Skip to main content

Use a configuration file

You can specify command line options in a TOML configuration file. Save the configuration file and reuse it across node startups. Specify the configuration file using the --config-file CLI option.

You can also use a pre-configured profile for some common use cases.


The configuration file is used for node-level settings. You can specify network-wide settings in the genesis file.

Configuration order of precedence

For options specified in multiple places, the order of precedence is as follows:

  1. Command line
  2. Environment variable
  3. Configuration file specified by --config-file
  4. Pre-configured profile specified by --profile
  5. Default values (used if no other configuration source is available)

For example, if you specify a config.toml configuration file and staker profile, and an option is not found in the environment variables, Besu looks for it in config.toml. If the option is not found in config.toml, Besu looks for it in staker.toml. If the option is not found in staker.toml, Besu uses the default value for that option.

TOML specification

The configuration file must be a valid TOML file composed of key/value pairs. Each key is the same as the corresponding command line option name without the leading dashes (--).

Values must conform to TOML specifications for string, numbers, arrays, and booleans. Specific differences between the command line and the TOML file format are:

  • Comma-separated lists on the command line are string arrays in the TOML file.
  • Enclose file paths, hexadecimal numbers, URLs, and <host:port> values in quotes.

Table headings are ignored in TOML files. If you specify a valid Besu option under a table heading in the configuration file, Besu ignores the table heading and reads the option in the same way it does for options not under table headings.


The command line reference includes configuration file examples for each option.

Sample TOML configuration file
# Valid TOML config file
data-path="~/besudata" # Path

# Network
bootnodes=["enode://001@123:4567", "enode://002@123:4567", "enode://003@123:4567"]




# Chain
genesis-file="~/genesis.json" # Path to the custom genesis file

# Mining
Starting Besu with a configuration file
besu --config-file=/home/me/me_node/config.toml