by @bitcoinparadise (inactive as of 18.1) https://steemit.com/witness-category/@bitcoinparadise/how-to-setup-a-low-cost-low-memory-basic-witness-seed-node
Linux security tutorials by @krnel for securing our severs BEFORE launching a witness!
- Setting Up A Linux VPS Securely (Pt.1) https://steemit.com/witness-category/@krnel/setting-up-a-linux-vps-securely-pt-1-join-me-on-my-journey-to-become-a-witness
- Setting Up A Linux VPS Securely (Pt.2) https://steemit.com/cybersecurity/@krnel/setting-up-a-linux-vps-securely-pt-2
- Secure Your Linux Server with a Firewall https://steemit.com/cybersecurity/@krnel/secure-your-linux-server-with-a-firewall
- Secure Your Linux Server with Fail2Ban https://steemit.com/cybersecurity/@krnel/secure-your-linux-server-with-fail2ban
- Secure Your Linux Server with Tripwire IDS https://steemit.com/tutorial/@krnel/secure-your-linux-server-with-tripwire-ids
Optimize to avoid missing blocks and setup price feed.
- Use NTP to prevent block misses due to time synchronization issues! Howto: Configuring more frequent time synchronization on Ubuntu by @l0k1 at https://steemit.com/howto/@l0k1/howto-configuring-more-frequent-time-synchronisation-on-ubuntu
- Manage keys and setup the price feed with Conductor by witness @furion at https://github.com/Netherdrake/conductor. The guide is at https://steemit.com/steem/@furion/introducing-conductor-a-simple-steem-witness-toolkit
Why secure the server prior to launch?
Any beginner ethical hacker with the ability to find our witness IP address can begin copy and paste hacking attempts from tutorials online like many of the ones I have produced. At a minimum without security measures it is easy to take a witness online using brute force methods. Without basic security it may be easy to just use a program to crack the default password of a witness which then would allow the hacker to access to our Steemit active key and therefore the ability to withdraw funds from our accounts. Make sure to take the server security seriously BEFORE setting the witness up because if anything goes wrong and we get locked out of our server before the witness is online, no big deal! Make a mistake with the security after the witness is online and it might mean being locked out of the server and having to do everything again to get back online.
Read the newest witness updates here
More helpful Steem witness guides from 2016!
- A Full Steemit User's Guide to Steem Witnesses by @pfunk at https://steemit.com/steemit-guides/@pfunk/a-full-steemit-user-s-guide-to-steem-witnesses
- Essential Guide to Becoming a Steem Witness by @steemed at https://steemit.com/steemhelp/@steemed/become-a-steem-witness-essentials
- The Complete Noob Guide to STEEM Witness Setup by @klye at https://steemit.com/witness-category/@klye/the-complete-noob-guide-to-steem-witness-setup
- Seriously, what is a STEEM witness? Why should I care? How do I become one? (Answer) by @someguy123 at https://steemit.com/witness-category/@someguy123/seriously-what-is-a-witness-why-should-i-care-how-do-i-become-one-answer
- Heavy duty witness node infrastructure by @gtg at https://steemit.com/witness-category/@gtg/heavy-duty-witness-node-infrastructure
- Witness Questionnaire - A Solution for Voter Confusion by @thecryptofiend at https://steemit.com/steemit/@thecryptofiend/witness-questionnaire-a-solution-for-voter-confusion
Learn Ubuntu Linux
Thank you for reading my first guide to becoming a Steem witness today! I hope this is helpful for you if you are considering becoming a witness or had no idea what one was before!
If you learned anything new in this post, would you please upvote this because each upvote helps more readers to find this!