renterd Workshop

Welcome to the renterd workshop, in this workshop you will learn about the Sia Network and how to leverage the renterd software to store data on our decentralized cloud storage network called Sia.

This page is WIP and will be updated as the renterd software evolves.


The Sia Network

The Sia Network is a decentralized cloud storage platform that aims to provide a more secure, private, and affordable alternative to traditional cloud storage services like Amazon S3, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. Launched in 2015 by Nebulous Inc., Sia leverages blockchain technology to create a distributed marketplace where users can rent out their unused hard drive space to others in exchange for Siacoin, the platform's native cryptocurrency.

The Renter Daemon

The Renter Daemon, or what we call renterd, is a piece of software that is meant to continuously run as a background process on your machine. It serves an http API that allows to upload and download files to and from hosts on the Sia network.

In order to perform all of its tasks, it needs to:

  • have access to a fully synced consensus set that represents the Sia blockchain

  • have access to a (testnet) wallet that is funded with Siacoins

  • be properly configured for your particular storage needs

In this workshop we will guide you through the process of setting up a fully working renterd node, as well as preconfigure it so you can store files on the Sia network. Note that we will use the Zen Testnet, which is a test network that works exactly the same way as the actual Sia network.

Getting Started

In this section we walk you through setting up and running an instance of renterd.

Step 0: Prerequisites

  • Git:

Git is a tool used to manage your project's source code. To install, follow the instruction available here or try Github Desktop.

  • Golang:

Golang is the language in which the renter software is developed. If you want to build the binary manually you'll need to have Go installed, following the instructions available here

Step 1: Install renterd

The first thing to do is to install the renter daemon. There are currently two ways to do this:

Download the binary

At this time renterd binaries are not yet available on the website. But you can download recent binaries from the build artifacts on GitHub.

You can find all build artifacts here. The "Publish" tab contains mainnet binaries and the "Zen Testnet" tab contains testnet binaries. We generally recommend using recent artifacts from runs marked stable.

Build from source

For the workshop, we will build from source and compile to source code into an executable binary.

# clone the renterd source code and cd into it
git clone --branch workshop && cd renterd

# build the binary and specify the test network
go build -tags="testnet" -o ./ ./...

Step 2: Generate a wallet seed

The wallet module uses a 12-word BIP-39 (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 39) seed, which is a widely-used standard for generating mnemonic seed phrases for cryptocurrency wallets. It is designed to make it easier for users to manage and back up their private keys, which are essential for securing access to their cryptocurrency holdings.

You can generate a seed using Ian Coleman's excellent seed generator, or simply ask renterd to generate one for you:

./renterd seed

# output:
# renterd v0.1.0
# Network Testnet-Zen
# Seed phrase: [[ your seed will be displayed here ]]

Do not use this seed for any other purpose than this workshop.

Step 3: Start the renter

Finally we are ready to launch the renterd executable. After launching the daemon will ask you for an API password and the wallet seed you just generated. You can choose any API password you want but for the purpose of this workshop we advise you to just use 'test' or something that is easy to remember.

./renterd --autopilot.scannerInterval=2m --autopilot.heartbeat=1m

# output:
# renterd v0.1.0
# Network Testnet-Zen
# Enter API password: 
# Enter wallet seed: 
# api: Listening on
# bus: Listening on localhost:9881

🎉Congrats! You now have a running instance of renterd that is connected to the Zen Testnet. Browse to http://localhost:9880 and enter your API password to navigate to the UI.

Step 4: Wait for consensus to sync

To find out whether consensus is synced, we need to know the current height of the chain, which can be found here. Our own height is displayed in the UI on the Blockchain Node Tab.

You can also follow the process manually by querying the /bus/consensus/state endpoint using curl like so:

curl -u ":[[ API PASSWORD HERE ]]" localhost:9880/api/bus/consensus/state


	"BlockHeight": 13652,
	"Synced": true

This process should take less than a couple of minutes.

Step 5: Fund your wallet

Wallet Address

For the purpose of this workshop we need some Siacoins to form file contracts. These contracts are necessary to be able to upload data into. Luckily, there is a testnet faucet we can ask for some funds. For that we first need to know our wallet address, which is displayed in the Wallet Tab in the modal shown when you click "Receive" in the top right corner.

You can also obtain the address manually by querying the /bus/wallet/address endpoint using curl like so:

curl -u ":[[ API PASSWORD HERE ]]" localhost:9880/api/bus/wallet/address



Testnet Faucet

Now that we have our wallet address, head on over to the official Testnet Faucet and request 1,000 Siacoins. This process will take your time because the transaction has to be mined, once it is mined and taken up in a block we can query the wallet for its balance. The number returned by the endpoint represents Hastings, the smallest unit of value in the Sia ecosystem. 1 Siacoin equals 10^24 Hastings. The balance will be displayed in the Wallet Tab.

You can also obtain the balance manually by querying the /bus/wallet/balance endpoint using curl like so:

curl -u ":[[ API PASSWORD HERE ]]" localhost:9880/api/bus/wallet/balance



Remove the addr: prefix and surrounding quotes if you used the CLI to get your address. Otherwise you'll receive an error.

Incoming transactions won't be reflected in the wallet's balance before the consensus state is considered "synced".


Step 1: Configure your autopilot

The renter daemon has a component that we call the autopilot. It is responsible for keeping the renter operational once it is up an running and should theoretically be able to manage the file contracts and uploaded date for you. For this to work it has to be properly configured to suit your data storage needs. The autopilot can be configured through the UI in the Autopilot Tab.

You can view the current configuration manually by querying the /autopilot/config endpoint using curl like so:

curl -u ":[[ API PASSWORD HERE ]]" localhost:9880/api/autopilot/config


	"wallet": {
		"defragThreshold": 1000
	"hosts": {
		"ignoreRedundantIPs": false,
		"maxDowntimeHours": 168,
		"scoreOverrides": {}
	"contracts": {
		"set": "autopilot",
		"amount": 10,
		"allowance": "1000000000000000000000000000",
		"period": 6048,
		"renewWindow": 2016,
		"download": 10000000000,
		"upload": 10000000000,
		"storage": 10000000000

You can also update the configuration manually by querying the /autopilot/config endpoint using curl like so:

curl -u ":[[ API PASSWORD HERE ]]" -X PUT localhost:9880/api/autopilot/config --data '{
    "wallet": {
        "defragThreshold": 1000
    "hosts": {
        "ignoreRedundantIPs": true,
        "maxDowntimeHours": 168,
        "scoreOverrides": {}
    "contracts": {
        "set": "autopilot",
        "amount": 10,
        "allowance": "1000000000000000000000000000", 
        "period": 6048,                              
        "renewWindow": 2016,
        "download": 10000000000,
        "upload": 10000000000,
        "storage": 10000000000 

The above configuration holds sane settings for use on the Zen testnet.




Siacoin outputs before the wallet is defragmented



Allow hosts from the same subnet (only allow on testnet)



allow one week of downtime before hosts get removed



no manual overrides



name of the contract set used by the autopilot



keep a set of contracts with 10 unique hosts



1000 Siacoins (1KS)



6 weeks (6 * 24 * 7 * 6) contract periods before they expire



2 weeks (6 * 24 * 7 * 2) before the end of a contract period we start renewing them



10 GB of expected downloads per period



10 GB of expected uploads per period



10 GB of expected stored data per period

Step 2: Configure your redundancy

Since we only form contracts with 10 hosts, we need to update the redundancy settings for this workshop as the default requires 30 contracts.

The redundancy settings can be updated through the UI in the Configuration Tab. For this workshop we recommend to set it to 1-3, where one is the minimum number of shards required to download the file, and three is the total number of shards.

You can also update the redundancy settings manually by querying the /bus/setting/redundancy endpoint using curl like so:

curl -u ":[[ API PASSWORD HERE ]]" -X PUT localhost:9880/api/bus/setting/redundancy --data '{
    "minShards": 1,            
    "totalShards": 3                            

Step 3: Wait for contracts to form

After updating the autopilot settings, the autopilot will start forming contracts. Eventually it will have formed 10 contracts. You can check the progress in the UI's Contracts Tab.

You can also fetch the active contracts list manually by querying the /bus/contracts/active endpoint using curl like so:

curl -u ":[[ API PASSWORD HERE ]]" localhost:9880/api/bus/contracts/active

Storing Data

Step 1: Create a dummy file

Create a dummy file or choose a file you want to upload:

echo "Hello World" > foo.txt

Step 2: Upload the file to the network

The easiest way to upload a file is via the UI's Files Tab files tab.

You can also upload a file manually by uploading it to the /worker/objects/[[ FILENAME HERE ]] endpoint using curl like so:

curl -u ":[[ API PASSWORD HERE ]]" -H "Content-Type: application/octet-stream" -X PUT localhost:9880/api/worker/objects/foo.txt --data-binary '@foo.txt'

Step 3: Download the file from the network

The easiest way to download a file is via the UI's Files Tab files tab.

You can also download a file manually by querying the /worker/objects/[[ FILENAME HERE ]] endpoint using curl like so:

curl -u ":[[ API PASSWORD HERE ]]" localhost:9880/api/worker/objects/foo.txt


Hello World

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