How to: Run your own nostr relay

This is how to setup a nostr relay, fast!

First, get an Ubuntu 22.04 VPS somewhere. Second, add its IP to a domain name.


apt update
apt upgrade
apt install -y curl build-essential gcc make librust-openssl-dev protobuf-compiler libprotobuf-dev
cd /var/
mkdir nostr
adduser deploy  # all empty, keep hitting enter
chown -R deploy:deploy nostr

Then, install Rust:

sudo -i -u deploy
curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh
# choose option 1: recommended settings
exit  # we log out to re-source the bash profile with rust in the path

Then, install nostr relay:

sudo -i -u deploy
cd /var/nostr/
git clone
cd nostr-rs-relay/
cargo build -r
RUST_LOG=warn,nostr_rs_relay=info ./target/release/nostr-rs-relay &

Done. Nostr relay is running in the background now. You should get some logs in that terminal.

Now we need something in front of it. Let's put a Caddy server. Start a new terminal and:

apt install -y debian-keyring debian-archive-keyring apt-transport-https
curl -1sLf '' | gpg --dearmor -o /usr/share/keyrings/caddy-stable-archive-keyring.gpg
curl -1sLf '' | tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/caddy-stable.list
apt update
apt install caddy

Now you should see the caddy default page at your domain. Let's connect the nostr relay to it. Edit the Caddyfile (/etc/caddy/Caddyfile), replace its contents with:

# /etc/caddy/Caddyfile {

    tls {

    log {
        output file /var/log/caddy/nostr.log {
            roll_size 1gb
            roll_keep 1
            roll_keep_for 720h

And finally restart caddy:

systemctl restart caddy

Now you should be able to add your relay server in your nostr account with something like:


Monitor Caddy with:

journalctl -b -u caddy -f
tail -f /var/log/caddy/nostr.log

Add systemd entry

It's likely that the nostr-rs-relay process will die after a few hours/days. We don't want that, but it will happen anyway. To mitigate, we can add a systemd entry that will (a) restart nostr-rs-relay if it dies and (b) start it as soon as the server boots up.

touch /lib/systemd/system/nostr-rs-relay.service

Edit /lib/systemd/system/nostr-rs-relay.service and enter:

# /lib/systemd/system/nostr-rs-relay.service



ExecStart=/bin/bash -lc 'exec ./target/release/nostr-rs-relay'






ln -s /lib/systemd/system/nostr-rs-relay.service /etc/systemd/system/
systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl enable nostr-rs-relay.service
systemctl start nostr-rs-relay.service
systemctl status nostr-rs-relay.service

The final (status) command should display Active: active (running).

root@nostr01:~# systemctl status nostr-rs-relay.service
● nostr-rs-relay.service - nostr-rs-relay
     Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nostr-rs-relay.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
     Active: active (running) since Sat 2023-03-18 18:47:03 UTC; 4min 45s ago
   Main PID: 127715 (nostr-rs-relay)
      Tasks: 21 (limit: 2257)
     Memory: 1008.4M
        CPU: 6.710s
     CGroup: /system.slice/nostr-rs-relay.service
             └─127715 ./target/release/nostr-rs-relay

Logs of systemd processes are being kept with journactl. To examine them:

journalctl -b -u nostr-rs-relay -f
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