Manage collator with systemd

Setting up systemd service for your collator for automatic startup, monitoring and log management

systemd and its associated command systemctl are fundamental elements of most modern Linux distributions. They offer a host of advantages when it comes to managing and controlling system services, including various applications. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up a service for the oak-collator program. This setup ensures that the oak-collator automatically restarts after system reboot or unexpected program shutdown, enhancing its reliability and ease of use.


To prepare for setting up a systemd service for the OAK binary, you’ll need the following information:

  1. INSTALLATION_DIR: Directory where downloaded the oak-collator binary
  2. NODE_NAME: Custom identifier for your node
  3. DATA_DIR: Directory where you would like to store OAK blockchain data
  4. NODE_KEY: Key for running your collator
  5. USER: User that the service should run as
  6. GROUP: Group that the service should run as


Once you have prepared the required information, you can use the following service definition to run the OAK collator. On Debian based distributions, this file should be placed at /etc/systemd/system/oak-collator.service.

Description="OAK Collator"

ExecStart=INSTALLATION_DIR/oak-collator \
  --name=NODE_NAME \
  --base-path=DATA_DIR \
  --chain=turing \
  --node-key=NODE_KEY \
  --collator \
  --force-authoring \
  --execution=wasm \
  -- \
  --execution=wasm \



After you have created the service definition, you can enable and start the service using systemctl:

systemctl enable oak-collator
systemctl start oak-collator


systemd will automatically start your collator when you restart your system or if the process is killed. Here are some other commands that might be useful while operating an OAK node.

  • systemctl status oak-collator --no-pager --full

    Get the running status of the program. The --no-pager option will avoid text cutoff from long lines.

  • journalctl -u oak-collator -f

    View logs of the program. The -f will follow and stream the latest lines. For more display options please refer to the instructions in man journalctl.

  • systemctl restart oak-collator

    Restart the collator service

Monitoring & Alerting

Since OAK is a Substrate-based project, you can use Node Exporter, Prometheus and Grafana to monitor your nodes. For more information, please follow this Substrate tutorial.

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