How to get on Rinkeby Testnet in less than 10 minutes
Following instructions from the excellent https://www.rinkeby.io/
Synchronizing a Full Node
A full node lets you access all state. There is a light node (state-on-demand) and wallet-only (no state) instructions as well, and these are even faster. I'm using this for dapp development, so I want access to all state.
From the docs above:
A full node synchronizes the blockchain by downloading the full chain from the genesis block to the current head block, but does not execute the transactions. Instead, it downloads all the transactions receipts along with the entire recent state. As the node downloads the recent state directly, historical data can only be queried from that block onward. Initial processing required to synchronize is more bandwidth intensive, but is light on the CPU and has significantly reduced disk requirements. Mid range machines with HDD storage, decent CPUs and 4GB+ RAM should be enough.
Step 1: Download Geth
First, download the latest geth (1.6.1) to your laptop. https://geth.ethereum.org/downloads/
(I did it to my MacBook Air).
Extract it and copy the
geth binary to somewhere in your path.
Unknown whether Parity works as well. It will probably take some finagling to work with the Geth-style Genesis block.
Step 2: Download genesis block
Step 3: Initialize
At this point, you should probably start a
screen session, so if you get
interrupted during syncing it will still keep going in the background.
To run a full node, download rinkeby.json and start Geth with:
geth --datadir=$HOME/.rinkeby init rinkeby.json geth --networkid=4 --datadir=$HOME/.rinkeby --cache=512 --ethstats="yournode:Respect my firstname.lastname@example.org" --bootnodes=enode://email@example.com:30303 --rpc --rpcapi="personal,eth,network"
Note that the credentials here
yournode:Respect my authoritah! appear to be necessary.
Unknown whether you can create your own creds on
stats.rinkeby.io so that you can collect your own testnet mining stats :)
SECURITY WARNINGS: We've enabled RPC and also loaded the
personal module to allow testing and participating in smart contracts.
However, if you do these things on a mainnet node with your unlocked wallet exposed to the internet, you could get hacked
and all your monies stolen. I'll write a separate gist about a secure way to participate in a mainnet contract with real ETH.
You can download Geth from https://geth.ethereum.org/downloads/.
On a MacBook Air with a 10 MBps (standard home internet download speeds), I was able to sync all 187k blocks in < 7 minutes,
Step 4: Create an account
In a separate
tmux pane or
screen buffer or a separate terminal completely, create an account and save the password somewhere safe.
First, symlink the IPC file so you can
geth attach to the existing geth process.
mkdir -p ~/.ethereum ln -s ~/.rinkeby/geth.ipc ~/.ethereum/
mkdir -p ~/Library/Ethereum ln -s ~/.rinkeby/geth.ipc ~/Library/Ethereum
After that, attach the console
and create an account (substituting a much better password than
You'll see a different address than
0xb2e9fe08ca9a0323103883fe12c9609ed380f475. That one's mine, provided for illustration.
Save your password in a secret place, preferrably encrypted. I use Evernote encrypted text, but you can use any password manager
like 1Password, LastPass, Dashlane, etc.
Leave that terminal open for now.
Step 5: Request ETH
Because Kovan and Rinkeby both use Proof-of-Authority (clique) to grant ETH, you'll need to request some to get started. However, unlike Kovan which requires you to bootstrap by requesting KETH from another human being, Rinkeby has a super-slick automated faucet, where you submit your address (copied from above) and submit a public gist.
http://gist.github.com and create a gist, pasting a single line into it which is your Rinkeby address.
Mine looks like this.
Copy the address of the gist, e.g. https://gist.github.com/cryptogoth/4e404fb58808a241f622afe80a659c05
Go to the
Crypto Faucet section of https://rinkeby.io
and paste it into the blank.
Choose an option from the dropdown which corresponds to how much Ether you need and how frequently (requesting more Ether will take longer between requests). I requested 3 ETH in 8 hours. Don't worry, you'll get your ETH in seconds, but you can't request again for another 8 hours. This is to prevent spammers from swamping the network by overpowering it with mining power and then out-spending everyone else.
This is the transaction where I received my 3 ETH: https://rinkeby.etherscan.io/tx/0xf54c0101b71c645032b786b4eb3f0f0402b665575d34903f5fd1c911aaa22ebb
Now, back in your geth console, wait for at most 15 seconds for the next block to be found, and verify your balance again
> eth.getBalance(eth.coinbase) 3000000000000000000
Woohoo! You're rich, in testnet wei :)
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