Deploying A Dragonchain

In order to deploy a Dragonchain, helm is required.

Create Chain Secrets

Each chain has a list of secrets that it requires. These secrets need to be generated and saved to kubernetes before a chain can be deployed.

Chain secrets can be generated and deployed with the following commands:

(Note you will need xxd (often packaged with vim) and openssl for these commands to work; If you are not running linux, you can easily do this in a docker container such as ubuntu:latest and simply ensure that you run apt update && apt install -y openssl xxd in order to have the requirements to generate the private keys)

# First create the dragonchain namespace
echo '{"kind":"Namespace","apiVersion":"v1","metadata":{"name":"dragonchain","labels":{"name":"dragonchain"}}}' | kubectl create -f -
export LC_CTYPE=C  # Needed on MacOS when using tr with /dev/urandom
BASE_64_PRIVATE_KEY=$(openssl ecparam -genkey -name secp256k1 | openssl ec -outform DER | tail -c +8 | head -c 32 | xxd -p -c 32 | xxd -r -p | base64)
HMAC_ID=$(tr -dc 'A-Z' < /dev/urandom | fold -w 12 | head -n 1)
HMAC_KEY=$(tr -dc 'A-Za-z0-9' < /dev/urandom | fold -w 43 | head -n 1)
echo "Root HMAC key details: ID: $HMAC_ID | KEY: $HMAC_KEY"
kubectl create secret generic -n dragonchain "d-INTERNAL_ID-secrets" --from-literal=SecretString="$SECRETS_AS_JSON"
# Note INTERNAL_ID from the secret name should be replaced with the value of .global.environment.INTERNAL_ID from the helm chart values (opensource-config.yaml)

Add Your TLS Certificate

This step is technically optional, but HIGHLY recommended. Without this step, your chain will not support HTTPS, which may be enforced in the future.

With the certificate that you wish to use with your chain, run the following command:

kubectl create secret tls -n dragonchain "d-INTERNAL_ID-cert" --cert=PathToLocalCertFile --key=PathToLocalKeyFile
# Note INTERNAL_ID from the secret name should be replaced with the value of .global.environment.INTERNAL_ID from the helm chart values (opensource-config.yaml)

Note that the cert file should be a PEM encoded public key certificate, and the key file should be a PEM encoded private key for the certificate. The certificate should be the full certificate chain, or the configuration will not work. If using letsencrypt, the certificate file is fullchain.pem, and the key file is privkey.pem.

This will upload your certificate to your kubernetes cluster, which can be used by the chain. Once doing this, simply remember to set .global.environment.TLS_SUPPORT to “true” when configuring opensource-config.yaml in the next steps.

Helm Chart

Please Note: The helm chart is subject to significant changes.

A documented template for the necessary configurable helm chart values can be downloaded HERE.

Deploying Helm Chart

Before deploying the helm chart, a few variables need to be set in the opensource-config.yaml file. This file is mostly self-documenting, so see the comments for which values must be overridden (most of the important settings are in the first section).

Once the values are set, install the helm chart with:

helm repo add dragonchain
helm repo update
helm upgrade --install my-dragonchain --values opensource-config.yaml --namespace dragonchain dragonchain/dragonchain-k8s --version 1.0.8

If you need to change any values AFTER the helm chart has already been installed, simply change the relevant values in opensource-config.yaml and run the above command again.

You may also need to manually delete pods (which causes them to restart) after upgrading if you changed any environment values. This is because these values aren’t changed while in an existing pod that is running, and helm will not restart them for you.

Checking Deployment

If the helm chart deployed successfully, there should now be pods for your new chain in the dragonchain kubernetes namespace. You can check by running kubectl get pods -n dragonchain.

Get The Chain ID

In order to get the chain’s ID required for use in the SDK(s) or cli, run the following command:

(Replace <POD_NAME_HERE> with one of the core image chain pods. Eg: d-e2603f14-1a3d-4a47-9dce-ab0eba579850-tx-processor-5f49d9k5vpn)

kubectl exec -n dragonchain <POD_NAME_HERE> -- python3 -c "from dragonchain.lib.keys import get_public_id; print(get_public_id())"

Using The SDK

With the chain deployed, the SDK(s) (or CLI tool) can be configured with the HMAC_ID and HMAC_KEY from earlier (when creating the secrets), as well as the chain ID from above, and finally an endpoint into your webserver’s kubernetes service.

This endpoint can be proxied without any sort of ingress by using the kubectl proxy command with the webserver pod for port 8080, and using http://localhost:8080 for the chain endpoint.

If you have configured the chain to be accessible to Dragon Net, then you can use its public DRAGONCHAIN_ENDPOINT value as the endpoint for your chain without tunneling anything through kubernetes. See the section below for more details on exposing your chain to the internet.

When using all these pieces of information with the SDK or CLI, they should be able to interact with the Dragonchain as intended.

Checking Dragon Net Configuration

In order for your chain to be working with Dragon Net, a few things need to be confirmed. You chain must be correctly registered with the matchmaking service, as well as be publicly exposed to the internet over the correct port. You can check all of this at once by running the following with your public chain id from earlier:


If this returns with a successful response, then the chain is registered and connectable. As long as the chain’s pods aren’t crashing, the chain should be working with Dragon Net.

If this returns anything except successful, then the chain is not properly registered or exposed, and an error message with more details should be presented in the response.

If the call reported that the chain registration could not be found, then the chain has failed to register with matchmaking, and you should consult transaction processor logs for more details.

Most other errors relate to being able to access the chain from the greater internet via the URL that the chain registered with Dragon Net. First try to follow the advice from the error provided by the call above. If it’s still not working, the following steps can also be taken for further debugging:

Run the following from a computer that is connected to the internet, but not running the chain (requires curl and jq):

curl "$(curl -s | jq -r .url)"/health

Here is a list with some of the things that could be wrong depending on the various failure outputs of the command above:

Error Problem
Could not resolve host: null Chain is not registered correctly with matchmaking. Confirm that the transaction processor pod is not crashing, and the DRAGONCHAIN_ENDPOINT variable is set correctly in opensource-config.yaml
Could not resolve host: ... Chain's endpoint is not set correctly. Ensure that the DRAGONCHAIN_ENDPOINT variable is set correctly in opensource-config.yaml and that the DNS name in that endpoint resolves to where your chain is running
Failed to connect to ...: Connection refused The chain is not properly exposed to the internet. See below for more details

Ensuring Chain is Reachable From The Internet

In order to use Dragon Net, your chain must be properly exposed to the internet. By default, the opensource config values will configure the chain to be exposed as a nodeport service on port 30000 (although this can be changed as desired).

This means that the kubernetes cluster must be exposed to the internet on port 30000, and the DRAGONCHAIN_ENDPOINT value in the opensource-config.yaml must be set to point to this location. This can either be a configured DNS record, or a raw ip address. I.e. or if you’ve configured the DNS record to point to the correct ip address of your cluster.

If you are using minikube, 2 things have to happen to be able to hit this nodeport service from the greater internet:

  1. If behind a NAT, port 30000 will have to be port-forwarded to the computer running minikube. Port forwarding is outside of the scope of this documentation, however various guides can be found online depending on your particular router.

  2. If using minikube in a VM (which is the default unless you’re running minikube on linux with --vm-driver=none), then your host computer must forward traffic it receives on port 30000 to the minikube VM. The process for setting this up is different depending on the vm driver that you are using. If you are using the default virtualbox vm driver, you can follow these steps.

In order to check that your chain is exposed correctly, simply run the curl command from the section above.