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Remote Signer for Oasis Node Keys

The Oasis remote signer is an application that contains logic for various Oasis Core signers. Currently, only the file-based signer is implemented, but support for hardware signers is in the works. Access to the remote signer is provided via a gRPC service through which the Oasis node can connect to it and request signatures.

This chapter will describe how to install the Oasis remote signer and then configure your Oasis node to use it. We will use two separate physical machines for deployment:

  • a server which will function as a system running the Oasis node,
  • a signer-server which will run the Oasis remote signer and store the node keys.

These are advanced instructions intended for node operators that want to increase the security of their validator nodes.


This chapter describes a tool to remotely access the node keys (i.e. beacon.pem, consensus.pem, identity.pem, p2p.pem...). There is another oasis wallet remote-signer Oasis CLI command which enables remote access to your entity key and should not be confused with.


Before we continue, make sure you've followed the Install Oasis Node Binary chapter and have the Oasis node binary installed on your system.

Install Oasis Remote Signer Binary

The Oasis remote signer is part of the Oasis Core. You can either download the binary or compile it from source and then copy it over to your signer-server system.


The Oasis remote signer is currently only supported on x86_64 Linux systems.

Downloading a Binary Release

The Oasis remote signer binary is part of the Oasis Core release bundle. Links to the latest releases are on the Network Parameters page (Mainnet, Testnet). The Oasis remote signer binary inside the release bundle is called oasis-remote-signer. You should always use the version of the remote signer matching the version of your Oasis node.

Building From Source

Follow the Oasis Core's Build Environment Setup and Building chapter. After the Oasis Core is compiled, the oasis-remote-signer binary should be located in the go/oasis-remote-signer subdirectory.


The code in the current master branch may be incompatible with the code used by other nodes on the network. Make sure to use the version specified on the Network Parameters page (Mainnet, Testnet).

Adding oasis-remote-signer Binary to PATH

To install the oasis-remote-signer binary for the current user, copy/symlink it to ~/.local/bin.

To install the oasis-remote-signer binary for all users of the system, copy it to /usr/local/bin.

Set Up Remote Signer System

Initialize Remote Signer

On signer-server, create a directory for the remote signer, e.g. remote-signer, by running:

mkdir --mode=700 remote-signer

Then, generate the node keys and the server certificate by running:

oasis-remote-signer init --datadir remote-signer/

Also, generate the remote signer's client certificate which will be used by the Oasis node to connect to the remote signer:

oasis-remote-signer init_client --datadir remote-signer/

Run Remote Signer

Choose the gRPC port on which the remote signer will listen for client requests and run:

oasis-remote-signer \
--datadir remote-signer \
--client.certificate remote-signer/remote_signer_client_cert.pem \
--grpc.port <REMOTE-SIGNER-PORT> \
--log.level DEBUG

The Oasis Remote Signer is configured to run in the foreground by default.

We recommend you configure and use it with a process manager like systemd or Supervisor. Check out the System Configuration page for examples.

Copy Remote Signer Certificate, Client Key and Certificate

In order for the Oasis node to securely connect to the Oasis remote signer and be able to demonstrate its authenticity, you need to copy the following files from signer-server to server inside the /node/data/remote-signer directory:

  • remote-signer/remote_signer_server_cert.pem: The remote signer's certificate. This certificate ensures the Oasis node system is connecting to the trusted remote signer system.
  • remote-signer/remote_signer_client_key.pem: The remote signer's client key. This key enables the Oasis node system to demonstrate its authenticity when it is requesting signatures from the remote signer system.
  • remote-signer/remote_signer_client_cert.pem: The remote signer's client certificate. This certificate is the counterpart of the remote signer's client key.


When configuring your Oasis Node on server, you need to add the appropriate signer section to configure the composite and remote signers. For example:

# Signer.
backend: composite
# Use file-based signer for entity, node and P2P keys and remote signer for the
# consensus key.
backends: entity:file,node:file,p2p:file,consensus:remote
# Configure how to connect to the Oasis Remote Signer.
certificate: /node/data/remote-signer/remote_signer_server_cert.pem
key: /node/data/remote-signer/remote_signer_client_key.pem
certificate: /node/data/remote-signer/remote_signer_client_cert.pem

This assumes you've copied the remote signer's certificate and remote signer's client key and certificate to the /node/data/remote-signer/ directory.

Starting the Oasis node

Start the Oasis node using the modified config above. To ensure that your Oasis node will be able to sign consensus transactions, check that the Oasis remote signer is running and accepting remote client connections via the designated port.


The /node/data directory on server will only have consensus_pub.pem and no consensus.pem since the consensus key is backed by the Oasis remote signer.

See also

📄️ Validator Node

This guide will walk you through the process of setting up your validator

📄️ Wallet

Manage accounts in your CLI wallet