Running a Provider Node

In this guide, we'll set up a Kubernetes cluster using Disco required to offer computing on the Akash Marketplace.

Although the primary goal fo this guide is educated on you on Akash, you can expect to learn novel workflows on deploying and managing low trust server environments

Intended Audience

This is a technical guide best suited for an audience with server management experience, comfortable working with the Linux command line. The reader is expected to have:

  • Server management experience using Linux.

  • Working knowledge of Docker.

  • Working knowledge of Kubernetes is preferred, but not mandatory.

About Disco

Disco (Decentralized Infrastructure for Serverless Computing Operations) is a secure, scalable, standardized softw are stack for developing, delivering, and debugging decentralized networks.

Disco makes it extremely simple to set up and manage kubernetes and gives you amazing tools to manage a production cluster. Disco is highly customizable and takes a layered approach, meaning each layer can be replaced with an implementation of your choice. In this guide, the layers we'll setup are as follows:

  • Layer 0: Bare metal servers on Packet, provisioned using Terraform.

  • Layer 1: Kubernetes Cluster with Helm, and Container Storage Interfaces (CSI).

  • Layer 2: Observability (Prometheus and Grafana).

  • Layer 3: Akash Provider Client.

Before We Begin

Domain name: You will require a publically available Domain name that you control; meaning can update Nameservers and DNS records.


Akash can run on any computer with Kubernetes. This guide, however, uses Packet as the bare metal provider and Cloudflare for DNS. Please signup to the below services as you'll be using them to complete the tutorial:

  • Packet - Packet is the hosting provider that is being used. DISCO can also be used with any of the cloud providers listed here. You will need both a PACKET_API_TOKEN and a PACKET_PROJECT_ID.

  • Cloudflare - Cloudflare is the DNS provider used for the demo deployment. DISCO can also be used with any of the cloud providers listed here. You will need a CLOUDFLARE_API_TOKEN with Zone.Zone and Zone.DNS permissions.

  • Keybase - Keybase is used as the git hosting platform for terraform state and other sensitive data.


Install the below required software:






The Akash Suite is composed of a full node akashd and the client akashctl



Keybase is used as the git hosting platform for terraform state and other sensitive data



terraform is used to provision resources on Packet



A great utility for kubectl config management! Also makes installing and spinning up a kubernets cluster easy!



The package manager for Kubernetes. Helm is the best way to find, share, and use software built for Kubernetes

Setup Your Workstation

Clone Disco

git clone
cd disco

Setting up Keybase Git Repository

DISCO is built using Keybase Teams. When creating systems like this, there is senstitive local data that is needed to create the clusters and the applications on top of them. Keybase teams offers an easy programatic way to securely version, store and share this data.

For example, lets say we're building a devnet stack at team akashnet. We would first need to create the keybase git repository for it:

export TEAM=akashnet
export STACK=devnet

Set these variables in the file at the root of the repository. For the above example it should look like:

cat > <<EOF

Now, create a Keybase git repository using:

keybase git create $STACK --team $TEAM

You should see a response similar to:

Repo created! You can clone it with:
git clone keybase://team/akashnet/devnet
Or add it as a remote to an existing repo with:
git remote add origin keybase://team/akashnet/devnet

Setup the directory structure

make db-setup

The db-setup task will create the below folder stucture:

└── db
├── config
│ ├── nodes
│ └── providers
├── index
└── keys

Define the machine stack dns zones, these domains have to be root level.

echo > data/db/index/MACHINE_ZONE

Layer 0: Provision Machines and DNS

You can skip to Layer 1 if you have root access to a bare metal server with DNS mapped to you $MACHINE_ZONE.

Setup Credentials


Grab the Packet API Key from dashboard under your "User settings > API Keys" and Project ID by clicking on "Project Settings" in the navigaiton bar. Define them in the environment:

export PACKET_TOKEN='zaEGf8iSE...'
export PACKET_PROJECT_ID='48e3616c..'


Grab you Cloudflare API keys from the dashboard under "My Profile" > "API Tokens". Set the permissions to Zone.Zone, Zone.DNS for All Zones, similar to:

Cloudflare Permissions

Define the key in your environment:


Set these values in the secure data repository:

echo $PACKET_TOKEN > data/db/keys/packet.api.token
echo $PACKET_PROJECT_ID > data/db/keys/
echo $CLOUDFLARE_API_TOKEN > data/db/keys/cloudflare.api.token

Provision Resources using Terraform

In this step you are provisioning a Bare metal server on Packet (t1.small.x86) that costs $0.07/Hr. You will need it for less than an hour to complete this tutorial.

make layer0-init layer0-apply

You will see an output similar to when your MACHINE_ZONE variable is set to

node_access_public_ipv4 =
node_root_password = ^)40zJ(s1h
node_zone_record =
node_zone_record_wc = *

Grab the host and IP address and set that in your environment, In the below example, replace and with your values:

export MASTER_IP=

Commit and save your changes using:

make db-commit db-push

Layer 1: Setup Kubernetes

First ensure you have the environment variables setup from the previous section, replace and with your values:

export MASTER_IP=

Please note, if you are using a domain not automated by the previous step (cloudflare), make sure to map your $HOST and wildcard to the host, *.$HOST mapped to the $MASTER_IP. For example, for the above values:

A *

Verify using dig:

dig +short
dig +short

Should your $MASTER_IP, example:

Install Kubernetes by running the below:

make layer1-install HOST=$HOST MASTER_IP=$MASTER_IP

(Optional) Run below command, only for providers with CSI - like packet

make kube-csi-install HOST=$HOST MASTER_IP=$MASTER_IP

Set up KUBECONFIG environment variable:

export KUBECONFIG=$(make kube-config-path HOST=$HOST MASTER_IP=$MASTER_IP)

Verify using:

kubectl cluster-info

You should see an output similar to below when your MASTER_IP is

Kubernetes master is running at
CoreDNS is running at

Verify you have required components, traefik, coredns. csi-node and csi-packet-controller when using paket:

kubectl get pods -A
kube-system coredns-66f496764-hpz6q 1/1 Running 0 6m47s
kube-system helm-install-traefik-9qn28 0/1 Completed 0 6m47s
kube-system svclb-traefik-4cqrp 3/3 Running 1 6m28s
kube-system tiller-deploy-767d9b9584-w7qcn 1/1 Running 0 6m47s
kube-system traefik-d869575c8-jxcjk 1/1 Running 0 6m28s
kube-system csi-node-nchzj 2/2 Running 0 6m19s
kube-system csi-packet-controller-0 3/3 Running 0 6m19

Layer 2: Deploy Observability Stack

make layer2-install HOST=$HOST MASTER_IP=$MASTER_IP

You can verify by running checking if the pods were created:

kubectl get pods -n monitoring

You should an output similar to:

prometheus-node-exporter-g4w7h 1/1 Running 0 2m6s
prometheus-kube-state-metrics-6cd8cdc7b7-zrpv9 1/1 Running 0 2m6s
prometheus-pushgateway-655f59475-8x9zb 1/1 Running 0 2m6s
grafana-5866c8596f-fw4g5 1/1 Running 0 2m5s
metrics-server-77f4b87964-z945p 1/1 Running 0 2m3s
prometheus-alertmanager-5548dbcdbf-2h6qw 2/2 Running 0 2m6s
prometheus-server-596dcdfc99-5l8nx 2/2 Running 0 2m6s

Open the Graphana dashboard by running below:

open "http://status.$HOST"

Login using admin for username and insecure for password. Navigate to Dashboards". You should see a Dashboard like the below:

Grafana Node Metrics

Layer 3: Setup Akash Provider

Create a Key for the Provider

First, create a key locally that we'll use as an identifier.

akashctl keys add provider

Output looks similar to:

"name": provider
"type": "local",
"address": "akash1xlad27y4dk96edfa370p7m39jee2jhmrreypar",
"pubkey": "akashpub1addwnpepqt0jtcykt7xpfslktnf359r4rsetxycysy0r45q86ck4ylm3nn2ywzaqes9",
"mnemonic": "material believe leaf goddess diary render swing day climb choose bundle scatter final curve climb cruel wave artefact derive swing mesh oil average alarm"

Add the Provider to the Network

Create a config file with various attributes to your offering, such as region. By running akashctl provider status , you can get an idea of what attributes to use. In our example, we set the region to sfo.

export INGRESS="akash.$(cat data/db/index/MACHINE_ZONE)"
export MONIKER=${USER}
cat > data/db/config/providers/provider.yml <<EOF
host: http://${INGRESS}
- key: region
value: sfo
- key: moniker
value: ${MONIKER}

To register, run the below and save the key as this is your unique identifier.

akashctl tx provider create data/db/config/providers/provider.yml --from provider -y

You will see an output similar to:

"height": "0",
"txhash": "B028B718D43A666F3827E995C8C57168413787735FF608A140C7491E78E6ABEF",
"raw_log": "[]"

Save the Key from the output and store in the db PROVIDER

echo 7e99e953d23570c2350ae6eee6937d00b6accc258f1904c4547b7aabd900b1dd > data/db/keys/provider.address

Deploy Akash Provider Service on Kubernetes

Create a Kubernetes Secret for your Private Key

To create a secret for the private key, first export the private key to a file using key show --private and then create a kubernetes secret.

akashctl key show provider --private > data/db/keys/akash-provider.private
kubectl create secret generic akash-provider-private-key --from-file=data/db/keys/akash-provider.private

Confirm using kubectl describe secret akash-provider-private-key. You should see a response similar to:

Name: akash-provider-private-key
Namespace: default
Labels: <none>
Annotations: <none>
Type: Opaque
key: 505 bytes
keyname: 5 bytes

Deploy to Kubernetes


Using Helm

Simplest way to install Akash is using Helm. Add the Akash Network Helm repo:

helm repo add akashctl
helm repo update

Install Akash Provider Chart by:

INGRESS="akash.$(cat data/db/index/MACHINE_ZONE)"
PROVIDER=$(cat data/db/keys/provider.address)
helm install akash/akash-provider \
--name akash-provider \
--set "ingress.domain=$INGRESS" \
--set "provider.address=$PROVIDER"

Using kubectl

First, create kubernetes deployment configuration using:

cat > akash-provider.yml <<EOF
kind: ClusterRoleBinding
name: akash-provider
app: akash-provider
- kind: ServiceAccount
name: default
namespace: default
kind: ClusterRole
name: cluster-admin
apiVersion: v1
kind: Service
name: akash-provider
app: akash-provider
- port: 3001
name: http
type: HTTP
app: akash-provider
apiVersion: apps/v1beta2
kind: Deployment
name: akash-provider
app: akash-provider provider
app: akash-provider
app: akash-provider provider
- name: akash-provider
image: "ovrclk/akash:latest"
imagePullPolicy: IfNotPresent
- "/akash"
- "provider"
- "run"
- "--key"
- "${KEY}"
- "--private-key"
- "/private/private.key"
- "--kube"
- name: AKASH_HOST
value: http://${INGRESS}
- name: AKASH_NODE
value: ""
value: "ClusterIP"
value: "true"
value: ${INGRESS}
- containerPort: 3001
name: http
- name: config
mountPath: /private
readOnly: true
- name: config
secretName: akash-provider-private-key
- key: key
path: private.key
apiVersion: extensions/v1beta1
kind: Ingress
name: akash-provider
app: akash-provider
- host: ${ingress}
- backend:
serviceName: akash-provider
servicePort: http

Make sure the values are populated correctly and use kubectl to deploy:

kubectl apply -f akash-provider.yml


Verify by cURL and by checking status

akashctl provider status $PROVIDER

You should see a response similar to:

Active Provider(s) Status
Provider: 7e99e953d23570c2350ae6eee6937d00b6accc258f1904c4547b7aabd900b1dd
Attributes: region: sfo
Version: commit: 43ef4e6c1e2ce1495f417e00e9c441e14017b135 | date: 2019-11-21T01:36:34Z | version: 0.5.4-rc3
Leases: 0
Deployments: 0
Orders: 0
Available: cpu: 7825 | disk: 222 GB | mem: 32 GB
Message(s): code=200 msg=OK

Alternatively, you can use cURL as well



Congratulations, you are now an Akash Provider! Finally, make sure to save your changes to db and share with your team.

make db-commit
make db-push

We hope you found this guide useful. We gave our best to keep the it accurate and updated. If there is any part of the guide that you felt could use improvement, make your updates in a fork and send me a pull request. We will attend to it promptly.