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Filecoin Testnet

If you are ready to run on Testnet, the Powergate should make it as easy as possible. Note that running a fully synced Lotus node can take a considerable amount of time and resources. The required effort is normal on live blockchain networks. It may take more than a day to properly sync the current chain the first time your run the Powergate.

Getting Started

There are a few resources you'll need before you start running any nodes.

  • Docker Desktop. In the examples below, you'll run node instances using local Docker containers. You can do the same with any Docker enabled system, but to get started we recommend Docker Desktop and the default configurations we provide.
  • Powergate.
    • Golang. Building the Powergate CLI from code requires that you can run commands with Go. Other sections of the tutorials below don't have any Go requirement.

Testnet with Powergate


Clone the Powergate and cd into the project

git clone
cd powergate


A default setup is available in a docker-compose configuration shipped with the Powergate. With the default setup, you will run Powergate connected to live Filecoin testnet.

Run the docker-compose

Docker files for the Powergate are all contained in the folder, /docker.

cd docker
make up

If this is your first time running the Powergate, Docker will download the required instances before any Powergate setup begins. Downloads are dependent on your bandwidth and may take a few minutes, but wont be required for subsequent runs of the Powergate.

If this is the first time you are running the Powergate on the testnet, or if you have been offline for any amount of time, you will need to wait for the chain to properly sync. This will likely take more than a day.

Once running, you will begin to see log outputs.

lotus_1      | 2020-05-29T20:35:08.644Z WARN    miner   miner/miner.go:177\
mined block in the past {"block-time": "2009-01-01T04:44:30.000Z",\
"time": "2020-05-29T20:35:08.644Z", "duration": 359999438.64444387}

When complete, you will have a fully functional Powergate (powd), a Lotus node, and an IPFS node wired correctly together to start using the Testnet!

Create a deal and store a file

Now that your Powergate is running on testnet, all the CLI and API commands are the same as if you had run it on localnet before.

Install the CLI

From the root of the powergate repo, you can build the CLI from the latest code. This will install the Powergate CLI, pow, on your machine.

make build

Test your installation.

pow --help

Start storing data

You are now ready to start storing and retrieving data using the Powergate. Read more on Storing Data with the FFS.