Polkadot Node Implementation

starsStars 1820
forksForks 425
watchersWatchers 1820
current-versionCurrent version v0.8.26-1
total-releasesTotal releases 80
open_issues_countOpen issues 187
dateFirst release 2018-12-21
dateLatest release 2020-11-08
updateLast update 2020-12-23


Implementation of a https://polkadot.network node in Rust based on the Substrate framework.

NOTE: In 2018, we split our implementation of "Polkadot" from its development framework "Substrate". See the Substrate repo for git history prior to 2018.

This repo contains runtimes for the Polkadot, Kusama, and Westend networks. The README provides information about installing the polkadot binary and developing on the codebase. For more specific guides, like how to be a validator, see the Polkadot Wiki.


If you just wish to run a Polkadot node without compiling it yourself, you may either run the latest binary from our releases page, or install Polkadot from one of our package repositories.

Installation from the debian or rpm repositories will create a systemd service that can be used to run a Polkadot node. This is disabled by default, and can be started by running systemctl start polkadot on demand (use systemctl enable polkadot to make it auto-start after reboot). By default, it will run as the polkadot user. Command-line flags passed to the binary can be customised by editing /etc/default/polkadot. This file will not be overwritten on updating polkadot. You may also just run the node directly from the command-line.

Debian-based (Debian, Ubuntu)

Currently supports Debian 10 (Buster) and Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal), and derivatives. Run the following commands as the root user.

# Import the security@parity.io GPG key
gpg --recv-keys --keyserver hkps://keys.mailvelope.com 9D4B2B6EB8F97156D19669A9FF0812D491B96798
gpg --export 9D4B2B6EB8F97156D19669A9FF0812D491B96798 > /usr/share/keyrings/parity.gpg
# Add the Parity repository and update the package index
echo 'deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/parity.gpg] https://releases.parity.io/deb release main' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/parity.list
apt update
# Install the `parity-keyring` package - This will ensure the GPG key
# used by APT remains up-to-date
apt install parity-keyring
# Install polkadot
apt install polkadot

RPM-based (Fedora, CentOS)

Currently supports Fedora 32 and CentOS 8, and derivatives.

# Install dnf-plugins-core (This might already be installed)
dnf install dnf-plugins-core
# Add the repository and enable it
dnf config-manager --add-repo https://releases.parity.io/rpm/polkadot.repo
dnf config-manager --set-enabled polkadot
# Install polkadot (You may have to confirm the import of the GPG key, which
# should have the following fingerprint: 9D4B2B6EB8F97156D19669A9FF0812D491B96798)
dnf install polkadot


Install via Cargo

If you want to install Polkadot in your PATH, you can do so with with:

cargo install --git https://github.com/paritytech/polkadot --tag <version> polkadot --locked

Build from Source

If you'd like to build from source, first install Rust. You may need to add Cargo's bin directory to your PATH environment variable. Restarting your computer will do this for you automatically.

curl https://sh.rustup.rs -sSf | sh

If you already have Rust installed, make sure you're using the latest version by running:

rustup update

Once done, finish installing the support software:

sudo apt install build-essential git clang libclang-dev pkg-config libssl-dev

Build the client by cloning this repository and running the following commands from the root directory of the repo:

git checkout <latest tagged release>
cargo build --release

Note that compilation is a memory intensive process. We recommend having 4 GiB of phyiscal RAM or swap available (keep in mind that if a build hits swap it tends to be very slow).


This repo supports runtimes for Polkadot, Kusama, and Westend.

Connect to Polkadot Mainnet

Connect to the global Polkadot Mainnet network by running:

./target/release/polkadot --chain=polkadot

You can see your node on ).


Connect to the Westend Testnet

Connect to the global Westend testnet by running:

./target/release/polkadot --chain=westend

You can see your node on ).

Obtaining DOTs

If you want to do anything on Polkadot, Kusama, or Westend, then you'll need to get an account and some DOT, KSM, or WND tokens, respectively. See the claims instructions for Polkadot if you have DOTs to claim. For Westend's WND tokens, see the faucet instructions on the Wiki.

Hacking on Polkadot

If you'd actually like hack on Polkadot, you can grab the source code and build it. Ensure you have Rust and the support software installed. This script will install or update Rust and install the required dependencies (this may take up to 30 minutes on Mac machines):

curl https://getsubstrate.io -sSf | bash -s -- --fast

Then, grab the Polkadot source code:

git clone https://github.com/paritytech/polkadot.git
cd polkadot

Then build the code. You will need to build in release mode (--release) to start a network. Only use debug mode for development (faster compile times for development and testing).

./scripts/init.sh   # Install WebAssembly. Update Rust
cargo build # Builds all native code

You can run the tests if you like:

cargo test --all

You can start a development chain with:

cargo run -- --dev

Detailed logs may be shown by running the node with the following environment variables set:

RUST_LOG=debug RUST_BACKTRACE=1 cargo run -- --dev


You can run a simple single-node development "network" on your machine by running:

polkadot --dev

You can muck around by heading to

Local Two-node Testnet

If you want to see the multi-node consensus algorithm in action locally, then you can create a local testnet. You'll need two terminals open. In one, run:

polkadot --chain=polkadot-local --alice -d /tmp/alice

And in the other, run:

polkadot --chain=polkadot-local --bob -d /tmp/bob --port 30334 --bootnodes '/ip4/'

Ensure you replace ALICE_BOOTNODE_ID_HERE with the node ID from the output of the first terminal.

Using Docker

Using Docker

Shell Completion

Shell Completion


Contributing Guidelines

Contribution Guidelines

Contributor Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct


Polkadot is GPL 3.0 licensed.

Important Notice