Hackernoon logoHands On: Creating Your Own Local Private Geth Node (Beginner Friendly) by@Niharika3297

Hands On: Creating Your Own Local Private Geth Node (Beginner Friendly)

Niharika Singh Hacker Noon profile picture

@Niharika3297Niharika Singh

If you’re new to the blockchain sphere and want to get a hands-on feel of this ground-breaking yet a-tad-bit arcane technology, this tutorial is for you.

This will be a comprehensive step-by-step tutorial for you to get started with Ethereum blockchain. So, don’t worry I will cover each and every step.

Source: https://tenor.com/

What will we build?

A local testnet Ethereum blockchain using Geth.

  • Local: This blockchain will be running only on your computer (formally, node) locally.
  • Testnet: This will not mine real Ethers. Only fake ones. It is perfect for testing dApps, or for just playing around.

Prerequisites

  1. MacOS
  2. Homebrew (Download link: https://brew.sh/)
  3. XCode (Get from AppStore)

Setting Up Development Environment

Step 0: Download Geth using Homebrew

Fire up your terminal and enter the following command. Make sure you already have Homebrew installed, otherwise this command will not work for you.

$ brew tap ethereum/ethereum

This command will clone Ethereum repo into your Library folder on Mac.

To install geth, run the following command:

$ brew install ethereum

Viola, geth is intalled.

Before going any further, let me clear what Geth is

geth is the the command line interface for running a full ethereum node implemented in Go. You can mine real ether (if you’re on mainnet), transfer funds between addresses, create smart contracts, make transactions, explore the chain, use Web3 etc.

To know more, see this resource:

Let’s get crackin’ baby!

Genesis Block, The Special Block

Every blockchain has a genesis block, that is the first block. Height of this block is 1. It does not hold any transactions. All later blocks get appended to this block.

You can view Ethereum’s mainnet genesis block here: https://etherscan.io/block/0

For our testnet, we have to create the genesis block.

Tool used to create genesis block: puppeth

Step 1: Create Genesis block

Make any directory in which you want to store your blockchain data.

$ mkdir -p ethereum-tutorial && cd ethereum-tutorial

Make a private folder inside this directory and cd into it.

$ mkdir -p private && cd private

Open up your terminal and write following command:

$ puppeth

Something like this should come up and you will be asked to specify a network name to administer. Enter the name of your blockchain. I used niharikatestnet. You can use any name.

A series of questions would be asked. Keep answering.

Finally, exit the puppeth interface by using control + c.

If you now read the contents in private folder you will see multiple files.

We’ll be interested in niharikatestnet.json

Step 2: Initialise the genesis block

It’s time to create chaindata and keystore for local blockchain. chaindatawill store all data related to blockchain and keystore will store private keys associated with accounts on the blockchain.

Using terminal enter the following command:

$ geth --datadir ~/ethereum-tutorial/private init niharikatestnet.json

Successfully wrote genesis state. Woohoo!

You should see chaindata and keystore folders.

Step 3: Creating accounts

We need to create accounts on this blockchain to play around with it.

$ geth --datadir . account new

For each account you create, you have to enter a password to access that account. Enter password of your choice.

You will get a unique address for the account.

Let’s create 2 more accounts using the same process.

So, to view all the accounts we have created:

$ geth --datadir . account list

Step 4: Write a Shell Script to Start Blockchain

In any text editor, create a file named startnode.sh in private folder.

geth --networkid 4224 --mine --minerthreads 1 --datadir "~/Desktop/Playground/ethereum-tutorial/private" --nodiscover --rpc --rpcport "8545" --port "30303" --rpccorsdomain "*" --nat "any" --rpcapi eth,web3,personal,net --unlock 0 --password ~/ethereum-tutorial/private/password.sec --ipcpath "~/Library/Ethereum/geth.ipc"

Make sure you write all of this in one line.

Create another file named password.sec in private folder.

Enter the password for the first account you created and save it.

To make this script executable, in your terminal write:

$ chmod +x startnode.sh

Execute this script:

$ ./startnode.sh

This will start a never-ending output. This is blockchain. Our blockchain has started.

Wait for all the DAGs to get generated. In the middle you may see mining taking place. This will put fake ethers in the first account.

Step 5: Connect to running geth

Let’s get connected with this geth node. On another tab in terminal, run the command.

$ geth attach

You will enter into the Geth Javascript console. Here, you can run JavaScript code.

This means you’ve successfully connected! Yay!

Source: https://tenor.com/

Step 6: Query the blockchain

Let’s see what all accounts are present on this blockchain.

> eth.accounts

This will show the 3 accounts we created earlier.

To get balance of the accounts:

> eth.getBalance(eth.accounts[0])

This will show balance in Wei. To convert this in Ether, do this:

> web3.fromWei(eth.getBalance(eth.accounts[0]), "ether")

Info: Stop Mining or Start Mining

If you wish to stop mining process:

$ miner.stop()

If you wish to start mining process:

$ miner.start()

Step 7: Make transactions

Let’s send some ethers from one account to another.

We will send ethereum from coinbase account (the account that is mining ethers) to any of the other 2 accounts.

> eth.sendTransaction({from: eth.coinbase, to: eth.accounts[1], value: web3.toWei(10, "ether")})

This will return transaction hash.

Now let’s get balance of 2nd account.

> web3.fromWei(eth.getBalance(eth.accounts[1]), "ether")

Now if you switch back to the tab where blockchain is running, you will see a transaction.

Since JavaScript is being executed on the Geth console, you can even deploy smart contracts on it.

This is the end to this tutorial. :)

Hope you had a smooth experience.

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