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README.md

Welcome to bPanel!

This is the official repo for the bPanel project, a full featured, enterprise level GUI for your bcoin Bitcoin node.

For complete developer and API documentation, visit our website: https://bpanel.org

Table of Contents

Dependencies

  • npm >= 5.7.1
  • node >= 8.9.4

NOTE: It is important to be using at least this version of npm because of a bug that removes node_modules that are installed from GitHub and doesn't reinstall them which breaks the build.

Quick Start

npm install
npm start

You can add configurations for your node with the Connection Manager plugin.

Read more about configuring bPanel and nodes you would like to interface with here.

With Docker

From inside the project directory in your terminal, run:

npm install && docker-compose up -d

This will start up three docker containers as detached processes running in the background. Once everything has started up, you should be able to see your bPanel instance at localhost:5000. Note that this can take several minutes as bcoin and bcrypto build inside the docker container. Use the docker logs command to see the logs and check on progress in your container.

Read more about how to connect a local instance of bPanel to a bcoin node running in docker here.

Plugins with Docker Compose

It's possible to set which plugins you want loaded via an environment variable BPANEL_PLUGINS. The docker compose has this set for you and can be customized according to your needs. Note however that once set, they cannot be edited using the methods listed below. To make changes, you will need to edit docker-compose.yml and restart the container. Comment out this environment variable to use the config.js instead.

Managing Plugins

Plugin management is handled in a config.js file located by default in the .bpanel directory in your system's home directory (this location can be manually changed with the BPANEL_PREFIX env variable or --prefix option at run time.

bPanel comes pre-installed with a default theme called Genesis Theme that bundles together a set of useful starter plugins and a custom skin called bMenace. If you want, you can disable the Genesis Theme by removing it from the list in config.js, but if you want to keep using some of the plugins from the theme, feel free to add them individually to your config!

Installing Plugins

To install plugins, simply add the name as a string to the plugins array in ~/.bpanel/config.js. Make sure to match the name to the package name on npm (localPlugins can be used for plugins you are developing in the plugins/local directory). Once you save the file, bPanel will automatically install the plugins and rebuild.

For example:

// ~/.bpanel/config.js
export const localPlugins = ['my-local-plugin'];

export const plugins = ['@bpanel/genesis-theme', 'my-plugin'];

export default { localPlugins, plugins };

Note that if you have several plugins or themes being loaded, this can take around 30 seconds as npm install is run for you.

Discover all the plugins available by running npm search bpanel in your console.

Configuration

bPanel can be configured to connect to any bcoin-API compatible node you want to point it to, not just the docker container created by the default docker-compose.yml configurations.

Since bPanel just uses bclient to connect to and query nodes, all you need to do is pass the appropriate congifurations when starting up bPanel. This can be done via the command line, environment variables (prefaced with BPANEL_), or through a configuration file. Under the hood, bPanel uses the bcfg module to accomplish this. (Learn more about bcfg here)

bPanel looks for configuration files in your home directory in a .bpanel folder (~/.bpanel) by default but this can be changed by passing a prefix argument at runtime. Client configurations for connecting to different nodes are loaded from the clients directory, ~/.bpanel/clients/[CLIENT-ID].conf.

You can have as many different configurations as you want. bPanel will default to a default.conf configuration. To use different configurations, just pass in a client-id argument at runtime. e.g. npm start -- --client-id=test (or as an env variable BPANEL_CLIENT_ID=test) which will load configs from ~/.bpanel/clients/test.conf.

The clients directory can also be customized with the clients-dir argument.

A sample conf file for the clients can be found here.

Since node and wallet services are run on different servers, you will likely need different configurations to connect to the wallet. These should be in the same client conf file, prefaced with wallet- (note that bcoin looks for these in separate config files but for bPanel clients we keep them together). See the sample conf file for an example.

To directly serve bpanel over https without the reverse proxy, set the environment variables:

BPANEL_HTTPS=true
BPANEL_TLS_KEY=<path to key>
BPANEL_TLS_CERT=<path to cert>

Some plugins require being served over https, such as plugins that use hardware wallets. This is because WebUSB will not work by default on non https sites.

To generate a simple self signed certificate for development or local hosting, use the command:

$ openssl req -newkey rsa:2048 -nodes -sha512 -x509 -days 3650 -nodes -subj '/CN=localhost' -out selfsigned.crt -keyout selfsigned.key

Do not use this for production!

About the Docker Environment

The default configs in the standard docker-compose.yml file bring up three separate services:

  • securityc - TLS terminating reverse proxy
  • bpanel - bPanel routing + static file server (connecting to the regtest node)
  • bcoin - bcoin bitcoin node/wallet (running a regtest node)

(Some plugins require TLS to function properly e.g. for hardware signing support).

The bpanel service is an http server that acts as a static file server and as a request router to backend services as well as a webpack process for building your JavaScript files. The bcoin service is an instance of bcoin that supports an http server, a wallet + bmultisig server and a bitcoin p2p server.

The securityc service generates TLS keys and certs and runs a TLS terminating reverse proxy. You can use custom configs to connect to an existing node, or use the bcoin docker service to spin up a bcoin node that the webapp will connect to.

Learn more about the architecture of bPanel and related services at our website.

Configuration between Docker services

These instructions are for if you want to run bPanel within the bpanel service and have it talk to a bcoin node running in a container from the bcoin service. This is how, for example, bPanel works out of the box if you simply run docker-compose up -d.

Configurations are shared between the two docker containers using a shared docker volume called configs. Settings for the bcoin nodes in docker are set using environment variables, either in docker-compose.yml or an env file (by default in ./etc/regtest.bcoin.env but you can point to whichever and as many env files as you want using the env_file configuration in the bcoin service). The bcoin node is started with the bcoin-init.js script. During this process, API keys are generated and all required configurations are saved in a config file called _docker.conf in the shared volume.

Local bPanel Dev (non-docker) with bcoin docker service

If the configs volume is mounted and mapped to your host machine, you can connect a local version of bPanel to it by pointing the client-id config at _docker and it will use the appropriate configs.

For local development, you run just the bcoin docker container (docker-compose up -d bcoin) and then npm run start:dev -- --client-id=_docker (or npm run start:poll -- --client-id=_docker on Mac to enbable webpack's watch with filesystem polling) to run bPanel and its server from your local box.

Note that the --client-id argument tells bPanel which client config you want to use. _docker is the name of the config automatically created by the bcoin service.

If you are mounting a local bcoin data dir (~/.bcoin) or persisting using docker volumes, you can also pass settings to your bcoin docker container with a bcoin.conf file (read more about bcoin configurations here).

Bcoin Setup Scripts

(This section is only relevant if you will be running a bcoin node in a docker container using the bcoin service, or using the bcoin-init.js script to start a node.)

This setup supports setup scripts for your bcoin node. This will allow you to run scripts on your node for a repeatable and predictable environment for testing or development.

Three circumstances need to be met to run a script:

  1. There needs to be a js file to run in the scripts directory that exports a function
  2. You need to pass the name of this file (including the extension) as an environment variable named BCOIN_INIT_SCRIPT in the docker-compose or as a init-script setting in your bcoin.conf file
  3. There should be no walletdb in the container. This last requirement makes sure that a setup script doesn't overwrite your data if you're mapping volumes or if you restart a container.

These checks are done in bcoin-init.js which is run by the bpanel/bcoin image that is used to create the bcoin container and sets up a node based on the configs described above. Setup scripts are passed the bcoin node object that has been created so the scripts have access to the node being started at run time as well as the relevant configs.

Example setup scripts can be found in the /scripts directory (funded-dummy-wallets.js and setup-coinbase-address.js).

Persistent DBs

By default, the bcoin and wallet DBs persist in the bcoin docker volume. If you want docker to start bcoin with a fresh DB, comment out the bcoin volume in docker-compose.yml then run docker-compose up -d. Alternatively, you can also persist your bcoin data within the named bcoin volume or on the host machine.

Building local images

Uncomment the relevant build: sections in docker-compose.yml for the services you want to build, then run docker-compose build

Logging

By default, the bPanel server will log to your console and create a debug.log file in your prefix directory (defaults to ~/.bpanel). The logger can be configured via command line arguments, your config.js, environment variables (prefaced with BPANEL_). See Configuration for more on setting bPanel configurations.

bPanel uses the blgr module for logging. You can set custom values for level, file, console, and shrink. All but level are boolean (true/false). Available options for level are: none, error, warning, info, debug, and spam. See blgr for more info.

Extending bPanel

The bPanel UI is built entirely around plugins. All visual elements can be extended or overridden via the plugin system including the header, footer, sidebar, and main panel/view element. To get started making your own plugin, use the bPanel-cli

Server extensions

The simplest thing to do, is to create your own server file that includes server/index.js.

const bpanel = require('bpanel')({
  network: 'main' // Put bPanel configs here (optional)
});
const app = require('express')();
app.use(/* Put your own middleware here */);
app.use(bpanel.app);
app.listen(5000);

Troubleshooting & FAQ

Nodejs Memory

With the availability of the bcoin, bcash, and hsd libraries, the webpack build process requires an above average amount of memory available. To avoid JS Heap overflows, the npm scripts that run webpack (start, start:dev, and start:poll) pass an argument --max_old_space_size to increase the memory allocation. This can be adjusted as necessary.

NPM and NodeJS versions

There are some weird bugs in npm from early 2018 that would erase any modules installed from a GitHub repository when npm install is run a second time. If you are getting errors about missing packages, make sure you have the right versions:

  • npm >= 5.7.1
  • node >= 8.9.4
A note about the $PATH variable

Note that bPanel will actually do a check of your system's npm version and the process's version of node and will fail if these don't reach the minimum requirements. If you believe you have the right version of npm installed, make sure it is in the PATH environment variable.

You can check this by running:

$ which npm
# /usr/local/bin/npm

Make sure the returned path is included in the following return:

$ echo $PATH
# /usr/local/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/lib

Release Checklist

The following conditions must be tested before deploying a release. If any of the following circumstances causes a break, CHANGELOG should indicate a workaround or migration steps.

  • Pull most recent version of development branch into an existing environment
    • Try a simple restart of the server (npm run start)
    • Try with a fresh node_modules (i.e. rm -rf node_modules && npm i)
    • Try with a fresh configs (usually ~/.bpanel) directory (renaming existing one and running npm install will generate a fresh configs directory)
    • Install and uninstall new remote plugins using bpanel-cli
    • Install and uninstall new local plugins using bpanel-cli
  • Download zip of development branch from GitHub (this emulates downloading a release from the website). Test the following in a fresh environment (i.e. with no existing ~/.bpanel or other configs)
    • Run npm install and confirm it creates a new ~/.bpanel directory with configs/, configs.js, and local_plugins
    • Run docker-compose up and confirm after build is complete that bPanel is accessible at localhost:5000
    • Confirm fresh install comes with the correct default plugins
    • If docker-compose is set to mount config volume, confirm that installing and uninstalling plugins with bpanel-cli works as expected
    • Bring down docker (docker-compose down) and test on host machine: npm run start. This can be done against a docker node with the _docker.conf client config or by passing in a custom client-id at run time
  • Test environments above with some of the most common plugins: e.g. recent-blocks, simple-wallet, simple-miner, etc.
  • Bonus: check against different chain backends (e.g. handshake and bitcoin)

(Note that sometimes in order to check docker setup, you may have to build a new image from your local Dockerfile. If uncommenting the build lines in docker-compose, make sure to re-comment, before comitting the change).

Once the above has been confirmed, commit the latest state of development to master as a new release, tag it with a new version, and publish to npm. bPanel follows Semantic Versioning rules.

TODO: Setup CI to accomplish as much of the above as possible.

License

  • Copyright (c) 2018, The bPanel Devs (MIT License).
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