Getting Started with Prysm

This guide outlines the process of installing and initialising the Prysm testnet as well as how to deposit the initial Goerli ETH required to fully participate as a validator in the network.

Need assistance?

If you have questions about this documentation, feel free to stop by either our Discord or Gitter and a member of the team or our community will be happy to assist you.

Interested in what's next? Be sure to read our Roadmap Reference Implementation document. This page outlines the basics of sharding as well as the various short-term milestones that we hope to achieve over the coming year.


Prysm can be installed either with Docker (recommended) or using our build tool, Bazel. The below instructions include sections for performing both.

For Docker installations:

  • The latest release of Docker

For Bazel installations:

  • The latest release of Bazel

  • A modern UNIX operating system (MacOS included)

Installing Prysm

Build via Docker

Ensure you are running the most recent version of Docker by issuing the command:

docker -v

To pull the Prysm images from the server, issue the following commands:

docker pull
docker pull

This process will also install any related dependencies.

Build via Bazel

Open a terminal window. Ensure you are running the most recent version of Bazel by issuing the command:

bazel version

Clone Prysm's main repository and enter the directory:

git clone
cd prysm

Build both the beacon chain node implementation and the validator client:

bazel build //beacon-chain:beacon-chain
bazel build //validator:validator

Bazel will automatically pull and install any dependencies as well, including Go and necessary compilers.

Running an Ethereum 2.0 beacon node

Running via Docker

Docker on Linux/Mac:

To start your beacon node, issue the following command:

docker run -v $HOME/prysm-data:/data -p 4000:4000 \ \
--name beacon-node \

The beacon node can be halted by either using Ctrl+c or with the command:

docker stop beacon-node

To restart the beacon node, issue the following command:

docker start -ai beacon-node

To delete a corrupted container, issue the following command:

docker rm beacon-node

To recreate a deleted container and refresh the chain database, issue the start command with an additional --clear-db parameter:

docker run -it -v $HOME/prysm-data:/data -p 4000:4000 \ \
--name beacon-node \
--datadir=/data \

Docker on Windows:

  1. You will need to share the local drive you wish to mount to to container (e.g. C:).

    1. Enter Docker settings (right click the tray icon)

    2. Click 'Shared Drives'

    3. Select a drive to share

    4. Click 'Apply'

  2. You will next need to create a directory named /tmp/prysm-data/ within your selected shared Drive. This folder will be used as a local data directory for Beacon Node chain data as well as account and keystore information required by the validator. Docker will not create this directory if it does not exist already. For the purposes of these instructions, it is assumed that C: is your prior-selected shared Drive.

  3. To run the beacon node, issue the following command:

docker run -it -v c:/tmp/prysm-data:/data -p 4000:4000 --datadir=/data --clear-db

Running via Bazel

To start your Beacon Node with Bazel, issue the following command:

bazel run //beacon-chain -- --clear-db --datadir=/tmp/prysm-data

This will sync up the Beacon Node with the latest head block in the network. Note that the beacon node must be completely synced before attempting to initialise a validator client, otherwise the validator will not be able to complete the deposit and funds will be lost.

Staking ETH: Running a validator client

Once your beacon node is up, the chain will be waiting for you to deposit 3.2 Goerli ETH into the Validator Deposit Contract to activate your validator (discussed in the section below). First though, you will need to create a validator client to connect to this node in order to stake and participate. Each validator represents 3.2 Goerli ETH being staked in the system, and it is possible to spin up as many as you desire in order to have more stake in the network.

Activating your validator: depositing 3.2 Goerli ETH

Using your validator deposit data from the previous step, follow the instructions found on to make a deposit.

It will take a while for the nodes in the network to process your deposit, but once your node is active, the validator will begin doing its responsibility. In your validator client, you will be able to frequently see your validator balance as it goes up over time. Note that, should your node ever go offline for a long period, you'll start gradually losing your deposit until you are removed from the system.

Starting the validator with Bazel

Open another terminal window. Enter your Prysm directory and run the validator by issuing the following command:

cd prysm
bazel run //validator

Congratulations, you are now running Ethereum 2.0 Phase 0!

Testing Prysm

To run the unit tests of our system, issue the command:

bazel test //...

To run our linter, make sure you have golangci-lint installed and then issue the command:

golangci-lint run