Configuring Bootnodes in a Production Network

A network must have at least one operating bootnode. To allow for continuity in the event of failure, configure more than one bootnode.

We do not recommend putting bootnodes behind a load balancer. We recommend putting more bootnodes on the network itself.

The enode of a bootnode is tied to the node public key and IP address. To simplify recovering from complete bootnode failure:

  1. Create the node key pair (that is, the private and public key) before starting the bootnode.
  2. When creating bootnodes in the cloud (for example, AWS, Azure), attempt to assign a static IP to them. If your network is:

    • Publicly accessible, assign an elastic IP.

    • Internal only, specify a private IP address when you create the instance and record this IP address.

We recommend bootnode configuration is stored under source control.

Specifying Bootnodes

To allow for failure, specify all bootnodes on the command line (even to the bootnodes themselves).


If your network has 2 bootnodes, pass the following parameter to all nodes including the bootnodes.

--bootnodes=enode://<publicKeyBootnode1>@, <publicKeyBootnode2>@

Adding and Removing Bootnodes

Adding new bootnodes is a similar process to creating bootnodes. Once the bootnodes have been created and added to the network, update the --bootnodes command line option for each node to include the new bootnodes.

When bootnodes are added, running nodes don’t need to be restarted. Updating the --bootnodes option means the next time they are restarted (for example, when upgrading), the node connects to the new bootnodes.