Official Go language implementation of the Webchain daemon.
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Official Go language implementation of the Webchain daemon.


🚀 From a release binary

The simplest way to get started running a node is to visit our Releases page and download a zipped executable binary (matching your operating system, of course), then moving the unzipped file webchaind to somewhere in your $PATH. Now you should be able to open a terminal and run $ webchaind help to make sure it's working.

🔨 Building the source

If your heart is set on the bleeding edge, install from source. However, please be advised that you may encounter some strange things, and we can't prioritize support beyond the release versions. Recommended for developers only.


Building webchaind requires both Go >=1.9 and a C compiler. On Linux systems, a C compiler can, for example, by installed with sudo apt-get install build-essential. On Mac: xcode-select --install.

Get source and dependencies

`$ go get -v`

Install and build command executables

Executables installed from source will, by default, be installed in $GOPATH/bin/.

With go:
  • the full suite of utilities:
$ go install`
  • just webchaind:
$ go install`
With make:
$ cd $GOPATH/src/
  • the full suite of utilities:
$ make install
  • just webchaind:
$ make install_webchaind

For further make information, use make help to see a list and description of available make commands.

Building a specific release

All the above commands results with building binaries from HEAD. To use a specific release/tag, use the following before installing:

$ go get -d
$ cd $GOPATH/src/
$ git checkout <TAG OR REVISION>
# Use a go or make command above.
Using a release source code tarball

Because of strict Go directory structure, the tarball needs to be extracted into the proper subdirectory under $GOPATH. The following commands are an example of building the v0.1.0 release:

$ mkdir -p $GOPATH/src/
$ cd $GOPATH/src/
$ tar xzf /path/to/v0.1.0.tar.gz
$ cd webchaind
# Use a go or make command above.


This repository includes several wrappers/executables found in the cmd directory.

Command Description
webchaind The main Webchain CLI client. It is the entry point into the Webchain 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 Webchain network via JSON RPC endpoints exposed on top of HTTP, WebSocket and/or IPC transports.
abigen Source code generator to convert Webchain 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.
bootnode Stripped down version of our Webchain 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.
disasm Bytecode disassembler to convert EVM (Ethereum Virtual Machine) bytecode into more user friendly assembly-like opcodes (e.g. `echo "6001"
evm 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 insolated, fine graned debugging of EVM opcodes (e.g. evm --code 60ff60ff --debug).
rlpdump Developer utility tool to convert binary RLP (Recursive Length Prefix) dumps (data encoding used by the Webchain protocol both network as well as consensus wise) to user friendlier hierarchical representation (e.g. rlpdump --hex CE0183FFFFFFC4C304050583616263).

📗 Webchaind: the basics

Data directory

By default, webchaind will store all node and blockchain data in a parent directory depending on your OS:

  • Linux: $HOME/.webchain/
  • Mac: $HOME/Library/Webchain/
  • Windows: $HOME/AppData/Roaming/Webchain/

You can specify this directory with --data-dir=$HOME/id/rather/put/it/here.

Within this parent directory, webchaind will use a /subdirectory to hold data for each network you run. The defaults are:

  • /mainnet for the Mainnet
  • /morden for the Morden Testnet

You can specify this subdirectory with --chain=mycustomnet.

Full node on the main Webchain network

$ webchaind

It's that easy! This will establish an WEB blockchain node and download ("sync") the full blocks for the entirety of the WEB blockchain. However, before you go ahead with plain ol' webchaind, we would encourage reviewing the following section...

🚤 --fast

The most common scenario is users wanting to simply interact with the Webchain network: create accounts; transfer funds; deploy and interact with contracts, and mine. For this particular use-case the user doesn't care about years-old historical data, so we can fast-sync to the current state of the network. To do so:

$ webchaind --fast

Using webchaind in fast sync mode causes it to download only block state data -- leaving out bulky transaction records -- which avoids a lot of CPU and memory intensive processing.

Fast sync will be automatically disabled (and full sync enabled) when:

  • your chain database contains any full blocks
  • your node has synced up to the current head of the network blockchain

In case of using --mine together with --fast, webchaind will operate as described; syncing in fast mode up to the head, and then begin mining once it has synced its first full block at the head of the chain.

Note: To further increase webchaind performace, you can use a --cache=2054 flag to bump the memory allowance of the database (e.g. 2054MB) which can significantly improve sync times, especially for HDD users. This flag is optional and you can set it as high or as low as you'd like, though we'd recommend the 1GB - 2GB range.

Create or manage account(s)

Webchaind is able to create, import, update, unlock, and otherwise manage your private (encrypted) key files. Key files are in JSON format and, by default, stored in the respective chain folder's /keystore directory; you can specify a custom location with the --keystore flag.

$ webchaind account new

This command will create a new account and prompt you to enter a passphrase to protect your account. It will return output similar to:

Address: {52a8029355231d78099667a95d5875fab0d4fc4d}

So your address is: 0x52a8029355231d78099667a95d5875fab0d4fc4d

Other account subcommands include:


        list    print account addresses
        new     create a new account
        update  update an existing account
        import  import a private key into a new account

Learn more at the Accounts Wiki Page. If you're interested in using webchaind to manage a lot (~100,000+) of accounts, please visit the Indexing Accounts Wiki page.

Fast synchronisation

Webchaind syncs with the network automatically after start. However, this method is very slow. Alternatively, you can download blockchain file here: and import it by executing:

$ webchaind --fakepow import <path where you downloaded the blockchain>/blockchain.raw

Interact with the Javascript console

$ webchaind console

This command will start up webchaind built-in interactive JavaScript console, through which you can invoke all official web3 methods as well as webchaind own management APIs. This too is optional and if you leave it out you can always attach to an already running webchaind instance with webchaind attach.

Learn more at the Javascript Console Wiki page.

And so much more!

For a comprehensive list of command line options, please consult our CLI Wiki page.

📙 Webchaind: developing and advanced useage

Morden Testnet

If you'd like to play around with creating Webchain 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-Ether only.

$ webchaind --chain=morden --fast console

The --fast flag and 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.

Specifying the --chain=morden flag will reconfigure your webchaind instance a bit:

  • As mentioned above, webchaind will host its testnet data in a morden subfolder (~/.webchain/morden).
  • Instead of connecting the main Webchain network, the client will connect to the test network, which uses different P2P bootnodes, different network IDs and genesis states.

You may also optionally use --testnet or --chain=testnet to enable this configuration.

Note: Although there are some internal protective measures to prevent transactions from crossing over between the main network and test network (different starting nonces), you should make sure to always use separate accounts for play-money and real-money. Unless you manually move accounts, webchaind will by default correctly separate the two networks and will not make any accounts available between them.

Programatically interfacing webchaind nodes

As a developer, sooner rather than later you'll want to start interacting with webchaind and the Webchain network via your own programs and not manually through the console. To aid this, webchaind has built in support for a JSON-RPC based APIs (standard APIs and Webchaind specific APIs). These can be exposed via HTTP, WebSockets and IPC (unix sockets on unix based platroms, and named pipes on Windows).

The IPC interface is enabled by default and exposes all the APIs supported by webchaind, 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:

  • --rpc Enable the HTTP-RPC server
  • --rpc-addr HTTP-RPC server listening interface (default: "localhost")
  • --rpc-port HTTP-RPC server listening port (default: 8545)
  • --rpc-api API's offered over the HTTP-RPC interface (default: "eth,net,web3")
  • --rpc-cors-domain Comma separated list of domains from which to accept cross origin requests (browser enforced)
  • --ws Enable the WS-RPC server
  • --ws-addr WS-RPC server listening interface (default: "localhost")
  • --ws-port WS-RPC server listening port (default: 8546)
  • --ws-api API's offered over the WS-RPC interface (default: "eth,net,web3")
  • --ws-origins Origins from which to accept websockets requests
  • --ipc-disable Disable the IPC-RPC server
  • --ipc-api API's offered over the IPC-RPC interface (default: "admin,debug,eth,miner,net,personal,shh,txpool,web3")
  • --ipc-path Filename 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 webchaind 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 Webchain nodes with exposed APIs! Further, all browser tabs can access locally running webservers, so malicious webpages could try to subvert locally available APIs!*


Thank you for considering to help out with the source code!

The core values of democratic engagement, transparency, and integrity run deep with us. We welcome contributions from everyone, and are grateful for even the smallest of fixes. 👏

If you'd like to contribute to webchaind, please fork, fix, commit and send a pull request for the maintainers to review and merge into the main code base.

Please see the Wiki for more details on configuring your environment, managing project dependencies, and testing procedures.


The webchaind 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 COPYING.LESSER file.

The webchaind 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 COPYING file.