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Charon CLI reference

caution

The charon client is under heavy development, interfaces are subject to change until a first major version is published.

The following is a reference for charon version v0.10.0. Find the latest release on our Github.

Available Commands

The following are the top-level commands available to use.

charon help
Charon enables the operation of Ethereum validators in a fault tolerant manner by splitting the validating keys across a group of trusted parties using threshold cryptography.

Usage:
charon [command]

Available Commands:
bootnode Start a discv5 bootnode server
completion Generate the autocompletion script for the specified shell
create Create artifacts for a distributed validator cluster
dkg Participate in a Distributed Key Generation ceremony
enr Prints a new ENR for this node
help Help about any command
run Run the charon middleware client
version Print version and exit

Flags:
-h, --help Help for charon

Use "charon [command] --help" for more information about a command.

The create subcommand

The create subcommand handles the creation of artifacts needed by charon to operate.

charon create --help
Create artifacts for a distributed validator cluster. These commands can be used to facilitate the creation of a distributed validator cluster between a group of operators by performing a distributed key generation ceremony, or they can be used to create a local cluster for single operator use cases.

Usage:
charon create [command]

Available Commands:
cluster Create private keys and configuration files needed to run a distributed validator cluster locally
dkg Create the configuration for a new Distributed Key Generation ceremony using charon dkg
enr Create an Ethereum Node Record (ENR) private key to identify this charon client

Flags:
-h, --help Help for create

Use "charon create [command] --help" for more information about a command.

Creating an ENR for charon

An enr is an Ethereum Node Record. It is used to identify this charon client to its other counterparty charon clients across the internet.

charon create enr --help
Create an Ethereum Node Record (ENR) private key to identify this charon client

Usage:
charon create enr [flags]

Flags:
--data-dir string The directory where charon will store all its internal data (default ".charon")
-h, --help Help for enr
--p2p-allowlist string Comma-separated list of CIDR subnets for allowing only certain peer connections. Example: 192.168.0.0/16 would permit connections to peers on your local network only. The default is to accept all connections.
--p2p-bootnode-relay Enables using bootnodes as libp2p circuit relays. Useful if some charon nodes are not have publicly accessible.
--p2p-bootnodes strings Comma-separated list of discv5 bootnode URLs or ENRs. (default [http://bootnode.lb.gcp.obol.tech:3640/enr])
--p2p-bootnodes-from-lockfile Enables using cluster lock ENRs as discv5 bootnodes. Allows skipping explicit bootnodes if key generation ceremony included correct IPs.
--p2p-denylist string Comma-separated list of CIDR subnets for disallowing certain peer connections. Example: 192.168.0.0/16 would disallow connections to peers on your local network. The default is to accept all connections.
--p2p-external-hostname string The DNS hostname advertised by libp2p. This may be used to advertise an external DNS.
--p2p-external-ip string The IP address advertised by libp2p. This may be used to advertise an external IP.
--p2p-tcp-address strings Comma-separated list of listening TCP addresses (ip and port) for libP2P traffic. (default [127.0.0.1:3610])
--p2p-udp-address string Listening UDP address (ip and port) for discv5 discovery. (default "127.0.0.1:3630")

Create a full cluster locally

charon create cluster creates a set of distributed validators locally, including the private keys, a cluster-lock.json file, and deposit and exit data. However, this command should only be used for solo use of distributed validators. To run a Distributed Validator with a group of operators, it is preferable to create these artifacts using the charon dkg command. That way, no single operator custodies all of the private keys to a distributed validator.

charon create cluster --help
Creates a local charon cluster configuration including validator keys, charon p2p keys, cluster-lock.json and a deposit-data.json. See flags for supported features.

Usage:
charon create cluster [flags]

Flags:
--clean Delete the cluster directory before generating it.
--cluster-dir string The target folder to create the cluster in. (default ".charon/cluster")
--fee-recipient-address string Optional Ethereum address of the fee recipient
-h, --help Help for cluster
--name string Optional cosmetic cluster name
--network string Ethereum network to create validators for. Options: mainnet, gnosis, goerli, kiln, ropsten, sepolia. (default "goerli")
-n, --nodes int The number of charon nodes in the cluster. Minimum is 4. (default 4)
--num-validators int The number of distributed validators needed in the cluster. (default 1)
--split-existing-keys Split an existing validator's private key into a set of distributed validator private key shares. Does not re-create deposit data for this key.
--split-keys-dir string Directory containing keys to split. Expects keys in keystore-*.json and passwords in keystore-*.txt. Requires --split-existing-keys.
-t, --threshold int Optional override of threshold required for signature reconstruction. Defaults to ceil(n*2/3) if zero. Warning, non-default values decrease security.
--withdrawal-address string Ethereum address to receive the returned stake and accrued rewards. (default "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000")

Creating the configuration for a DKG Ceremony

This charon create dkg command creates a cluster_definition file used for the charon dkg command.

charon create dkg --help
Create a cluster definition file that will be used by all participants of a DKG.

Usage:
charon create dkg [flags]

Flags:
--dkg-algorithm string DKG algorithm to use; default, keycast, frost (default "default")
--fee-recipient-address string Optional Ethereum address of the fee recipient
-h, --help Help for dkg
--name string Optional cosmetic cluster name
--network string Ethereum network to create validators for. Options: mainnet, gnosis, goerli, kiln, ropsten, sepolia. (default "goerli")
--num-validators int The number of distributed validators the cluster will manage (32ETH staked for each). (default 1)
--operator-enrs strings [REQUIRED] Comma-separated list of each operator's Charon ENR address.
--output-dir string The folder to write the output cluster-definition.json file to. (default ".charon")
-t, --threshold int Optional override of threshold required for signature reconstruction. Defaults to ceil(n*2/3) if zero. Warning, non-default values decrease security.
--withdrawal-address string Withdrawal Ethereum address (default "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000")

Performing a DKG Ceremony

Th charon dkg command takes a cluster_definition.json file that instructs charon on the terms of a new distributed validator cluster to be created. Charon establishes communication with the other nodes identified in the file, performs a distributed key generation ceremony to create the required threshold private keys, and signs deposit data for each new distributed validator. The command outputs the cluster-lock.json file and key shares for each Distributed Validator created.

charon dkg --help
Participate in a distributed key generation ceremony for a specific cluster definition that creates
distributed validator key shares and a final cluster lock configuration. Note that all other cluster operators should run
this command at the same time.

Usage:
charon dkg [flags]

Flags:
--data-dir string The directory where charon will store all its internal data (default ".charon")
--definition-file string The path to the cluster definition file. (default ".charon/cluster-definition.json")
-h, --help Help for dkg
--log-format string Log format; console, logfmt or json (default "console")
--log-level string Log level; debug, info, warn or error (default "info")
--no-verify Disables cluster definition and lock file verification.
--p2p-allowlist string Comma-separated list of CIDR subnets for allowing only certain peer connections. Example: 192.168.0.0/16 would permit connections to peers on your local network only. The default is to accept all connections.
--p2p-bootnode-relay Enables using bootnodes as libp2p circuit relays. Useful if some charon nodes are not have publicly accessible.
--p2p-bootnodes strings Comma-separated list of discv5 bootnode URLs or ENRs. (default [http://bootnode.lb.gcp.obol.tech:3640/enr])
--p2p-bootnodes-from-lockfile Enables using cluster lock ENRs as discv5 bootnodes. Allows skipping explicit bootnodes if key generation ceremony included correct IPs.
--p2p-denylist string Comma-separated list of CIDR subnets for disallowing certain peer connections. Example: 192.168.0.0/16 would disallow connections to peers on your local network. The default is to accept all connections.
--p2p-external-hostname string The DNS hostname advertised by libp2p. This may be used to advertise an external DNS.
--p2p-external-ip string The IP address advertised by libp2p. This may be used to advertise an external IP.
--p2p-tcp-address strings Comma-separated list of listening TCP addresses (ip and port) for libP2P traffic. (default [127.0.0.1:3610])
--p2p-udp-address string Listening UDP address (ip and port) for discv5 discovery. (default "127.0.0.1:3630")

Run the Charon middleware

This run command accepts a cluster-lock.json file that was created either via a charon create cluster command or charon dkg. This lock file outlines the nodes in the cluster and the distributed validators they operate on behalf of.

charon run --help
Starts the long-running Charon middleware process to perform distributed validator duties.

Usage:
charon run [flags]

Flags:
--beacon-node-endpoint string Beacon node endpoint URL. Deprecated, please use beacon-node-endpoints.
--beacon-node-endpoints strings Comma separated list of one or more beacon node endpoint URLs.
--builder-api Enables the builder api. Will only produce builder blocks. Builder API must also be enabled on the validator client. Beacon node must be connected to a builder-relay to access the builder network.
--data-dir string The directory where charon will store all its internal data (default ".charon")
--feature-set string Minimum feature set to enable by default: alpha, beta, or stable. Warning: modify at own risk. (default "stable")
--feature-set-disable strings Comma-separated list of features to disable, overriding the default minimum feature set.
--feature-set-enable strings Comma-separated list of features to enable, overriding the default minimum feature set.
-h, --help Help for run
--jaeger-address string Listening address for jaeger tracing.
--jaeger-service string Service name used for jaeger tracing. (default "charon")
--lock-file string The path to the cluster lock file defining distributed validator cluster. (default ".charon/cluster-lock.json")
--log-format string Log format; console, logfmt or json (default "console")
--log-level string Log level; debug, info, warn or error (default "info")
--monitoring-address string Listening address (ip and port) for the monitoring API (prometheus, pprof). (default "127.0.0.1:3620")
--no-verify Disables cluster definition and lock file verification.
--p2p-allowlist string Comma-separated list of CIDR subnets for allowing only certain peer connections. Example: 192.168.0.0/16 would permit connections to peers on your local network only. The default is to accept all connections.
--p2p-bootnode-relay Enables using bootnodes as libp2p circuit relays. Useful if some charon nodes are not have publicly accessible.
--p2p-bootnodes strings Comma-separated list of discv5 bootnode URLs or ENRs. (default [http://bootnode.lb.gcp.obol.tech:3640/enr])
--p2p-bootnodes-from-lockfile Enables using cluster lock ENRs as discv5 bootnodes. Allows skipping explicit bootnodes if key generation ceremony included correct IPs.
--p2p-denylist string Comma-separated list of CIDR subnets for disallowing certain peer connections. Example: 192.168.0.0/16 would disallow connections to peers on your local network. The default is to accept all connections.
--p2p-external-hostname string The DNS hostname advertised by libp2p. This may be used to advertise an external DNS.
--p2p-external-ip string The IP address advertised by libp2p. This may be used to advertise an external IP.
--p2p-tcp-address strings Comma-separated list of listening TCP addresses (ip and port) for libP2P traffic. (default [127.0.0.1:3610])
--p2p-udp-address string Listening UDP address (ip and port) for discv5 discovery. (default "127.0.0.1:3630")
--simnet-beacon-mock Enables an internal mock beacon node for running a simnet.
--simnet-validator-mock Enables an internal mock validator client when running a simnet. Requires simnet-beacon-mock.
--validator-api-address string Listening address (ip and port) for validator-facing traffic proxying the beacon-node API. (default "127.0.0.1:3600")

Host a bootnode

Bootnodes are dual-purpose at this point in time. They run a discV5 discovery server that allows charon clients to find one another despite IP address changes, and they also run a libp2p circuit relay server that allows charon clients behind NAT gateways to be communicated with when --p2p-bootnode-relay is enabled. These features make it easier to get a distributed validator cluster established and connected, but they trade off against cluster independence and fault tolerance. In the long run the use of these features will be minimised, but for now, if you want to self-host a bootnode for your cluster(s) the following command will start one.

charon bootnode --help
Starts a discv5 bootnode that charon nodes can use to bootstrap their p2p cluster

Usage:
charon bootnode [flags]

Flags:
--auto-p2pkey Automatically create a p2pkey (ecdsa private key used for p2p authentication and ENR) if none found in data directory (default true)
--bootnode-http-address string Listening address (ip and port) for the bootnode http server serving runtime ENR (default "127.0.0.1:3640")
--data-dir string The directory where charon will store all its internal data (default ".charon")
-h, --help Help for bootnode
--log-format string Log format; console, logfmt or json (default "console")
--log-level string Log level; debug, info, warn or error (default "info")
--max-reservations int Updates max circuit reservations per peer (each valid for 30min) (default 512)
--p2p-allowlist string Comma-separated list of CIDR subnets for allowing only certain peer connections. Example: 192.168.0.0/16 would permit connections to peers on your local network only. The default is to accept all connections.
--p2p-bootnode-relay Enables using bootnodes as libp2p circuit relays. Useful if some charon nodes are not have publicly accessible.
--p2p-bootnodes strings Comma-separated list of discv5 bootnode URLs or ENRs. (default [http://bootnode.lb.gcp.obol.tech:3640/enr])
--p2p-bootnodes-from-lockfile Enables using cluster lock ENRs as discv5 bootnodes. Allows skipping explicit bootnodes if key generation ceremony included correct IPs.
--p2p-denylist string Comma-separated list of CIDR subnets for disallowing certain peer connections. Example: 192.168.0.0/16 would disallow connections to peers on your local network. The default is to accept all connections.
--p2p-external-hostname string The DNS hostname advertised by libp2p. This may be used to advertise an external DNS.
--p2p-external-ip string The IP address advertised by libp2p. This may be used to advertise an external IP.
--p2p-max-connections int Libp2p maximum number of peers that can connect to this bootnode. (default 16384)
--p2p-relay Enable libp2p tcp host providing circuit relay to charon clusters (default true)
--p2p-relay-loglevel string Libp2p circuit relay log level. E.g., debug, info, warn, error
--p2p-tcp-address strings Comma-separated list of listening TCP addresses (ip and port) for libP2P traffic. (default [127.0.0.1:3610])
--p2p-udp-address string Listening UDP address (ip and port) for discv5 discovery. (default "127.0.0.1:3630")