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celestia-app network instantiation guide

This guide is for helping instantiate a new testnetwork and following the correct steps to do so with Celestia-App. You should only follow this guide if you want to experiment with your own Celestia Testnetwork or if you want to test out new features to build as a core developer.

Hardware requirements

You can follow hardware requirements here.

Setup dependencies

You can setup dependencies by following the guide here.

celestia-app installation

You can install celestia-app by following the guide here.

Spin up a Celestia testnet

If you want to spin up a quick testnet with your friends, you can follow these steps. Unless otherwise noted, every step must be done by everyone who wants to participate in this testnet.

Optional: Reset working directory

If you have already initialized a working directory for celestia-appd in the past, you must clean up before reinitializing a new directory. You can do so by running the following command:

celestia-appd tendermint unsafe-reset-all --home $HOME/.celestia-app

Initialize a working directory

Run the following command:

celestia-appd init $VALIDATOR_NAME --chain-id $CHAIN_ID
  • The value we will use for $VALIDATOR_NAME is validator1 but you should choose your own node name.
  • The value we will use for $CHAIN_ID is testnet. The $CHAIN_ID must remain the same for everyone participating in this network.

Create a new key

Next, run the following command:

celestia-appd keys add $KEY_NAME --keyring-backend test

This will create a new key, with a name of your choosing. Save the output of this command somewhere; you'll need the address generated here later. Here, we set the value of our key $KEY_NAME to validator for demonstration.

Add genesis account KeyName

Run the following command:

celestia-appd add-genesis-account $KEY_NAME $CELES_AMOUNT --keyring-backend test

Here $VALIDATOR_NAME is the same key name as before; and $AMOUNT is something like 10000000000000000000000000utia.

Optional: Adding other validators

If other participants in your testnet also want to be validators, repeat the command above with the specific amount for their public keys.

Once all the validators are added, the genesis.json file is created. You need to share it with all other validators in your testnet in order for everyone to proceed with the following step.

You can find the genesis.json at $HOME/.celestia-app/config/genesis.json

Create the genesis transaction for new chain

Run the following command:

celestia-appd gentx $KEY_NAME $STAKING_AMOUNT --chain-id $CHAIN_ID \
--keyring-backend test

This will create the genesis transaction for your new chain. Here $STAKING_AMOUNT should be at least 1000000000utia. If you provide too much or too little, you will encounter an error when starting your node.

You will find the generated gentx JSON file inside $HOME/.celestia-app/config/gentx/gentx-$KEY_NAME.json

Note: If you have other validators in your network, they need to also run the above command with the genesis.json file you shared with them in the previous step.

Creating the genesis JSON file

Once all participants have submitted their gentx JSON files to you, you will pull all those gentx files inside the following directory: $HOME/.celestia-appd/config/gentx and use them to create the final genesis.json file.

Once you added the gentx files of all the particpants, run the following command:

celestia-appd collect-gentxs

This command will look for the gentx files in this repo which should be moved to the following directory $HOME/.celestia-app/config/gentx.

It will update the genesis.json file after in this location $HOME/.celestia-app/config/genesis.json which now includes the gentx of other participants.

You should then share this final genesis.json file with all the other particpants who must add it to their $HOME/.celestia-app/config directory.

Everyone must ensure that they replace their existing genesis.json file with this new one created.

Modify your config file

Open the following file $HOME/.celestia-app/config/config.toml to modify it.

Inside the file, add the other participants by modifying the following line to include other participants as persistent peers:

# Comma separated list of nodes to keep persistent connections to
persistent_peers = "[validator_address]@[ip_address]:[port],[validator_address]@[ip_address]:[port]"

You can find validator_address by running the following command:

celestia-appd tendermint show-node-id

The output will be the hex-encoded validator_address. The default port is 26656.

Instantiate the network

You can start your node by running the following command:

celestia-appd start

Now you have a new Celestia Testnet to play around with!