HORNET 0.4.0 — Metamorphosis

4 min readJun 5, 2020


In the past months we have literally rewritten HORNET.
With the 0.4.0 release HORNET now uses an object storage for caching data. This makes things way faster than before. The object storage implementation is also used by GoShimmer and is part of our common code base called hive.go.
In addition to the new object storage we have switched from BadgerDB to BoltDB. This leads to a much lower RAM usage (about ten times less) compared to HORNET 0.3.0.

Changes in numbers (compared to HORNET 0.3.0):

  • 366 changed files
  • 299 commits
  • 26,229 additions
  • 16,300 deletions

The switch to the object storage cache and BoltDB was just one thing. We have optimized and added a lot of things.

The dashboard got some new tools like a JSON and text view for the integrated Tangle explorer.

HORNET Tangle Explorer — JSON view

Once a new HORNET version is available, you will get notified.
If you are running multiple nodes, you’ll love the new node alias. It’ll be shown on your dashboard and — optionally — in the getNodeInfo response. This makes it easy to identify the right node.

The new integrated toolset makes it easy to e.g. generate a new seed for the autopeering plugin.

./hornet tool list  #This will list available tools

Autopeering is one huge new feature. Setting up a node never was easier. HORNET is the first node software which runs in the IOTA Mainnet and uses the autopeering plugin known from GoShimmer.
This way all you have to do is setting up HORNET and start it. HORNET will automatically search for peers aka neighbors.
As the autopeering plugin is under active development, we recommend to add some static peers (IOTA discord — #nodesharing) once your new node is up and running as well.

We got the feedback that it was hard for new users to set up a node. That’s why we introduce our APT repository.
Installing HORNET is now done with a simple apt install hornet. This will set up everything for you.
And if there is a new HORNET version, the update is done with an apt update.
Instructions on how to install HORNET with APT can be found here.

Also, new is the healthz API route. This helps you monitoring your node in an easy way. Once your node falls out of sync, lost its peers or the latest milestone gets too old, it will return an error code.

With the new warp sync, HORNET will sync in no time. This saves time and nerves. In combination with the other improvements and additions, your node will be sync in a few minutes. Usually in < 3 minutes (including searching for peers).

Since HORNET is a community node, we are happy to have the new Comnet. The Comnet is a community driven IOTA test network powered by HORNET nodes. The Comnet was initiated and gets maintained by Mathieu, a well-known IOTA community member.

Comnet Spam Test

You can explore the Comnet by accessing https://comnet.thetangle.org/ or by running your own Comnet HORNET node and accessing your private node explorer embedded into the dashboard.

With the HORNET 0.4.0 release we are reaching the end of our EDF grant.
But an end can also be a beginning.
We would like to thank the IOTA Foundation for further supporting us through the EDF and the thereby shown confidence in our work.
By receiving this phase two grant we are able to implement the Chrysalis (https://blog.iota.org/chrysalis-b9906ec9d2de) changes into HORNET.
To get the best Chrysalis experience, we are working closely together with the IOTA Foundation.

To speed up the Chrysalis development, our first milestone was to add a coordinator plugin to HORNET.
This makes testing changes more efficient and faster compared to a compass setup.
The new coordinator plugin makes it super easy to set up your own private Tangle and is already included in HORNET 0.4.0. We have written a small tutorial on how to set up your private Tangle. You can find it here.
The Comnet already uses the integrated coordinator with a 10s milestone interval.

We’ll keep you well posted about the Chrysalis progress.

Stay tuned and start deploying HORNET 0.4.0. As always you will get help in the official IOTA discord #hornet channel.




Hornet is a lightweight alternative to IOTA’s fullnode software “IRI”