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Solana Test Validator

During early stage development, it is often convenient to target a cluster with fewer restrictions and more configuration options than the public offerings provide. This is easily achieved with the solana-test-validator binary, which starts a full-featured, single-node cluster on the developer's workstation.


  • No RPC rate-limits
  • No airdrop limits
  • Direct on-chain program deployment (--bpf-program ...)
  • Clone accounts from a public cluster, including programs (--clone ...)
  • Load accounts from files
  • Configurable transaction history retention (--limit-ledger-size ...)
  • Configurable epoch length (--slots-per-epoch ...)
  • Jump to an arbitrary slot (--warp-slot ...)


The solana-test-validator binary ships with the Solana CLI Tool Suite. Install before continuing.


First take a look at the configuration options

solana-test-validator --help

Next start the test validator


By default, basic status information is printed while the process is running. See Appendix I for details

Ledger location: test-ledger
Log: test-ledger/validator.log
Identity: EPhgPANa5Rh2wa4V2jxt7YbtWa3Uyw4sTeZ13cQjDDB8
Genesis Hash: 4754oPEMhAKy14CZc8GzQUP93CB4ouELyaTs4P8ittYn
Version: 1.6.7
Shred Version: 13286
Gossip Address:
TPU Address:
⠈ 00:36:02 | Processed Slot: 5142 | Confirmed Slot: 5142 | Finalized Slot: 5110 | Snapshot Slot: 5100 | Transactions: 5142 | ◎499.974295000

Leave solana-test-validator running in its own terminal. When it is no longer needed, it can be stopped with ctrl-c.


Open a new terminal to interact with a running solana-test-validator instance using other binaries from the Solana CLI Tool Suite or your own client software.

Configure the CLI Tool Suite to target a local cluster by default

solana config set --url

Verify the CLI Tool Suite configuration

solana genesis-hash
  • NOTE: The result should match the Genesis Hash: field in the solana-test-validator status output

Check the wallet balance

solana balance
  • NOTE: Error: No such file or directory (os error 2) means that the default wallet does not yet exist. Create it with solana-keygen new.
  • NOTE: If the wallet has a zero SOL balance, airdrop some localnet SOL with solana airdrop 10

Perform a basic transfer transaction

solana transfer EPhgPANa5Rh2wa4V2jxt7YbtWa3Uyw4sTeZ13cQjDDB8 1

Monitor msg!() output from on-chain programs

solana logs
  • NOTE: This command needs to be running when the target transaction is executed. Run it in its own terminal

Appendix I: Status Output

Ledger location: test-ledger
  • File path of the ledger storage directory. This directory can get large. Store less transaction history with --limit-ledger-size ... or relocate it with --ledger ...
Log: test-ledger/validator.log
  • File path of the validator text log file. The log can also be streamed by passing --log. Status output is suppressed in this case.
Identity: EPhgPANa5Rh2wa4V2jxt7YbtWa3Uyw4sTeZ13cQjDDB8
Version: 1.6.7
  • The software version
Gossip Address:
TPU Address:
⠈ 00:36:02 | Processed Slot: 5142 | Confirmed Slot: 5142 | Finalized Slot: 5110 | Snapshot Slot: 5100 | Transactions: 5142 | ◎499.974295000

Appendix II: Runtime Features

By default, the test validator runs with all runtime features activated.

You can verify this using the Solana command-line tools:

solana feature status -ul

Since this may not always be desired, especially when testing programs meant for deployment to mainnet, the CLI provides an option to deactivate specific features:

solana-test-validator --deactivate-feature <FEATURE_PUBKEY_1> --deactivate-feature <FEATURE_PUBKEY_2>