Skip to main content

Connect to Ethereum

Connect to Ethereum

livepeer requires access to an Ethereum network for typical usage.

There are two ways you can connect to an Ethereum network: via a hosted API service or via your own self-hosted Ethereum node. Connecting to a hosted API service is recommended for users that are getting started and you always have the option to switch to your own node later on.

Hosted API services

Hosted API services run Ethereum nodes on behalf of their users. Popular services include Infura and Alchemy. Be aware that these services have their own pricing plans. That being said, the latest versions of livepeer should be able to stay within the request limit for Infura's free tier at least for a single node.

The following examples describe the required flags to connect to an Ethereum network via Infura (all other flags omitted):

To connect to mainnet:

livepeer \
-network mainnet
-ethUrl<PROJECT_ID> # Visit to obtain a PROJECT_ID

To connect to Rinkeby:

livepeer \
-network rinkeby
-ethUrl<PROJECT_ID> # Visit to obtain a PROJECT_ID

Self-hosted Ethereum nodes

If you want to run your own Ethereum node, you can use one of the clients listed here. geth is recommended because it supports both mainnet and Rinkeby. Additionally, at this time livepeer has been the most thoroughly tested with geth.

  1. Install geth using the installation guide

  2. Sync geth. The following command will sync geth on mainnet:

    geth \
    -rpc \
    -rpcapi eth,net,web3 \
    -rpcaddr <ADDRESS> # An address to bind on is required if geth is running on a different machine than livepeer
  3. Wait until geth is fully synced. Check that syncing is complete using the Geth Javascript Console:

    geth attach http://localhost:8545
    Welcome to the Geth JavaScript console!

    instance: Geth/v1.9.0-stable-52f24617/linux-amd64/go1.12.7
    coinbase: 0x0161e041aad467a890839d5b08b138c1e6373072
    at block: 583 (Wed, 23 Oct 2019 17:41:00 EDT)
    modules: debug:1.0 eth:1.0 miner:1.0 net:1.0 personal:1.0 rpc:1.0 txpool:1.0 web3:1.0

    > eth.syncing

    geth will be done syncing when eth.syncing returns false.

  4. Connect livepeer to geth with the following flags (all other flags omitted):

    livepeer \
    -network mainnet \
    -ethUrl http://localhost:8545 # Assumes that geth is running on the same machine as livepeer

Supported networks

livepeer supports the networks listed below. The required flags for connecting to a network are described (all other flags are omitted).


Mainnet is the production public network.

livepeer \
-network mainnet
-ethUrl <ETH_URL> # URL for mainnet provider


Rinkeby is the public test network.

livepeer \
-network rinkeby
-ethUrl <ETH_URL> # URL for Rinkeby provider

Private Network

Custom private networks where the Livepeer smart contracts are deployed can be used for development purposes.

livepeer \
-network <NETWORK_NAME> # Name of network
-ethUrl <ETH_URL> # URL for private network provider
-ethController <CONTROLLER_ADDR> # Address of the Controller smart contract deployed on the private network


Offchain networks that do not require interaction with the Livepeer smart contracts can be used for development purposes.

livepeer \
-network offchain