Official golang implementation of the GoChain protocol.
If you are looking to build DApps, deploy smart contracts, setup a private network or run a node, please see our Documentation Repository, it will be much more useful to you.
If you plan on working on the GoChain core code, then read on.
Building the source
Building gochain requires both a Go (version 1.9 or later) and a C compiler. You can install them using your favourite package manager. Once the dependencies are installed, run:
# build gochain make gochain
or, to build the full suite of utilities:
The GoChain project comes with several wrappers/executables found in the
||Our main GoChain CLI client. It is the entry point into the GoChain network (main-, test- or private net), capable of running as a full node (default) archive node (retaining all historical state) or a light node (retrieving data live). It can be used by other processes as a gateway into the GoChain network via JSON RPC endpoints exposed on top of HTTP, WebSocket and/or IPC transports.
||Source code generator to convert GoChain contract definitions into easy to use, compile-time type-safe Go packages. It operates on plain Ethereum contract ABIs with expanded functionality if the contract bytecode is also available. However it also accepts Solidity source files, making development much more streamlined. Please see our Native DApps wiki page for details.|
||Stripped down version of our GoChain client implementation that only takes part in the network node discovery protocol, but does not run any of the higher level application protocols. It can be used as a lightweight bootstrap node to aid in finding peers in private networks.|
||Developer utility version of the EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) that is capable of running bytecode snippets within a configurable environment and execution mode. Its purpose is to allow isolated, fine-grained debugging of EVM opcodes (e.g.
||Developer utility tool to support our ethereum/rpc-test test suite which validates baseline conformity to the Ethereum JSON RPC specs. Please see the test suite's readme for details.|
||Developer utility tool to convert binary RLP (Recursive Length Prefix) dumps (data encoding used by the Ethereum protocol both network as well as consensus wise) to user friendlier hierarchical representation (e.g.
||swarm daemon and tools. This is the entrypoint for the swarm network.
Full node on the main GoChain network
By far the most common scenario is people wanting to simply interact with the GoChain network: create accounts; transfer funds; deploy and interact with contracts. For this particular use-case the user doesn't care about years-old historical data, so we can fast-sync quickly to the current state of the network. To do so:
$ gochain console
This command will:
- Start GoChain in fast sync mode (default, can be changed with the
--syncmodeflag), causing it to download more data in exchange for avoiding processing the entire history of the GoChain network, which is very CPU intensive.
(via the trailing
consolesubcommand) through which you can invoke all official
web3methods as well as GoChain's own management APIs. This too is optional and if you leave it out you can always attach to an already running GoChain instance with
Full node on the GoChain test network
Transitioning towards developers, if you'd like to play around with creating GoChain contracts, you almost certainly would like to do that without any real money involved until you get the hang of the entire system. In other words, instead of attaching to the main network, you want to join the test network with your node, which is fully equivalent to the main network, but with play-GOC only.
$ gochain --testnet console
console subcommand have the exact same meaning as above and they are equally useful on the
testnet too. Please see above for their explanations if you've skipped to here.
--testnet flag however will reconfigure your GoChain instance a bit:
- Instead of using the default data directory (
~/.gochainon Linux for example), GoChain will nest itself one level deeper into a
~/.gochain/testneton Linux). Note, on OSX and Linux this also means that attaching to a running testnet node requires the use of a custom endpoint since
gochain attachwill try to attach to a production node endpoint by default. E.g.
gochain attach <datadir>/testnet/gochain.ipc. Windows users are not affected by this.
- Instead of connecting the main GoChain network, the client will connect to the test network, which uses different P2P bootnodes, different network IDs and genesis states.
Note: Although there are some internal protective measures to prevent transactions from crossing over between the main network and test network, you should make sure to always use separate accounts for play-money and real-money. Unless you manually move accounts, GoChain will by default correctly separate the two networks and will not make any accounts available between them.
As an alternative to passing the numerous flags to the
gochain binary, you can also pass a configuration file via:
$ gochain --config /path/to/your_config.toml
To get an idea how the file should look like you can use the
dumpconfig subcommand to export your existing configuration:
$ gochain --your-favourite-flags dumpconfig
Docker quick start
One of the quickest ways to get GoChain up and running on your machine is by using Docker:
docker run -d --name gochain-node -v /Users/alice/GoChain:/root \ -p 8545:8545 -p 30303:30303 \ gochain-io/gochain
This will start GoChain in fast-sync mode with a DB memory allowance of 1GB just as the above command does. It will also create a persistent volume in your home directory for saving your blockchain as well as map the default ports.
Do not forget
--rpcaddr 0.0.0.0, if you want to access RPC from other containers and/or hosts. By default,
gochain binds to the local interface and RPC endpoints is not accessible from the outside.
Programatically interfacing GoChain nodes
As a developer, sooner rather than later you'll want to start interacting with GoChain network via your own programs and not manually through the console. To aid this, GoChain has built in support for a JSON-RPC based APIs (standard APIs and GoChain specific APIs). These can be exposed via HTTP, WebSockets and IPC (unix sockets on unix based platforms, and named pipes on Windows).
The IPC interface is enabled by default and exposes all the APIs supported by GoChain, whereas the HTTP and WS interfaces need to manually be enabled and only expose a subset of APIs due to security reasons. These can be turned on/off and configured as you'd expect.
HTTP based JSON-RPC API options:
--rpcEnable the HTTP-RPC server
--rpcaddrHTTP-RPC server listening interface (default: "localhost")
--rpcportHTTP-RPC server listening port (default: 8545)
--rpcapiAPI's offered over the HTTP-RPC interface (default: "eth,net,web3")
--rpccorsdomainComma separated list of domains from which to accept cross origin requests (browser enforced)
--wsEnable the WS-RPC server
--wsaddrWS-RPC server listening interface (default: "localhost")
--wsportWS-RPC server listening port (default: 8546)
--wsapiAPI's offered over the WS-RPC interface (default: "eth,net,web3")
--wsoriginsOrigins from which to accept websockets requests
--ipcdisableDisable the IPC-RPC server
--ipcapiAPI's offered over the IPC-RPC interface (default: "admin,debug,eth,miner,net,personal,shh,txpool,web3")
--ipcpathFilename for IPC socket/pipe within the datadir (explicit paths escape it)
You'll need to use your own programming environments' capabilities (libraries, tools, etc) to connect via HTTP, WS or IPC to a GoChain node configured with the above flags and you'll need to speak JSON-RPC on all transports. You can reuse the same connection for multiple requests!
Note: Please understand the security implications of opening up an HTTP/WS based transport before doing so! Hackers on the internet are actively trying to subvert GoChain nodes with exposed APIs! Further, all browser tabs can access locally running webservers, so malicious webpages could try to subvert locally available APIs!
Operating a private network
Thank you for considering to help out with the source code! We welcome contributions from anyone on the internet, and are grateful for even the smallest of fixes!
If you'd like to contribute to GoChain, please fork, fix, commit and send a pull request for the maintainers to review and merge into the main code base.
Please make sure your contributions adhere to our coding guidelines:
- Code must adhere to the official Go formatting guidelines (i.e. uses gofmt).
- Code must be documented adhering to the official Go commentary guidelines.
- Pull requests need to be based on and opened against the
- Commit messages should be prefixed with the package(s) they modify.
- E.g. "gochain, rpc: make trace configs optional"
The gochain library (i.e. all code outside of the
cmd directory) is licensed under the
GNU Lesser General Public License v3.0, also
included in our repository in the
The gochain binaries (i.e. all code inside of the
cmd directory) is licensed under the
GNU General Public License v3.0, also included
in our repository in the