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Signed-off-by: Wade Barnes <wade@neoterictech.ca>
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VON Network

A portable development level Indy Node network, including a Ledger Browser. The Ledger Browser (for example the BC Gov's Ledger for the GreenLight Demo Application) allows a user to see the status of the nodes of a network and browse/search/filter the Ledger Transactions.

von-network is being developed as part of the Verifiable Organizations Network (VON). For more information on VON see https://vonx.io. Even, better - join in with what we are doing and contribute to VON, Aries and Indy communities.

The VON-Network Ledger Browser and API

With the Ledger Browser (for example: http://greenlight.bcovrin.vonx.io/), you can see:

  • The status of the Ledger nodes
  • The detailed status of the Ledger Nodes in JSON format (click the "Detailed Status" link)
  • The three ledger's of an Indy Network - Domain, Pool and Config (click the respective links)
  • The Genesis Transactions for the Indy Network instance.
    • In an Indy Agent, use the URL <server>/genesis to GET the genesis file to use in initializing the Agent.

By using the "Authenticate a new DID" part of the UI or posting the appropriate JSON to the VON-Network API (see an example script here), a new DID can be added to the Ledger. A known and published Trust Anchor DID is used to write the new DID to the Ledger. This operation would not be permitted in this way on the Sovrin Main Network. However, it is a useful mechanism on sandbox Indy Networks used for testing.

In the Domain Ledger screen (example), you can browse through all of the transactions that have been created on this instance of the Ledger. As well, you can use a drop down filter to see only specific Ledger transaction types (nym - aka DID, schema, CredDef, etc.), and search for strings in the content of the transactions.

VON Network Quick Start Guide

New to VON Network? We have a tutorial about using VON Network to get you started.

Want to see a full demo that includes applications and verifiable credentials being issued? The VON Quick Start Guide provides the instructions for running a local instance of a full demo of the components, including an Indy Network, an instance of TheOrgBook and GreenLight. This is a great way to see the VON Network in action.

Indy-Cli Container Environment

This repository includes a fully containerized Indy-Cli environment, allowing you to use the Indy-Cli without having to build or install the Indy-SDK or any of its dependencies on your machine.

Ledger Troubleshooting

Refer to the Troubleshooting document for some tips and tools you can use to troubleshoot issues with a ledger.

VON Quick Start Guide

The environment provides a set of batch script templates and a simple variable substitution layer that allows the scripts to be reused for a number of purposes.

For examples of how to use this capability, refer to Writing Transactions to a Ledger for an Un-privileged Author

Running the Network Locally

The tutorial about using VON Network has information on starting (and stopping) the network locally.

Running the web server in Docker against another ledger

  1. Run docker to start the ledger, and pass in GENESIS_URL and LEDGER_SEED parameters:

For example to connect to the Sovrin Test Network:

./manage build
GENESIS_URL=https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sovrin-foundation/sovrin/master/sovrin/pool_transactions_sandbox_genesis ./manage start-web

Note that it takes some time to get the transactions and status from the network. Once the UI appears, try getting the Genesis Transaction that the server started up properly.

Running the the web server on your local machine

You can run the web server/ledger browser on its own, and point to another Indy/Sovrin network.

  1. Install python and pip (recommend to use a virtual environment such as virtualenv)

  2. Download this repository:

git clone https://github.com/bcgov/von-network.git
cd von-network
  1. If using virtualenv, setup a virtual environment and activate it:
virtualenv --python=python3.6 venv
source venv/bin/activate
  1. Install requirements:
pip install -r server/requirements.txt
  1. Run the server, you can specify a genesis file, or a url from which to download a genesis file - you can also specify a seed for the DID to use to connect to this ledger:
GENESIS_FILE=/tmp/some-genesis.txt PORT=9000 python -m server.server

Or:

GENESIS_URL=https://some.domain.com/some-genesis.txt LEDGER_SEED=000000000000000000000000SomeSeed PORT=9000 python -m server.server

For example to connect to the STN:

GENESIS_URL=https://raw.githubusercontent.com/sovrin-foundation/sovrin/master/sovrin/pool_transactions_sandbox_genesis LEDGER_SEED=000000000000000000000IanCostanzo PORT=9000 python -m server.server

Running the Network on a VPS

Requirements

  • ubuntu 16.04
  • at least 1GB RAM
  • accepting incoming TCP connections on ports 9701-9708
  • root access
  1. Install unzip utility:

    # Requires root privileges
    apt install unzip
  2. Install Docker and Docker Compose:

    curl -fsSL get.docker.com -o get-docker.sh
    # Requires root privileges
    sh get-docker.sh
    curl -L https://github.com/docker/compose/releases/download/1.24.1/docker-compose-`uname -s`-`uname -m` -o /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
    chmod +x /usr/local/bin/docker-compose
  3. Download this repository:

    curl -L https://github.com/bcgov/von-network/archive/master.zip > bcovrin.zip && \
        unzip bcovrin.zip && \
        cd von-network-master && \
        chmod a+w ./server/
  4. Build the Docker container:

    ./manage build
  5. Run the network of nodes:

    # This command requires the publicly accessible ip address of the machine `public_ip_address`
    # WEB_SERVER_HOST_PORT maps the docker service port to a public port on the machine
    # LEDGER_INSTANCE_NAME sets the display name of the ledger on the page headers.
    ./manage start public_ip_address WEB_SERVER_HOST_PORT=80 "LEDGER_INSTANCE_NAME=My Ledger" &

AWS EC2 Security considerations

If you are installing on an Amazon EC2 node you may find the Indy nodes are failing to connect to each other. The signature for this will be a repeating message every 60 seconds when you view the logs via "./manage log"

node2_1 | 2020-05-07 23:56:30,728|NOTIFICATION|primary_connection_monitor_service.py|Node2:0 primary has been disconnected for too long
node2_1 | 2020-05-07 23:56:30,729|INFO|primary_connection_monitor_service.py|Node2:0 The node is not ready yet so view change will not be proposed now, but re-scheduled.
node2_1 | 2020-05-07 23:56:30,730|INFO|primary_connection_monitor_service.py|Node2:0 scheduling primary connection check in 60 sec
node2_1 | 2020-05-07 23:56:30,730|NOTIFICATION|primary_connection_monitor_service.py|Node2:0 primary has been disconnected for too long
node2_1 | 2020-05-07 23:56:30,730|INFO|primary_connection_monitor_service.py|Node2:0 The node is not ready yet so view change will not be proposed now, but re-scheduled.

The Indy nodes are configured to talk to each other via their "public" address not the Virtual Private Cloud address of the EC2 node. It is common practice to tightly restrict traffic inbound to public IPs when first setting up a deployment in AWS. You will need to adjust the Inbound and Outbound traffic rules on your Security Groups to allow traffic specifically from the public EC2 address.

Connecting to the Network

With the CLI

Once the nodes are all running and have connected to each other, you can run the Indy client to test the connection in a separate terminal window:

./manage cli

If you want to connect to a remote indy-node pool, you can optionally supply an ip address. (Currently only supports a test network running on a single machine with a single ip address.)

./manage cli <ip address>

The Indy CLI should boot up and you should see the following:

Indy-CLI (c) 2017 Evernym, Inc.
Type 'help' for more information.
Running Indy 1.1.159

indy>

Now connect to our new Indy network to make sure network is running correctly:

pool connect sandbox

What you should see is:

indy> pool connect sandbox
Pool "sandbox" has been connected

If you see this, congratulations! Your nodes are running correctly and you have a connection to the network.

Extra Features for Development

Running BCovrin also runs a thin webserver (at http://localhost:9000 when using docker) to expose some convenience functions:

Genesis Transaction Exposed

The genesis transaction record required to connect to the node pool is made available at:

<ip_address>/genesis

Write new did for seed

The node pool can have a trust anchor write a did for you. That feature is available in the UI.

Customize your Ledger Browser Deployment

It is possible to customize some of the aspects of the Ledger Browser at run-time, by using the following environment variables:

  • REGISTER_NEW_DIDS: if set to True, it will enable the user interface allowing new identity owners to write a DID to the ledger. It defaults to False.
  • LEDGER_INSTANCE_NAME: the name of the ledger instance the Ledger Brwoser is connected to. Defaults to Ledger Browser.
  • INFO_SITE_URL: a URL that will be displayed in the header, and can be used to reference another external website containing details/resources on the current ledger browser instance.
  • INFO_SITE_TEXT: the display text used for the INFO_SITE_URL. If not specified, it will default to the value set for INFO_SITE_URL.
  • WEB_ANALYTICS_SCRIPT: the JavaScript code used by web analytics servers. Populate this environment variable if you want to track the usage of your site with Matomo, Google Analytics or any other JavaScript based trackers. Include the whole <script type="text/javascript">...</script> tag, ensuring quotes are escaped properly for your command-line interpreter (e.g.: bash, git bash, etc.).
  • LEDGER_CACHE_PATH: if set, it will instruct the ledger to create an on-disk cache, rather than in-memory. The image supplies a folder for this purpose; $HOME/.indy_client/ledger-cache. The file should be placed into this directory (e.g.: /home/indy/.indy-client/ledger-cache/ledger_cache_file or $HOME/.indy_client/ledger-cache/ledger_cache_file).