Running nodes locally


You should already have generated your node(s) with their CorDapps installed by following the instructions in Creating nodes locally.

There are several ways to run a Corda node locally for testing purposes.

Starting a Corda node from the command line

Run a node by opening a terminal window in the node’s folder and running:

java -jar corda.jar

By default, the node will look for a configuration file called node.conf and a CorDapps folder called cordapps in the current working directory. You can override the configuration file and workspace paths on the command line (e.g. ./corda.jar --config-file=test.conf --base-directory=/opt/corda/nodes/test).

You can increase the amount of Java heap memory available to the node using the -Xmx command line argument. For example, the following would run the node with a heap size of 2048MB:

java -Xmx2048m -jar corda.jar

You should do this if you receive an OutOfMemoryError exception when interacting with the node.

Optionally run the node’s webserver as well by opening a terminal window in the node’s folder and running:

java -jar corda-webserver.jar


The node webserver is for testing purposes only and will be removed soon.

Command-line options

The node can optionally be started with the following command-line options:

  • --base-directory: The node working directory where all the files are kept (default: .)
  • --bootstrap-raft-cluster: Bootstraps Raft cluster. The node forms a single node cluster (ignoring otherwise configured peer addresses), acting as a seed for other nodes to join the cluster
  • --config-file: The path to the config file (default: node.conf)
  • --help
  • --initial-registration: Start initial node registration with Corda network to obtain certificate from the permissioning server
  • --just-generate-node-info: Perform the node start-up task necessary to generate its nodeInfo, save it to disk, then quit
  • --log-to-console: If set, prints logging to the console as well as to a file
  • --logging-level <[ERROR,WARN,INFO, DEBUG,TRACE]>: Enable logging at this level and higher (default: INFO)
  • --network-root-truststore: Network root trust store obtained from network operator
  • --network-root-truststore-password: Network root trust store password obtained from network operator
  • --no-local-shell: Do not start the embedded shell locally
  • --sshd: Enables SSHD server for node administration
  • --version: Print the version and exit

Enabling remote debugging

To enable remote debugging of the node, run the node with the following JVM arguments:

java -Dcapsule.jvm.args="-agentlib:jdwp=transport=dt_socket,server=y,suspend=y,address=5005" -jar corda.jar

This will allow you to attach a debugger to your node on port 5005.

Starting a node with JMX monitoring enabled

To enable export of JMX metrics over HTTP via Jolokia, run the following from the terminal window:

java -Dcapsule.jvm.args="-javaagent:drivers/jolokia-jvm-1.3.7-agent.jar=port=7005" -jar corda.jar

This command line will start the node with JMX metrics accessible via HTTP on port 7005.

See Monitoring your node for further details.

Starting all nodes at once from the command line (native)

If you created your nodes using deployNodes, a runnodes shell script (or batch file on Windows) will have been generated to allow you to quickly start up all nodes and their webservers. runnodes should only be used for testing purposes.

Start the nodes with runnodes by running the following command from the root of the project:

  • Linux/macOS: build/nodes/runnodes
  • Windows: call build\nodes\runnodes.bat


On macOS, do not click/change focus until all the node terminal windows have opened, or some processes may fail to start.

If you receive an OutOfMemoryError exception when interacting with the nodes, you need to increase the amount of Java heap memory available to them, which you can do when running them individually. See Starting a Corda node from the command line.

Starting all nodes at once from the command line (docker-compose)

If you created your nodes using Dockerform, the docker-compose.yml file and corresponding Dockerfile for nodes has been created and configured appropriately. Navigate to build/nodes directory and run docker-compose up command. This will startup nodes inside new, internal network. After the nodes are started up, you can use docker ps command to see how the ports are mapped.


You need both Docker and docker-compose installed and enabled to use this method. Docker CE (Community Edition) is enough. Please refer to Docker CE documentation and Docker Compose documentation for installation instructions for all major operating systems.

Starting all nodes at once on a remote machine from the command line

By default, Cordform expects the nodes it generates to be run on the same machine where they were generated. In order to run the nodes remotely, the nodes can be deployed locally and then copied to a remote server. If after copying the nodes to the remote machine you encounter errors related to localhost resolution, you will additionally need to follow the steps below.

To create nodes locally and run on a remote machine perform the following steps:

  1. Configure Cordform task and deploy the nodes locally as described in Creating nodes locally.

  2. Copy the generated directory structure to a remote machine using e.g. Secure Copy.

  3. Optionally, add database configuration settings if they weren’t specified in the first step.

    This step needs to be performed if the local machine doesn’t have access to the remote database (a database couldn’t be configured in the first step). In each top level [NODE NAME]_node.conf configuration file add the database settings and copy the JDBC driver JAR (if required). Edit the top level [NODE NAME]_node.conf files only and not the files (node.conf) inside the node subdirectories.

  4. Optionally, bootstrap the network on the remote machine.

    This is optional step when a remote machine doesn’t accept localhost addresses, or the generated nodes are configured to run on another host’s IP address.

    If required change host addresses in top level configuration files [NODE NAME]_node.conf for entries p2pAddress , rpcSettings.address and rpcSettings.adminAddress.

    Run the network bootstrapper tool to regenerate the nodes network map (see for more explanation Network Bootstrapper):

    java -jar corda-tools-network-bootstrapper-Master.jar --dir <nodes-root-dir>

  5. Run nodes on the remote machine using runnodes command.

The above steps create a test deployment as deployNodes Gradle task would do on a local machine.

Database migrations

Depending on the versions of Corda and of the CorDapps used, database migration scripts might need to run before a node is able to start. For more information refer to Database management.