System Requirements and Installation Guide


Photon is an off-chain scaling solution, enabling instant, low-fee and scalable payments. It’s complementary to the Ethereum blockchain and Spectrum blockchain and works with ERC20 compatible token and ERC223 compatible token. Photon currently can works on Windows, Linux ,Android, iOS etc. Photon adds some new functions in version 0.9, such as , cooperative settlement,widraw without closing the channel, and more perfect third-party services(Photon-Monitoring and Photon-Path-Finder). In order to improve the user experience and to better fit for the mobile network, Photon adopts the Matrix communication mechanism and supports the crash recovery and channel charging function.


The preferred way to install Photon is downloading a self contained application bundle from the GitHub release page


Download the latest photon--linux.tar.gz, and extract it:

tar -xvzf photon-<version>-linux.tar.gz

The Photon binary should work on most 64bit GNU/Linux distributions without any specific system dependencies, other than an Ethereum client installed in your system (see below). The Photon binary takes the same command line arguments as the photon script.


Download the latest, and extract it:

unzip photon-<version>
The resulting binary will work on any version of macOS from 10.12 onwards without any other dependencies. An Ethereum client is required.


If you want to develop photon on mobile, you can execute the following commands

go get
cd mobile
gomobile bind -target=android
gomobile bind -target=ios


You will need to have an Spectrum client installed in your system.

  • Check this link for instructions on the smc client.

For developers

If you plan to develop on the Photon source code, or the binary distributions do not work for your system, you can follow these steps to install a development version.


In order to work with Photon, the following build dependencies are required:

  • Go: Photon is written in Go. To install, run one of the following commands:

    Note: The minimum version of Go supported is Go 1.9. We recommend that users use the latest version of Go, which at the time of writing is 1.10. On Linux:

    sudo apt-get install golang-1.10-go
    On Mac OS X:
    brew install go
    Alternatively, one can download the pre-compiled binaries hosted on the golang download page. If one seeks to install from source, then more detailed installation instructions can be found here. At this point, you should set your $GOPATH environment variable, which represents the path to your workspace. By default, $GOPATH is set to ~/go. You will also need to add $GOPATH/bin to your PATH. This ensures that your shell will be able to detect the binaries you install.
    export GOPATH=~/gocode
    export PATH=$PATH:$GOPATH/bin

    Installing Photon

    With the preliminary steps completed, to install Photon, and all related dependencies run the following commands:

    go get 
    cd cmd/photon
    git pull 
    cd cmd/photon

Requirements for Safe Usage

In order to use Photon correctly and safely there are some things that need to be taken care of by the user:

  • Layer 1 works reliably: That means that you have a local public chain node, or connect to a stable server which own the public chain node , that is always synced and working reliably. If there are any problems or bugs on the client then Photon can not work reliably.
  • Unique account for Photon: We need to have a specific public chain account dedicated to Photon. Creating any manual transaction with the account that Photon uses, while the Photon client is running, can result in undefined behaviour.
  • Photon account need sufficient Public Chain Coin: Photon will not to warn you whether there is enough Public chain coin in photon account or not, so you need to transfer sufficient public chain coin to the account in order to maintain your current open chanels and go through their entire cycle.
  • Persistency of local DB: Your local state database is located at ~/.photon. This data should not be deleted by the user or tampered with in any way. Frequent backups are also recommended. Deleting this directory could mean losing funds.
  • Photon node can be offline or online according to usage : In photon,some nodes ,such as mobile nodes(just for payment requirment), can be offline after delegating evidence to the PhotonMonitor; Another nodes, such as meshbox nodes,which provide the mediate transfer service, need to confirm that the inside photon node is always running, If it crashes for whatever reason you are responsible to restart it.

Note: In order to ensure security, the same account can only start one node at the same time. Photon does not provide node data import and export function temporarily.

Firing it up


Run Photon nodes on the Spectrum testnet

Installing Spectrum

For prerequisites and detailed build instructions please read the Installation Instructions on the wiki.

Building smc requires both a Go (version 1.9.2 or later) and a C compiler. You can install them using your favourite package manager.

Starting Spectrum testnet

Run boot script

smc  --datadir=. --testnet --syncmode full     --ws --wsapi  "eth,admin,web3,net,debug,personal"   --rpc  --rpccorsdomain "*" --rpcapi "eth,admin,web3,net,debug,personal"   --wsaddr "" --rpcaddr ""   --wsorigins "*"

Starting Photon node

Before start the Photon, you need to creat accounts on spectrum,such as “0x97cd7291f93f9582ddb8e9885bf7e77e3f34be40”. Also you need to set the keystore path and password files or password in the boot script.

photon  --datadir=.photon  --address="0x97cd7291f93f9582ddb8e9885bf7e77e3f34be40"  --keystore-path ./keystore --registry-contract-address 0xb3aE919aB595f5844cba80499ee6423688E06F89 --password-file pass.txt --eth-rpc-endpoint ws://
After you start the photon node,you can register the token in the photonnetwork and use the various functions provided by photon.

Deployed contract address

  • Specrum Mainnet:RegistryAddress=0x28233F8e0f8Bd049382077c6eC78bE9c2915c7D4
  • Specrum Testnet:RegistryAddress=0xa2150A4647908ab8D0135F1c4BFBB723495e8d12