Get Started

There are a few ways to get started with the colonyNetwork contracts, depending on who you are and what you want to do.

This page details how to engage purely on the contract-level, and is intended more for developers looking to contribute new features, extensions, or contract-level integrations. See our guidelines if you're interested in contributing to the colonyNetwork codebase.

If you're a dapp developer looking to integrate with colony, we recommend using colonyJS as an entry point. There you'll find analogous instructions better suited to building applications on top of the colonyNetwork. For those without patience, we have built a colonyStarter kit which contains boilerplate examples for dapp development, including frontend frameworks like react, and is the fastest way to start building with Colony.

Either way, if you run into trouble or have any questions/comments, please post in our developer forums.



You will need to have node installed. We recommended using node version 10.12.0. An easy solution for managing node versions is nvm. If you do not have node installed, check out Download Node or Node Package Manager.


You will also need to install yarn. We recommended using yarn version 1.12.0 or higher. Check out the Yarn Installation documentation and then select your operating system for install instructions.

It is possible to use npm instead of yarn, but you'll need to adapt any instructions yourself ;).


In order to compile the colonyNetwork smart contracts, you will need to have Docker installed and running. We recommend using Docker Community Version You can find instructions for installing Docker here: Docker Installation.

The colonyNetwork smart contracts require the ethereum/solc:0.5.8 Docker image, so we will need to pull it down before we can begin.

Make sure Docker is installed and then run the following command.

docker pull ethereum/solc:0.5.8

Colony Network

If you intend to work with glider-rc.1 on the Görli testnet, proceed with installation below, skipping the "local development and testing" section.


For testing and development, we will set up a local test network and then deploy the colonyNetwork smart contracts to that local test network.

The first order of business will be pulling down the colonyNetwork repository, which includes some simple script commands that will help us get the colonyNetwork smart contracts set up and ready for testing and development.

In the working directory of your choice, clone the latest version of the colonyNetwork repository.

git clone

Next, we will need to move into the colonyNetwork directory and run yarn to install the required node packages.

cd colonyNetwork && yarn

The colonyNetwork repository includes a few submodules, so we will need to add them to our project and make sure we are using the version defined in the colonyNetwork repository index.

git submodule update --init

The final step for installation is copying over some of the files from our submodules into our build directory, which we made easy for you with a simple script command.

yarn run provision:token:contracts

glider-rc.1 on the Görli testnet

The Glider release candidate is in many ways a simpler and easier way to experiment than setting up a local development environment, and can be very useful if you're looking to just get a sense of how the colonyNetwork contracts work, or want to build extensions/integrations that remain inside the EVM.

To connect, you'll need to know the address of the colonyNetwork (which is, in reality, the address of the etherRouter contract; see The Delegate Proxy Pattern for more info).

ColonyNetwork: 0x79073fc2117dD054FCEdaCad1E7018C9CbE3ec0B

You will also require Görli test ETH, and a deployed ERC20 token to import.

Access with Remix (good for experimenting)

For simple interactions, Remix is a good lightweight way to call specific functions and get network information from the contracts.

Rather than import the entire set of contracts into remix, use the included solidity-steamroller to flatten the needed interface contracts to the build/flattened/ directory:

$ yarn flatten:contracts

Navigate to colonyNetwork/build/flattened/ to find the contracts you need to import to Remix.

In Remix, you'll need to instantiate flatIColonyNetwork.sol to the ColonyNetwork address 0x79073fc2117dD054FCEdaCad1E7018C9CbE3ec0B in order to create a new colony.

Use the address of your existing ERC20 token contract to createColony(), then immidiately use getColonyCount() to get your colony's ID.

Call getColony() to get your colony's address from the ID, then instantiate flatIColony.sol to your colony's address in Remix.

Access with the Truffle console

First, add a private key of your choice to the truffle.js configuration file:

goerli: {
      provider: () => {
        return new HDWalletProvider("replace-with-private-key-when-using", "");
      network_id: "5"

Then, start up the truffle console and connect to testnet:

$ yarn truffle console --network goerli

In the truffle console, instantiate the IColonyNetwork interface for glider-rc.1:

truffle(goerli)> let colonyNetwork = await"0x79073fc2117dD054FCEdaCad1E7018C9CbE3ec0B")

From here, you can create a new colony (with an ERC20 token already deployed):

truffle(goerli)> await colonyNetwork.createColony("your-erc20-token-address")

And find your colony's id (the newest created colony) after the transaction is mined:

truffle(goerli)> await colonyNetwork.getColonyCount()

Local Development and Testing

You can start a local test node and deploy the contracts yourself using the locally installed truffle package.

yarn run start:blockchain:client

yarn truffle migrate --reset --compile-all

To deploy all contracts and run all contract tests:

yarn test:contracts

To deploy all contracts and run all reputation mining tests:

yarn test:reputation

For more detailed instructions, and additional steps required to set up an environment for use with colonyJS, check out the colonyJS Local Setup documentation.


Questions? Problems? Existential dilemmas? We’re here to help!

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All improvements to documentation are welcome and encouraged. Submit a PR for documentation on GitHub.