Skip to main content
Version: testnet (v0.71)

Set up a data node

To set up a data node, you must first have followed the guide to install and set up a Vega node. A data node must be run in conjunction with a non-validator Vega node.

The non-validator Vega node will send the events it receives from the network and the events it creates to the data node, which will then store them in a database. An API is provided to query the data stored by the data node.

Note: If you are running a Vega validator node it is recommended that you do not connect the data node to this node, but to a separate non-validator Vega node.

The database used by the data node is a PostgreSQL database with the Timescale extension installed. The database can be a dedicated database server, a docker container, or an embedded version of PostgreSQL with Timescale installed that is provided by Vega.

Operating system

The following instructions assume you are installing on a Ubuntu Linux machine as explained in the server setup guide.


Vega core

Please follow the instructions in the server setup guide to install Vega.

PostgreSQL and TimescaleDB full installation

We have tested and recommend using version 2.8.0 of the TimescaleDB plugin with Postgres 14.

Refer to the PostgreSQL documentation ↗ for more detailed information on setting up a PostgreSQL database.

Linux and MacOS guides

Linux users

To ensure you install the correct version of TimescaleDB, you can use the notes at the bottom of the Timescales Documentation for Debian ↗.

Database user roles

Due to operations that are required for snapshotting, the database user for the data-node must have superuser privileges. This is a limitation that we currently have due to Postgresql 14 and TimescaleDB.

PostgreSQL and TimescaleDB docker installation

If you prefer to run PostgreSQL and TimescaleDB in a docker container, you can use the following command to start a Postgresql docker container with TimescaleDB installed:

This guide assumes you already have Docker installed on your system. For full installation guide consult Docker's documentation ↗.

docker volume create vega_pgdata

docker run -d \
--rm \
-p LOCALDB_PORT:5432 \
-v vega_pgdata:/var/lib/postgresql/data \


  • database_user is the user name you want to use to connect to the database.
  • database_password is the password you want to use to connect to the database.
  • database_name is the name of the database you want to use for storing the data.
  • localdb_port is the port you want to use to connect to the database on your local machine. (5432 is the default port for Postgresql database server and may not be available if you already have a PostgreSQL database server running on your machine and want to use Docker for testing).

You should also consider PostgreSQL configuration tuning.

Example command to start PostgreSQL:

docker volume create vega_pgdata

docker run -d \
--rm \
--name vega_postgresql \
-p 5432:5432 \
-v vega_pgdata:/var/lib/postgresql/data \
timescale/timescaledb:2.8.0-pg14 \
-c "max_connections=50" \
-c "log_destination=stderr" \
-c "work_mem=5MB" \
-c "huge_pages=off" \
-c "shared_memory_type=sysv" \
-c "dynamic_shared_memory_type=sysv" \
-c "shared_buffers=2GB" \
-c "temp_buffers=5MB"

Docker-compose version

version: '3.1'


image: timescale/timescaledb:2.8.0-pg14
restart: always
POSTGRES_DB: data_node_db
command: [
"-c", "max_connections=50",
"-c", "log_destination=stderr",
"-c", "work_mem=5MB",
"-c", "huge_pages=off",
"-c", "shared_memory_type=sysv",
"-c", "dynamic_shared_memory_type=sysv",
"-c", "shared_buffers=2GB",
"-c", "temp_buffers=5MB",
- 5432:5432
- pgdata:/var/lib/postgresql/data

# Adminer can be used for debugging. We recommend dissabling it for production
image: adminer
restart: always
- 8082:8080

driver: local

See tuning parameters section below to adjust your runtime configuration.

PostgreSQL configuration tuning

The default PostgreSQL configuration is not optimised for memory usage, and can be modified.

Find the PostgreSQL parameters in the postgresq.conf file. The default file path for Linux and PostgreSQL 14 is: /etc/postgresql/14/main/postgresql.conf.

Memory usage

Total memory usage for PostgreSQL is predictable. To determine the values of the parameters below, you must know how PostgreSQL uses the memory. There is a shared_memory that is used between all connections and background workers.

Each background worker and connection has its own smaller chunk of memory:

  • work_mem - memory available for the query buffers in the connection session.
  • temp_buffers - memory available for accessing temporary tables by the connection session.

You can assume that Max RAM utilisation can be rounded to: shared_buffer + (temp_buffers + work_mem) * max_connections.

The suggested parameters are below.

Max connections

New value:

max_connections = 50

Limiting the maximum number of connections reduces the memory usage by PostgreSQL.

Huge pages

New value:

huge_pages = off

The default value of the huge_pages config is try. Setting it to off usually reduces the RAM usage, however, it increases the CPU usage on the machine.

Work mem

New value:

work_mem = 5MB

Temp buffers

New value:

temp_buffers = 5MB

Shared buffers

New value:

shared_buffers = 2GB

This value should be set to 25% of your server’s physical memory. The 2GB value would work for a server with 8GB physical memory.

Dynamic shared memory type

New value:

dynamic_shared_memory_type = sysv

Shared memory type

New value:

shared_memory_type = sysv

The two above parameters determine how your operating system manages the shared memory.

If your operating system supports the POSIX standard, you may want to use the map value both for the dynamic_shared_memory_type and shared_memory_type. But the sysv value is more portable than map. There is no significant difference in performance ↗.

Generate configuration files

Vega and Tendermint configuration

Before you can use Vega, you need to generate the default configuration files for Vega and Tendermint. You can then alter those to the specific requirements.

The below command will create home paths (if they don't already exist) and generate the configuration in the paths you chose.

vega init --home="YOUR_VEGA_HOME_PATH" --tendermint-home="YOUR_TENDERMINT_HOME_PATH" full

To update your node configuration, such as to set up ports for the APIs, edit the config file:

Setting up validator node

For more information about setting up a validator node, see the validator node setup guide.

Data node configuration

Data node retention profiles

When starting a data node, you can choose the data retention configuration for your data node, depending on the use case for the node. The retention policy details can all be fine-tuned manually, as well.

There are 3 retention policy configurations:

  • Standard (default): The node retains data according to the default retention policies, which assume a data node retains some data over time, but not all data
  • Lite: The node retains enough data to be able to provide the latest state to clients, and produce network history segments. This mode saves enough to provide the current state of accounts, assets, balances, delegations, liquidity provisions, live orders, margin levels, markets, network limits, network parameters, node details, parties, positions
  • Archive: The node retains all data

To run a node that doesn't use the standard default retention, use one of the following flags when running the init command:

  • For a standard node, no flag
  • For an archive node, use --archive
  • For a lite node, use --lite

If you want to tweak the retention policy once the initial configuration has been generated, set it on per-table basis in the data node's config.toml.

For example:

HypertableOrCaggName = "balances"
DataRetentionPeriod = "7 days"

Additionally, you can set the chunk interval for Timescale hypertables that are used to store historical data. Default values are chosen by Vega and are applied when the database migrations are run. The chunk interval determines how much data is stored in each chunk and affects the amount of RAM used by the database, as recent chunks are kept in memory in order to make querying faster. To change the chunk interval, set it on a per-table basis in the data node's config.toml.

For example:

HypertableName = "orders"
ChunkInterval = "2 hours"

Additionally, you can set the chunk interval for Timescale hypertables that are used to store historical data. Default values are chosen by Vega and are applied when the database migrations are run. The chunk interval determines how much data is stored in each chunk and affects the amount of RAM used by the database, as recent chunks are kept in memory in order to make querying faster. To change the chunk interval, set it on a per-table basis in the data node's config.toml.

For example:

HypertableName = "orders"
ChunkInterval = "2 hours"

Generate config

To generate the configuration files you need for the data node, you can use the following command:

vega datanode init --home="YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH" "CHAIN_ID"

Find the CHAIN_ID by going to the relevant network genesis file in the relevant networks repo.

Visit networks ↗ for mainnet and other validator-run networks, or networks-internal ↗ for Vega-run testnet networks.

To update your data node configuration, such as to set up ports for the APIs or database credentials, edit the config file:


Configure nodes


To configure your Vega node to work with a data node you need to update the [Broker.Socket] section of the Vega configuration file YOUR_VEGA_HOME_PATH/config/node/config.toml from false to:

Enabled = true

While it's possible to run the data node and Vega node on separate machines, it's not recommended given the volume of data that will be transferred between the two.

Data node database

Data node database configuration is defined under the [SQLStore.ConnectionConfig] section of the data node configuration file YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH/config/data-node/config.toml:

Host = "localhost"
Port = 5432
Username = "USERNAME"
Password = "PASSWORD"
Database = "DATABASE_NAME"
MaxConnLifetime = "30m0s"
MaxConnLifetimeJitter = "5m0s"

You should ensure the database configuration matches those of the database you created in the pre-requisite steps.

Resetting the data node


Running the following command will remove all data from the data node and is not recoverable.

To reset the data node and remove all data, execute the command:

vega datanode unsafe_reset_all

After this is done you can repopulate the data node by replaying the chain or by initialising it from network history.

Embedded Postgres


This is not recommended for use in production, but you can use it to test or learn about the system.

If you do not have access to, or do not want to use a PostgreSQL database server, or a Postgres Docker container, it is possible to run a data node with an embedded version of Postgres. You can enable this by setting the flag:

UseEmbedded = true

This will cause data node to download a specially prepared Postgresql package which is extracted to your local machine if it doesn't exist. A separate Postgresql process will be spawned by data node using the credentials you specified in the database configuration section. Once data node is stopped, the child Postgresql process will be stopped automatically.

You can launch PostgreSQL in its own separate process using the data node embedded PostgreSQL binaries by running the following command:

vega datanode postgres run --home="YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH"

In either case, the files for the database will be stored in the data node state folder located at YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH/state/data-node/storage/sqlstore.

Buffered event source

When a data node is restarted from snapshots, it is possible for the event queue to become flooded, causing the Vega core to panic when the event queue is full and stop both the Vega core and data node.

To prevent this, the buffered event source flag is set to true by default. You can confirm this by looking at the following config section:

UseBufferedEventSource = true

Start Vega and data node

It is recommended to start the data node before starting the Vega node. By default if the Broker.Socket.Enabled flag is set to true, the Vega node will attempt to connect to the data node on startup. It will continue to try and connect for one minute before giving up.

If you're using Vega Visor, start your data node by running the service manager of your choice and use the following command:

visor run --home "VISOR_HOME_PATH"

If not using Vega Visor, to start the data node, run the following command:

vega datanode start --home="YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH"

Fetch network history

After starting a data node, you can load in a segment of network history, if you want your node to have more data than provided by the current height. This is particularly useful if you're running an archive node.

Before you can fetch network history, you will need to update your data node configuration file to add a list of bootstrap peers, as by default this is left empty and depends on which network you are connecting to:

BootstrapPeers = ["/path/to/bootstrap-peer/1","/path/to/bootstrap-peer/2"]

To get a list of bootstrap peers available for your network, you can make a HTTP request to the API service for your chosen network, for example: will retrieve the network peers for testnet.

"ipfsAddress": "/ip4/<data-node-ip-4-address>/tcp/4001/p2p/<some-uid>",
"swarmKey": "/key/swarm/psk/1.0.0/\n/base16/\n<some key>",
"swarmKeySeed": "<some-key-seed>",
"connectedPeers": [

To see how much network history your data node has, run the following command:

vega datanode network-history show --home="YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH"

Fetching network history for a new data node

If you are building a new data node, you may have no history and you will see this message:

No network history is available. Use the fetch command to fetch network history

In this case, it is possible to get the latest history segment ids from your network history bootstrap peers:

vega datanode network-history latest-history-segment-from-peers --home="YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH"

This will return a list of peers you can fetch network history from:

Most Recent History Segments:

Peer:<peer-ip-and-api-port>, Swarm Key:<swarm-key>, Segment{from_height:75001 to_height:75300 history_segment_id:"some-segment-id" previous_history_segment_id:"some-other-segment-id"}

It is possible that some data peers are behind and may not have the latest data. However, the history_segment_id should be the same across all nodes that are at the same height.

To fetch a network history segment, run the command below. Use the ID of the segment you want (for example, the latest) followed by the number of blocks prior to the segment's height that you want fetch. 2000 is used in the following example. This will result in all blocks from height N-2000 to N being retrieved.

vega datanode network-history fetch <segment-id-of-segment-at-height-N> 2000 --home="YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH"

Once the network history segments have been downloaded, running:

vega datanode network-history show --home="YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH"

should display the network history you have:

Available contiguous history spans:

Contiguous history from block height XXXXX to XXXXX, from segment id: <first-segment-id> to <last-segment-id>

Datanode contains no data

Loading network history into data node

Now that you have downloaded historical data you can load the history into the data node using:

vega datanode network-history load --home="YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH"

Data node must not be running when you use this command. If you attempt to use network-history load while data node is running, you will get an error:

datanode must be shutdown before data can be loaded

You will be notified that the load command will force all existing connections to the data node database will be closed automatically and prompted if you want to continue. Enter y and data node will check how much history you have, tell you what it will load, and prompts you to confirm if you want to continue. Enter y again and the data node will load the history you have fetched.

This process may take a very long time depending on how much history you have retrieved and are loading into the database. Some processes in the restoration can take a long time to complete and it may look like the process is not doing anything. Do not try to terminate the process early or you may end up with a corrupted data node database.

Data node recovery from network history

It is possible to start a data node and initialise it using network history automatically. By default, this process is disabled, and if enabled will only fetch - if you don't have the snapshot locally - the last segment before loading it into the data node. This is to allow users to quickly initialise a data node without fetching a lot of data and start participating while the data node is fetching more data in the background.

To enable this feature, set the AutoInitialiseFromNetworkHistory setting in the data node configuration file to true. It is safe to leave this setting to true.

If the data node already contains data that should be removed before loading from network history this can be done using the following command:

vega datanode unsafe_reset_all

If you want to fetch more than the last segment, you may also set the MinimumBlockCount configuration setting.

If you want to initialise the data node automatically up to a specific segment and X blocks before it, you can set both the ToSegment and MinimumBlockCount configuration settings.

AutoInitialiseFromNetworkHistory = true

ToSegment = "<segment-id-of-last-segment-you-require>"
MinimumBlockCount = <number-of-blocks-before-the-end-of-the-segment-you-require>

To initialise the data node with the latest segment, you can leave ToSegment empty. By default, this will ensure you initialise the data node with the latest segment with the number of blocks that are specified in MinimumBlockCount. The default MinimumBlockCount is 1.

If you are trying to initialise the data node with a large number of blocks, or have a slow internet connection for example, it is possible that the network history download will fail due to a timeout. Your data node logs may see an error such as:

2023-03-29T14:45:44.516+0100    ERROR   datanode.start.persistentPre    backoff@v2.2.1+incompatible/retry.go:37 failed to fetch history blocks: failed to fetch history:could not write out the fetched history segment: context deadline exceeded

To extend the timeout, you may set the Timeout setting for NetworkHistory.Initialise:

Timeout = "15m0s"

Additionally you can also set the FetchRetryMax configuration setting:

FetchRetryMax = 5

Retries will find segments that have already been downloaded and not try to download them again. By default the process will wait 1 second between retries, but you can change this by setting the RetryTimeout configuration setting:

RetryTimeout = "5s"

Network history troubleshooting

Network history cannot find any history

When using latest-history-from-peers command, the peers returns no history. There can be a number of reasons why this is not working:

  1. You have copied a configuration file from another machine and the PeerID has been duplicated.
  2. You are using an out-of-date ChainID.
  3. You have not configured any network peers.

If you have copied a configuration file from another machine and the other machine already exists on the network, running network-history commands may fail due to duplicated PeerID you have copied to the new machine. You should use the vega datanode init command to create a new configuration file, and copy the PeerID from that into your configuration file, or update the newly generated configuration file with configuration settings you have obtained from the existing configuration file.

If the network's ChainID has been updated and the ChainID your data node is configured with is out of date, the mismatched ChainID will prevent your request from being accepted. You will need to update the ChainID in your data node configuration file to the appropriate ChainID.

If you have not configured any network peers, follow the instructions found under Fetch Network History to add the peers to your data node configuration file.

Configure data node APIs

In order for clients to communicate with data nodes, we expose a set of APIs and methods for reading data.

There are currently three protocols to communicate with the data node APIs:


gRPC is an open source remote procedure call (RPC) system initially developed at Google. In data node the gRPC API features streaming of events in addition to standard procedure calls.

The default port (configurable) for the gRPC API is 3007 and matches the gRPC protobuf definition ↗.

gRPC configurations are defined under the [Gateway.Node] section of the data node configuration file YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH/config/data-node/config.toml:

Port = 3007
IP = ""


GraphQL ↗ is an open-source data query and manipulation language for APIs, and a runtime for fulfilling queries with existing data, originally developed at Facebook. The Console ↗ uses the GraphQL API to retrieve data including streams of events.

The GraphQL API is defined by a schema ↗. External clients will use this schema to communicate with Vega.

Queries can be tested using the GraphQL playground app which is bundled with a node. The default port (configurable) for the playground app is 3008 accessing this in a web browser will show a web app for testing custom queries, mutations and subscriptions.

The GraphQL default port and other configuration options can be found in the data node configuration file YOUR_DATA_NODE_HOME_PATH/config/data-node/config.toml under the Gateway.GraphQL section:

Port = 3008
IP = ""
# ...
Enabled = true
ComplexityLimit = 0
HTTPSEnabled = false
AutoCertDomain = ""
CertificateFile = ""
KeyFile = ""
Endpoint = "/graphql"


The REST and GraphQL API gateway can be configured to use secure http connections.

GraphQL subscriptions do not work properly unless the HTTPS is enabled.

You will need your data node to be reachable over the internet with a proper fully qualified domain name, and a valid signed certificate. You may either:

  • Provide data node with a path to an existing signed certificate and corresponding private key
  • Configure data node to create a certificate for you, and automatically request a signature via LetsEncrypt

In the former case, where you already have a certificate and corresponding private key file, you can specify them as follows:

HTTPSEnabled = true
CertificateFile = "/path/to/certificate/file"
KeyFile = "/path/to/key/file"

You can buy a certificate from a verified source and save the obtained file to your preferred location. It is advised that the certificate and key files have a permission mask of 0600 and the directory where they are located as 0700.

Many administrators prefer to use a tool called certbot for generating and signing free certificates via LetsEncrypt. To obtain a signed certificate with this method:

  • Install certbot ↗
  • Run certbot certonly --standalone to generate certificate
  • Place the generated fullchain.pem into the Gateway.CertificateFile location and corresponding privkey.pem to Gateway.KeyFile.
  • Read the configuration considerations for certbot in crontab.

Data node can optionally perform a similar role to certbot and manage creation and signing of certificates automatically via LetsEncrypt. To enable this feature, specify an AutoCertDomain instead of CertificateFile and KeyFile paths in the [Gateway] section data node's configuration file. For example:

HTTPSEnabled = true
AutoCertDomain = ""

It is a hard requirement of the LetsEncrypt validation process that the the server answering its challenge is running on the standard HTTPS port (443). By default, the GraphQL API and the REST API run on 3008, so the validation will not succeed. This means if you wish to make use of data node's automatic certificate management, you must do one of the following:

  • Forward port 443 on your machine to the GraphQL or REST API port using iptables or similar other network configuration CLI. Example: iptables: iptables -A PREROUTING -t nat -p tcp --dport 443 -j DNAT --to-destination :3008
  • Proxy pass to port 3008 by using reverse proxy server. Some example sources on how to set one up:
  • Directly listen on port 443 instead of the default with the gateway in data node by specifying the following configuration:
Port = 443

Note that Linux systems generally require processes listening on ports under 1024 to either run as root, or be specifically granted permission, e.g. by launching with the following:

setcap cap_net_bind_service=ep vega datanode run

GraphQL complexity

Currently the GraphQL complexity limit is globally set to 3750.

This setting is theoretical at the moment and will be refined and have different levels for different queries/resolvers in the future.

The intention behind this limit is to prevent the VEGA system from being abused by heavy queries (DOS). The complexity level is mostly affected by the number of objects a query contains. So the heaviest ones we currently have in the system are:

SimpleMarkets (embedded candles)1 candle151
SimpleMarkets (embedded candles)91 candle788
MarketInfo (embedded candles)1 candle399
MarketInfo (embedded candles)91 candles1036
Orders (embedded orders)1 order163
Orders (embedded orders)80 orders4003
Trades (embedded trades)1 trades118
Trades (embedded trades)75 trades1393
Positions (embedded positions)1 position129
Positions (embedded positions)40 positions2500

The approximate number of positions queries by customers is 40.

The GraphQL will return error for queries that have complexity above the set limit: "GraphQL error: Query is too complex to execute" and will not proceed with execution.


REST provides a standard between computer systems on the web, making it easier for systems to communicate with each other. It is arguably simpler to work with than gRPC and GraphQL. In Vega the REST API is a reverse proxy to the gRPC API, however it does not support streaming.

The default port (configurable) for the REST API is 3008 and we use a reverse proxy to the gRPC API to deliver the REST API implementation. You can change the port in the Gateway.Port parameter in your config.toml.

Further reading

For more information about data node and developing on data node please see the data node README ↗

Testing your data-node public setup

It is required to expose the following things from the data node:

  • GraphQL API

You must expose the GraphQL and the REST API on your domain with a valid TLS certificate. It means you either

  • Set the 443 port for the data node and set up the auto cert for your data node, as per the instructions above
  • Set the reverse proxy for the Gateway.Port using external software like Nginx/Apache/Caddy.

You also have to open the gRPC port on your server. By default, it is 3007. You can change the gRPC port in the API.Port parameter in your data node config.toml.

Assuming you have the correct setup for

  • the Gateway port (REST & GraphQL APIs) and it is exposed on port 443 with valid TLS certificate,
  • the API port set to 3007, and a domain(in examples below we use points to your server,

You can execute the below commands to verify your setup:

# Example output is: {"version":"v0.71.4","commitHash":"61d1f77ee360bf1679d5eb0e0efdb1cce977c9db"}

# GraphQL API
curl '' \
-H 'content-type: application/json' \
--data-raw '{"query":"query {\tstatistics { appVersion, appVersionHash } }"}' \

# Example output is: {"data":{"statistics":{"appVersion":"v0.71.4","appVersionHash":"61d1f77ee360bf1679d5eb0e0efdb1cce977c9db"}}}


# You have to install gRPC client e.g.: grpc-client-cli
go install

echo "{}" | grpc-client-cli -service datanode.api.v2.TradingDataService -method Info

# Example response is:
# {
# "version": "v0.71.4",
# "commit_hash": "61d1f77ee360bf1679d5eb0e0efdb1cce977c9db"
# }

Data node troubleshooting

Block height on begin block is too high

If you start data node and you receive an error that looks like:

block height on begin block, XXXXXX, is too high, the height of the last processed block is XXXXXX

This indicates that the core node block height is ahead of the data node it is connected to.

There are a number of ways this can happen:

  1. Data node has been added and connected to a core node that has been running for a while and no history has been loaded into data node.
  2. Core has been started from a snapshot, but data node has been had no history loaded.
  3. Data node was restarted with WipeOnStartup set to true.
  4. Core has been started from snapshot, and data node has been started from an earlier snapshot than core.

Data node requires that the first block of data it receives from core is no more that the last block height received by data node + 1. If the height of the block received from core is lower than the last block height received by data node, the events from core are ignored until events from the appropriate next block is received.

To fix this problem, use the network-history load, or use AutoInitialiseFromNetworkHistory to ensure the data-node contains the necessary history before starting the core node.