Avash

Avash is a temporary shell execution environment used to deploy and test on Avalanche networks. Avalanche nodes deployed locally by Avash are exited when Avash exits.

Avash provides the ability to run Lua scripts, which can execute a sequence of shell commands in Avash. This allows for automation of tasks. For instance, one could create a Lua script to deploy a network of Avalanche nodes where each node has some given configuration. This makes testing easier.

Installation

Requirements

  • Golang 1.15.5 or later

  • AvalancheGo

Quick Setup

To download and build Avash:

git clone https://github.com/ava-labs/avash.git; cd avash; go build

To run Avash:

./avash

Configuration

While Avash can be started without a premade configuration file, it’s available as an option for tweaking some of the shell’s global settings. Avash will search for .avash.yaml in the $HOME directory by default, but the --config flag can be used to set a custom configuration filepath to look for.

Below is the format of an Avash configuration file:

avalancheLocation: <filepath>
datadir: <directory>
log:
terminal: <log-level>
logfile: <log-level>
dir: <directory>

The field arguments are described as follows:

  • <filepath> - A full path to a file. Example: /home/username/file.txt

  • <directory> - A full path to a directory. Example: /home/username/folder

  • <log-level> - A valid log level to filter logged messages. Must be one of: {verbo, debug, info, warn, error, fatal, off}

Fields

avalancheLocation

Path to AvalancheGo binary.
Type:
optional, <filepath>
Default:
$GOPATH/src/github.com/ava-labs/avalanchego/build/avalanchego

datadir

Path to store Avash data at.
Type:
optional, <directory>
Default:
$GOPATH/src/github.com/ava-labs/avash/stash

log.terminal

Log level for messages logged to terminal.
Type:
optional, <log-level>
Default:
info

log.logfile

Log level for messages logged to log files.
Type:
optional, <log-level>
Default:
info

log.dir

Path to put log directory at.
Type:
optional, <directory>
Default:
<datadir>/logs

Using Avash

Opening a shell

Start a new instance of Avash with ./avash.

Run help to see the commands available.

Run help [command] to see the list of options available for that command.

Ex:

help procmanager
help procmanager start

Commands

Avash comes with the following root commands:

  • avawallet - Tools for interacting with Avalanche Payments over the network.

  • callrpc - Issues an RPC call to a node.

  • exit - Exits the shell.

  • help - Displays help text.

  • network - Tools for interfacing with remote hosts.

  • procmanager - Interact with the Avash process manager.

  • runscript - Runs the provided script.

  • setoutput - Sets shell log output.

  • startnode - Starts a node.

  • varstore - Tools for creating variable stores and printing variables within them.

These can be enumerated or auto-completed using the tab key and are explained in detail below.

avawallet

Warning: This wallet is held in memory and all data is wiped upon exit. This should only be used for testing.

Tools for interacting with Avalanche Payments over the network. Using this
command we can create, send, and get the status of a transaction.
Usage:
avash avawallet [command] [flags]
Available Commands:
addkey Adds a private key to a wallet.
balance Checks the balance of an address from a node.
compare Compares the UTXO set between two wallets.
create Creates a wallet.
maketx Creates a signed transaction.
newkey Creates a random private key.
refresh Refreshes UTXO set from node.
remove Removes a transaction from a wallet's UTXO set.
send Sends a transaction to a node.
spend Spends a transaction from a wallet's UTXO set.
status Checks the status of a transaction on a node.
writeutxo Writes the UTXO set to a file.

callrpc

Issues an RPC call to a node endpoint for the specified method and params.
Response is saved to the local varstore.
Usage:
callrpc [node name] [endpoint] [method] [JSON params] [var scope] [var name]

exit

Exit the shell, attempting to gracefully stop all processes first.
Usage:
avash exit

help

Help provides help for any command in the application.
Simply type avash help [path to command] for full details.
Usage:
avash help [command] [flags]

network

Tools for interfacing with remote hosts. Using this command we can
deploy and remove node networks via SSH and a configuration file.
Usage:
avash network [command] [flags]
Available Commands:
deploy Deploys a remote network of nodes.
remove Removes a remote network of nodes.

CONFIGURATION

To deploy and remove networks, a .yaml network configuration file is required. An example is provided in the Avash codebase at example.network.yaml and should have the following format:

# List of hosts
hosts:
- user: <SSH-username>
ip: <host-IP>
# List of nodes
nodes:
- name: <node-name>
# Set of node CLI flags
flags:
<CLI-flag>: <value>
# ...

This can be used to simultaneously deploy many nodes on many hosts. A full list of CLI flags can be found here.

procmanager

Used to list, stop, and start nodes.
Usage:
avash procmanager [command] [flags]
Available Commands:
kill Kills the process named if currently running.
killall Kills all processes if currently running.
list Lists the processes currently running.
metadata Prints the metadata associated with the node name.
remove Removes the process named.
start Starts the process named if not currently running.
startall Starts all processes if currently stopped.
stop Stops the process named if currently running.
stopall Stops all processes if currently running.

runscript

Runs the script provided in the argument, relative to the present working directory.
Usage:
avash runscript [script file] [flags]

setoutput

Sets the log level of a specific log output type.
Usage:
avash setoutput [log output] [log level]

startnode

Starts an Avalanche client node using procmanager and gives it a name. Example:
startnode MyNode1 --public-ip=127.0.0.1 --staking-port=9651 --http-port=9650 ...
Usage:
avash startnode [node name] args... [flags]

varstore

Tools for creating variable stores and printing variables within them.
Using this command we can create variable stores, list all variables they store, and print data placed into these stores.
Usage:
avash varstore [command] [flags]
Available Commands:
create Creates a variable store.
list Lists all stores. If store provided, lists all variables in the store.
print Prints a variable that is within the store.
set Sets a simple variable that within the store.
storedump Writes the store to a file.
vardump Writes the variable to a file.

Writing Scripts

Avash uses gopher-lua to run Lua scripts. Scripts can use hooks to allow the user to write code that invokes the current Avash environment.

The functions available to Lua are:

  • avash_call - Takes a string and runs it as an Avash command, returning output

  • avash_sleepmicro - Takes an unsigned integer representing microseconds and sleeps for that long

  • avash_setvar - Takes a variable scope (string), a variable name (string), and a variable (string) and places it in the variable store. The scope must already have been created.

When writing Lua scripts, the standard Lua functionality is available to automate the execution of series of Avash commands. This allows a developer to automate:

  • Local network deployments

  • Sending transactions

  • Order transaction test cases

  • Save the value of UTXO sets and test results to disk

  • Compare the values of two nodes UTXO sets

  • Track expected results and compare them with real nodes

Example Lua scripts are in the scripts folder.