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Run a CKB Node

Running a CKB node not only contributes to the robustness and decentralized nature of the network, but also allows you to access data from the blockchain without any third party, which in turn increases your security.

To run a node, you need to use the command line. If you have never used it before, you may refer to how to use the command line tool to get started on your computer. Although it may seem complicated at first, it is quite simple and following the specific instructions below should allow you to easily run a CKB mainnet node.

Run a CKB Mainnet Node

Step 1: Download the latest CKB binary file from CKB releases page on GitHub

Step 2: Unzip and extract the downloaded file to an easily accessible folder. We recommend C:\ckb for Windows and ~/Documents for Mac.

Step 3: Open Terminal on Mac or Command Prompt on Windows.

  • Mac:

You can open Terminal in two ways: either go to the Applications folder, then open Utilities and double-click on Terminal, or launch Spotlight search by pressing Command - Spacebar or Control -Spacebar, then type "Terminal" and double-click on the search result. The subsequent steps will be executed in Terminal.

  • Windows:

(If you are familiar with command line in Windows, you can skip this step and open cmd or Power Shell instead.)

Download and install Git for Windows, once the installation is complete, open the Command Prompt.

In the Command Prompt window, type the following git command and press Enter:

git --version

This verify Git commands are available and its current version (--version)

Step 4:Copy and paste the commands below into the Terminal (Mac) or Command Prompt (Windows):

Note: make sure to edit the commands according to your folder names and directory.

  • Mac
cd /Users/(NAME)/Documents/ckb_v0.32.1_x86_64-apple-darwin
./ckb --version
./ckb-cli --version

Note: If you encounter the error: “ckb” cannot be opened because the developer cannot be verified. You can temporarily override your Mac security settings to open it. Go to System Settings and click on Privacy & Security.

  • Windows
cd C:/ckb_v0.32.1_x86_64-pc-windows-msvc 
ckb --version
ckb-cli --version
(click here to view response)

ckb 0.32.1 (9ebc9ce 2020-05-29)
ckb-cli 0.32.0 (0fc435d 2020-05-22)

Step 5: To run the CKB mainnet node, copy and paste the commands below into Terminal (Mac) / Command Prompt (Windows):

  • Initialize the node (run only once)
ckb init --chain mainnet
(click here to view response)

WARN: mining feature is disabled because of lacking the block assembler config options
Initialized CKB directory in /PATH/ckb_v0.32.1_x86_64-apple-darwin
create ckb.toml
create ckb-miner.toml

** Start the node.

ckb run
(click here to view response)

2020-06-05 18:10:19.785 +08:00 main INFO sentry sentry is disabled
2020-06-05 18:10:19.869 +08:00 main INFO main Miner is disabled, edit ckb.toml to enable it
2020-06-05 18:10:19.942 +08:00 main INFO ckb-memory-tracker track current process: unsupported
2020-06-05 18:10:19.942 +08:00 main INFO main ckb version: 0.32.1 (9ebc9ce 2020-05-29)
2020-06-05 18:10:19.942 +08:00 main INFO main chain genesis hash: 0x92b197aa1fba0f63633922c61c92375c9c074a93e85963554f5499fe1450d0e5
2020-06-05 18:10:19.944 +08:00 NetworkRuntime INFO ckb-network p2p service event: ListenStarted { address: "/ip4/" }
2020-06-05 18:10:19.946 +08:00 NetworkRuntime INFO ckb-network Listen on address: /ip4/
2020-06-05 18:10:19.951 +08:00 main INFO ckb-db Initialize a new database
2020-06-05 18:10:19.983 +08:00 main INFO ckb-db Init database version 20191201091330
2020-06-05 18:10:20.146 +08:00 NetworkRuntime INFO ckb-relay RelayProtocol(1).connected peer=SessionId(1)
2020-06-05 18:10:20.146 +08:00 NetworkRuntime INFO ckb-sync SyncProtocol.connected peer=SessionId(1)
2020-06-05 18:10:20.451 +08:00 NetworkRuntime INFO ckb-sync Ignoring getheaders from peer=SessionId(1) because node is in initial block download
2020-06-05 18:10:20.749 +08:00 ChainService INFO ckb-chain block: 1, hash: 0x2567f226c73b04a6cb3ef04b3bb10ab99f37850794cd9569be7de00bac4db875, epoch: 0(1/1743), total_diff: 0x3b1bb3d4c1376a, txs:1

Run a Public RPC Node

CKB nodes have built-in RPC functionality, which becomes available as soon as the node is started.

RPC is private by default. Exposing RPC through the rpc.listen_address configuration option allows arbitrary machines to access the JSON-RPC port, posing a security risk. Therefore, it is strongly discouraged.

However, if you have to expose them, make sure to strictly limit the access to trusted machines only, by following the method below.

RPC Access Control

Here is an example to use Nginx API Gateway to configure the RPC access control. Explore more solutions or submit new ones using the GitHub tag ckb-rpc-proxy.

Step 1: Install Docker-Compose and Docker

apt install docker-compose
apt install docker

Step 2: Clone Code

git clone

Step 3: Replace Default Value With Your CKB RPC Address

cd ckb-nginx-proxy

sed -i "s/YOUR_CKR_RPC_IP:8114/" nginx.conf

Step 4: Run Proxy

docker-compose up -d


Get tip block hash and number:

echo '{
"id": 2,
"jsonrpc": "2.0",
"method": "get_tip_header",
"params": []
}' \
| tr -d '\n' \
| curl -H 'content-type: application/json' -d @- \

// Note that needs to be changed to your proxy IP!


"jsonrpc": "2.0",
"result": {
"compact_target": "0x1d090fbe",
"dao": "0xba17553fab3db84154bc4aa9f09b2600e826a2b0df99010400ed51b4686b5808",
"epoch": "0x7080687001539",
"extra_hash": "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000",
"hash": "0x7a46e779a3fc2d5b55c82aad852e721b0097bf873927b9751409b1d185599ce4",
"nonce": "0xd265e70dfd205dbbed33b29294121856",
"number": "0x7037f2",
"parent_hash": "0x3d105fe9ec60f138baa6623abd16af70ba1be90ad23d1943bcaa55d5f14fcb6f",
"proposals_hash": "0x2581d1769886226a8c90ee99baf2d8696e24c7f6bb6751748ff8b4452f8006e5",
"timestamp": "0x1847a2bfad2",
"transactions_root": "0x28157a5962c4ae1d3e153b1d8d331e5fd3c158866287f5398ab7f7d38210dfb0",
"version": "0x0"
"id": 2

Execute clear_tx_pool:

echo '{
"id": 2,
"jsonrpc": "2.0",
"method": "clear_tx_pool",
"params": []
}' | tr -d '\n' | curl -H 'content-type: application/json' -d @- \


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