Deploy a Testnet

Now that we’ve seen how ABCI works, and even played with a few applications on a single validator node, it’s time to deploy a test network to four validator nodes. For this deployment, we’ll use the basecoin application.

Manual Deployments

It’s relatively easy to setup a Tendermint cluster manually. The only requirements for a particular Tendermint node are a private key for the validator, stored as priv_validator.json, a node key, stored as node_key.json and a list of the public keys of all validators, stored as genesis.json. These files should be stored in ~/.tendermint/config, or wherever the $TMHOME variable might be set to.

Here are the steps to setting up a testnet manually:

  1. Provision nodes on your cloud provider of choice
  2. Install Tendermint and the application of interest on all nodes
  3. Generate a private key and a node key for each validator using tendermint init
  4. Compile a list of public keys for each validator into a genesis.json file and replace the existing file with it.
  5. Run tendermint node --p2p.persistent_peers=< peer addresses > on each node, where < peer addresses > is a comma separated list of the IP:PORT combination for each node. The default port for Tendermint is 46656. Thus, if the IP addresses of your nodes were,,,, the command would look like: tendermint node --p2p.persistent_peers=96663a3dd0d7b9d17d4c8211b191af259621c693@, 429fcf25974313b95673f58d77eacdd434402665@, 0491d373a8e0fcf1023aaf18c51d6a1d0d4f31bd@, f9baeaa15fedf5e1ef7448dd60f46c01f1a9e9c4@

After a few seconds, all the nodes should connect to each other and start making blocks! For more information, see the Tendermint Networks section of the guide to using Tendermint.

Automated Deployments

While the manual deployment is easy enough, an automated deployment is usually quicker. The below examples show different tools that can be used for automated deployments.

Automated Deployment using Kubernetes

The mintnet-kubernetes tool allows automating the deployment of a Tendermint network on an already provisioned Kubernetes cluster. For simple provisioning of a Kubernetes cluster, check out the Google Cloud Platform.

Automated Deployment using Terraform and Ansible

The terraform-digitalocean tool allows creating a set of servers on the DigitalOcean cloud.

The ansible playbooks allow creating and managing a basecoin or ethermint testnet on provisioned servers.

Package Deployment on Linux for developers

The tendermint and basecoin applications can be installed from RPM or DEB packages on Linux machines for development purposes. The packages are configured to be validators on the one-node network that the machine represents. The services are not started after installation, this way giving an opportunity to reconfigure the applications before starting.

The Ansible playbooks in the previous section use this repository to install basecoin. After installation, additional steps are executed to make sure that the multi-node testnet has the right configuration before start.

Install from the CentOS/RedHat repository:

rpm --import
wget -O /etc/yum.repos.d/tendermint.repo
yum install basecoin

Install from the Debian/Ubuntu repository:

wget -O - | apt-key add -
wget -O /etc/apt/sources.list.d/tendermint.list
apt-get update && apt-get install basecoin