Creating the Genesis Block


Use this procedure only for the first validator node on a Sawtooth network. Skip this procedure if you are creating a node that will join an existing Sawtooth network.

The first node in a new Sawtooth network must create the genesis block to initialize the Settings transaction processor and specify the consensus algorithm. The settings in the genesis block enable other nodes to join the network and use these on-chain settings.

Before you start the first Sawtooth node, use this procedure to create and submit the genesis block.


This procedure uses the same validator key for all commands that require a key. In theory, some of these commands could use a different key, but configuring multiple keys is a complicated process. Describing how to use multiple keys to create the genesis block is outside the scope of this guide.

  1. Ensure that the required user and validator keys exist:

    $ ls ~/.sawtooth/keys/
    {yourname}.priv    {yourname}.pub
    $ ls /etc/sawtooth/keys/

    If these key files do not exist, create them as described in Generating User and Validator Keys.

  2. Become the sawtooth user. In the following commands, the prompt [sawtooth@system] shows the commands that must be executed as sawtooth.

    $ sudo -u sawtooth -s
    [sawtooth@system]$ cd /tmp
  3. Create a batch to initialize the Settings transaction family in the genesis block.

    [sawtooth@system]$ sawset genesis --key /etc/sawtooth/keys/validator.priv -o config-genesis.batch

    This command authorizes this key (the validator key on this node) to change Sawtooth settings. You must use the same key for the following commands in this procedure. Also, any later commands to change on-chain Sawtooth settings must specify this key.

  4. Create and submit a proposal to initialize the PoET consensus settings. This command sets the consensus algorithm to PoET simulator, and then applies the required settings.

    [sawtooth@system]$ sawset proposal create --key /etc/sawtooth/keys/validator.priv \
    -o config.batch \ \
    sawtooth.consensus.algorithm.version=0.1 \
    sawtooth.poet.report_public_key_pem="$(cat /etc/sawtooth/simulator_rk_pub.pem)" \
    sawtooth.poet.valid_enclave_measurements=$(poet enclave measurement) \
    sawtooth.poet.valid_enclave_basenames=$(poet enclave basename)

    This is a complicated command. Here’s an explanation of the options:

    --key /etc/sawtooth/keys/validator.priv

    Signs the proposal with this node’s validator key. Only this key can be used to change on-chain settings. For more information, see Configuring Validator and Transactor Permissions.

    -o config.batch

    Wraps the proposal transaction in a batch named config.batch.

    Changes the consensus algorithm to PoET.


    Specifies the version of the consensus algorithm.

    sawtooth.poet.report_public_key_pem="$(cat /etc/sawtooth/simulator_rk_pub.pem)"

    Adds the public key for the PoET Validator Registry transaction processor to use for the PoET simulator consensus.

    sawtooth.poet.valid_enclave_measurements=$(poet enclave measurement)

    Adds a simulated enclave measurement to the blockchain. The PoET Validator Registry transaction processor uses this value to check signup information.

    sawtooth.poet.valid_enclave_basenames=$(poet enclave basename)

    Adds a simulated enclave basename to the blockchain. The PoET Validator Registry uses this value to check signup information.

  5. Create a batch to register the first Sawtooth node with the PoET Validator Registry transaction processor. Without this command, the validator would not be able to publish any blocks.

    [sawtooth@system]$ poet registration create --key /etc/sawtooth/keys/validator.priv -o poet.batch
  6. (Optional) Create a batch to configure other PoET settings. This example shows the default settings.

    [sawtooth@system]$ sawset proposal create --key /etc/sawtooth/keys/validator.priv \
    -o poet-settings.batch \
    sawtooth.poet.target_wait_time=5 \
    sawtooth.poet.initial_wait_time=25 \
  7. Combine the previously created batches into a single genesis batch that will be committed in the genesis block.

    [sawtooth@system]$ sawadm genesis config-genesis.batch config.batch poet.batch poet-settings.batch

    You’ll see some output indicating success:

    Processing config-genesis.batch...
    Processing config.batch...
    Processing poet.batch...
    Processing poet-settings.batch...
    Generating /var/lib/sawtooth/genesis.batch
  8. When this command finishes, genesis configuration is complete. Log out of the sawtooth account.

    [sawtooth@system]$ exit