Windows

Windows may seem like an "easy button". For eth-docker, it is anything but, and even for other ways of running a client, there are multiple challenges. They can all be overcome, and the eth2 validator wizard project aims to do just that.

Things to think about with Windows:

  • Time sync out of the box on not domain-joined Windows can be so badly "off" you can't attest. To improve this:
    • Change w32time to start automatically. In Administrator cmd, but not PowerShell, sc triggerinfo w32time start/networkon stop/networkoff. Verify with sc qtriggerinfo w32time. To get into cmd that way, you can start Admin PowerShell and then just type cmd.
    • Make a few changes in regedit.
      • In Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w32time\Config, set MaxPollInterval to hex c, decimal 12.
      • Check Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w32time\Parameters\NtpServer. If it ends in 0x9 you are done. If it ends in 0x1 you need to adjust SpecialPollInterval in Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\w32time\TimeProviders\NtpClient to read 3600
    • Reboot, then from Powershell run w32tm /query /status /verbose to verify that w32time service did start. If it didn't, check triggers again. If all else fails, set it to Automatic Delayed startup
  • Time sync in WSL2 requires a kernel fix, which is available since 7/21/2021. Windows 10 20H2 or newer is required. As of April 2022, this still doesn't fix time sync, and you'll want to set a scheduled task to keep WSL2 in sync with your Windows clock. From non-admin Powershell, run schtasks /Create /TN WSL2TimeSync /TR "wsl -u root hwclock -s" /SC ONEVENT /EC System /MO "*[System[Provider[@Name='Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-Power'] and (EventID=107 or EventID=507) or Provider[@Name='Microsoft-Windows-Kernel-General'] and (EventID=1)]]" /F.
  • Your node needs to run as a service for 24/7 uptime and security - user should not need to be logged in for node to run. How to differs between Docker Desktop and other ways of running. You'd be looking into Windows Task Scheduler.
  • Client diversity. Prysm does Windows-native, Lighthouse may as well. The other two would rely on a setup that runs them in Docker Desktop and WSL2, thus Linux, afaik.
  • execution client - Prysm sidesteps this with 3rd-party, and Geth runs natively. For other clients, you're looking at Docker Desktop again.
  • Remote administration - SSH? RDP? If RDP, do you need a "proper" cert to encrypt?
  • If using Docker Desktop and WSL2, consider that WSL2 runs as a virtual network. Work-around is to run a Powerscript that addresses needed port-forwarding.

The best bet for Windows is likely to run Prysm or Teku natively, with Geth, some way of starting them as a service without a user needing to be logged in (Task Scheduler), and improved time sync.