The Cookbook is a collection of simple recipes that demonstrate good practices to accomplish common tasks. The examples are usually short answers to simple “How do I…” questions that go beyond simple API descriptions but also don’t need a full guide to become clear.

Starting from a trusted checkpoint

No matter which syncing strategy we use the first step is always to fetch the chain of block headers. While this operation is relatively lightweight it can still take up to a few hours for the mainnet chain to progress to the tip of the chain.

If we are willing to compromise on security, we can use a trusted checkpoint to start syncing from a more recent header and then leave it up to a background process to fill the gaps eventually.

Trinity offers two ways to do that:

  1. Automatically pick a recent header from Etherscan


Caution! This method relies on a 3rd party service to provide a checkpoint for us. Consider using a manual checkpoint for added safety.

In order to that, we need to register for an API key on Etherscan and expose it through an environment variable with the name TRINITY_ETHERSCAN_API_KEY.

Then run:

trinity --sync-from-checkpoint eth://block/byetherscan/latest

2. If we do not want to rely on Etherscan to pick a checkpoint for us, we can also define one manually.

For instance, to use block 10245082
as a checkpoint we take its hash 0xa65877df954e1ff2012473efee8287252eee956c0d395a5791f1103a950a1e21 and the difficulty (score) 15,835,269,727,022,672,760,774 and run:
trinity --sync-from-checkpoint eth://block/byhash/0xa65877df954e1ff2012473efee8287252eee956c0d395a5791f1103a950a1e21?score=15,835,269,727,022,672,760,774


Checkpoints can only be used with beam or header sync.

Running as a light client


It may take a very long time for Trinity to find an LES node with open slots. This is not a bug with trinity, but rather a shortage of nodes serving LES. Everyone should consider running their own LES server to improve the health of the network.

Use the --sync-mode=light flag to instruct Trinity to run as a light node.

Mainnet, Görli or Ropsten

Trinity comes with out of the box support to sync either the Ethereum Mainnet or the Görli and Ropsten testnets. Mainnet is the default and doesn’t need any flag. Use either -goerli or --ropsten to run one of the supported testnets.


The Görli testnet uses Clique consensus and is considered the superior testnet.

trinity --ropsten

Running a custom network

Trinity can run custom networks via configuration file per EIP-1085.

trinity --genesis <PATH-TO-EIP-1085-CONFIG> --data-dir <PATH-TO-DATA-DIR> --network-id <NETWORK-ID>

For a more detailed writeup, checkout the guide about Creating a custom testnet

Connecting to preferred nodes

We can use the --preferred-node command line flag to instruct Trinity to prioritize connecting to specific nodes. This flag takes an enode URI as a single argument but can be used multiple times to prioritize connecting to a set of specific nodes.

trinity --preferred-node enode://a41defa74e8d9d4152699cb9a0d195377da95833769ad6b386092ac3b16c184eb4ef4b4f02889e0b5097ff50fb5847ba99694d40b61f911cdea07b444b00e676@

Using --preferred-node is a good way to ensure Trinity running in sync-mode=light mode connects to known peers who serve LES.

Retrieving Chain information via web3

While just running trinity already causes the node to start syncing, it doesn’t let us interact with the chain directly (apart from the JSON-RPC API).

However, we can attach an interactive shell to a running Trinity instance with the attach subcommand. The interactive ipython shell binds a web3 instance to the w3 variable.

trinity attach

Now that Trinity runs in an interactive shell mode, let’s try to get some information about the latest block by calling w3.eth.getBlock('latest').

In [1]: w3.eth.getBlock(0)
AttributeDict({'difficulty': 17179869184,
  'extraData': HexBytes('0x11bbe8db4e347b4e8c937c1c8370e4b5ed33adb3db69cbdb7a38e1e50b1b82fa'),
  'gasLimit': 5000,
  'gasUsed': 0,
  'hash': HexBytes('0xd4e56740f876aef8c010b86a40d5f56745a118d0906a34e69aec8c0db1cb8fa3'),
  'logsBloom': HexBytes('0x00000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000'),
  'mixHash': HexBytes('0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000'),
  'nonce': HexBytes('0x0000000000000042'),
  'number': 0,
  'parentHash': HexBytes('0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000'),
  'receiptsRoot': HexBytes('0x56e81f171bcc55a6ff8345e692c0f86e5b48e01b996cadc001622fb5e363b421'),
  'sha3Uncles': HexBytes('0x1dcc4de8dec75d7aab85b567b6ccd41ad312451b948a7413f0a142fd40d49347'),
  'stateRoot': HexBytes('0xd7f8974fb5ac78d9ac099b9ad5018bedc2ce0a72dad1827a1709da30580f0544'),
  'timestamp': 0,
  'transactionsRoot': HexBytes('0x56e81f171bcc55a6ff8345e692c0f86e5b48e01b996cadc001622fb5e363b421'),
  'miner': '0x0000000000000000000000000000000000000000',
  'totalDifficulty': 17179869184,
  'uncles': [],
  'size': 540,
  'transactions': []})

Performance profiling

Trinity has builtin support for performance profiling via the --profile flag. When we run Trinity with the --profile flag it creates a cProfile of every single process in the current directory.

The files are named profile_* (e.g. profile_discovery) and can be viewed with any tool that supports cProfile files.

A simple way is through cprofilev

pip install cprofilev

Once installed we can generate a HTML based report and view it in a browser.

cprofilev -f profile_discovery