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Zebra is the Zcash Foundation's independent, consensus-compatible implementation of a Zcash node.

Zebra's network stack is interoperable with zcashd, and Zebra implements all the features required to reach Zcash network consensus, including the validation of all the consensus rules for the NU5 network upgrade. Here are some benefits of Zebra.

Zebra validates blocks and transactions, but needs extra software to generate them:

Please join us on Discord if you'd like to find out more or get involved!

Getting Started

You can run Zebra using our Docker image or you can build it manually. Please see the System Requirements section in the Zebra book for system requirements.


This command will run our latest release, and sync it to the tip:

docker run zfnd/zebra:1.0.0-rc.8

For more information, read our Docker documentation.

Building Zebra

Building Zebra requires Rust, libclang, pkg-config, and a C++ compiler.

Zebra is tested with the latest stable Rust version. Earlier versions are not supported or tested. Note that Zebra's code currently uses features introduced in Rust 1.68, or any later stable release.

Every few weeks, we release a new Zebra version.

Below are quick summaries for installing the dependencies on your machine.

General instructions for installing dependencies

  1. Install cargo and rustc.

  2. Install Zebra's build dependencies:

    • libclang is a library that might have different names depending on your package manager. Typical names are libclang, libclang-dev, llvm, or llvm-dev.
    • clang or another C++ compiler: g++ (all platforms) or Xcode (macOS).
    • pkg-config

Dependencies on Arch

sudo pacman -S rust clang pkgconf

Note that the package clang includes libclang as well as the C++ compiler.

Once the dependencies are in place, you can build Zebra

cargo install --locked --git https://github.com/ZcashFoundation/zebra --tag v1.0.0-rc.8 zebrad

You can start Zebra by

zebrad start

See the Running Zebra section in the book for more details.

Optional Features

You can also build Zebra with additional Cargo features:

You can combine multiple features by listing them as parameters of the --features flag:

cargo install --features="<feature1> <feature2> ..." ...

Our full list of experimental and developer features is in the API documentation.

Some debugging and monitoring features are disabled in release builds to increase performance.

Network Ports

Zebra uses the following inbound and outbound TCP ports:

  • 8233 on Mainnet
  • 18233 on Testnet

Please see the Network Requirements section of the Zebra book for more details.

Known Issues

There are a few bugs in Zebra that we're still working on fixing:

  • If Zebra fails downloading the Zcash parameters, use the Zcash parameters download script instead.

  • Block download and verification sometimes times out during Zebra's initial sync #5709. The full sync still finishes reasonably quickly.

  • No Windows support #3801. We used to test with Windows Server 2019, but not any more; see the issue for details.

  • Experimental Tor support is disabled until Zebra upgrades to the latest arti-client. This happened due to a Rust dependency conflict, which could only be resolved by arti upgrading to a version of x25519-dalek with the dependency fix.

  • Output of help, --help flag, and usage of invalid commands or options are inconsistent #5502. See the issue for details.

Future Work

The Zebra team is currently working towards an audited stable release.

We will continue to add new features as part of future network upgrades, and in response to community feedback.


The Zebra website contains user documentation, such as how to run or configure Zebra, set up metrics integrations, etc., as well as developer documentation, such as design documents. We also render API documentation for the external API of our crates, as well as internal documentation for private APIs.


Zebra has a responsible disclosure policy, which we encourage security researchers to follow.


Zebra is distributed under the terms of both the MIT license and the Apache License (Version 2.0).