Flow Playground

Spork Process

What to do during a spork


A spork is a coordinated network upgrade process where node operators upgrade their node software and re-initialize with a consolidated representation of the previous spork's state. This enables rapid development on the Flow Protocol and minimizes the impact of breaking changes.

The Flow network sporks approximately once every two months. Upcoming sporks are announced in advance on the #flow-validators-announcements Discord channel and in Upcoming Sporks. The #flow-validators-announcements channel is also used to coordinate during the spork process.

This guide is for existing operators participating in a spork. See Node Bootstrap for a guide to joining the network for the first time.

Step 1 - Cleaning Up Previous Spork State

Once the spork start has been announced on, stop your node and clear your database. The node should stay stopped for the duration of the spork.

You can skip this step if it is your first time running a node on Flow.
  1. Stop your Flow node
  2. Clear the contents of your data directory that you have previously created. The default location is /var/flow/data. The data directory contains the Flow chain state.

If you had a previous node running on mainnet 16, you'll need to turn it off just before joining the updated network and re-start your node with the updated configuration. Refer to Discord communications for guidance during the spork.

Step 2 - Start Your Node

Once you receive an announcement that the spork process is complete (via Discord), you will need to fetch the genesis info, update your runtime configuration and then boot your Flow node up!

The Flow team will provide you a new token PULL_TOKEN to pull the genesis info from. (Please do NOT use the original Token that you used in Step 1) The YOUR_NODE_TYPE must be the same ones that you used when initially setting up your node

  1. Run the transit script to fetch the new genesis info: ./boot-tools/transit pull -b ./bootstrap -t ${PULL_TOKEN} -r ${YOUR_NODE_TYPE}
$ ./boot-tools/transit pull -b ./bootstrap -t mainnet-16  -r consensus
Transit script Commit: a9f6522855e119ad832a97f8b7bce555a163e490
2020/11/25 01:02:53 Running pull
2020/11/25 01:02:53 Downloading bootstrap/public-root-information/
2020/11/25 01:02:54 Downloading bootstrap/public-root-information/root-protocol-snapshot.json
2020/11/25 01:02:54 Downloading bootstrap/random-beacon.priv.json.39fa54984b8eaa463e129919464f61c8cec3a4389478df79c44eb9bfbf30799a.enc
2020/11/25 01:02:54 SHA256 of the root block is: e3b0c44298fc1c149afbf4c8996fb92427ae41e4649b934ca495991b7852b855

$ tree ./bootstrap/
  ├── private-root-information
  │   └── private-node-info_39fa54984b8eaa463e129919464f61c8cec3a4389478df79c44eb9bfbf30799a
  │       └── node-info.priv.json
  ├── public-root-information
  │   ├── node-id
  │   ├──
  │   ├──
  │   └── root-protocol-snapshot.json
  └── random-beacon.priv.json.39fa54984b8eaa463e129919464f61c8cec3a4389478df79c44eb9bfbf30799a
  1. Pull the latest changes from flow-go repository
  2. Get your node-id, you can find it at /path/to/bootstrap/public-genesis-information/node-id
  3. Update the FLOW_GO_NODE_ID inside runtime-conf.env to the node-id that you got from the previous step
  4. Start your Flow node via docker or systemd

See Node Bootstrap for detailed information on Docker/Systemd configuration.

Common Issues

Error: cannot create connection

20T18:34:21Z","message":"could not create connection"}
{"level":"error","node_role":"consensus","node_id":"6d3fac8675a1df96f4bb7a27305ae531b6f4d0d2bc13a233e37bb07ab6b852dc","target":"QmVcSQaCdhmk1CMeMN7HTgGiUY1i2KqgVE2vvEmQXK4gAA","error":"failed to dial : all dials failed
  * [/ip4/] dial tcp4 connect: connection refused","retry_attempt":2,"time":"2020-05-20T18:34:21Z","message":"could not create connection"}

This error is OK. Your fellow node operators have not turned on/joined the network yet. So no need to worry about it!

Flow Node Not Booting Up

If your Flow node is not able to boot up, or it exits right after it boots up. You will need to do a clean up of your state.

After cleaning up the state try booting it up again. If the problem persists, message a member from the Flow team on Discord.