Manual Deployment (backend + old UI)

General deployment instructions for a hardware or cloud services environment

This method uses the deprecated UI and is not recommended. Please use the Manual Deployment Guide to deploy a new version of Blockscout.

Prepare Environment

Check your environment is prepared with General Requirements and Database Storage Requirements.

BlockScout requires a full archive node in order to import every state change for every address on the target network. For client specific settings related to a node running Erigon/Geth/Nethermind, please see Client Settings.

For testing purposes, instead of an archive node, a test Ethereum client can be used. For instance, ganache-cli

Deployment Steps

1) git clone

2) cd blockscout

3) Provide DB URL: export DATABASE_URL=postgresql://user:password@localhost:5432/blockscout

  • Linux: Update the database username and password configuration

  • Mac: Use logged-in user name and empty password

  • Optional: Change credentials in apps/explorer/config/test.exs for test env

Example usage: Changing the default Postgres port from localhost:5432 if Boxen is installed.

4) Install Mix dependencies and compile them mix do deps.get, local.rebar --force, deps.compile

5) Generate a new secret_key_base for the DB by setting a corresponding ENV var: export SECRET_KEY_BASE=VTIB3uHDNbvrY0+60ZWgUoUBKDn9ppLR8MI4CpRz4/qLyEFs54ktJfaNT6Z221No

In order to generate a new secret_key_base run mix phx.gen.secret

6) If you have deployed previously, remove static assets from the previous build mix phx.digest.clean.

7) Set environment variables as needed.

CLI Example:

export ETHEREUM_JSONRPC_HTTP_URL=http://localhost:8545
export DATABASE_URL=postgresql://...
export COIN=DAI
export MIX_ENV=prod
export ... 

It is important to set the variable MIX_ENV=prod during deployment. The current default is MIX_ENV=dev which is a slower and less secure setting.

The ETHEREUM_JSONRPC_VARIANT will vary depending on your client (nethermind, geth etc). More information on client settings.

8) Install and start the smart contract verification microservice. You can use docker, build from source, or use cargo directly (example below). If you experience issues, see the extensive smart contract verifier readme.

  1. Using docker:

    • docker run -p 8050:8050

  2. Or install rust and build from sources:

    • cargo install --locked --git smart-contract-verifier-server

    • Then run the binary as smart-contract-verifier-server

  3. Set ENV variables in CLI to enable the rust microservice for Blockscout (these can also be set at runtime).


9) Compile the application:mix compile

10) If not already running, start Postgres: pg_ctl -D /usr/local/var/postgres start

To check postgres status: pg_isready

11) Create and migrate database mix do ecto.create, ecto.migrate

If you are in dev environment and have run the application previously with a different blockchain, drop the previous database mix do ecto.drop, ecto.create, ecto.migrate Be careful since it will delete all data from the DB. Don't execute it on production if you don't want to lose all the data!

12) Install Node.js dependencies

Optional: If preferred, use npm ci rather than npm install to strictly follow all package versions in package-lock.json.

  • cd apps/block_scout_web/assets; npm install && node_modules/webpack/bin/webpack.js --mode production; cd -

  • cd apps/explorer && npm install; cd -

13) Build static assets for deployment mix phx.digest

14) Enable HTTPS in development. The Phoenix server only runs with HTTPS.

  • cd apps/block_scout_web; mix phx.gen.cert blockscout blockscout.local; cd -

  • Add blockscout and blockscout.local to your /etc/hosts       localhost blockscout blockscout.local broadcasthost

   ::1             localhost blockscout blockscout.local

If using Chrome, Enable chrome://flags/#allow-insecure-localhost

15) Return to the root directory and start the Phoenix Server. mix phx.server

16) Check the Frontend Migration section if you would like to connect the enhanced frontend UI to the manually installed backend.

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