lightning-createrune -- Command to Create/Update Rune for Authorizing Remote Peer Access


createrune [rune] [restrictions]


The createrune RPC command creates a base64 string called a
rune which can be used to access commands on this node. Each rune
contains a unique id (a number starting at 0), and can have
restrictions inside it. Nobody can remove restrictions from a rune: if
you try, the rune will be rejected. There is no limit on how many
runes you can issue; the node simply decodes and checks them as they are

Oh, I almost forgot. Runes can also be invoked like in ancient times with
the invokerune command. Feel the magical powers of a rune by invoking it.

If rune is supplied, the restrictions are simple appended to that
rune (it doesn't need to be a rune belonging to this node). If no
rune is supplied, a new one is constructed, with a new unique id.

restrictions can be the string "readonly" (creates a rune which
allows most get and list commands, and the summary command), or
an array of restrictions.

Each restriction is an array of one or more alternatives, such as "method
is listpeers", or "method is listpeers OR time is before 2023". Alternatives use a simple language to examine the command which is
being run:

  • time: the current UNIX time, e.g. "time<1656759180".
  • id: the node_id of the peer, e.g. "id=024b9a1fa8e006f1e3937f65f66c408e6da8e1ca728ea43222a7381df1cc449605".
  • method: the command being run, e.g. "method=withdraw".
  • per: how often the rune can be used, with suffix "sec" (default), "min", "hour", "day" or "msec", "usec" or "nsec". e.g. "per=5sec".
  • rate: the rate limit, per minute, e.g. "rate=60" is equivalent to "per=1sec".
  • pnum: the number of parameters. e.g. "pnum<2".
  • pnameX: the parameter named X (with any punctuation like _ removed). e.g. "pnamedestination=1RustyRX2oai4EYYDpQGWvEL62BBGqN9T".
  • parrN: the N'th parameter. e.g. "parr0=1RustyRX2oai4EYYDpQGWvEL62BBGqN9T".


Restrictions are one or more alternatives. Each
alternative is name operator value. The valid names are shown
above. Note that if a value contains \\, it must be preceeded by another \\
to form valid JSON:

  • =: passes if equal ie. identical. e.g. method=withdraw
  • /: not equals, e.g. method/withdraw
  • ^: starts with, e.g. id^024b9a1fa8e006f1e3937f
  • $: ends with, e.g. id$381df1cc449605.
  • ~: contains, e.g. id~006f1e3937f65f66c40.
  • <: is a decimal integer, and is less than. e.g. time<1656759180
  • >: is a decimal integer, and is greater than. e.g. time>1656759180
  • {: preceeds in alphabetical order (or matches but is shorter), e.g. id{02ff.
  • }: follows in alphabetical order (or matches but is longer), e.g. id}02ff.
  • #: a comment, ignored, e.g. dumb example#.
  • !: only passes if the name does not exist. e.g. pnamedestination!.
    Every other operator except # fails if name does not exist!


This creates a fresh rune which can do anything:

$ lightning-cli createrune
   "rune": "KUhZzNlECC7pYsz3QVbF1TqjIUYi3oyESTI7n60hLMs9MA==",
   "unique_id": "0"

We can add restrictions to that rune, like so:

$ lightning-cli createrune rune=KUhZzNlECC7pYsz3QVbF1TqjIUYi3oyESTI7n60hLMs9MA== restrictions=readonly
   "rune": "NbL7KkXcPQsVseJ9TdJNjJK2KsPjnt_q4cE_wvc873I9MCZtZXRob2RebGlzdHxtZXRob2ReZ2V0fG1ldGhvZD1zdW1tYXJ5Jm1ldGhvZC9saXN0ZGF0YXN0b3Jl",
   "unique_id": "0"

The "readonly" restriction is a short-cut for two restrictions:

  1. ["method^list", "method^get", "method=summary"]: You may call list, get or summary.
  2. ["method/listdatastore"]: But not listdatastore: that contains sensitive stuff!

We can do the same manually, like so:

$ lightning-cli createrune rune=KUhZzNlECC7pYsz3QVbF1TqjIUYi3oyESTI7n60hLMs9MA== restrictions='[["method^list", "method^get", "method=summary"],["method/listdatastore"]]'
   "rune": "NbL7KkXcPQsVseJ9TdJNjJK2KsPjnt_q4cE_wvc873I9MCZtZXRob2RebGlzdHxtZXRob2ReZ2V0fG1ldGhvZD1zdW1tYXJ5Jm1ldGhvZC9saXN0ZGF0YXN0b3Jl",
   "unique_id": "0"

Let's create a rune which lets a specific peer
run "listpeers" on themselves:

$ lightning-cli createrune restrictions='[["id=024b9a1fa8e006f1e3937f65f66c408e6da8e1ca728ea43222a7381df1cc449605"],["method=listpeers"],["pnum=1"],["pnameid=024b9a1fa8e006f1e3937f65f66c408e6da8e1ca728ea43222a7381df1cc449605","parr0=024b9a1fa8e006f1e3937f65f66c408e6da8e1ca728ea43222a7381df1cc449605"]]'
   "unique_id": "2"

This allows listpeers with 1 argument (pnum=1), which is either by name (pnameid), or position (parr0). We could shorten this in several ways: either allowing only positional or named parameters, or by testing the start of the parameters only. Here's an example which only checks the first 9 bytes of the listpeers parameter:

$ lightning-cli createrune restrictions='[["id=024b9a1fa8e006f1e3937f65f66c408e6da8e1ca728ea43222a7381df1cc449605"],["method=listpeers"],["pnum=1"],["pnameid^024b9a1fa8e006f1e393", "parr0^024b9a1fa8e006f1e393"]'
   "unique_id": "3"

Before we give this to our peer, let's add two more restrictions: that
it only be usable for 24 hours from now (time<), and that it can only
be used twice a minute (rate=2). date +%s can give us the current
time in seconds:

$ lightning-cli createrune rune=fTQnfL05coEbiBO8SS0cvQwCcPLxE9c02pZCC6HRVEY9MyZpZD0wMjRiOWExZmE4ZTAwNmYxZTM5MzdmNjVmNjZjNDA4ZTZkYThlMWNhNzI4ZWE0MzIyMmE3MzgxZGYxY2M0NDk2MDUmbWV0aG9kPWxpc3RwZWVycyZwbnVtPTEmcG5hbWVpZF4wMjRiOWExZmE4ZTAwNmYxZTM5M3xwYXJyMF4wMjRiOWExZmE4ZTAwNmYxZTM5Mw== restrictions='[["time<'$(($(date +%s) + 24*60*60))'","rate=2"]]'
   "rune": "tU-RLjMiDpY2U0o3W1oFowar36RFGpWloPbW9-RuZdo9MyZpZD0wMjRiOWExZmE4ZTAwNmYxZTM5MzdmNjVmNjZjNDA4ZTZkYThlMWNhNzI4ZWE0MzIyMmE3MzgxZGYxY2M0NDk2MDUmbWV0aG9kPWxpc3RwZWVycyZwbnVtPTEmcG5hbWVpZF4wMjRiOWExZmE4ZTAwNmYxZTM5M3xwYXJyMF4wMjRiOWExZmE4ZTAwNmYxZTM5MyZ0aW1lPDE2NTY5MjA1MzgmcmF0ZT0y",
   "unique_id": "3"

You can also use lightning-decode(7) to examine runes you have been given:

$ .lightning-cli decode tU-RLjMiDpY2U0o3W1oFowar36RFGpWloPbW9-RuZdo9MyZpZD0wMjRiOWExZmE4ZTAwNmYxZTM5MzdmNjVmNjZjNDA4ZTZkYThlMWNhNzI4ZWE0MzIyMmE3MzgxZGYxY2M0NDk2MDUmbWV0aG9kPWxpc3RwZWVycyZwbnVtPTEmcG5hbWVpZF4wMjRiOWExZmE4ZTAwNmYxZTM5M3xwYXJyMF4wMjRiOWExZmE4ZTAwNmYxZTM5MyZ0aW1lPDE2NTY5MjA1MzgmcmF0ZT0y
   "type": "rune",
   "unique_id": "3",
   "string": "b54f912e33220e9636534a375b5a05a306abdfa4451a95a5a0f6d6f7e46e65da:=3&id=024b9a1fa8e006f1e3937f65f66c408e6da8e1ca728ea43222a7381df1cc449605&method=listpeers&pnum=1&pnameid^024b9a1fa8e006f1e393|parr0^024b9a1fa8e006f1e393&time<1656920538&rate=2",
   "restrictions": [
         "alternatives": [
         "summary": "id (of commanding peer) equal to '024b9a1fa8e006f1e3937f65f66c408e6da8e1ca728ea43222a7381df1cc449605'"
         "alternatives": [
         "summary": "method (of command) equal to 'listpeers'"
         "alternatives": [
         "summary": "pnum (number of command parameters) equal to 1"
         "alternatives": [
         "summary": "pnameid (object parameter 'id') starts with '024b9a1fa8e006f1e393' OR parr0 (array parameter #0) starts with '024b9a1fa8e006f1e393'"
         "alternatives": [
         "summary": "time (in seconds since 1970) less than 1656920538 (approximately 19 hours 18 minutes from now)"
         "alternatives": [
         "summary": "rate (max per minute) equal to 2"
   "valid": true


Because anyone can add a restriction to a rune, you can always turn a
normal rune into a read-only rune, or restrict access for 30 minutes
from the time you give it to someone. Adding restrictions before
sharing runes is best practice.

If a rune has a ratelimit, any derived rune will have the same id, and
thus will compete for that ratelimit. You might want to consider
adding a tighter ratelimit to a rune before sharing it, so you will
keep the remainder. For example, if you rune has a limit of 60 times
per minute, adding a limit of 5 times per minute and handing that rune
out means you can still use your original rune 55 times per minute.


On success, an object is returned, containing:

  • rune (string): the resulting rune
  • unique_id (string): the id of this rune: this is set at creation and cannot be changed (even as restrictions are added)

The following warnings may also be returned:

  • warning_unrestricted_rune: A warning shown when runes are created with powers that could drain your node


Rusty Russell <[email protected]> wrote the original Python plugin, the in-tree commando plugin, and this manual page.

Shahana Farooqui <[email protected]> is mainly responsible
for migrating commando-rune to createrune.


lightning-commando-rune(7), lightning-checkrune(7)


Main web site: