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Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Table of Contents
Introduction 0
Creating a Private Chain/Testnet 1
Giant Ethereum Resource List 2
Proof-of-Stake Resources 2.1
DEVcon Resources 2.2

Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

I will be posting some information and tips I have learned about setting up and building with
Ethereum. Everyone is welcome to contribute to this Wiki.

Send any additions/corrections to me at hudson@hudsonjameson.com or find me on Reddit

or on Gitter.

For fast help, find an Ethereum room on Gitter that applies to your problem or private
message me on Gitter.

Introduction 3
Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Creating a Private Chain/Testnet

This guide is here to help you set-up a private blockchain in Ethereum using Geth.

Information that helped me compile this guide:

Tasha at Tech Lab has an excellent write up on the Ethereum genesis block and creating
a private test network. Please go there for more detailed information about custom genesis
blocks and what some of the lines in a custom genesis block mean.

Ade Duke also has a great private Ethereum chain guide that helped me write this article.

What is Geth?
Geth is the CLI Ethereum client that runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux platforms. Geth is
widely used to interact with Ethereum networks.

Creating a Private Ethereum Chain

Ethereum software enables a user to set up a "private" or "testnet" Ethereum chain that is
separate from the main Ethereum chain. This is useful for testing distributed apps built on
Ethereum without having to expose your apps or trials to the real Ethereum network using
real Ether. You either pre-generate or mine your own Ether on your private Ethereum chain,
so it is a much more cost effective way of trying out Ethereum. What are the components
that tell Geth that we want to use/create a private Ethereum chain? The things that dictate a
private Ethereum chain are:

Custom Genesis File

Custom Data Directory
Custom NetworkID
(Recommended) Disable Node Discovery

The Genesis File

The Genesis block is the start block of the Blockchain - the first block, block 0, and the only
block that does not point to a predecessor block. the genesis block is hard coded into
clients, but in Ethereum it can be whatever you like. This gives us lots of options to create a

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Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

customized, private blockchains based on our needs. Ethereum's consensus algorithm

ensures that no other node will agree with your version of the blockchain unless they have
the same genesis block.


"nonce": "0x0000000000000042",
"timestamp": "0x0",
"parentHash": "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000",
"extraData": "0x0",
"gasLimit": "0x8000000",
"difficulty": "0x400",
"mixhash": "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000",
"coinbase": "0x3333333333333333333333333333333333333333",
"alloc": {

Save a file called CustomGenesis.json (or whatever you want to call it). You will reference
this when starting your geth node using the flag:
--genesis CustomGenesis.json

Note: The above flag may need to be changed depending on where you saved the JSON

Flags For Your Private Network

There are some command line options (also called "flags") that are necessary in order to
make sure that your network is private.


Use this to make sure that your node is not discoverable by people who do not manually add
you. Otherwise, there is a chance that your node may be inadvertently added to a stranger's
node if they have the same genesis file and network id.

--maxpeers 0

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Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Use maxpeers 0 if you do not want anyone else connecting to your test chain. Alternatively,
you can adjust this number if you know exactly how many peers you want connecting to your
private chain.


This will enable RPC interface on your node. This is generally enabled by default in Geth.
--rpcapi "db,eth,net,web3"

This dictates what APIs that are allowed to be accessed over RPC. By default, Geth enables
the web3 interface over RPC.

IMPORTANT: Please note that offering an API over the RPC/IPC interface will give
everyone access to the API who can access this interface (e.g. DApp's). Be careful
which API's you enable. By default geth enables all API's over the ipc interface and
only the db,eth,net and web3 API's over the RPC interface.
--rpcport "8080"

Change 8000 to any port that is open on your network. The default for geth is 8080 and
althzero is 8545.
--rpccorsdomain "*"

This dictates what URLs can connect to your node in order to perform RPC client tasks. Be
very careful with this and when possible, put a specific URL rather than the wildcard (*)
which allows any URL to connect to your RPC instance. Since this is a private chain that will
not hold real Ether, I usually put a wildcard so I can use sites such as Browser Solidity or
DApps like Notareth. When you build DApps outside of Mist or Alethzero, you will need to
connect your website to an Ethereum node.

--datadir "/home/HudsonChain1"

This is the data directory that your private chain data will be stored in. Choose a location that
is separate from the public Ethereum chain folder.

--port "30303"

This is the "network listening port", which you will use to connect with other peers manually.
--nat "any"

I use the NAT any setting, but this will be dependent on your network configuration.

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Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

--identity "HudsonMainNode" This will set up an identity for your node so it can be identified
more easily in a list of peers. Here is an example of how these identities show up on the

Notice the lines with "HudsonMainNode" and "Hudson2ndNode"

Putting it All Together

You will need to start your geth instance with your custom chain command every time you
want to access your custom chain. If you just type geth in your console, it will not
remember all of the flags you have set.

After you have created your custom genesis block JSON file and created a directory for your
chain to go into, type the following command into your console that has access to geth:
geth --identity "MyNodeName" --genesis CustomGenesis.json --rpc --rpcport "8000" --
rpccorsdomain "*" --datadir "C:\chains\VPSChain" --port "30303" --nodiscover --ipcapi
"admin,db,eth,debug,miner,net,shh,txpool,personal,web3" --rpcapi "db,eth,net,web3" --
autodag --networkid 1900 --nat "any" console

Note: Please change the flags to match your custom settings.

You will need to start your geth instance with your custom chain command every time you
want to access your custom chain. If you just type "geth" in your console, it will not
remember all of the flags you have set. Different operating systems have ways to make this
easier. Most allow you to make a shortcut file that will automatically open a console window
and run commands that you specify. On Windows systems, look up how to create a .bat or
.cmd file that runs the commands you require. On Linux/Unix/Mac systems, look up .sh files.

Running Geth from 2+ Consoles

There is a --verbosity flag that will allow you to decide how much of the inner working of
Geth are shown when youa re running Geth in your console.

In Geth it is defined as:

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Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Logging verbosity: 0-6 (0=silent, 1=error, 2=warn, 3=info, 4=core, 5=debug, 6=debug

It can be compared to a log-level flag that you may find on other programs. If is possible to
have 2 console windows open with different levels log levels. I do this because if I have my
miner running on my first console window, it will sometimes be spitting out log details too fast
for me to type commands cleanly. Once you have your first geth instance open, open
another console/terminal and type the following:
geth attach

This will connect your 2nd console to the Geth instane on your first console. If you'd like to
attach a remote console to a Geth instance using either the IPC or RPC interface, see this
article in the Ethereum wiki.

Pre-Allocating Ether to Your Account

A difficulty of 0x400 allows you to mine Ether very quickly on your private testnet chain. If
you create your chain and start mining, you should have hundreds of Ether in a matter of
minutes which is way more than enough to test transactions on your network. If you would
still like to pre-allocate Ether to your account, you will need to:

1. Create a new Ethereum account after you create your private chain
2. Copy your new account address
3. Add the following command to your Custom_Genesis.json file:

"<your account address e.g. 0x1fb891f92eb557f4d688463d0d7c560552263b5a>":
{ "balance": "20000000000000000000" }

Note: Replace 0x1fb891f92eb557f4d688463d0d7c560552263b5a with your account address.

Save your genesis file and re-run your private chain command. Once geth is fully loaded,
close Geth.

We want to assign an address as primary and check its balance.

Run the command geth account list in your console to see what account # your new
address was assigned.

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Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

> geth account list

Account #0: {d1ade25ccd3d550a7eb532ac759cac7be09c2719}
Account #1: {da65665fc30803cb1fb7e6d86691e20b1826dee0}
Account #2: {e470b1a7d2c9c5c6f03bbaa8fa20db6d404a0c32}
Account #3: {f4dd5c3794f1fd0cdc0327a83aa472609c806e99}

Take note of which account # is the one that you pre-allocated Ether to.

> primary = eth.accounts[0];

Note: Replace 0 with your accounts number. This console command should return your
primary Ethereum address.

Type the following command:

> balance = web3.fromWei(eth.getBalance(primary), "ether");

This should return you 20 Ether in your account. The reason we had to put such a large
number in the alloc section of your genesis file is because the balance field takes a number
in wei which is the smallest sub-unit of Ether.

Set Up Static Nodes

Geth supports a feature called static nodes if you have certain peers you always want to
connect to. Static nodes are re-connected on disconnects. You can configure permanent
static nodes by putting something like the following into <datadir>/static-nodes.json (this
should be the same folder that the chaindata and keystore folders are in)


You can also add static nodes at runtime via the Javascript console using admin.addPeer()

> admin.addPeer("enode://f4642fa65af50cfdea8fa7414a5def7bb7991478b768e296f5e4a54e8b995de102e0ceae2e82

See this page for more information

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Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Running Your Node in The Background

If you are putting your node on an external server like AWS, DigitalOcean, or another VPS,
you may want to put your geth process in the background so Geth doesn't shut down once
you close your console window. There are many ways to do this. My reccomendation is
NoHUP when your node is run on a Linux/Unix instance such as an Ubuntu Server.

Read about NOHUP Here

After making sure nohup is installed, simply add nohup to the beginning your geth
command, delete console , and add & to the end of the statement:
nohup geth --identity "MyNodeName" --genesis CustomGenesis.json --rpc --rpcport "8000" --
rpccorsdomain "*" --datadir "C:\chains\VPSChain" --port "30303" --nodiscover --ipcapi
"admin,db,eth,debug,miner,net,shh,txpool,personal,web3" --rpcapi "db,eth,net,web3" --
autodag --networkid 1900 --nat "any" &

Your console output is placed in a nohup logfile in the directory that you ran nohup from. To
make sure your geth instance is running in the background, run the following command (or
an equivalent for your OS):
ps aux | less

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Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Giant Ethereum Resource List

These links have helped me set-up Ethereum, create DApps, and understand the platform.

Proof-of-Stake and DEVCon resources are on the nested under this page in the menu on
the left.

Please send me any additions or corrections.

Official Links
Ethereum Frontier Guide GitBook

Gav's TurboEthereum Guide GitBook

Solidity Documentation

Ethereum Builders Guide (unsure when it was last updated)

Ethereum Repos


Ethereum Blog

Ethereum Forum

Ethereum Reddit

Ethereum Gitter Channels for Questions and Help

Ethereum StackExchange

State of DApps List


Etherquake - Quake III on Ethereum (lol)

Ethereum Blockchain Explorers

Giant Ethereum Resource List 11

Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson




Ethereum Network Stats Page

Ethereum IDEs and

Mix DApp IDE

Truffle Development Framework

Embark Development Framework

Populus Development Framework

Dapple Development Framework

BlockApps Strato

DEVCon1 Panel Video: Ethereum Dapp Development Frameworks Session (Truffle,

Embark, Dapple, Populus, BlockApps)

Ethereum Web Tools for Developers

Solidity In-Browser Realtime Compiler/IDE

Ether.Fund Calculator (note, uses crowdsale pricing so USD is not accurate)

Ethereum 1.0 Gas Prices Google Doc

EtherScripter (out-of-date)

Resilience Raw Transaction Broadcaster

DApp Developer Posts/Sites

X Things I Wish I Knew Before Building My First Ethereum Dapp

Datatypes in event parameters (forum post)

Solidity Feature Updates Thread

Giant Ethereum Resource List 12

Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Tasha at Tech Lab's Ethereum Page

Ade Duke's Page on Creating a Private Ethereum Blockchain

Ethereum Alarm Clock Blog

Coding DApps Resources/Examples

Fivedogit's Ethereum 101 Google Doc

Hooked Web3 Provider Github

EthereumJS Accounts Github

Keythereum Javascript Key Generator GitHub

ethereumjs-tx Github

eth-devchain GitHub - Quick & Dirty Private Chain

Proof-of-Authority Ethereum Blockchain in C++ Client

Using Ethereum as an Event Store Gist

Grove - Pipermerriams' fast, efficient, queryable storage for Ethereum contracts

Ethereum Alarm Clock by Pipermerriam

Ethereum Date/Time Tools by Pipermerriam

ethereum-blockhashes Github - Contract to record hashes of recent and historic blocks

Notareth Notary App GitHub

Coinlock GitHub

Fivedogit Solidity Baby Steps GitHub

Using Dapple Guide

Decentralized cron service in Ethereum

Roboth.web3 Job Market GitHub

Resilience Raw Transaction Broadcaster GitHub

Related Posts and White Papers

Giant Ethereum Resource List 13

Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

"Programmable Blockchains in Context: Ethereum's Future" - Vinay Gupta

Just Enough Bitcoin for Ethereum

Smart Contracts as new laws? Better handle with care

Demystifying Incentives in the Consensus Computer White Paper

Ethereum Lightning Network and Beyond

Integration of ipfs and Ethereum

The Chain Blog - Explaining Ethereum

Contracts as Code: Q&A with Ethereum on the Future of Contracting

Most of the diagrams Vitalik Buterin has ever created

Towards a New Frontier of the Smart Contracts: Hawk and Enigma

Giant Ethereum Resource List 14

Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Proof-of-Stake Resources

Casper is a security-deposit based economic consensus protocol that is set to eventually
replace the proof-of-work incentive system currently in place for the Ethereum public
network. The developers working on CASPER include Vitalik Buterin, Greg Meredith, and
Vlad Zamfir.

My recommendation is to read these links in order to gain the best perspective on the
thought behind CASPER proof-of-stake previously vs today:

"On Stake" - Vitalik Buterin (7/5/14)

"Slasher Ghost, and Other Developments in Proof of Stake" - Vitalik Buterin (10/3/14)

"Proof of Stake: How I Learned to Love Weak Subjectivity" - Vitalik Buterin (11/25/14)

"Introducing Casper the Friendly Ghost - Vlad Zamfir (8/1/2015)

"Vitalik Buterin Speaks About the Ethereum Foundation, Proof-of-Stake and More" -

Understanding Serenity, Part I: Abstraction

Understanding Serenity, Part 2: Casper

Latest CASPER Specification/Implementations

Vitalik's CASPER Research/Python Implementation in GitHub

Vitalik's CASPER Spec Google Document

Greg/Vlad's GitHub Repo for their CASPER Research

Community Discussions of Interest

"Introducing Casper the Friendly Ghost Reddit Comments

"If Ethereum adopts Casper Proof of Stake, it is very likely that it will become more
decentralized." Reddit post by Vlad Zamfir

Research Ethereum Gitter Channel Sometimes Discusses CASPER

Proof-of-Stake Resources 15
Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Tendermint is a proof-of-stake consensus protocol developed by Jae Kwon and Ethan
Buchman. I have seen it implemented in Eris with an Ethereum VM backing.


Tendermint Whitepaper

Tendermint Wiki

Tendermint Go Implementation

Eris Industries Blog Post on Their Change to Tendermint

A Good One Liner for a CASPER vs Tendermint

Tendermint favours consistency over availability, Casper favours availability over
consistency (see the CAP theorem). Tendermint doesn't punish online validators for
potentially censoring potentially-actually-just-offline validators.

More Proof-of-Stake Links

NXT White Paper (NXT Uses Proof-of-Stake)

"Review of Casper, Ethereums proposed Proof of Stake Algorithm" - Daniel Larimer


Gaming Proof of Stake - ThePiachi's Blog

A Treatise on Altcoins - White Paper By Andrew Poelstra

On Stake and Consensus - White Paper By Andrew Poelstra

Proof-of-Stake Resources 16
Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

DEVcon Resources

DEVCON1: November 9th13th, 2015 in


Official Site - The schedule section has panel descriptions and slides

"DEVcon is back!" - Vitalik Buterin Blog Post (9/24/2015)

Links copied from this post by hughlang and this post by George Hallam.

Full Day Videos

Day 1 - Research (This stream was taken down by Sony Music Entertainment - we
apologize for the centralization and censorship. They will be posting edited versions of
the talks in the coming weeks.)

Day 2 - DApp Development Strategies

Day 3 - Deep Dive into Ethereum Protocols

Day 4 - DApps

Day 5 - Industry and Social Implications

Individual Talks

DEVcon Resources 17
Ethereum Tutorials and Tips by Hudson

Click Here

Official Site - The schedule section has panel descriptions and slides

Reddit Post on Slides

DEVCON0: November 24th-28th, 2014 in Berlin

DEVCON0 Reddit Post

DEVCON0 Recap Blog

DEVCON0 Videos YouTube Playlist

DEVcon Resources 18