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Node Operator Checklist

Software Requirements

  • Docker: Ensure that Docker is installed on your system. To download Docker, follow the instructions listed here.
  • Docker Compose: Make sure Docker Compose is also installed and properly configured. To download Docker Compose, follow the instructions listed here.
  • Linux Environment: EigenLayer is supported only on Linux. Ensure you have a Linux environment, such as Docker, for installation.
    • If you choose to install eigenlayer-cli using the Go programming language, ensure you have Go installed, version 1.21 or higher. You can find the installation guide here.

Checking for Requirements

On a native Linux system, you can use the lsb_release -a command to get information about your Linux distribution.

Check for Docker If you are not using a native Linux system and want to use EigenLayer, you can check if Docker is installed:

  • Open a terminal or command prompt.
  • Run the following command to check if Docker is installed and running:css
docker --version

If Docker is installed and running, EigenLayer can be used within a Docker container, which provides a Linux environment.

By following these steps, you can determine if you have a suitable Linux environment for EigenLayer installation.

CLI Installation

Install CLI using Binary

To download a binary for latest release, run:

curl -sSfL | sh -s

The binary will be installed inside the ~/bin directory.

To add the binary to your path, run:

export PATH=$PATH:~/bin

Install CLI in A Custom Location

To download the binary in a custom location, run:

curl -sSfL | sh -s -- -b <custom_location>

Install CLI Using Go

Now we’re going to install the eigenlayer-CLI using Go. The following command will install eigenlayer’s executable along with the library and its dependencies in your system.

go install

To check if the GOBIN is not in your PATH, you can execute echo $GOBIN from the Terminal. If it doesn't print anything, then it is not in your PATH. To add GOBIN to your PATH, add the following lines to your $HOME/.profile:

export GOBIN=$GOPATH/bin

Changes made to a profile file may not apply until the next time you log into your computer. To apply the changes immediately, run the shell commands directly or execute them from the profile using a command such as source $HOME/.profile.

Install CLI from Source

To pursue this installation method you need to have Go. Please ensure that you installed Go with a minimum version of 1.21 here.

With this method, you generate the binary manually, downloading and compiling the source code.

git clone
cd eigenlayer-cli
mkdir -p build
go build -o build/eigenlayer cmd/eigenlayer/main.go

or if you have make installed:

git clone
cd eigenlayer
make build

The executable will be in the build folder.

In case you want the binary in your PATH (or if you used the Go method and you don't have $GOBIN in your PATH), please copy the binary to /usr/local/bin:

Create and List Keys

ECDSA keypair corresponds to the operator Ethereum address and key for interacting with Eigenlayer. The BLS key is used for attestation purposes within the EigenLayer protocol. BLS key is used when you register an AVS to EigenLayer.

Create Keys

Generate encrypted ECDSA and BLS keys using the CLI:

eigenlayer operator keys create --key-type ecdsa [keyname]
eigenlayer operator keys create --key-type bls [keyname]
  • [keyname] - This will be the name of the created key file. It will be saved as <keyname>.ecdsa.key.json or <keyname>.bls.key.json.

This will prompt a password which you can use to encrypt the keys. Keys will be stored in a local disk and will be shown once keys are created. It will also show the private key only once, so that you can back it up in case you lose the password or key file.

You can also create keys by piping your password to this command. This can help in automated key creation and will not prompt for password. This support got added in v0.6.2

echo "password" | eigenlayer operator keys create --key-type ecdsa [keyname]

Input Command

eigenlayer operator keys create --key-type ecdsa test

The tool is requesting a password to encrypt the ECDSA private key for security purposes. The password input is hidden for security reasons.


? Enter password to encrypt the ecdsa private key:
ECDSA Private Key (Hex): b3eba201405d5b5f7aaa9adf6bb734dc6c0f448ef64dd39df80ca2d92fca6d7b
Please backup the above private key hex in safe place.

Key location: /home/ubuntu/.eigenlayer/operator_keys/test.ecdsa.key.json
Public Key hex: f87ee475109c2943038b3c006b8a004ee17bebf3357d10d8f63ef202c5c28723906533dccfda5d76c1da0a9f05cc6d32085ca1af8aaab5a28171474b1ad0aa68
Ethereum Address 0x6a8c0D554a694899041E52a91B4EC3Ff23d8aBD5

Import Keys

You can import existing ECDSA and BLS keys using the CLI, which are required for operator registration and other on-chain operations. This is useful if you already have an address which you want to use as your operator.

To import an ECDSA key, use the command: eigenlayer operator keys import --key-type ecdsa [keyname] [privatekey].

To import a BLS key, use the command: eigenlayer operator keys import --key-type bls [keyname] [privatekey].

  • [keyname] is the name of the imported key file, and it will be saved as <keyname>.ecdsa.key.json or <keyname>.bls.key.json.
  • privatekey is the private key of the key you wish to import.
    • For BLS keys, it should be a large number.
    • For ECDSA keys, it should be in hex format.

You can also import keys by piping your password to this command. This can help in automated key creation and will not prompt for password. This support got added in v0.6.2

echo "password" | eigenlayer operator keys import --key-type ecdsa [keyname] [privatekey]

Input Command

This part of the command tells the EigenLayer tool that you want to import a key.

eigenlayer operator keys import --key-type ecdsa test 6842fb8f5fa574d0482818b8a825a15c4d68f542693197f2c2497e3562f335f6


This is a prompt asking you to enter a password to encrypt the ECDSA private key.

? Enter password to encrypt the ecdsa private key: *******
ECDSA Private Key (Hex): 6842fb8f5fa574d0482818b8a825a15c4d68f542693197f2c2497e3562f335f6
Please backup the above private key hex in safe place.

Key location: /home/ubuntu/.eigenlayer/operator_keys/test.ecdsa.key.json
Public Key hex: a30264c19cd7292d5153da9c9df58f81aced417e8587dd339021c45ee61f20d55f4c3d374d6f472d3a2c4382e2a9770db395d60756d3b3ea97e8c1f9013eb1bb
Ethereum Address 0x9F664973BF656d6077E66973c474cB58eD5E97E1

This will initiate a password prompt that you can use to encrypt the keys. The keys will be stored on your local disk and will be displayed after they are created.

The private key will also be shown only once, enabling you to create a backup in case you forget the password or lose the key file.

List Keys

This is the command you can use to retrieve a list of the keys you have created with the EigenLayer cli tool.

eigenlayer operator keys list

When you run the Eigenlayer operator keys list command, it will display a list of all the keys that were generated using this specific command, along with their corresponding public keys.

This information can be useful for managing and identifying the keys you've created. Public keys are typically used for encryption, authentication, and verifying digital signatures.

Export keys

If you want to see the private key of the existing keys, you can use the below command. This will only work if your keys are in default location (~/.eigenlayer/operator_keys)

eigenlayer operator keys export --key-type ecdsa [keyname]

This will also prompt for the password used to encrypt the key.

If your keys is not in the default location, you can give the full path to the key file using --key-path flag. You don't need to provide the key name in that case.

eigenlayer operator keys export --key-type ecdsa --key-path [path]

Fund ECDSA Wallet

Send at least 1 ETH to the “address” field referenced in your operator.yaml file. This ETH will be used to cover the gas cost for operator registration in the subsequent steps.

If you are deploying to Testnet, please follow the instructions in Obtaining Testnet ETH to fund a web3 wallet with HolEth.

Operator Configuration and Registration

Step 1: Create the config files needed for operator registration using the below command:

eigenlayer operator config create

When prompted for operator address, make sure your operator address is same as the ecdsa key address you created/imported in key creation steps.

The command will create two files: operator.yaml and metadata.json.

Step 2: Upload Logo Image, Configure metadata.json, and Upload Both

Upload the logo of the operator to a publicly accessible location and set the url in your metadata.json file. Operator registration only supports .png images for now and must be less than 1MB in size.

The name and description should comply with the regex mention here. You can use services like to validate your fields.

Complete your the details in metadata.json. The metadata.json must be less than 4KB in size. Upload the file to a publicly accessible location and set that url in operator.yaml. Please note that a publicly accessible metadata url is required for successful registration. An example operator.yaml file is provided for your reference here: operator.yaml .


For Mainnet Operators - the metadata.json and operator logo .png files MUST be hosted via repositories specifically. Caveat: hosted files are not permitted. These requirements do not apply to Testnet Operators.


When using Github for hosting please ensure you link to the raw file (example), rather than the github repo URL (example).

Step 3: Configure RPC Node:

The EigenLayer CLI requires access to an Ethereum RPC node in order to post registration. Please plan to either leverage an RPC node provider or run your own local RPC node to reference in operator.yaml.

Please find example lists of RPC node providers here:

Ensure that your Operator server can reach your RPC provider at this point. You may run the following command from your Operator server: curl -I [your_server_url]

Step 4: DelegationManager Contract Address

You must configure the correct DelegationManager contract address for your environment.

  • Navigate to EigenLayer Contracts: Deployments and locate the Proxy address for DelegationManager for your environment (Mainnet, Testnet).
  • Set the value for el_delegation_manager_address in your operator config file to the address for your environment.

Optional: Set Delegation Approver

Operators have the option to set delegationApprover when they register. If the delegationApprover is set to a nonzero value, then the delegationApprover address will be required sign its approval of new delegations from Stakers to this Operator. If the default value is left as the zero address (0x000...) then all new delegations will be automatically approved without the need for any signature. Please see delegationApprover Design Patterns below for more detail.

The EigenLayer Web App simulates transactions to check for contract reversions. If the delegate call will revert for any reason the button will be disabled.

Step 5: Registration Command

This is the command you can use to register your operator.

eigenlayer operator register operator.yaml

Note: ECDSA key is required for operator registration. You may choose to either create your own set of keys using the EigenLayer CLI (recommended for first time users) or import your existing keys (recommended for advanced users who already have keys created) as outlined in the previous section.

Checking Status of Registration

This is the command you can use to inquire about the registration status of your operator.

eigenlayer operator status operator.yaml

Metadata Updates

General metadata update

This is the command you can use to make changes or updates to the metadata of your operator. Post v0.9.0, this command will not update metadata uri. Please use below command to update it.

eigenlayer operator update operator.yaml

Update metadata URI (Post v0.9.0)

In v0.9.0, we have introduced a new comamnd to update metadata uri.

eigenlayer operator update-metadata-uri operator.yaml

delegationApprover Design Patterns

Delegation Approver functionality can be used in multiple ways to give Operators additional programmatic control over which Restakers they accept delegation from.

Passing Signatures from the DelegationApprover to Stakers

One series of designs involves passing a unique signature from the Operator to the Restaker requesting approval. The unique signature will have a corresponding ‘salt’ (unique value used once) and an ‘expiry’. The Restaker passes the signature (salt & expiry) into the DelegationManager.delegateTo function (source here). This function uses EIP1271 to check the signature, so either:

  • A) The Operator has set an EOA as their delegationApprover and the DelegationManager simply checks that the signature is a valid ECDSA signature from the EOA.
  • OR B) The Operator has set a smart contract as their delegationApprover and the DelegationManager calls the isValidSignature function on the delegationApprover and checks if the contract returns 0x1626ba7e (as defined in the EIP-1271 specification).

If the delegationApprover themself calls the DelegationManager.delegateToBySignature function, then they need to provide a signature from the Restaker. The approverSignatureAndExpiry input is ignored if the caller is themselves the delegationApprover. One potential drawback to this approach is the delegationApprover would pay the gas for the transaction.

Whitelisting and Blacklisting Restakers for Delegation

If the Operator uses option B above, a smart contract for their delegationApprover, they can also maintain an approved whitelist. The contract can store a Merkle root of approved signature hashes and provide each Restaker with a Merkle proof when they delegate. This branch provides a PoC of what such a smart contract could look like.

The example above could be modified to act as a “blacklist” by using Merkle proofs of non-inclusion instead of Merkle proofs of inclusion.