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Last update: May 5, 2022

Get started with onchain permissioning

The following steps describe bootstrapping a permissioned network using a Hyperledger Besu node and a development server to run the permissioning management dapp.

This tutorial configures permissioning on a Clique proof of authority (PoA) network.


Production environments require a Web server to host the permissioning management dapp.


For the development server to run the dapp:


1. Create folders

Each node requires a data directory for the blockchain data. When the node starts, Besu saves the node key in this directory.

Create directories for your permissioned network and each of the three nodes, and a data directory for each node:

├── Node-1
│   ├── data
├── Node-2
│   ├── data
└── Node-3
    ├── data

2. Get the address of Node-1

In networks using Clique, you must include the address of at least one initial signer in the genesis file. For this network, we’ll use Node-1 as the initial signer. This requires obtaining the address for Node-1.

To retrieve the address for Node-1, in the Node-1 directory, use the public-key export-address subcommand to write the node address to the specified file (nodeAddress1 in this example).

besu --data-path=data public-key export-address --to=data/nodeAddress1
besu --data-path=data public-key export-address --to=data\nodeAddress1

3. Create the genesis file

The genesis file defines the genesis block of the blockchain (that is, the start of the blockchain). The Clique genesis file includes the address of Node-1 as the initial signer in the extraData field.

All nodes in a network must use the same genesis file.

Copy the following genesis definition to a file called cliqueGenesis.json and save it in the Permissioned-Network directory:

    "constantinoplefixblock": 0,

"extraData":"0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000<Node 1 Address>0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000",
  "alloc": {
      "fe3b557e8fb62b89f4916b721be55ceb828dbd73": {
        "privateKey": "8f2a55949038a9610f50fb23b5883af3b4ecb3c3bb792cbcefbd1542c692be63",
        "comment": "private key and this comment are ignored.  In a real chain, the private key should NOT be stored",
        "balance": "0xad78ebc5ac6200000"
      "627306090abaB3A6e1400e9345bC60c78a8BEf57": {
        "privateKey": "c87509a1c067bbde78beb793e6fa76530b6382a4c0241e5e4a9ec0a0f44dc0d3",
        "comment": "private key and this comment are ignored.  In a real chain, the private key should NOT be stored",
        "balance": "90000000000000000000000"
      "f17f52151EbEF6C7334FAD080c5704D77216b732": {
        "privateKey": "ae6ae8e5ccbfb04590405997ee2d52d2b330726137b875053c36d94e974d162f",
        "comment": "private key and this comment are ignored.  In a real chain, the private key should NOT be stored",
        "balance": "90000000000000000000000"

4. Add the Ingress contracts to the genesis file


If the network is using only account or node permissioning, add only the relevant Ingress contract to the genesis file.

Add the Ingress contracts to the genesis file for your network by copying them from genesis.json in the permissioning-smart-contracts repository to the alloc section of the contract:

"0x0000000000000000000000000000000000008888": {
      "comment": "Account Ingress smart contract",
      "balance": "0",
      "code": <stripped>,
      "storage": {

"0x0000000000000000000000000000000000009999": {
      "comment": "Node Ingress smart contract",
      "balance": "0",
      "code": <stripped>,
      "storage": {


To support the permissioning contracts, ensure your genesis file includes at least the constantinopleFixBlock milestone.

The permissioning contract has multiple interfaces, and each interface maps to a specific version of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance Client Specification. Ensure that you specify the permissioning contract interface being used when starting Besu.

5. Set the environment variables

Create the following environment variables and set to the specified values:

  • BESU_NODE_PERM_ACCOUNT - Account to deploy the permissioning contracts and become the first admin account.
  • BESU_NODE_PERM_KEY - Private key of the account to deploy the permissioning contracts.
  • ACCOUNT_INGRESS_CONTRACT_ADDRESS - Address of the Account Ingress contract in the genesis file.
  • NODE_INGRESS_CONTRACT_ADDRESS - Address of the Node Ingress contract in the genesis file.
  • BESU_NODE_PERM_ENDPOINT - Required only if your node is not using the default JSON-RPC host and port ( Set to JSON-RPC host and port. When bootstrapping the network, Besu uses the specified node to deploy the contracts and is the first node in the network.
  • CHAIN_ID - The chain ID from the genesis file.


A simple way to set multiple environment variables is to create a file called .env with the required settings:


6. Start Node-1


The specified node must be producing blocks, that is, be a miner (PoW networks) or validator (PoA networks).

To allow MetaMask to connect, the node must have JSON-RPC HTTP enabled, and have --rpc-http-cors-origins set to allow MetaMask.

If your network is not a free gas network, the account used to interact with the permissioning contracts must have a balance.

Start the first node with command line options to enable onchain permissioning and the location of the data folder and genesis file:

besu --data-path=data --genesis-file=../cliqueGenesis.json --permissions-accounts-contract-enabled --permissions-accounts-contract-address "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000008888" --permissions-nodes-contract-enabled  --permissions-nodes-contract-address "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000009999" --permissions-nodes-contract-version=2 --rpc-http-enabled --rpc-http-cors-origins="*" --rpc-http-api=ADMIN,ETH,NET,PERM,CLIQUE --host-allowlist="*" --engine-host-allowlist="*"

On the command line:

When the node starts, the enode URL displays. Copy the enode URL to use when starting Node-2 and Node-3.

7. Clone the contracts and install dependencies

  1. Clone the permissioning-smart-contracts repository:

    git clone
  2. Change into the permissioning-smart-contracts directory and run:

    yarn install

8. Build the project

In the permissioning-smart-contracts directory, build the project:

yarn run build

9. Deploy the contracts

If using a .env file to configure environment variables, then copy the file to the permissioning-smart-contracts directory.

In the permissioning-smart-contracts directory, deploy the Admin and Rules contracts:

yarn truffle migrate --reset

This also updates the Ingress contract with the name and version of the Admin and Rules contracts. The migration logs the addresses of the Admin and Rules contracts.


The account that deploys the contracts is automatically an admin account.

10. Start the permissioning management dapp


Production environments require a Web server to host the permissioning management dapp.

  1. In the permissioning-smart-contracts directory, start the Web server serving the dapp:

    yarn start

    The dapp displays at http://localhost:3000.

  2. Ensure MetaMask connects to your local node (by default http://localhost:8545).

    A MetaMask notification displays requesting permission for Besu Permissioning to connect to your account.

  3. Select the Connect button.

    The dapp displays with the account specified by the BESU_NODE_PERM_ACCOUNT environment variable in the Accounts and Admins tabs.


Only an admin account can add or remove nodes from the allowlist.

11. Start Node-2

Use the following command to start Node-2:

besu --data-path=data --genesis-file=../cliqueGenesis.json --bootnodes=<Node-1 Enode URL> --permissions-accounts-contract-enabled --permissions-accounts-contract-address "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000008888" --permissions-nodes-contract-enabled  --permissions-nodes-contract-address "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000009999" --permissions-nodes-contract-version=2 --rpc-http-enabled --rpc-http-cors-origins="*" --rpc-http-api=ADMIN,ETH,NET,PERM,CLIQUE --host-allowlist="*" --p2p-port=30304 --rpc-http-port=8546 --engine-rpc-http-port=8551 --engine-host-allowlist="*"

The command line specifies:

12. Start Node-3

Use the following command to start Node-3:

besu --data-path=data --genesis-file=../cliqueGenesis.json --bootnodes=<Node-1 Enode URL> --permissions-accounts-contract-enabled --permissions-accounts-contract-address "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000008888" --permissions-nodes-contract-enabled  --permissions-nodes-contract-address "0x0000000000000000000000000000000000009999" --permissions-nodes-contract-version=2 --rpc-http-enabled --rpc-http-cors-origins="*" --rpc-http-api=ADMIN,ETH,NET,PERM,CLIQUE --host-allowlist="*" --p2p-port=30305 --rpc-http-port=8547 --engine-rpc-http-port=8552 --engine-host-allowlist="*"

The command line specifies:

13. Add nodes to the allowlist

In the permissioning management dapp started in step 10, add Node-1, Node-2, and Node-3 to the allowlist.

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