Here you have the steps to compile and run an Rootstock node on Mac.

This page is organized in this way:


First of all, you will need to install:

Dependency Details
Git for Mac Download this Git command line tool
Java 8 JDK Follow the steps to install Java. To check if installation went correctly, check the version with command: java -version.

Recommended IDEs:

To complete Java installation you need to configure the JAVA_HOME environment variable. You have to run the following commands on terminal:

➜ /usr/libexec/java_home

➜ export JAVA_HOME=`/usr/libexec/java_home`

➜ launchctl setenv JAVA_HOME `/usr/libexec/java_home`

Get the source code

Using the installed command-line tool Git, you need to retrieve (or clone) the RSKj Github source code from here.

Run these commands on Git command line:

git clone --recursive
cd rskj
git checkout tags/ARROWHEAD-6.0.0 -b ARROWHEAD-6.0.0

Note: It is better to download the code into a short path.

Ensure the security chain

Ensure the security chain of the downloaded source code.

Get external dependencies

Before you can launch IntelliJ IDEA, there is an important step. Browse in your RSKj cloned directory and then launch with the following terminal command:


This will download and set important components (e.g. Gradle Wrapper).

IntelliJ IDEA setup

Compiling the node

Now, you can launch IntelliJ IDEA. When IntelliJ IDEA is launched you should have a window with different options.

  • Choose Import project.
  • Browse in the RskJ downloaded code the file rskj\build.gradle and select it. Click NEXT.
  • Within the dialog select Use default gradle wrapper and then click Finish.

Keep IntelliJ IDEA open.


IDEA Build/Run configuration

We need to create a new configuration profile to run the node from IDEA. That can be done by clicking on Run -> Edit Configurations or as shown in the following picture:


Then set the options as shown below:


  • Main Class: co.rsk.Start
  • Working directory: /path-to-code/rskJ
  • Use classpath of module: rskj-core_main
  • JRE need to be set as: Default (1.8 - SDK of 'rsk-core_main' module)

Running the node

We are ready to run the node using IDEA, just press the Start (green arrow) button at the right of the configuration just created.


If everything is OK you should see the debug information like that:


And yes! Congratulations! Now you're running a local Rootstock node :)

You're joined to Mainnet by default.

If you want to switch the network, add:

  • For Testnet: --testnet
  • For Regtest: --regtest

Inside the field Program arguments in your run configuration.

Visual Studio Code setup

Recommended Plugins

Visual Studio Configuration Files:

In order to setup JDK configuration, we use .vscode/settings.json. Here we can setup the latest JDK for Extension Pack for Java, then use the recommended version for RSKj, for instance:


   "": "/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/temurin-17.jdk/Contents/Home",
   "java.configuration.runtimes": [
        "name": "JavaSE-1.8",
        "path": "/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/JavaAppletPlugin.plugin/Contents/Home",
        "default": true
        "name": "JavaSE-17",
        "path": "/Library/Java/JavaVirtualMachines/temurin-17.jdk/Contents/Home",

In this example, we have setup Java 17 for Extension Pack for Java to work as expected and the default java compiler is Java 1.8.

In order to list these paths you can run:

/usr/libexec/java_home -V


whereis java

Be aware that the path may vary depending on how you installed it.

In order to build, run or debug RSKj, we use .vscode/launch.json. Here we can setup the commands that will be used to run our application, for instance:


    // Use IntelliSense to learn about possible attributes.
    // Hover to view descriptions of existing attributes.
    // For more information, visit:
    "version": "0.2.0",
    "configurations": [
            "type": "java",
            "name": "Run RSK Start",
            "request": "launch",
            "mainClass": "co.rsk.Start",
            "args" : "--testnet -Xkeyvalue.datasource=leveldb"

In this example we are going to run the application with the following arguments: --testnet -Xkeyvalue.datasource=leveldb.

Running the project

We are ready to run the node using Visual Studio Code, select your configuration from launch.json within Run and Debug.


Click on start (green play icon at the left of your configuration name).


A debug tools menu shows up at the top of the IDE window, were you could run the node step by step!

Building the project with Gradle in Visual Studio Code

In order to build the project using Gradle, we can simply go to the respective tab. On tab, we should be able to see all available Gradle configurations from the application. Select the project to be built and double-click the desired Gradle Task.


Testing in Visual Studio Code

In order to run tests, we can simply go to the Testing tab where you can see all the tests. We can also go directly to the test file and right-click the icon at the left of a declaration of a test and then decide to either run or debug the test.


Any problems?

Check out the troubleshooting section, hope it helps!

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