Setting up a dev environment

Get up and running in your local environment with essential tools and libraries in your preferred programming language.


The Core Lightning project provides a script to simulate the Lightning Network in your local dev environment. The script starts up some local nodes with bitcoind, all running on regtest and makes it easier to test things out, by hand.

Navigate to contrib in your Core Lightning directory:

cd contrib

Load the script, using source so it can set aliases:


Start up the nodeset:

start_ln 3

Connect the nodes. The connect a b command connects node a to b:

connect 1 2

When you're finished, stop:


Clean up the lightning directories:


Using Polar

Polar offers a one-click setup of Lightning Network for local app development & testing.