Jumping into Truffle and Rinkeby

Despite the recent publicity and popularity that the blockchain community has been receiving, developers in the space are still extremely few and far between.

A huge goal of ours is to have a thriving community, not only behind our protocol, but in general. We want to help create talented developers for us, for all our friends in the space, and for the hundreds of new blockchain companies out there.

One of the ways we’re forging this environment is by having live workshops, as seen below, where we teach technical blockchain fundamentals.

Alain Goldman, one of our developers, teaching Truffle to a class at Microsoft.

In that spirit, we’ll also be putting some tutorials online- doing what we can to help this community of developers grow.

Here’s a Truffle and Rinkeby tutorial, made with Truffle v3.4.9 (core: 3.4.8) and Solidity v0.4.15.

Truffle Setup


If you’re a Windows user, we recommend installing and using Truffle via Windows PowerShell or Git BASH. These two shells provide features far beyond the standard Command Prompt, and will make your life on the command line much easier.


Let’s install Testrpc.

Testrpc is a Node.js based Ethereum client for testing and development. It uses Ethereumjs to simulate full client behavior and make developing Ethereum applications much faster. It also includes all popular RPC functions and features (like events) and can be run deterministically to make development a breeze.

  • $ npm install -g ethereumjs-testrpc
  • $ testrpc

Now, while Testrpc is running in a brand new terminal, we can go ahead and install Truffle, initialize and app and run it.

  • $ npm install -g truffle
  • $ cd ~/Desktop
  • $ mkdir truftest
  • $ cd truftest
  • $ truffle unbox react

Here we are using a shortcut truffle unbox react which does an initialization and adds the necessary modules for react. If you want to have a pure installation you should instead run truffle init inside of the folder you created.

Go into your Truffle folder.

  • $ cd ~/Desktop/truftest
  • $ truffle compile
  • $ truffle migrate
  • $ npm start

These commands will migrate the current contracts into testrpc. Now, when your app starts, head over to localhost:3000 and you should see this screen:


Let’s mess around with the Solidity contract. We are going to be making a contract called MySale. truftest/contracts/MySale.sol

$ truffle create contract MySale

Now we have to add a migration file for deploying this contract to the EVM. Create a file called truftest/migrations/3_add_Sale.js

Note that the filename is prefixed with a number and is suffixed by a description. The numbered prefix is required in order to record whether the migration ran successfully. The suffix is purely for human readability and comprehension.

Okay, let’s fill out the migration.

var MySale = artifacts.require("./MySale.sol");
module.exports = function(deployer) {

Now you will be provided with a Solidity file with no functions. I went ahead and filled it in with 3 rudimentary functions. truftest/contracts/MySale.sol

pragma solidity ^0.4.4;
contract MySale {
mapping(address => uint) balance;
uint total_coins = 1;
  function printCoin(uint howMuch) public{
balance[msg.sender] += howMuch;
total_coins += howMuch;
  function allCoins() constant public returns(uint){
return total_coins;

function myCoin() constant public returns(uint){
return balance[msg.sender];

Now, let’s go ahead and make our app have a touch event to trigger both a get and a set function from that contract.

Go to truftest/src/App.js and add this.

import React, { Component } from 'react'
import MySale from '../build/contracts/MySale.json'
import getWeb3 from './utils/getWeb3'
import './css/oswald.css'
import './css/open-sans.css'
import './css/pure-min.css'
import './App.css'
const contract = require('truffle-contract')
const mySale = contract(MySale)
class App extends Component {
constructor(props) {
    this.state = {
storageValue: 0,
web3: null
  componentWillMount() {
.then(results => {
web3: results.web3
.catch(() => {
console.log('Error finding web3.')
var mySaleInstance
    console.log("...getting data");
this.state.web3.eth.getAccounts((error, accounts) => {
mySale.deployed().then((instance) => {
mySaleInstance = instance
return mySaleInstance.allCoins.call({from: accounts[0]})
}).then((result) => {
console.log("result", result);
var mySaleInstance
console.log("...setting data");
this.state.web3.eth.getAccounts((error, accounts) => {
mySale.deployed().then((instance) => {
mySaleInstance = instance
return mySaleInstance.printCoin(4, {from: accounts[0]})
}).then((result) => {
console.log("result", result);

  render() {
return (
<div id="get" onClick={this.coinCount.bind(this)}></div>
<div id="set" onClick={this.printCoin.bind(this)}></div>
export default App

I added some CSS to #get and #set so I can see those div’s. You can find this in truftest/src/App.css

margin: 20px;
cursor: pointer;
margin: 20px;
cursor: pointer;

What we get is two boxes that when clicked execute our contract and console.log the result. But what if we didn’t want to run the app inside of Testrpc? For that we will need Mist and Rinkeby. Rinkeby is the test EVM. Lets go ahead and get setup for that next.

  • Close the Testrpc terminal and close the Truffle server.


  • Node.js x7.x (use the preferred installation method for your OS).
  • Meteor javascript app framework.
  • Yarn package manager.
  • Electron v1.4.15 cross platform desktop app framework.
  • Gulp build and automation system.
$ curl https://install.meteor.com/ | sh
$ curl -o- -L https://yarnpkg.com/install.sh | bash
  • Make sure you have yarn installed. You can get it here.
$ yarn global add electron@1.4.15
$ yarn global add gulp

Mist Setup

  • Quick reminder to make sure you closed the Testrpc terminal and the Truffle server.
$ cd ~/Desktop
$ mkdir mist_test && cd mist_test
$ git clone https://github.com/ethereum/mist.git
$ cd mist
$ yarn
$ cd interface && meteor --no-release-check

Now you’re ready to initialize Mist for development:

While Meteor is running, open another terminal window and go back to the folder you created. /Desktop/mist_test/mist

Now let’s run Electron for the first time:

$ cd ~/Desktop/mist_test/mist
$ yarn dev:electron
  • Launch the application in test network.
  • Wait for past blocks to download.
  • (On the bottom left Mist is downloading the past blocks. Wait for this to update).
  • Write down your Ethereum address, we will need this later in this tutorial.
  • 0x6a6401AEb4a3beb93820904E761b0d86364bb39E

Were Done with Mist!

If you want to read more about mist you can do so here. For now close both terminals. The one running meteor and the one running mist/electron.

  • Make sure to close both terminals.

Free Rinkeby Ether

In order to use the test network we have to have test Ether, which we can’t just print out.

Connecting to Rinkeby

Make sure to close the terminal.

First, start geth with Rinkeby and make sure that the correct APIs for Truffle are enabled.

$ geth --rinkeby --rpc --rpcapi db,eth,net,web3,personal --unlock="0x6a6401AEb4a3beb93820904E761b0d86364bb39E" --rpccorsdomain http://localhost:3000

Please don’t forget to replace my wallet with the wallet you got from Mist/Electron.

This will ask you for the password you gave Mist/Electron.

Next, we need to add Rinkeby to our Truffle config file. If we open truffle.js in our contract code, we’ll see something like:

module.exports = {
rpc: {
host: 'localhost',
port: '8545'
networks: {
development: {
host: "localhost",
port: 8545,
network_id: "*" // Match any network id
rinkeby: {
host: "localhost", // Connect to geth on the specified
port: 8545,
from: "0x6a6401AEb4a3beb93820904E761b0d86364bb39E", // default address to use for any transaction Truffle makes during migrations
network_id: 4,
gas: 4612388 // Gas limit used for deploys

Please dont forget to replace the from section in this file to your Ethereum address you scored from Mist/Electron.

Now we just have to migrate the contract onto Rinkeby. This is going to ask for the password you gave Mist/Electron.

$ truffle migrate --network rinkeby

If you want to view the current state of your contracts on the Rinkeby test network go to this URL.

(Replace my wallet with yours. My address’s transactions. )


Congratulations We Set It Up!!

Hopefully this tutorial provided some useful information for you. Let us know what else you’d like us to cover and we’ll try to do it in either a live workshop or an online tutorial just like this.