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Set Up a KILT Full Node

We will guide you through the process of setting up and connecting to a KILT full node. In contrast to a collator, full nodes do not author blocks. They act as a backend for websites and help to verify new blocks or validate extrinsics (e.g., coin transfers and other transactions) directly on the network without relying on a centralized infrastructure provider.


There are currently two different runtimes (i.e., two different parachain environments) that a KILT full node can be part of:

  • Spiritnet: the official public network, which contains only stable and thoroughly-tested features
  • Peregrine: the public test network whose runtime is as close to that of Spiritnet as possible. It can be used to test applications that use KILT before connecting them to the production Spiritnet chain, which requires tokens that have real monetary value

Each runtime has its own benchmark measurements.


The remainder of this guide will focus on the official Spiritnet. Nevertheless, we recommend trying out the setup on our Peregrine testnet first. Hence, at each step where it is applicable, we indicate what differs between the Peregrine and Spiritnet configuration for the full node to join either network.

WASM Runtime Execution

A KILT full node should use the --execution=wasm parameter for both the Relay Chain and parachain collation. The alternative to WASM runtime execution is native runtime execution, which might be faster but can, in some cases, deviate from the WASM execution logic and result in a different state. When this happens, the full node will crash and will stop synchronizing with the network. Since the WASM runtime logic is part of the blockchain state itself and hence represents the single source of truth, all nodes should execute the WASM version of the runtime logic.

Specify the Right Chainspec

The --chain parameter indicates which blockchain the KILT full node will join. This parameter must be specified for both the parachain and the Relay Chain, since both chains are, as a matter of fact, separate blockchains. The KILT parachain accepts an additional parameter to select the environment to use for the WASM runtime execution. This can either be peregrine or spiritnet.

Hence, to start a full node for the Spiritnet network, the parameter would be --chain=spiritnet. Unfortunately, there is no hardcoded chain spec for the Peregrine network, so the full path of the chainspec file must be provided --chain=/node/dev-specs/kilt-parachain/peregrine-kilt.json. Please refer to the KILT node repository or the Docker image for more information.

Specify the Blockchain Storage Path

The --base-path parameter specifies where all the persistent files must be stored. By default, the session keys will also be stored in the base path, but we recommend separating them from the other files. This makes sure that the keyfiles are not accidentally lost or published when the blockchain database is either backed up or restored. You can configure where to store the session keys using the --keystore-path option. Since the collator will collate only for the parachain, there is no need to add this to the Relay Chain part of the command.

Join the Network

Build the Full Node

In order to build the KILT full node executable, you need to have rustup and Rust installed and the wasm32-unknown-unknown target for this toolchain installed. After cloning the repository, you can build the executable by running the cargo build command below from the root directory.

# Clone the repository
git clone
# Check out master branch
git checkout master
# Set up the build environment by installing the Rust compiler.
# Build the executable from source enabling all the optimizations with --release.
cargo build --release -p kilt-parachain

You must not use the default develop branch to build the executable. Instead, the latest release from master should be used.

The compiled executable can be found in ./target/release/kilt-parachain after the build process completes successfully.

Run an Archive Node

To run an Archive full node, add the option --pruning archive to the command.

./target/release/kilt-parachain \
--chain=spiritnet \
--runtime=spiritnet \
--rpc-port=9933 \
--rpc-cors=all \
--rpc-external \
--ws-external \
--name="name of full node" \
--execution=wasm \
--pruning archive \
-- \
--chain=polkadot \

Sync the Blockchain State

Once started, the full node needs to fully sync up with both the parachain and the Relay Chain states. Depending on the size of both blockchain states and the node hardware specs, it may take from a number of hours to a few days for the node to fully synchronize. More details can be found in the Polkadot network documentation.

Example of node sync
2021-06-17 02:34:34 🔍 Discovered new external address for our node: /ip4/
2021-06-17 02:34:36 ⚙️ Syncing 409.2 bps, target=#8062689 (5 peers), best: #3477 (0x63ad…e046), finalized #3072 (0x0e4c…f587), ⬇ 153.2kiB/s ⬆ 12.9kiB/s
2021-06-17 02:34:37 🔍 Discovered new external address for our node: /ip4/
2021-06-17 02:34:38 🔍 Discovered new external address for our node: /ip4/
2021-06-17 02:34:41 ⚙️ Syncing 386.2 bps, target=#8062690 (7 peers), best: #5409 (0x1d76…8c3d), finalized #5121 (0x8ad1…b6dc), ⬇ 96.1kiB/s ⬆ 10.9kiB/s
2021-06-17 02:34:46 ⚙️ Syncing 394.8 bps, target=#8062691 (11 peers), best: #7383 (0x0689…6f1e), finalized #7168 (0x72a9…8d8c), ⬇ 352.9kiB/s ⬆ 5.1kiB/s
2021-06-17 02:34:51 ⚙️ Syncing 347.0 bps, target=#8062692 (12 peers), best: #9118 (0x66fc…cce3), finalized #8704 (0x14c9…705e), ⬇ 62.7kiB/s ⬆ 1.7kiB/s