Node configuration

File location

When starting a node, the corda.jar file defaults to reading the node’s configuration from a node.conf file in the directory from which the command to launch Corda is executed. There are two command-line options to override this behaviour:

  • The --config-file command line option allows you to specify a configuration file with a different name, or at different file location. Paths are relative to the current working directory
  • The --base-directory command line option allows you to specify the node’s workspace location. A node.conf configuration file is then expected in the root of this workspace

If you specify both command line arguments at the same time, the node will fail to start.


The Corda configuration file uses the HOCON format which is a superset of JSON. Please visit for further details.

Please do NOT use double quotes (") in configuration keys.

Node setup will log Config files should not contain \" in property names. Please fix: [key] as an error when it finds double quotes around keys.

This prevents configuration errors when mixing keys that are wrapped in double quotes and contain a dot (.) with keys that don’t, e.g.: If there was a property "dataSourceProperties.dataSourceClassName" = "val1" in node.conf, it would not overwrite the property dataSourceProperties.dataSourceClassName = "val2" in reference.conf, potentially leading to an error that would be hard to spot.

By default the node will fail to start in presence of unknown property keys. To alter this behaviour, the command line argument on-unknown-config-keys can be set to WARN or IGNORE. Default is FAIL if unspecified.


A set of default configuration options are loaded from the built-in resource file reference.conf. Any options you do not specify in your own node.conf file will use these defaults.

Here are the contents of the reference.conf file for Corda Enterprise:

// R3 Proprietary and Confidential
// Copyright (c) 2018 R3 Limited.  All rights reserved.
// The intellectual and technical concepts contained herein are proprietary to R3 and its suppliers and are protected by trade secret law.
// Distribution of this file or any portion thereof via any medium without the express permission of R3 is strictly prohibited.

emailAddress = "[email protected]"
keyStorePassword = "cordacadevpass"
trustStorePassword = "trustpass"
crlCheckSoftFail = true
lazyBridgeStart = true
dataSourceProperties = {
    dataSourceClassName = org.h2.jdbcx.JdbcDataSource
    dataSource.url = "jdbc:h2:file:"${baseDirectory}"/persistence;DB_CLOSE_ON_EXIT=FALSE;WRITE_DELAY=0;LOCK_TIMEOUT=10000"
    dataSource.user = sa
    dataSource.password = ""
database = {
    transactionIsolationLevel = "REPEATABLE_READ"
    exportHibernateJMXStatistics = "false"

useTestClock = false
verifierType = InMemory
enterpriseConfiguration = {
    mutualExclusionConfiguration = {
        on = false
        updateInterval = 20000
        waitInterval = 40000
    tuning = {
        flowThreadPoolSize = 1
        rpcThreadPoolSize = 4
        maximumMessagingBatchSize = 256
        p2pConfirmationWindowSize = 1048576
        brokerConnectionTtlCheckIntervalMs = 20
    useMultiThreadedSMM = true
rpcSettings = {
    useSsl = false
    standAloneBroker = false
flowTimeout {
    timeout = 30 seconds
    maxRestartCount = 5
    backoffBase = 1.8


The available config fields are listed below. baseDirectory is available as a substitution value and contains the absolute path to the node’s base directory.

myLegalName:The legal identity of the node. This acts as a human-readable alias to the node’s public key and can be used with the network map to look up the node’s info. This is the name that is used in the node’s certificates (either when requesting them from the doorman, or when auto-generating them in dev mode). At runtime, Corda checks whether this name matches the name in the node’s certificates.
 The password to unlock the KeyStore file (<workspace>/certificates/sslkeystore.jks) containing the node certificate and private key.
 The password to unlock the Trust store file (<workspace>/certificates/truststore.jks) containing the Corda network root certificate.
 This is a boolean flag that when enabled (i.e. true value is set) the certificate revocation list (CRL) checking will use the soft fail mode. The soft fail mode allows the revocation check to succeed if the revocation status cannot be determined because of a network error. If this parameter is set to false the rigorous CRL checking takes place, meaning that each certificate in the certificate path being checked needs to have the CRL distribution point extension set and pointing to a URL serving a valid CRL.

This section is used to configure JDBC and Hibernate related properties:

 Transaction isolation level as defined by the TRANSACTION_ constants in java.sql.Connection, but without the “TRANSACTION_” prefix. Defaults to REPEATABLE_READ.
 Whether to export Hibernate JMX statistics (caution: expensive run-time overhead)
runMigration:Boolean on whether to run the database migration scripts at startup. Defaults to false. In production please keep it false. For more information please check Database management If migration is not run, on startup, the node will check if it’s running on the correct database version.
schema:(optional) some database providers require a schema name when generating DDL and SQL statements. (the value is passed to Hibernate property ‘hibernate.default_schema’).
 (optional) for explicit definition of hibernate.dialect property, for most cases Hibernate properly detect the correct value

This section is used to configure the JDBC connection and database driver used for the nodes persistence. By default the node starts with an embedded H2 database instance. The configuration defaults are as shown in the example above. Node database contains example configurations for other database providers. To add additional data source properties (for a specific JDBC driver) use the dataSource. prefix with the property name (e.g. dataSource.customProperty = value).

 JDBC Data Source class name.
dataSource.url:JDBC database URL.
 Database user.
 Database password.

A number that’s used to pick the H2 JDBC server port. If not set a randomly chosen port will be used. For production use you will typically be using a different, non-H2 database backend (e.g. Oracle, SQL Server, Postgres) so this option is intended primarily for developer mode.


The address of the ArtemisMQ broker instance. If not provided the node will run one locally.


The host and port on which the node is available for protocol operations over ArtemisMQ.


In practice the ArtemisMQ messaging services bind to all local addresses on the specified port. However, note that the host is the included as the advertised entry in the network map. As a result the value listed here must be externally accessible when running nodes across a cluster of machines. If the provided host is unreachable, the node will try to auto-discover its public one.


When a flow implementing the TimedFlow interface does not complete in time, it is restarted from the initial checkpoint. Currently only used for notarisation requests: if a notary replica dies while processing a notarisation request, the client flow eventually times out and gets restarted. On restart the request is resent to a different notary replica in a round-robin fashion (assuming the notary is clustered).

timeout:The initial flow timeout period, e.g. 30 seconds.
 Maximum number of times the flow will restart before resulting in an error.
backoffBase:The base of the exponential backoff, t_{wait} = timeout * backoffBase^{retryCount}.

(Deprecated) The address of the RPC system on which RPC requests can be made to the node. If not provided then the node will run without RPC. This is now deprecated in favour of the rpcSettings block.


Options for the RPC server exposed by the Node.


host and port for the RPC server binding.


host and port for the RPC admin binding (this is the endpoint that the node process will connect to).


(optional) boolean, indicates whether the node will connect to a standalone broker for RPC, defaulted to false.


(optional) boolean, indicates whether or not the node should require clients to use SSL for RPC connections, defaulted to false.


(mandatory if useSsl=true) SSL settings for the RPC server.

keyStorePath:Absolute path to the key store containing the RPC SSL certificate.
 Password for the key store.


The RPC SSL certificate is used by RPC clients to authenticate the connection. The Node operator must provide RPC clients with a truststore containing the certificate they can trust. We advise Node operators to not use the P2P keystore for RPC. The node ships with a command line argument “–just-generate-rpc-ssl-settings”, which generates a secure keystore and truststore that can be used to secure the RPC connection. You can use this if you have no special requirements.


Contains various nested fields controlling user authentication/authorization, in particular for RPC accesses. See Client RPC for details.


Optional configuration object which if present configures the node to run as a notary. If part of a Raft or BFT SMaRt cluster then specify raft or bftSMaRt respectively as described below. If a single node notary then omit both.


Boolean to determine whether the notary is a validating or non-validating one.


If the node is part of a distributed cluster, specify the legal name of the cluster. At runtime, Corda checks whether this name matches the name of the certificate of the notary cluster.


If part of a distributed Raft cluster specify this config object, with the following settings:

nodeAddress:The host and port to which to bind the embedded Raft server. Note that the Raft cluster uses a separate transport layer for communication that does not integrate with ArtemisMQ messaging services.
 Must list the addresses of all the members in the cluster. At least one of the members must be active and be able to communicate with the cluster leader for the node to join the cluster. If empty, a new cluster will be bootstrapped.

If part of a distributed BFT-SMaRt cluster specify this config object, with the following settings:

replicaId:The zero-based index of the current replica. All replicas must specify a unique replica id.
 Must list the addresses of all the members in the cluster. At least one of the members must be active and be able to communicate with the cluster leader for the node to join the cluster. If empty, a new cluster will be bootstrapped.

If true, will load and install a notary service from a CorDapp. See Writing a custom notary service (experimental).

Only one of raft, bftSMaRt or custom configuration values may be specified.


A list of users who are authorised to access the RPC system. Each user in the list is a config object with the following fields:

username:Username consisting only of word characters (a-z, A-Z, 0-9 and _)
password:The password
permissions:A list of permissions for starting flows via RPC. To give the user the permission to start the flow, add the string to the list. If the list contains the string ALL, the user can start any flow via RPC. This value is intended for administrator users and for development.

This flag sets the node to run in development mode. On startup, if the keystore <workspace>/certificates/sslkeystore.jks does not exist, a developer keystore will be used if devMode is true. The node will exit if devMode is false and the keystore does not exist. devMode also turns on background checking of flow checkpoints to shake out any bugs in the checkpointing process. Also, if devMode is true, Hibernate will try to automatically create the schema required by Corda or update an existing schema in the SQL database; if devMode is false, Hibernate will simply validate the existing schema, failing on node start if the schema is either not present or not compatible. If no value is specified in the node config file, the node will attempt to detect if it’s running on a developer machine and set devMode=true in that case. This value can be overridden from the command line using the --dev-mode option.


This flag toggles the auto IP detection behaviour, it is enabled by default. On startup the node will attempt to discover its externally visible IP address first by looking for any public addresses on its network interfaces, and then by sending an IP discovery request to the network map service. Set to false to disable.


The root address of Corda compatibility zone network management services, it is used by the Corda node to register with the network and obtain Corda node certificate, (See Network permissioning for more information.) and also used by the node to obtain network map information. Cannot be set at the same time as the networkServices option.


If the Corda compatibility zone services, both network map and registration (doorman), are not running on the same endpoint and thus have different URLs then this option should be used in place of the compatibilityZoneURL setting.


Root address of the network registration service.


Root address of the network map service.


Only one of compatibilityZoneURL or networkServices should be used.


Allows modification of certain devMode features


Allows a node configured to operate in development mode to connect to a compatibility zone.


This is an unsupported configuration.


An optional list of JVM args, as strings, which replace those inherited from the command line when launching via corda.jar only. e.g. jvmArgs = [ "-Xmx220m", "-Xms220m", "-XX:+UseG1GC" ]


An optional map of additional system properties to be set when launching via corda.jar only. Keys and values of the map should be strings. e.g. systemProperties = { = FooBar }


An optional list of file system directories containing JARs to include in the classpath when launching via corda.jar only. Each should be a string. Only the JARs in the directories are added, not the directories themselves. This is useful for including JDBC drivers and the like. e.g. jarDirs = [ '${baseDirectory}/lib' ] (Note that you have to use the baseDirectory substitution value when pointing to a relative path).


This property is only available for Corda distributed with Capsule. For the Corda tarball distribution this option is unavailable. It’s advisable to copy any required JAR files to the ‘drivers’ subdirectory of the node base directory.


If provided, node will start internal SSH server which will provide a management shell. It uses the same credentials and permissions as RPC subsystem. It has one required parameter.

port:The port to start SSH server on e.g. sshd { port = 2222 }.

If provided, the node will attempt to tunnel inbound connections via an external relay. The relay’s address will be advertised to the network map service instead of the provided p2pAddress.

relayHost:Hostname of the relay machine
 A port on the relay machine that accepts incoming TCP connections. Traffic will be forwarded from this port to the local port specified in p2pAddress.
username:Username for establishing a SSH connection with the relay.
privateKeyFile:Path to the private key file for SSH authentication. The private key must not have a passphrase.
publicKeyFile:Path to the public key file for SSH authentication.
sshPort:Port to be used for SSH connection, default 22.

If set, will enable JMX metrics reporting via the Jolokia HTTP/JSON agent on the corresponding port. Default Jolokia access URL is


Optionally specify how much memory should be used for caching of ledger transactions in memory. Otherwise defaults to 8MB plus 5% of all heap memory above 300MB.


Optionally specify how much memory should be used to cache attachment contents in memory. Otherwise defaults to 10MB


Optionally specify how many attachments should be cached locally. Note that this includes only the key and metadata, the content is cached separately and can be loaded lazily. Defaults to 1024.

Optionally export metrics to a graphite server. When specified, the node will push out all JMX

metrics to the specified Graphite server at regular intervals.

server:Server name or ip address of the graphite instance.
port:Port the graphite instance is listening at.
prefix:Optional prefix string to identify metrics from this node, will default to a string made up from Organisation Name and ip address.
 optional wait time between pushing metrics. This will default to 60 seconds.

An optional list of private network map UUIDs. Your node will fetch the public network and private network maps based on these keys. Private network UUID should be provided by network operator and lets you see nodes not visible on public network.


This is temporary feature for onboarding network participants that limits their visibility for privacy reasons.


CRL distribution point (i.e. URL) for the TLS certificate. Default value is NULL, which indicates no CRL availability for the TLS certificate.


This needs to be set if crlCheckSoftFail is false (i.e. strict CRL checking is on).


CRL issuer (given in the X500 name format) for the TLS certificate. Default value is NULL, which indicates that the issuer of the TLS certificate is also the issuer of the CRL.


If this parameter is set then tlsCertCrlDistPoint needs to be set as well.


Duration of the period suspended flows waiting for IO are logged. Default value is 60 seconds.


Threshold Duration suspended flows waiting for IO need to exceed before they are logged. Default value is 60 seconds.


Allows fine-grained controls of various features only available in the enterprise version of Corda.


Performance tuning parameters for Corda Enterprise


The number of threads available to handle flows in parallel. This is the number of flows that can run in parallel doing something and/or holding resources like database connections. A larger number of flows can be suspended, e.g. waiting for reply from a counterparty. When a response arrives, a suspended flow will be woken up if there are any available threads in the thread pool. Otherwise, a currently active flow must be finished or suspended before the suspended flow can be woken up to handle the event. This can have serious performance implications if the flow thread pool is too small, as a flow cannot be suspended while in a database transaction, or without checkpointing its state first. Corda Enterprise allows the node operators to configure the number of threads the state machine manager can use to execute flows in parallel, allowing more than one flow to be active and/or use resources at the same time.

The default value is 2 times the number of cores available which was found to be working efficiently in performance testing. The ideal value for this parameter depends on a number of factors. The main ones are the hardware the node is running on, the performance profile of the flows, and the database instance backing the node as datastore. Every thread will open a database connection, so for n threads, the database system must have at least n+1 connections available. Also, the database must be able to actually cope with the level of parallelism to make the number of threads worthwhile - if using e.g. H2, any number beyond 8 does not add any substantial benefit due to limitations with its internal architecture. For these reasons, the default size for the flow framework thread pool is the minimum between two times the available number of processors and 30. Overriding this value in the configuration allows to specify any number.


The number of threads handling RPC calls - this defines how many RPC requests can be handled in parallel without queueing. The default value is set to the number of available processor cores. Incoming RPC calls are queued until a thread from this pool is available to handle the connection, prepare any required data and start the requested flow. As this might be a non-trivial amount of work, the size of this pool can be configured in Corda Enterprise. On a multicore machine with a large flowThreadPoolSize, this might need to be increased, to avoid flow threads being idle while the payload is being deserialized and the flow invocation run.

If there are idling flow threads while rpc calls are queued, it might be worthwhile increasing this number slightly. Valid values for this property are between 4 (that is the number used for the single threaded state machine in open source) and the number of flow threads.


General node configuration file for hosting the IRSDemo services:

myLegalName : "O=Bank A,L=London,C=GB"
keyStorePassword : "cordacadevpass"
trustStorePassword : "trustpass"
crlCheckSoftFail: true
dataSourceProperties : {
    dataSourceClassName : org.h2.jdbcx.JdbcDataSource
    dataSource.url : "jdbc:h2:file:"${baseDirectory}"/persistence"
    dataSource.user : sa
    dataSource.password : ""
p2pAddress : "my-corda-node:10002"
rpcSettings = {
    useSsl = false
    standAloneBroker = false
    address : "my-corda-node:10003"
    adminAddress : "my-corda-node:10004"
rpcUsers : [
    { username=user1, password=letmein, permissions=[ ] }
devMode : true

Simple notary configuration file:

myLegalName : "O=Notary Service,OU=corda,L=London,C=GB"
keyStorePassword : "cordacadevpass"
trustStorePassword : "trustpass"
p2pAddress : "localhost:12345"
rpcSettings = {
    useSsl = false
    standAloneBroker = false
    address : "my-corda-node:10003"
    adminAddress : "my-corda-node:10004"
notary : {
    validating : false
devMode : false
compatibilityZoneURL : ""
enterprise : {
    tuning : {
        rpcThreadPoolSize = 16
        flowThreadPoolSize = 256

Configuring a node where the Corda Compatibility Zone’s registration and Network Map services exist on different URLs

myLegalName : "O=Bank A,L=London,C=GB"
keyStorePassword : "cordacadevpass"
trustStorePassword : "trustpass"
crlCheckSoftFail: true
dataSourceProperties : {
    dataSourceClassName : org.h2.jdbcx.JdbcDataSource
    dataSource.url : "jdbc:h2:file:"${baseDirectory}"/persistence"
    dataSource.user : sa
    dataSource.password : ""
p2pAddress : "my-corda-node:10002"
rpcSettings = {
    useSsl = false
    standAloneBroker = false
    address : "my-corda-node:10003"
    adminAddress : "my-corda-node:10004"
rpcUsers : [
    { username=user1, password=letmein, permissions=[ ] }
devMode : false
networkServices : {
    doormanURL = ""
    networkMapURL = ""

Fields Override

JVM options or environmental variables prefixed with corda. can override node.conf fields. Provided system properties can also set values for absent fields in node.conf.

This is an example of adding/overriding the keyStore password :

java -Dcorda.rpcSettings.ssl.keyStorePassword=mypassword -jar node.jar

CRL Configuration

R3 provides an endpoint serving an empty certificate revocation list for the TLS-level certificates. This is intended for deployments that do not provide a CRL infrastructure but still require a strict CRL mode checking. In such a case use the following URL in tlsCertCrlDistPoint option configuration:


Together with the above configuration tlsCertCrlIssuer option needs to be set to the following value:

"C=US, L=New York, O=R3 HoldCo LLC, OU=Corda, CN=Corda Root CA"

This set-up ensures that the TLS-level certificates are embedded with the CRL distribution point referencing the CRL issued by R3. In cases where a proprietary CRL infrastructure is provided those values need to be changed accordingly.