0.5.2 • Public • Published

Bee Factory

Tests FOSSA Status standard-readme compliant js-standard-style

CLI tool to spin up Docker cluster of Bee nodes for advanced testing and/or development

Warning: This project is in beta state. There might (and most probably will) be changes in the future to its API and working. Also, no guarantees can be made about its stability, efficiency, and security at this stage.

Table of Contents


Requirements: Docker

$ npm install -g @ethersphere/bee-factory


Starting with Bee Factory's version 0.5.0 it is compatible only with Bee version 1.9.0 and higher!

# This spins up the cluster for specific Bee version and exits
$ bee-factory start --detach 1.9.0

# The spins up the cluster using Bee version configured in external places. See below for options where to place it.
$ bee-factory start --detach

# This attaches to the Queen container and displays its logs
$ bee-factory logs queen --follow

# This stops the cluster and keeping the containers so next time they are spinned up the data are kept
# but data are not persisted across version's bump!
$ bee-factory stop

# You can also spin up the cluster without the --detach which then directly
# attaches to the Queen logs and the cluster is terminated upon SIGINT (Ctrl+C)
$ bee-factory start 1.9.0

For more details see the --help page of the CLI and its commands.

External Bee version configuration

You can omit the Bee version argument when running bee-factory start command if you specify it in one of the expected places:

  • package.json placed in current working directory (cwd) under the engines.bee property.
  • .beefactory.json placed in current working directory (cwd) with property version.

Docker Images

Bee Factory as the NPM package that you can install, like mentioned above, works in a way that it orchestrates launching Bee Factory Docker images in correct order and awaits for certain initializations to happen in correct form. These Docker images are automatically built with our CI upon every new Bee release, so you can just specify which version you want to run (starting with 1.9.0 version) as part of the start command.

If for some reason you want built your own images, that is possible but discouraged and not supported (here be dragons) using the scripts in the generator subfolder. Upon building and publishing these images you can consume them using with Bee Factory with the --repo flag.

Latest versions

There is special Bee Factory image tag latest that has the latest Bee's master build. It is not recommended using this tag unless you need to test some upcoming feature and know what are you doing. There is high chance that there might be some change in Bee that is not compatible with current Bee Factory and so it might not even work.


There are some ways you can make this module better:

  • Consult our open issues and take on one of them
  • Help our tests reach 100% coverage!
  • Join us in our Discord chat in the #develop-on-swarm channel if you have questions or want to give feedback


You can run the CLI while developing using npm start -- <command> ....

Local images

If you want to locally build the Bee Factory images, then edit the ./generator/scripts/.env file with appropriate configuration and then run the ./generator/scripts/build-environment.sh script. This will build the images with the ethersphere/bee-factory-* tags. Then simply run the npm start -- <command> with the appropriate version of Bee you have build. The CLI should pickup local images prior trying to pull it from Docker Hub, so it will use your build ones.

Updating Blockchain images

If Bee updated its smart contracts suite, then smart contracts needs to be updated in Bee Factory as well otherwise the spawned Bees might have unpredictable behavior.

First of all you have to preprocess the smart contract's bytecodes. In Solidity the constructor parameters are passed to the contract by appending the parameters ABI-encoded to the end of the bytecode (for more see for example here). So you have to make sure that the bytecodes that you update are stripped of these constructor parameters. This is because these parameters are then later on appended during smart contract deployment.

If only internal smart contract's logic has changed and there is no change to the smart contract's constructor, then you have to only update the bytecodes. You do it by pasting the bytecodes to appropriate files in ./generator/contracts/ folder.

If there are new smart contracts or their constructor's have changed then you have to also modify the deploy script which is present in ./generator/migrations/1_initial.js file. Don't remove the logging that starts with ::CONTRACT:! This serves to extract the deployed contracts addresses and apply them to the Docker image's label.

If you are adding new smart contract than also add new ::CONTRACT: log line that has format of ::CONTRACT:<bee-option-name>:<smart-contract-address>, where the bee-option-name stands for the option name that customize the contract's address in Bee.

Last step is to bump the BLOCKCHAIN_VERSION version in ./generator/scripts/.env file.




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