JWT secret

Consensus clients connect to execution clients using JSON-RPC over HTTP protocol. The HTTP requests between the clients are authenticated using a JWT (Java Web Token). To generate and verify the JWT appended to HTTP requests the clients share a secret. The secret is normally stored in a text file that both Consensus and Execution clients need access to.

There are two possible scenarios:

  • execution and consensus clients run on the same server (both can read the same local file stored on the Docker host)

  • execution and consensus clients run on separate servers (the same file needs to be placed on separate servers)

Execution and consensus on the same server

In this scenario by default slignode.ethereum role will automatically generate a random secret and configure both clients to use it. In case a of multiple servers, a unique random secret will be generated on each of them. You don't need to do anything and things will just work.

In case you want to override this behavior and use a predefined secret (or retrive it from a secrets management solution in your CI/CD pipeline) you can set the "jwt_secret_string" variable as show below.

jwt_secret_string: "7a813d06b0a08de1f1e70ebbc6b3ec8dc589f62d04d346b4754c9d739b4c648b"

Refer to Generating JWT token section.

Recreating JWT token

By default the role will not change the token after it has been created. This means that if the role is re-run on the same server and the token exists it will remain unchanged. If you wish to have the role generate a new token you can set the below variable to "true":

recreate_jwt: true

When set to true the token will be re-created on the next run. Don't forget to reset the variable to false, otherwise the token will be re-created every time the role runs. Alternatively, you can delete the JWT secret file from the server and re-run the role. By default the file is located in:


The clients need to be restarted in order to pick up the new secret.

Summary of steps to regenerate the secret:

  1. Set recreate_jwt: true

  2. Execute the role

  3. Restart the clients

  4. Unset the recreate_jwt variable

Execution and consensus on separate servers

In this scenario the "jwt_secret_string" variable must be set in your playbook (or group/host vars depending on how you deploy). If the variable is not set, a random secret will be generated on each server. Since they won't match, consensus client will not be able to authenticate to the execution client.

jwt_secret_string: "7a813d06b0a08de1f1e70ebbc6b3ec8dc589f62d04d346b4754c9d739b4c648b"

Refer to Generating JWT token section.

Generating JWT token

The following command can be used to generate a JWT token.

openssl rand -hex 32 | tr -d "\n" > "jwt.hex"

Last updated