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Intro for new developers

This is a quick introduction to get new developers up to speed on Decent.

Building Decent Build Status

Installing prerequisites in Linux

For Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, execute in console:

 sudo apt-get update
 sudo apt-get install build-essential autotools-dev automake autoconf libtool make cmake checkinstall gcc g++ clang flex bison doxygen gettext git qt5-default libreadline-dev libcrypto++-dev libgmp-dev libssl-dev libncurses5-dev libboost-all-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev python-dev libicu-dev libbz2-dev

For Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, execute in console:

 sudo apt-get update
 sudo apt-get install build-essential autotools-dev automake autoconf libtool make cmake checkinstall realpath gcc g++ clang flex bison doxygen gettext git qt5-default libreadline-dev libcrypto++-dev libgmp-dev libssl-dev libncurses5-dev libboost-all-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev python-dev libicu-dev libbz2-dev

Note, that the default version of Boost installed in Ubuntu 16.04 LTS is too old and not supported. In order to install a supported one, in addition to the common commands above, execute the following in console (in the same shell session, where you are going to build Decent itself):

# Download and build Boost 1.65.1
 mkdir -p ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-third-party
 cd ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-third-party
 tar xvf boost_1_65_1.tar.gz
 mkdir boost-1.65.1
 cd boost_1_65_1
 export BOOST_ROOT=$(realpath ../boost-1.65.1)
 ./ --prefix=$BOOST_ROOT
 ./b2 install
 cd ..
 rm -rf boost_1_65_1 boost_1_65_1.tar.gz

At this point, CMake configure should find the Boost distribution in the exported $BOOST_ROOT.

For Fedora 28 or later, execute in console:

 sudo dnf clean metadata
 sudo dnf install automake autoconf libtool make cmake gcc flex bison doxygen gettext-devel git qt5-qtbase-devel readline-devel cryptopp-devel gmp-devel openssl-devel libcurl-devel ncurses-devel boost-devel boost-static python-devel libicu-devel bzip2-devel

Installing prerequisites in macOS

Then, execute in console:

$ brew doctor
$ brew tap homebrew/versions
$ brew update
$ brew install automake autoconf libtool cmake boost qt5 cryptopp doxygen byacc flex gettext git pbc gmp ipfs openssl readline

Obtaining the sources, building, and installing Decent in Unix (macOS or Linux)

After all the prerequisites are installed, execute the following commands in console, in order to clone the repo, build, and install/stage Decent:

# Clone the repo.
 mkdir -p ~/dev/DECENTfoundation
 cd ~/dev/DECENTfoundation
 git clone
 cd DECENT-Network
 git submodule update --init --recursive

# Build and install Decent.
 mkdir -p ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-build
 cd ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-build
 cmake -G "Unix Makefiles" -D CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network
 cmake --build . --target all -- -j -l 3.0
 cmake --build . --target install

Note that, in case of "Unix Makefiles" CMake generator, the last two commands are equivalent to:

$ make -j -l 3.0
$ make install

By this time you should have Decent files installed at ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-build/artifacts/prefix directory. You can specify any other custom install prefix for cmake during the initial configuration, for example, by adding -D CMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-prefix to the command line.

You can use any path instead of ~/dev/DECENTfoundation in the steps above.

You can use Xcode, or any other CMake generator, and then, if it is an IDE generator, instead of building and installing via cmake in terminal, open the generated project/solution file in the corresponding IDE and perform ALL_BUILD and INSTALL (or install) actions from there.

Installing prerequisites, obtaining the sources, building, and installing Decent in Windows


Starting Decent

In the commands below, change ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-build/artifacts/prefix to ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-prefix or to any other install location, that you specified during initial configuration.

On first run decentd will create .decent in the home directory, if doesn't exist already.

$ ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-build/artifacts/prefix/bin/decentd

Optionally, now press Ctrl-C to stop decentd. You can edit configuration in ~/.decent/data/decentd/config.ini.

Then, run the decent daemon again:

$ ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-build/artifacts/prefix/bin/decentd 

This will launch the decent daemon node with the default genesis.

Then, in a separate console, start the command-line wallet by executing:

$ cd ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-working-dir
$ ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-build/artifacts/prefix/bin/cli_wallet

To set your initial password to mypassword, execute:

>>> set_password mypassword
>>> unlock mypassword

To import your account keys, execute:

>>> import_key [name] [private_wif_key]

Decent daemon

The role of the decent daemon is to broadcast transactions, download blocks, and optionally sign them.

$ ~/dev/DECENTfoundation/DECENT-Network-build/artifacts/prefix/bin/decentd --rpc-endpoint --enable-stale-production -w '"1.4.0"' 

Testing Decent

Seeder plugin is responsible for automatically announce seeder's capablity, downloading content, seeding it and distributing keys. In order to enable it follow these steps:

  1. Generarate El-Gamal keys using cli_wallet command (first one is private, second one is public)

  2. Add parameters to the decent daemon

     --seeder [account-id] --seeder-private-key [private_wif_key] --content-private-key [el_gamal_private_key] --packages-path [path] --seeding-price [price] --free-space [free-space]

    where [account-id] is one of your accounts, [private_wif_key] corresponding active key, [el_gamal_private_key] is the generated El-Gamal key, [path] is a filesystem location with at least [space] Megabytes available, and [price] is publishing price per MB per day, in satoshis.

Using the API

We provide several different API's. Each API has its own ID. When running decentd, initially two API's are available: API 0 provides read-only access to the database, while API 1 is used to login and gain access to additional, restricted API's.

Here is an example using wscat package from npm for websockets:

$ npm install -g wscat
$ wscat -c ws://
> {"id":1, "method":"call", "params":[0,"get_accounts",[["1.2.0"]]]}
< {"id":1,"result":[{"id":"1.2.0","annotations":[],"membership_expiration_date":"1969-12-31T23:59:59","registrar":"1.2.0","referrer":"1.2.0","lifetime_referrer":"1.2.0","network_fee_percentage":2000,"lifetime_referrer_fee_percentage":8000,"referrer_rewards_percentage":0,"name":"committee-account","owner":{"weight_threshold":1,"account_auths":[],"key_auths":[],"address_auths":[]},"active":{"weight_threshold":6,"account_auths":[["1.2.5",1],["1.2.6",1],["1.2.7",1],["1.2.8",1],["1.2.9",1],["1.2.10",1],["1.2.11",1],["1.2.12",1],["1.2.13",1],["1.2.14",1]],"key_auths":[],"address_auths":[]},"options":{"memo_key":"GPH1111111111111111111111111111111114T1Anm","voting_account":"1.2.0","num_miner":0,"num_committee":0,"votes":[],"extensions":[]},"statistics":"2.7.0","whitelisting_accounts":[],"blacklisting_accounts":[]}]}

We can do the same thing using an HTTP client such as curl for API's which do not require login or other session state:

$ curl --data '{"jsonrpc": "2.0", "method": "call", "params": [0, "get_accounts", [["1.2.0"]]], "id": 1}'

API 0 is accessible using regular JSON-RPC:

$ curl --data '{"jsonrpc": "2.0", "method": "get_accounts", "params": [["1.2.0"]], "id": 1}'

Accessing restricted API's

You can restrict API's to particular users by specifying an api-access file in config.ini. Here is an example apiaccess file which allows user decent with password pwd to access four different API's, while allowing any other user to access the three public API's necessary to use the wallet:

   "permission_map" :
            "password_hash_b64" : "W/wGhp3F9QOPwyCCpAPSQTrRnoQJi7IrI98ttwCJwCE=",
            "password_salt_b64" : "8Bd7FkJHI/8=",
            "allowed_apis" : ["database_api", "network_broadcast_api", "history_api", "network_node_api"]
            "password_hash_b64" : "*",
            "password_salt_b64" : "*",
            "allowed_apis" : ["database_api", "network_broadcast_api", "history_api"]

Passwords are stored in base64 as salted sha256 hashes. A simple Python script, is avaliable to obtain hash and salt values from a password. A single asterisk "*" may be specified as username or password hash to accept any value.

With the above configuration, here is an example of how to call add_node from the network_node API:

{"id":1, "method":"call", "params":[1,"login",["bytemaster", "supersecret"]]}
{"id":2, "method":"call", "params":[1,"network_node",[]]}
{"id":3, "method":"call", "params":[2,"add_node",[""]]}

Note, the call to network_node is necessary to obtain the correct API identifier for the network API. It is not guaranteed that the network API identifier will always be 2.


  • Is there a way to generate help with parameter names and method descriptions?

    Yes. Documentation of the code base, including APIs, can be generated using Doxygen. Simply run doxygen in this directory.

    If both Doxygen and perl are available in your build environment, the CLI wallet's help and gethelp commands will display help generated from the doxygen documentation.

    If your CLI wallet's help command displays descriptions without parameter names like signed_transaction transfer(string, string, string, string, string, bool) it means CMake was unable to find Doxygen or perl during configuration. If found, the output should look like this: signed_transaction transfer(string from, string to, string amount, string asset_symbol, string memo, bool broadcast)

  • Is there a way to allow external program to drive cli_wallet via websocket, JSONRPC, or HTTP?

    Yes. External programs may connect to the CLI wallet and make its calls over a websockets API. To do this, run the wallet in server mode, i.e. cli_wallet -s "" and then have the external program connect to it over the specified port (in this example, port 9999).

  • Is there a way to access methods which require login over HTTP?

    No. Login is inherently a stateful process (logging in changes what the server will do for certain requests, that's kind of the point of having it). If you need to track state across HTTP RPC calls, you must maintain a session across multiple connections. This is a famous source of security vulnerabilities for HTTP applications. Additionally, HTTP is not really designed for "server push" notifications, and we would have to figure out a way to queue notifications for a polling client.

    Websockets solves all these problems. If you need to access Graphene's stateful methods, you need to use Websockets.

  • What is the meaning of a.b.c numbers?

    The first number specifies the space. Space 1 is for protocol objects, 2 is for implementation objects. Protocol space objects can appear on the wire, for example in the binary form of transactions. Implementation space objects cannot appear on the wire and solely exist for implementation purposes, such as optimization or internal bookkeeping.

    The second number specifies the type. The type of the object determines what fields it has. For a complete list of type ID's, see enum object_type and enum impl_object_type in types.hpp.

    The third number specifies the instance. The instance of the object is different for each individual object.

  • The answer to the previous question was really confusing. Can you make it clearer?

    All account ID's are of the form 1.2.x. If you were the 9735th account to be registered, your account's ID will be 1.2.9735. Account 0 is special (it's the "committee account," which is controlled by the committee members and has a few abilities and restrictions other accounts do not).

    All asset ID's are of the form 1.3.x. If you were the 29th asset to be registered, your asset's ID will be 1.3.29. Asset 0 is special (it's BTS, which is considered the "core asset").

    The first and second number together identify the kind of thing you're talking about (1.2 for accounts, 1.3 for assets). The third number identifies the particular thing.

  • How do I get the network_add_nodes command to work? Why is it so complicated?

    You need to follow the instructions in the "Accessing restricted API's" section to allow a username/password access to the network_node API. Then you need to pass the username/password to the cli_wallet on the command line or in a config file.

    It's set up this way so that the default configuration is secure even if the RPC port is publicly accessible. It's fine if your decentd allows the general public to query the database or broadcast transactions (in fact, this is how the hosted web UI works). It's less fine if your decent allows the general public to control which p2p nodes it's connecting to. Therefore the API to add p2p connections needs to be set up with proper access controls.