This quick start guide is meant for managers who want to start running a pool right away.
This guide requires the Solana CLI tool suite and Stake Pool CLI tool.
You must also have an account with SOL. The guide will assume that you
are using the default keypair created at the default location using
Note that it is possible to override the default keypair with every command if
If you are running on localhost using
solana-test-validator, the default keypair
will automatically start with 500,000,000 SOL.
If you are running on devnet or testnet, you can airdrop funds using
solana airdrop 1.
If you are running on mainnet-beta, you must purchase funds some other way, from an exchange, a friend, etc.
This guide uses the sample scripts on GitHub to run everything quickly and easily.
You'll see the following scripts:
setup-test-validator.sh: sets up a local test validator with validator vote accounts
setup-stake-pool.sh: creates a new stake pool with hardcoded parameters
add-validators.sh: adds validators to the stake pool
deposit.sh: performs stake and SOL deposits
rebalance.sh: rebalances the stake pool
withdraw.sh: performs some withdrawals
This guide will use most of these scripts to setup a stake pool on a local network.
(Optional) Step 0: Setup a local network for testing
All of these scripts can be run against devnet, testnet, or mainnet-beta, but
to allow for more experimentation, we will setup a local validator with some
validator vote accounts using
The script accepts the number of vote accounts to create and file path to output validator vote accounts, e.g.:
This will take roughly 10 seconds, eventually outputting a file with list of base58-encoded public keys. These represent validator vote accounts on the local network, e.g.:
Note: this will fail if another
solana-test-validator is already running.
Important notes on local network
If you are using epochs of 32 slots, there is a good chance
that you will pass an epoch while using one of the stake pool commands, causing
it to fail with:
Custom program error: 0x11. This is totally normal, and will
not happen on the other networks. You simply need to re-run the command.
Since there is no voting activity on the test validator network, you will
need to use the secret
--force flag with
solana delegate-stake, ie:
Step 1: Create the stake pool
Our next script is
setup-stake-pool.sh. In it, you will see a large section
in which you can modify parameters for your stake pool. These parameters are used
to create a new stake pool, and include:
- epoch fee, expressed as two different flags, numerator and denominator
- withdrawal fee, expressed as two different flags, numerator and denominator
- deposit fee, expressed as two different flags, numerator and denominator
- referral fee, expressed as a number between 0 and 100, inclusive
- maximum number of validators (highest possible is 2,950 currently)
- (Optional) deposit authority, for restricted pools
Although fees may seem uninteresting or scammy at this point, consider the costs of running your stake pool, and potential malicious actors that may abuse your pool if it has no fees.
Each of these parameters is modifiable after pool creation, so there's no need to worry about being locked in to any choices.
Modify the parameters to suit your needs. The fees are especially important to avoid abuse, so please take the time to review and calculate fees that work best for your pool.
Carefully read through the Fees for more information about fees and best practices.
In our example, we will use fees of 0.3%, a referral fee of 50%, opt to not set a deposit authority, and have the maximum number of validators (2,950). Next, run the script:
Your stake pool now exists! For the largest number of validators, the cost for this phase is ~2.02 SOL.
Step 2: Add validators to the pool
Now that the pool exists, we need to add validators to it.
add-validators.sh, we'll add each of the validators created during step 0
to the stake pool. If you are running on another network, you can create your own
file with validator vote accounts.
This operation costs 0.00328288 SOL per validator. This amount is totally recoverable by removing the validator from the stake pool.
Step 3: Deposit into the pool
Now that your pool has validators, it needs some SOL or stake accounts for you to manage. There are two possible sources of deposits: SOL or stake accounts.
a) Depositing SOL
This will likely be the most attractive form of deposit, since it's the easiest for everyone to use. Normally, this will likely be done from a DeFi app or wallet, but in our example, we'll do it straight from the command line. Let's deposit 10 SOL into our pool:
Now there will be some SOL for us to work with.
b) Depositing stake accounts
Alternatively, users can deposit stake accounts into the pool. This option is particularly attractive for users that already have a stake account, and either want stake pool tokens in return, or to diversify their stake more.
deposit.sh script gives an idea of how this works with the CLI.
Creates new stakes to deposit a given amount into each of the stake accounts in the pool, given the stake pool and validator file.
Note: This is a bit more finnicky on a local network because of the short epochs, and may fail. No problem, you simply need to retry.
Step 4: Rebalance stake in the pool
Over time, as people deposit SOL into the reserve, or as validator performance varies, you will want to move stake around. The best way to do this will be through an automated system to collect information about the stake pool and the network, and decide how much stake to allocate to each validator.
The Solana Foundation maintains an open-source bot for its delegation program, which can be adapated for your stake pool. The source code is part of the stake-o-matic GitHub repo.
Additionally, there is a work-in-progress Python stake pool bot, found at the stake-pool-py on GitHub.
For our example, we will run a simple pool rebalancer, which increases the stake on each validator in the list by the given amount. There are no checks or logic to make sure that this is valid.
Step 5: Withdraw from the stake pool
Finally, if a user wants to withdraw from the stake pool, they can choose to withdraw SOL from the reserve if it has enough SOL, or to withdraw from one of the stake accounts in the pool.
withdraw.sh script removes stakes and SOL from each of the stake accounts
in the pool, given the stake pool, validator file, and amount.