Getting Started

First CometBFT App

As a general purpose blockchain engine, CometBFT is agnostic to the application you want to run. So, to run a complete blockchain that does something useful, you must start two programs: one is CometBFT, the other is your application, which can be written in any programming language.

CometBFT handles all the p2p and consensus logic, and just forwards transactions to the application when they need to be validated, or when they’re ready to be executed and committed.

In this guide, we show you some examples of how to run an application using CometBFT.


The first apps we will work with are written in Go. To install them, you need to install Go, put $GOPATH/bin in your $PATH and enable go modules. If you use bash, follow these instructions:

echo export GOPATH=\"\$HOME/go\" >> ~/.bash_profile
echo export PATH=\"\$PATH:\$GOPATH/bin\" >> ~/.bash_profile

Then run

go get
cd $GOPATH/src/
make install_abci

Now you should have the abci-cli installed; run abci-cli to see the list of commands:

  abci-cli [command]

Available Commands:
  batch            run a batch of abci commands against an application
  check_tx         validate a transaction
  commit           commit the application state and return the Merkle root hash
  completion       Generate the autocompletion script for the specified shell
  console          start an interactive ABCI console for multiple commands
  echo             have the application echo a message
  finalize_block   deliver a block of transactions to the application
  help             Help about any command
  info             get some info about the application
  kvstore          ABCI demo example
  prepare_proposal prepare proposal
  process_proposal process proposal
  query            query the application state
  test             run integration tests
  version          print ABCI console version

      --abci string        either socket or grpc (default "socket")
      --address string     address of application socket (default "tcp://")
  -h, --help               help for abci-cli
      --log_level string   set the logger level (default "debug")
  -v, --verbose            print the command and results as if it were a console session

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

You’ll notice the kvstore command, an example application written in Go.

Now, let’s run an app!

KVStore - A First Example

The kvstore app is a Merkle tree that just stores all transactions. If the transaction contains an =, e.g. key=value, then the value is stored under the key in the Merkle tree. Otherwise, the full transaction bytes are stored as the key and the value.

Let’s start a kvstore application.

abci-cli kvstore

In another terminal, we can start CometBFT. You should already have the CometBFT binary installed. If not, follow the steps from here. If you have never run CometBFT before, use:

cometbft init
cometbft node

If you have used CometBFT, you may want to reset the data for a new blockchain by running cometbft unsafe-reset-all. Then you can run cometbft node to start CometBFT, and connect to the app. For more details, see the guide on using CometBFT.

You should see CometBFT making blocks! We can get the status of our CometBFT node as follows:

curl -s localhost:26657/status

The -s just silences curl. For nicer output, pipe the result into a tool like jq or json_pp.

Now let’s send some transactions to the kvstore.

curl -s 'localhost:26657/broadcast_tx_commit?tx="abcd"'

Note the single quote (') around the url, which ensures that the double quotes (") are not escaped by bash. This command sent a transaction with bytes abcd, so abcd will be stored as both the key and the value in the Merkle tree. The response should look something like:

  "jsonrpc": "2.0",
  "id": "",
  "result": {
    "check_tx": {},
    "deliver_tx": {
      "tags": [
          "key": "YXBwLmNyZWF0b3I=",
          "value": "amFl"
          "key": "YXBwLmtleQ==",
          "value": "YWJjZA=="
    "hash": "9DF66553F98DE3C26E3C3317A3E4CED54F714E39",
    "height": 14

We can confirm that our transaction worked and the value got stored by querying the app:

curl -s 'localhost:26657/abci_query?data="abcd"'

The result should look like:

  "jsonrpc": "2.0",
  "id": "",
  "result": {
    "response": {
      "log": "exists",
      "index": "-1",
      "key": "YWJjZA==",
      "value": "YWJjZA=="

Note the value in the result (YWJjZA==); this is the base64-encoding of the ASCII of abcd. You can verify this in a python 2 shell by running "YWJjZA==".decode('base64') or in python 3 shell by running import codecs; codecs.decode(b"YWJjZA==", 'base64').decode('ascii'). Stay tuned for a future release that makes this output more human-readable.

Now let’s try setting a different key and value:

curl -s 'localhost:26657/broadcast_tx_commit?tx="name=satoshi"'

Now if we query for name, we should get satoshi, or c2F0b3NoaQ== in base64:

curl -s 'localhost:26657/abci_query?data="name"'

Try some other transactions and queries to make sure everything is working!

Decorative Orb