Environment setup

Before you jump in to the guides and tutorials you'll need to install the following tools and frameworks.

For most of these dependencies we provide ready-to-use command line instructions. In case of problems or if you have more complex needs, we provide the official link with full instructions.

This page is divided into two sections: the first concerns the common dependencies that are needed for running a node. The second shows the extra dependencies needed for building the sources and/or smart contract development.

Common dependencies

Pre-setup for Windows users

A convenient tool for Windows users is Chocolatey for installing dependencies. Follow the installation instructions below (see here for more details Chocolatey installation):

Open and administrative Powershell and enter the following commands:

Set-ExecutionPolicy AllSigned
Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process
Set-ExecutionPolicy Bypass -Scope Process -Force; iex ((New-Object System.Net.WebClient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))

Later, Chocolatey can be very useful for installing dependencies on Windows systems.

Pre-setup for macOS users

It is highly recommended that you install Homebrew (or simply Brew) to quickly and easily setup dependencies (see here for more details Homebrew install page). Open a terminal and execute the following command:

/usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL https://raw.githubusercontent.com/Homebrew/install/master/install)"

Node js

Next install nodejs by following the instructions here (see here for more details Nodejs):

On macOS:

brew install node

On Windows:

choco install nodejs

On Linux:

sudo apt-get install nodejs


We currently support two key-value databases to store our nodes data: Redis or SSDB. Both work well, it's your decision:

Depending on your platform, enter one of the following commands (see here for more details Redis download page):

On Windows:

choco install redis-64

On macOS:

brew install redis

On Linux:

sudo apt install redis-server

To test the installation (all platforms) you can just open a terminal and type redis-server. This will show you the servers welcome page as well as the port it's listening on:


Depending on your platform, enter one of the following commands (see here for more details SSDB):

NOTE: On a Windows machine we highly recommend you use Redis. This is an extract from the official website:

Do not run SSDB server on Windows system for a production environment. If you wish to stick with Windows system, please run a Linux virtual machine on Windows, and run SSDB server on that Linux.

On macOS:

brew install ssdb

On Linux:

wget --no-check-certificate https://github.com/ideawu/ssdb/archive/master.zip
unzip master
cd ssdb-master
# optional, install ssdb in /usr/local/ssdb
sudo make install

Building sources and development tools

You only need to follow this section if you intend to build aelf from the sources available on Github or if you plan on doing smart contract development.

Windows build tools

A dependency needed to build AElf from the command line under Windows is Visual Studio Build Tools. The easiest way is to use the Visual Studio Installer:

If you already have an edition of Visual Studio installed, open the Visual Studio Installer and add the Desktop development with C++ workload:

If you don't have any of the Visual Studio editions installed:

  • you can download it here Visual Studio Community Edition for free and after the installation add the Desktop development with C++ workload.

  • or if you don't need or want a full blown installation of Visual Studio, you can download the build tools here: Download Page. Scroll down and under the section Tools for Visual Studio 2019 download the build tools for Visual Studio:

After the installation open Visual Studio Installer, locate and install the C++ build tools.


If you want to run a node or use our custom smart contract environment, at some point you will have to clone (download the source code) from AElf's repository. For this you will have to use Git since we host our code on GitHub.

Click the following link to download Git for your platform (see here for more details Getting Started - Installing Git):

On macOS:

brew install git

On Windows:

choco install git

On Linux:

sudo apt install git-all

Development framework - dotnet core sdk

Most of AElf is developed with dotnet core, so you will need to download and install the .NET Core SDK before you start:

Download .NET Core 3.1

For now AElf depends on version 3.1 of the SDK, on the provided link find the download for your platform (for Windows and macOS the installer for x64 is the most convenient if your platform is compatible - most are these days), the page looks like this:

Wait for the download to finish, launch the installer and follow the instructions (for AElf all defaults provided in the installer should be correct).

To check the installation, you can open a terminal and run the dotnet command. If everything went fine it will show you dotnet options for the command line.


Depending on your platform, enter one of the following commands (see here for more details Protobuf Github):

On Windows, open a Powershell and enter the following commands:

choco install protoc --version=3.11.4 -y
choco upgrade unzip -y

On Linux:

# Make sure you grab the latest version
curl -OL https://github.com/google/protobuf/releases/download/v3.11.4/protoc-3.11.4-linux-x86_64.zip
# Unzip
unzip protoc-3.11.4-linux-x86_64.zip -d protoc3
# Move protoc to /usr/local/bin/
sudo mv protoc3/bin/* /usr/local/bin/
# Move protoc3/include to /usr/local/include/
sudo mv protoc3/include/* /usr/local/include/
# Optional: change owner
sudo chown ${USER} /usr/local/bin/protoc
sudo chown -R ${USER} /usr/local/include/google

on macOS:

brew install protobuf@3.11
brew link --force --overwrite protobuf@3.11