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Collatin’ with Calamari

Last Friday, we heard from three of our collators to learn more about why they decided to run Calamari collators. In the end, Kenny from Manta, using our documentation as a guide, was able to get a collator up and running from scratch in just ten minutes.

We’ll break it down in this blog post. Alternatively, you can watch the full recording here.

Part 1: Q+A

Collator Participants

Why did you get involved in setting up collators?

  • Craci pointed out that setting up a collator is a great way to better understand the project: is the network stable? How decentralized is it? Is the team consistently building and pushing upgrades? Running a collator is a great way to answer these questions and seeing full collator participation is a very healthy sign of the project.
  • Luca also mentioned that running a collator is one of the most direct, beneficial ways of helping the greater Kusama community. All of the collators in discussion ran collators on multiple Kusama projects for this reason.

What’s your experience setting up nodes?

  • Sounds like there is a learning curve. Initially, it took Craci almost a week to set up his first node (no dev experience), but stated that running the Calamari node took less than an hour to understand and set up (we’re hoping that by the end of this post, you are able to follow along with Kenny and set it up in 10 minutes 😉).
  • Craci also pointed out that some of our team members are pretty responsive. If you hop onto our discord, you’ll find a collator channel and most likely run into Shumo or Rob, who are around to help you set up.

How do you deal with downtime?

  • Downtime is a scary part of running a collator. Like other staking mechanisms, collators/nodes will get slashed for going down. “Downtime” refers to went the actual collator node is not running (maybe due to electrical issues). Many collators outsource their electrical output to cloud service providers and will do tests to see which cloud service providers perform the best. It was also suggested to set up cloud service providers in different countries, so if there is some astronomical blackout from a service provider in Japan, you can easily switch to another provider in Germany.
  • That being said, Calamari has no slashing penalties for downtime. The only downside to downtime is losing the staking rewards for your delegators and yourself during your downtime.

We are about to about up our collator set from 40 to 63 collators! We hope to see you jump in, earn rewards, and help us decentralize the Calamari Network!

Part 2: How to set up a Collator on Calamari in ten minutes

You will need these two links to help you with your setup:

Set up your server (43:00)

  • In the example, Kenny runs a server on digital ocean, but there are various servers you can use for this.
  • Open your terminal and update your server environment (you can see exactly how to do this in the video)

INSTALLATION (46:30)

  • All you really need to pull here is a copy/paste from the installation doc.

CONFIGURATION (47:40)

  • Here, you want to edit your setting a little bit. We can do this with the “nano” command + library source
  • Once your library source is open, you must make sure the parameters match what’s in the first black box on the docs.
  • You also might want to check your ports, so that the right ones are open. This is also explained in the video.

RUNNING (52:00)

  • After installation and configuration, you’re basically set! All you need to do is activate the collator.
  • To activate, just copy/paste the code in the docs that enables the Calamari collator.

And that’s it! You’re collator is running :)

Note: SESSION KEYS shows you how to connect your keys to receive the reward, and BOND just notes that you will need 4m KMA to get started.

Now that you know how to run a collator, we hope to see you see as we extend our collator set!

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