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Run an Ethereum node (Geth or Openethereum) for development


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ethnode, run an Ethereum node for test and development

ethnode is a zero configuration tool to run a local Ethereum node. It supports both Openethereum and Geth.

Try it out:

npm install -g ethnode

Or docker:

docker run -it

ethnode automatically:

  • downloads the latest stable version of geth or openethereum
  • configures geth or openethereum to run in a single node network using the clique (Geth) or InstantSeal (Openethereum) consensus engine (transactions are processed instantly)
  • provides 10 unlocked accounts with 100ETH each
  • enables all RPC endpoints (personal, db, eth, net, web3, debug and more)
  • allows CORS from any domain (so you can use it with remix)

By default ethnode runs geth. If you want to run openethereum type ethnode openethereum.


Start ethnode and store the data in a specific directory

Every time you run ethnode, it creates a new temporary directory to store the data. If you want to persist the data in a specific directory use:

ethnode --workdir=mydata

Start ethnode and allocate 100ETH to one or more target addresses

Sometimes you want to allocate Ether to some specific addresses (maybe some other accounts you have on MetaMask). This is an alternative approach to import a private key to your MetaMask extension.

ethnode --allocate=0xad7b5e515e557b2dc4d0625d206394b502412003,0xecdd5b467e38731bfad4bd75faa45c7d58e41b49

Start ethnode to run some tests and then exit

This is quite handy if you want to have a precommit hook that runs tests before committing, or if you want to integrate with a continuous integration system like travis.

ethnode --execute="truffle test"



Why not just running openethereum --config dev?

Openethereum has a nice feature to run it as a private development chain (aka test RPC).

While testing it, I run into some problems, like:

  • address management
  • outdated genesis file
  • the default configuration (--config dev) doesn't:
    • open up CORS
    • unlock the test keys

Why not just running geth --dev?

More or less for the same reasons mentioned above.

Why not ganache-cli?

Ganache sometimes is not enough.