Running lightwalletd with zebra

Starting on v1.0.0-beta.11, the Zebra RPC methods are fully featured to run a lightwalletd service backed by zebrad.


Download and build Zebra

cargo install --locked --git zebrad

Zebra binary will be at ~/.cargo/bin/zebrad.

Configure zebra for lightwalletd

We need a zebra configuration file. First, we create a file with the default settings:

zebrad generate -o ~/.config/zebrad.toml

The above command places the generated zebrad.toml config file in the default preferences directory of Linux. For other OSes default locations see here.

Tweak the following option in order to prepare for lightwalletd setup.

RPC section

This change is required for zebra to behave as an RPC endpoint. The standard port for RPC endpoint is 8232.

listen_addr = ""

Sync Zebra

With the configuration in place you can start synchronizing Zebra with the Zcash blockchain. This may take a while depending on your hardware.

zebrad start

Zebra will display information about sync process:

zebrad::commands::start: estimated progress to chain tip sync_percent=10.783 % 

Until eventually it will get there:

zebrad::commands::start: finished initial sync to chain tip, using gossiped blocks sync_percent=100.000 % 

You can interrupt the process at any time with ctrl-c and Zebra will resume the next time at around the block you were downloading when stopping the process.

When deploying for production infrastructure, the above command can/should be implemented as a server service or similar configuration.

For implementing zebra as a service please see here.

Download and build lightwalletd

While you synchronize Zebra you can install lightwalletd.

Before installing, you need to have go in place. Please visit the go install page with download and installation instructions.

With go installed and in your path, download and install lightwalletd:

git clone
cd lightwalletd
make install

If everything went good you should have a lightwalletd binary in ~/go/bin/.

Sync lightwalled

Please make sure you have zebrad running (with RPC endpoint and up to date blockchain) to synchronize lightwalletd.

  • lightwalletd requires a zcash.conf file located somewhere, however this file can be empty if you are using the default zebra rpc endpoint (

  • For production setups lightwalletd requires a cert.pem. For more information on how to do this please see here.

  • lightwalletd can run without the certificate (with the --no-tls-very-insecure flag) however this is not recommended for production environments.

With the cert in ./ and an empty zcash.conf we can start the sync with:

lightwalletd --zcash-conf-path ~/.config/zcash.conf --data-dir ~/.cache/lightwalletd --log-file /dev/stdout

By default lightwalletd service will listen on

Lightwalletd will do its own synchronization, while it is doing you will see messages as:

{"app":"lightwalletd","level":"info","msg":"Ingestor adding block to cache: 748000","time":"2022-05-28T19:25:49-03:00"}
{"app":"lightwalletd","level":"info","msg":"Ingestor adding block to cache: 749540","time":"2022-05-28T19:25:53-03:00"}
{"app":"lightwalletd","level":"info","msg":"Ingestor adding block to cache: 751074","time":"2022-05-28T19:25:57-03:00"}

Wait until lightwalletd is in sync before connecting any wallet into it. You will know when it is in sync as those messages will not be displayed anymore.

Run tests

The Zebra team created tests for the interaction of zebra and lightwalletd.

Please refer to acceptance tests documentation in the Lightwalletd tests section.

Connect a wallet to lightwalletd

The final goal is to connect wallets to the lightwalletd service backed by Zebra.

For demo purposes we use zecwallet-cli.

Make sure both zebrad and lightwalletd are running and listening.

Download and build the cli-wallet

cargo install --locked --git

zecwallet-cli binary will be at ~/.cargo/bin/zecwallet-cli.

Run the wallet

$ zecwallet-cli --server
Lightclient connecting to
  "result": "success",
  "latest_block": 1683911,
  "total_blocks_synced": 49476
(main) Block:1683911 (type 'help') >>