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Lisk Core Docker Setup


This document will detail how to prepare a system to run Lisk Core as a Docker-based container. To run Lisk in Docker a user must first install the Docker Engine. Additionally, it is recommended to install Docker Compose for convenience.

Determine if your platform can run Docker.

Supported Platforms

Please refer to

Mac OS X

Please refer to
Please note that Docker for Mac already includes Docker Compose.
Install make using XCode


Please refer to
Please note that Docker for Windows includes Docker Compose.


Please refer to

To install Docker Compose, please refer to

Important: Configure Docker, so it can be run without sudo rights:

Install make using your package manager. For example, use apt-get if running Ubuntu:

sudo apt-get install make

Open necessary ports

To connect to the desired network with Lisk Core , please ensure that the corresponding ports are open:

Network httpPort(HTTP) wsPort(TCP)
Mainnet 8000 8001
Testnet 7000 7001
Betanet 5000 5001
Devnet 4000 5000

These are the default ports for connecting with the network, these can be altered later in .env.

Create a new user

To run and manage a Lisk Core node in the future, please create a separate 'lisk' user like so:


The lisk user itself does not need any sudo rights to run Lisk Core. It is sufficient to create a group docker and add the newly created user to that group, to enable the user to use Docker (see:

sudo adduser lisk              # create a new user
sudo groupadd docker           # create docker group
sudo usermod -aG docker lisk   # add the user to docker group


Get configuration and Makefile

Clone the Lisk Repository.

su - lisk                                    # switch to lisk user
git clone # clone the repository
git checkout v1.6.0                          # checkout the latest version tag
cd lisk/docker                               # navigate into docker directory

It contains a directory docker with the following files:

  • .env.development
  • .env.mainnet
  • .env.testnet
  • docker-compose.make.yml: used by make coldstart.
  • docker-compose.override.yml: use this file to overwrite LISK_ variables (empty by default).
  • docker-compose.redis.yml: enable cache (optional).
  • docker-compose.yml
  • Makefile

    The .env-files are templates with network specific environment variables.

Set environment variables

To connect to the Lisk network, the environment variables need to be set accordingly.
Before setting the variables, you may want to edit them in the respective .env.{network} file.
It is recommended to change the password for the database, which is stored in ENV_LISK_DB_PASSWORD.

To install a specific version of Lisk Core, set the ENV_LISK_VERSION to the respective version.

After adjusting them, copy the environment variables to a file called .env:

cp .env.{network} .env

Where {network} stands for the Lisk network you want to connect to.

Coldstart application

Option 1: Makefile

We recommend to use the Makefile:

make  # will run `docker-compose up` for you

Makefile provides a convenient way to sync your node from snapshot:

make coldstart  # will download and restore a blockchain snapshot for you

Option 2: docker-compose

docker-compose up -d # initialize Lisk Core
docker-compose ps    # see the status of Lisk Core
docker-compose logs  # see logs

As next step, check out Docker Administration to learn how to manage your Node.