lightning-cli -- Control lightning daemon


lightning-cli [OPTIONS] command


lightning-cli sends commands to the lightning daemon.


  • --lightning-dir=DIR

    Set the directory for the lightning daemon we're talking to; defaults to

  • --conf=PATH

    Sets configuration file (default: lightning-dir/config ).

  • --network=network

  • --mainnet

  • --testnet

  • --signet

  • --regtest

    Sets network explicitly.

  • --rpc-file=FILE

    Named pipe to use to talk to lightning daemon: default is
    lightning-rpc in the lightning directory.

  • --keywords/-k

    Use format key=value for parameters in any order

  • --order/-o

    Follow strictly the order of parameters for the command

  • --json/-J

    Return result in JSON format (default unless help command,
    or result contains a format-hint field).

  • --raw/-R

    Return raw JSON directly as lightningd replies; this can be faster for
    large requests.

  • --human-readable/-H

    Return result in human-readable output.

  • --flat/-F

    Return JSON result in flattened one-per-line output, e.g. { "help": [ { "command": "check" } ] } would become help[0].command=check.
    This is useful for simple scripts which want to find a specific output
    field without parsing JSON.

  • --notifications/-N=LEVEL

    If LEVEL is 'none', then never print out notifications. Otherwise,
    print out notifications of LEVEL or above (one of io, trace, debug,
    info (the default), unusual or broken: they are prefixed with # . (Note: currently not supported with --commando).

  • --filter/-l=JSON

    This hands lightningd JSON as a filter, which controls what will be output, e.g. '--filter={"help":[{"command":true}]}'. See lightningd-rpc(7) for more details on how to specify filters.

  • --help/-h

    Pretty-print summary of options to standard output and exit. The format can
    be changed using -F, -R, -J, -H etc.

  • --version/-V

    Print version number to standard output and exit.

  • --commando/-c=peerid:rune

    Convenience option to indicate that this command should be wrapped
    in a commando command to be sent to the connected peer with id
    peerid, using rune rune. This also means that any --filter is
    handed via commando to the remote peer to reduce its output (which it
    will do it it is v23.02 or newer), rather than trying to do so
    locally. Note that currently -N is not supported by commando.


lightning-cli simply uses the JSON RPC interface to talk to
lightningd, and prints the results. Thus the commands available depend
entirely on the lightning daemon itself.


Arguments may be provided positionally or using key=value after the
command name, based on either -o or -k option. When using -k
consider prefixing all arguments of the command with their respective keyword,
this is to avoid having lightningd interpret the position of an argument.

Arguments may be integer numbers (composed entirely of digits), floating-point
numbers (has a radix point but otherwise composed of digits), true, false,
or null. Arguments which begin with {, [ or " are also considered
raw JSON and are passed through. Other arguments are treated as strings.

Some commands have optional arguments. You may use null to skip
optional arguments to provide later arguments, although this is not encouraged.


  1. List commands:
  • lightning-cli help
  1. Fund a 10k sat channel using uncomfirmed outputs:
  • lightning-cli --keywords fundchannel id=028f...ae7d amount=10000sat minconf=0


This manpage documents how it should work, not how it does work. The
pretty printing of results isn't pretty.


If the command succeeds, the exit status is 0. Otherwise:

  • 1: lightningd(7) returned an error reply (which is printed).
  • 2: we could not talk to lightningd.
  • 3: usage error, such as bad arguments or malformed JSON in the parameters.


Rusty Russell <[email protected]> is mainly to blame.


Main web site:


Note: the modules in the ccan/ directory have their own licenses, but
the rest of the code is covered by the BSD-style MIT license.