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Troubleshooting common issues with validator nodes

Here we walk through several common issues that you might encounter when you are running a validator node.

Validator has 0 voting power

If your validator has 0 voting power, your validator has become auto-unbonded. On the mainnet, validators unbond when they do not vote on 9500 of the last 10000 blocks (50 of the last 100 blocks on the testnet). Because blocks are proposed every ~5 seconds, a validator that is unresponsive for ~13 hours (~4 minutes on testnet) become unbonded. This problem usually happens when your archwayd process crashes.

To return the voting power back to your validator, check if archwayd is running:

archwayd status

If archwayd is not running, restart it:

archwayd start

Failed to initialize database: resource temporarily unavailable

If you are getting this error while launching archwayd start you probably have archwayd already running. If you previously started it as a service, make sure to stop it with:

sudo systemctl stop archwayd.service

You can now launch archwayd start again.

"archwayd: command not found" error

If you receive an archwayd: command not found Error message, you should:

Make sure your GOPATH is properly set

Ensure the Go environment variables are set properly on your system.

You could set the GOROOT and GOPATH in the ~/.profile file:

export GOROOT=/usr/local/goexport GOPATH=$HOME/goexport PATH=$PATH:$GOROOT/bin:$GOPATH/bin

And applying those changes with:

source ~/.profile

When running a validator, consider adding the flag --home ./my-node flag in almost all commands tells archwayd to work on that specific directory.

Cleaning up

If you already tried setting up a node and need a cleanup, it may be good to remove any previous genesis file and configuration that you have used:

rm -rf ~/.archway


This command will remove all data and configs you already set.

Unjail the validator

Wait for your full node to reach the latest block, and run:

archwayd tx slashing unjail <ValidatorAddress> --chain-id=<ChainId> --from=<Name>


  • <ValidatorAddress> is the address of your validator account.
  • <Name> is the name or address of the validator account. To find this information, run archwayd keys list.
    Warning: If you don't wait for archwayd to sync before running unjail, an error message will inform you that your validator is still jailed.

You can check your validator again to see if your voting power is back:

archwayd status

If your voting power is less than it was previously is probably due to the fact you were slashed for downtime.

Too many files open and archwayd crashes

The default number of files Linux can open per process is 1024. archwayd is known to open more than this amount, causing the process to crash. To fix this problem:

Increase the number of open files by running:

ulimit -n 4096

And restart the process by running:

   archwayd start

Additional considerations:

Connection errors

  • Check your network settings: Make sure that your node's network settings are properly configured to communicate with other nodes on the network. Check your firewall settings and ensure that they are not blocking incoming or outgoing connections.
  • Restart your node: Try restarting your node to see if that resolves the connection issue. Sometimes a simple restart can help fix communication problems.

Memory errors

  • Make sure that your node's memory settings are properly configured for your node's resources and capabilities.

Disk space errors

  • Make sure that your node's disk space settings are properly configured for your node's resources and capabilities.
  • If your node is running out of disk space, consider pruning old blocks or transactions to free up space.

Not finding what you were looking for?

Please reach out on Discord, the DevRel team will be happy to help you out.

Also, consider checking Github, or reading our technical articles on Medium.