Network Bootstrapper

Corda’s Network Bootstrapper tool lets you quickly create a group of nodes that can see and communicate with each other. You can use these simple networks for development and testing.

Each node on the network must:

  • Operate using the same set of constants, called network parameters. This guarantees that the nodes can interoperate.
  • Have a copy of the node-info file for every other node on the network. This is what makes them visible to each other.

The Network Bootstrapper automates the processes of creating and distributing the network parameters and node-info files.

Glossary

Term Definition
network parameters A set of constants shared between a group of nodes to guarantee interoperability.
node-info file A file containing information about the node.
compatibility zone constraint The compatibility zone operator lists the hashes of CorDapp versions that a contract class name can use.
signature constraint A contract class can use any version of a CorDapp that is signed by a given CompositeKey.
hash constraint Only one version of a CorDapp can be used with a specific state.

Test deployments

Nodes within a network see each other using the network map . This is a collection of statically-signed node-info files, one for each node. Most production deployments use a highly-available, secure distribution of the network map via HTTP.

If you are creating a test deployment that stores the nodes on the same filesystem, place the node-info files into the node’s additional-node-infos directory. The node picks them up and stores them in its local network map cache, then generates its own node-info file on startup.

All the nodes must use the same set of network parameters. These are a set of constants that guarantee interoperability between the nodes. Typically, the HTTP network map distributes the network parameters to the nodes, which download them automatically. You can also generate network parameters locally.

You can use the Network Bootstrapper to scan all the node configurations in a common directory to generate the network parameters file. The bootstrapper then copies the network parameters file to all the nodes' directories. It also copies each node’s node-info file to all the other nodes, which makes them visible to each other.

Bootstrap a test network

To bootstrap a test network:

  1. Download the Corda Network Boostrapper for the version of Corda you want the nodes to run.
  2. Create a directory containing a node config file (ending in “_node.conf”) for each node you want to create.
  3. Set “devMode” to true.
  4. Run the command java -jar network-bootstrapper-4.8.jar --dir <nodes-root-dir>.

If you were to run this command on a directory containing these files:

.
├── notary_node.conf             // The notary's node.conf file
├── partya_node.conf             // Party A's node.conf file
└── partyb_node.conf             // Party B's node.conf file

Then the bootstrapper will generate directories containing three nodes: notary, partya, and partyb. Each node will use the corda.jar provided by the Network Bootstrapper you chose. If you need to change the version, put the relevant corda.jar file with the configuration files in the directory.

Alternatively, you can structure the node directories like this:

.
├── notary
│   └── node.conf
├── partya
│   └── node.conf
└── partyb
    └── node.conf

It’s possible for each node directory to contain its own corda.jar. In this case, the bootstrapper uses the corda.jar file in the node directory.

Include CorDapps in a generated node

If you would like the bootstrapper to include your CorDapps in each generated node, place them in the directory alongside the configuration files. For example, for a directory with this structure:

.
├── notary_node.conf            // The notary's node.conf file
├── partya_node.conf            // Party A's node.conf file
├── partyb_node.conf            // Party B's node.conf file
├── cordapp-a.jar               // A cordapp to be installed on all nodes
└── cordapp-b.jar               // Another cordapp to be installed on all nodes

The cordapp-a.jar and cordapp-b.jar will be installed in each node directory, and any contracts within them will be added to the contract whitelist .

Create a contracts whitelist

If you provide a CorDapp, the boostrapper will hash it, then scan it for instances of the contacts class. If it finds contracts, it will use them to create a compatibility zone whitelist for the network.

The bootstrapper hashes the CorDapp .jars and scans them for contract classes. These contract class implementations become part of the whitelisted contracts in the network parameters. For each contract class, there is a list of SHA-256 hashes of the approved CorDapp .jar versions containing that contract.

By default, the bootstrapper whitelists all the contracts it finds in the unsigned CorDapp .jars (.jar files not signed by jarSigner tool). It checks whitelisted contracts using compatibility zone constraints, and contract classes from signed .jars using signature constraints.

If you want to prevent specific contracts from unsigned .jars from being whitelisted, add their fully-qualified class name in the exclude_whitelist.txt file. Contracts in this file will use the more restrictive HashAttachmentConstraint, which only allows one version of a CorDapp to be used with a specific state.

To add specific contracts from signed .jars to the whitelist, add their fully-qualified class name to the include_whitelist.txt file.

For example:

net.corda.finance.contracts.asset.Cash
net.corda.finance.contracts.asset.CommercialPaper

Before you add exclude_whitelist.txt or include_whitelist.txt files, refer to contract constraints to understand different constraint types.

Modify a bootstrapped network

The Network Bootstrapper is a tool for setting up Corda networks for development and testing. Functionality for making changes is limited. You can:

  • Add a new node to the network.
  • Update the contract whitelist for bootstrapped networks.

If you need to make more complicated changes, use a Network Map server .

Make sure all node-info files are in one directory when running the Network Bootstrapper. If you are running the nodes on different machines:

  1. Copy the node directories from each machine into one directory, on one machine.
  2. Add any new files required to the root directory.
  3. Run the Network Bootstrapper from the root directory.
  4. Copy each individual node’s directory back to the original machines.

The Network Bootstrapper cannot dynamically update the network if an existing node has changed something in their node-info, such as their P2P address. You will need to place the updated node-info in the other nodes’ additional-node-infos directory. If the nodes are located on different machines, you can use a utility such as rsync so the nodes can share node-info.

Adding a new node to the network

You can add a new node and distribute its node-info to the existing nodes on the network by running the Network Bootstrapper twice.

In this example, you have an existing bootstrapped network. It consists of a notary and Party A, and you’d like to add Party B.

First, run the Network Bootstrapper as usual. Your network structure will look like this:

.
├── notary                      // existing node directories
│   ├── node.conf
│   ├── network-parameters
│   ├── node-info-notary
│   └── additional-node-infos
│       ├── node-info-notary
│       └── node-info-partya
├── partya
│   ├── node.conf
│   ├── network-parameters
│   ├── node-info-partya
│   └── additional-node-infos
│       ├── node-info-notary
│       └── node-info-partya
└── partyb_node.conf            // the node.conf for the node to be added

Then, run the Network Bootstrapper again from the root directory:

java -jar network-bootstrapper-4.8.jar --dir <nodes-root-dir>

You will produce this result:

.
├── notary                      // the contents of the existing nodes (keys, db's etc...) are unchanged
│   ├── node.conf
│   ├── network-parameters
│   ├── node-info-notary
│   └── additional-node-infos
│       ├── node-info-notary
│       ├── node-info-partya
│       └── node-info-partyb
├── partya
│   ├── node.conf
│   ├── network-parameters
│   ├── node-info-partya
│   └── additional-node-infos
│       ├── node-info-notary
│       ├── node-info-partya
│       └── node-info-partyb
└── partyb                      // a new node directory is created for PartyB
    ├── node.conf
    ├── network-parameters
    ├── node-info-partyb
    └── additional-node-infos
        ├── node-info-notary
        ├── node-info-partya
        └── node-info-partyb

The bootstrapper generates a directory and the node-info file for Party B. It also places a copy of each nodes’ node-info file in the additional-node-info directory of every node. Any other files in the existing nodes, such a generated keys, will be unaffected.

Updating the contract whitelist for bootstrapped networks

If the network already has a set of network parameters defined (the node directories all contain the same network-parameters file) then you can use the Network Bootstrapper to append contracts from new CorDapps to the current whitelist.

For example, you could take this pre-generated network:

.
├── notary
│   ├── node.conf
│   ├── network-parameters
│   └── cordapps
│       └── cordapp-a.jar
├── partya
│   ├── node.conf
│   ├── network-parameters
│   └── cordapps
│       └── cordapp-a.jar
├── partyb
│   ├── node.conf
│   ├── network-parameters
│   └── cordapps
│       └── cordapp-a.jar
└── cordapp-b.jar               // The new cordapp to add to the existing nodes

Then run the Network Bootstrapper again from the root directory:

java -jar network-bootstrapper-4.8.jar --dir <nodes-root-dir>

To produce:

.
├── notary
│   ├── node.conf
│   ├── network-parameters      // The contracts from cordapp-b are appended to the whitelist in network-parameters
│   └── cordapps
│       ├── cordapp-a.jar
│       └── cordapp-b.jar       // The updated CorDapp is placed in the node's CorDapp directory
├── partya
│   ├── node.conf
│   ├── network-parameters      // The contracts from cordapp-b are appended to the whitelist in network-parameters
│   └── cordapps
│       ├── cordapp-a.jar
│       └── cordapp-b.jar       // The updated CorDapp is placed in the node's cordapp directory
└── partyb
    ├── node.conf
    ├── network-parameters      // The contracts from cordapp-b are appended to the whitelist in network-parameters
    └── cordapps
        ├── cordapp-a.jar
        └── cordapp-b.jar       // The updated CorDapp is placed in the node's cordapp directory

Modify the network parameters

The Network Bootstrapper creates a default network-parameters file. However, if you require specific parameters for testing, you can modify the default:

  • Using a command line argument.
  • By supplying a configuration file.

If the same parameter is overridden both by a command line argument and in the configuration file, the command line value will take precedence.

Override network parameters via command line

You can use the --minimum-platform-version, --max-message-size, --max-transaction-size, and --event-horizon command line parameters to override the default network parameters. See Command line options for more information.

Overriding network parameters via a file

You can provide a file to override the network parameters using:

java -jar network-bootstrapper-4.8.jar --network-parameter-overrides=<path_to_file>

Or the short form version:

java -jar network-bootstrapper-4.8.jar -n=<path_to_file>

The network parameter overrides file is a HOCON file with several configuration fields, all of which are optional. If you don’t provide a field, it will be ignored. If a field is not provided and you are bootstrapping a new network, a sensible default value will be used. If a field is not provided when you are updating an existing network, the value in the existing network parameters file will be used.

The available configuration fields are:

  • minimumPlatformVersion: The minimum supported version of the Corda platform that is required for nodes in the network.

  • maxMessageSize: The maximum permitted message size, in bytes.

  • maxTransactionSize: The maximum permitted transaction size, in bytes.

  • eventHorizon: The time after which nodes will be removed from the network map if they have not been seen during this period. This parameter uses the parse function on the java.time.Duration class to interpret the data. See Oracle&rsquo;s documentation for information on valid inputs.

  • packageOwnership: A list of package owners. See Package namespace ownership . For each package owner, these fields are required:

  • packageName: Java package name (for example, com.my_company).

  • keystore: The path of the keystore file containing the signed certificate.

  • keystorePassword: The password for the given keystore (not to be confused with the key password).

  • keystoreAlias: The alias for the name associated with the certificate to be associated with the package namespace.

An example configuration file:

minimumPlatformVersion=4
maxMessageSize=10485760
maxTransactionSize=524288000
eventHorizon="30 days"
packageOwnership=[
    {
        packageName="com.example"
        keystore="myteststore"
        keystorePassword="MyStorePassword"
        keystoreAlias="MyKeyAlias"
    }
]

Package namespace ownership

Package namespace ownership is a Corda security feature. It allows a compatibility zone to grant ownership of parts of the Java package namespace to registered users (for example, a CorDapp development organisation). The exact mechanism used to claim a namespace is up to the zone operator. A typical approach would be to accept an SSL certificate with the domain in it as proof of domain ownership, or to accept an email from that domain.

A Java package namespace is case-insensitive and cannot be a sub-package of an existing registered namespace. See Oracle’s guidelines for naming a package and naming conventions .

To register a Java package namespace, you need a signed certificate generated by the Java keytool .

You can register the package by supplying a network parameters override configuration file via the command line, using the --network-parameter-overrides command.

To register a package, you need to provide the:

  • packageName: Java package name (for example, com.my_company).

  • keystore: The path of the keystore file containing the signed certificate. If a relative path is provided, it is assumed to be relative to the location of the configuration file.

  • keystorePassword: The password for the given keystore (not to be confused with the key password).

  • keystoreAlias: The alias for the name associated with the certificate to be associated with the package namespace.

Register a namespace with a sample CorDapp

We’ve created a sample CorDapp (available in Java and Kotlin ) you can use to practice initializing a simple network and registering and unregistering a package namespace.

  1. Check the sample CorDapp out, then follow the instructions to build it .
  1. Create a new public key. You will use this to sign the Java package namespace you want to register:
$JAVA_HOME/bin/keytool -genkeypair -keystore _teststore -storepass MyStorePassword -keyalg RSA -alias MyKeyAlias -keypass MyKeyPassword -dname "O=Alice Corp, L=Madrid, C=ES"

This generates a keystore file called _teststore in the current directory.

  1. Create a network-parameters.conf file in the same directory. Include this information:
packageOwnership=[
    {
        packageName="com.example"
        keystore="_teststore"
        keystorePassword="MyStorePassword"
        keystoreAlias="MyKeyAlias"
    }
]
  1. Register the package namespace to be claimed by the public key generated earlier:
# Register the Java package namespace using the Network Bootstrapper
java -jar network-bootstrapper.jar --dir build/nodes --network-parameter-overrides=network-parameters.conf
  1. To unregister the package namespace, edit the network-parameters.conf file to remove the package:
packageOwnership=[]
  1. Unregister the package namespace:
# Unregister the Java package namespace using the Network Bootstrapper
java -jar network-bootstrapper.jar --dir build/nodes --network-parameter-overrides=network-parameters.conf

Command line options

You can start the Network Bootstrapper with these command line options:

bootstrapper [-hvV] [--copy-cordapps=<copyCordapps>] [--dir=<dir>]
         [--event-horizon=<eventHorizon>] [--logging-level=<loggingLevel>]
         [--max-message-size=<maxMessageSize>]
         [--max-transaction-size=<maxTransactionSize>]
         [--minimum-platform-version=<minimumPlatformVersion>]
         [-n=<networkParametersFile>] [COMMAND]
  • --dir=<dir>: Root directory containing the node configuration files and CorDapp .jars that will form the test network. It may also contain existing node directories. It defaults to the current directory.
  • --copy-cordapps=<copyCordapps>: This determines whether to copy the CorDapp .jars into the node’s ‘cordapps’ directory. Possible values: FirstRunOnly, Yes, No. Default: FirstRunOnly.
  • --verbose, --log-to-console, -v: If set, this prints logging to the console and to a file.
  • --logging-level=<loggingLevel>: Enables logging at this level and higher. Possible values: ERROR, WARN, INFO, DEBUG, and TRACE. Default: INFO.
  • --help, -h: Shows the list of available commands, and the exit option.
  • --version, -V: Prints version information and exit.
  • --minimum-platform-version: The minimum platform version to use in the network-parameters.
  • --max-message-size: The maximum message size to use in the network-parameters, in bytes.
  • --max-transaction-size: The maximum transaction size to use in the network-parameters, in bytes.
  • --event-horizon: The event horizon to use in the network-parameters.
  • --network-parameter-overrides=<networkParametersFile>, -n=<networkParametersFile>: Overrides the default network parameters with the parameters in the file provided. See Overriding network parameters via a file .

Sub-commands

install-shell-extensions: Installs the bootstrapper alias and auto-completion for bash and zsh. See Shell extentions for CLI applications .

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