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Lisk Core Source Administration

This section details how to manage a Source installation of Lisk Core.

Basic Commands


Check the status of the Lisk Core Node.

npx pm2 status lisk


Start Lisk Core.

npx pm2 start lisk


Stop Lisk Core.

npx pm2 stop lisk


Restart Lisk Core.

npx pm2 restart lisk


Remove Lisk Core process from the PM2 list.

npx pm2 delete lisk


In case you haven't done this during the Installation process, add your Lisk Core process to pm2 under the name lisk.

npx pm2 start --name lisk src/index.js -- --network [network]

Where [network] might be either testnet or mainnet.


Display Lisk Core logs in streaming.

npx pm2 logs

Command Line Options

There are plenty of options available that you can use to override configuration on runtime while starting Lisk Core.
How to overwrite config options from the Command Line:

# recommended: Pass options as environment variables
LISK_NETWORK=[network] LISK_CONFIG_FILE=[config-path] LISK_ADDRESS=[address] LISK_WS_PORT=[port] npm start

# alternative (deprecated): Pass options as flags
npm start -- -p [port] -a [address] -c [config-path] -n [network]

or with pm2, e.g.:

LISK_NETWORK=[network] LISK_CONFIG_FILE=[config-path] LISK_ADDRESS=[address] LISK_WS_PORT=[port] npx pm2 start lisk

You can pass devnet (default), alphanet, betanet, testnet or mainnet for the [network] option.

All ENV variables restricted with operating system constraint of ENV variable maximum length.

Comma-separated lists will replace the original config values. e.g. If you specify LISK_PEERS, original peers.list specific to the network will be replaced completely.

Each of these options can be appended on the command line.

Command-line Option ENV Variable Config Option Description
LISK_NETWORK Which configurations set to use, associated to lisk networks. Any of this option can be used devnet, alphanet, betanet, testnet and mainnet. Default value is devnet.
LISK_CONFIG_FILE Path the custom configuration file, which will override values of config/default/config.json
LISK_WS_PORT wsPort TCP port for P2P layer
LISK_ADDRESS address Listening host name or ip
LISK_FILE_LOG_LEVEL fileLogLevel Log level for file output
LISK_CONSOLE_LOG_LEVEL consoleLogLevel Log level for console output
LISK_CACHE_ENABLED cacheEnabled Enable or disable cache. Must be set to true/false
LISK_DB_NAME db.database PostgreSQL database name to connect to
LISK_DB_HOST PostgreSQL database host name
LISK_DB_PORT db.port PostgreSQL database port
LISK_DB_USER db.user PostgreSQL database username to connect to
LISK_DB_PASSWORD db.password PostgreSQL database password to connect to
LISK_REDIS_HOST Redis host name
LISK_REDIS_PORT redis.port Redis port
LISK_REDIS_DB_NAME redis.db Redis database name to connect to
LISK_REDIS_DB_PASSWORD redis.password Redis database password to connect to
LISK_PEERS peers.list Comma separated list of peers to connect to in the format,
LISK_API_PUBLIC api.access.public Enable or disable public access of http API. Must be set to true/false
LISK_API_WHITELIST api.access.whiteList Comma separated list of IPs to enable API access. Format,
LISK_FORGING_DELEGATES forging.delegates Comma separated list of delegates to load in the format publicKey|encryptedPassphrase,publicKey2|encryptedPassphrase2
LISK_FORGING_WHITELIST forging.access.whiteList Comma separated list of IPs to enable access to forging endpoints. Format,
Number of round for which take the snapshot. If none specified it will use the highest round available.
LISK_CHILD_PROCESS_MODULES Comma separated list of modules, that shall be loaded in a separate process. To enable inter process communication, set ipc.enabled to true inside the config.json file.

Utility scripts

There are a couple of command line scripts that facilitate users of lisk to perform handy operations.
All scripts are located under ./scripts/ directory and can be executed directly by node scripts/<file_name>.

Generate Config

This script will help you to generate a unified version of the configuration file for any network. Here is the usage of the script:

Usage: node scripts/generate_config.js [options]
 -h, --help               output usage information
-V, --version            output the version number
-c, --config [config]    custom config file
-n, --network [network]  specify the network or use LISK_NETWORK

Argument network is required and may be devnet, testnet, mainnet or any other network folder available under ./config directory.

Update Config

This script keeps track of all changes introduced in Lisk over time in different versions.
If you have one config file in any specific version and you want to make it compatible with other versions of Lisk Core, this script will do it for you.

Usage: node scripts/update_config.js [options] <input_file> <from_version> [to_version]
 -h, --help               output usage information
-V, --version            output the version number
-n, --network [network]  specify the network or use LISK_NETWORK
-o, --output [output]    output file path

As you can see from the usage guide, input_file andfrom_version are required.
If you skip to_version argument changes in config.json will be applied up to the latest version of Lisk Core.
If you do not specify --output path the final config.json will be printed to stdout.
If you do not specify --network argument you will have to load it from LISK_NETWORK env variable.


This script is useful in development. It will initialize the components of Lisk and load these into Node.JS REPL.

Usage: node scripts/console.js
 initApplication: Application initialization inside test environment started...
initApplication: Target database - lisk_dev
initApplication: Rewired modules available
initApplication: Fake onBlockchainReady event called
initApplication: Loading delegates...
initApplication: Delegates loaded from config file - 101
initApplication: Done
lisk-core [lisk_dev] >

Once you get the prompt, you can use modules, helpers, logic, db and config objects and play with these in REPL.

Creating snapshots

For creating snapshots the most convenient way, it is recommended to use Lisk Core from binary distribution.
Just execute the script, what will perform all necessary steps to create a snapshot of the blockchain.

To create a snapshot manually, perform the following steps:

Example: Creating a snapshot for Lisk Mainnet.

The template database should be the one defined in in the config.json file of Lisk Core.
Its recommended to document the current block height of the snapshot and to include it in the snapshots' filename.

npx pm2 stop lisk # stop Lisk Core node
createdb --template="lisk_main" lisk_snapshot # copy Lisk Mainnet database to a new database `lisk_snapshot`. During this process, no open connections are allowed to `lisk_main` or it will fail
npx pm2 start lisk # start Lisk Core node again
psql --dbname=lisk_snapshot --command='TRUNCATE peers, mem_accounts2u_delegates, mem_accounts2u_multisignatures;' # remove redundant data
psql --dbname=lisk_snapshot --tuples-only --command='SELECT height FROM blocks ORDER BY height DESC LIMIT 1;' | xargs # execute this SQL query to get the last block height of the snapshot
pg_dump --no-owner lisk_snapshot |gzip -9 > snapshot-lisk_mainnet-<current-block-height>.gz # dump the database and compress it. Replace <current-block-height> with the height that was returned by the SQL query above
dropdb lisk_snapshot # delete the snapshot database

Rebuild from a snapshot

In some scenarios, it is recommended to restore the blockchain from a snapshot.
The command blocks below will perform this process.
The URL can be substituted for another blockchain.db.gz snapshot file if desired.


npx pm2 stop lisk # stop Lisk Core node
dropdb lisk_main # delete Lisk Mainnet database
wget # download Lisk snapshot
createdb lisk_main # create fresh Lisk Mainnet database
gunzip -fcq blockchain.db.gz | psql -d lisk_main # import the downloaded snapshot into the new databse
npx pm2 start lisk # start Lisk Core node again


npx pm2 stop lisk # stop Lisk Core node
dropdb lisk_test # delete Lisk Testnet database
wget # download Lisk snapshot
createdb lisk_test # create fresh Lisk Testnet database
gunzip -fcq blockchain.db.gz | psql -d lisk_test # import the downloaded snapshot into the new database
npx pm2 start lisk # start Lisk Core node again

Code documentation in Lisk Core

For code documentation, Lisk Core uses JSDoc.
JSDoc generates a static HTML documentation site.
To build the documentation site, run the following command inside the lisk installation directory:

npm run docs:build

The JSDoc documentation is generated inside of docs/jsdoc/.

To host the documentation site (e.g. for easy access via a browser), use the following command:

npm run docs:serve

This will start a web server, and the documentation will be accessible through the browser on port 8080, e.g. localhost:8080.
The process will be started inside the terminal. To stop the web server again, hit CTRL + C.

For more information please have a look in the Contribution Guidelines for Lisk Core on Github.

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