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Awesome Open Source

lit - a lightning node you can run on your own

Lit Logo

Build Status

Under development, not for use with real money.



  • Git

  • Go

  • make

  • (Optional, Windows) Cygwin

  • (Optional, for full test suite) Python 3 + requests library from PyPI


Clone the repo from git

git clone
cd lit

or go get it

go get -v


Linux, macOS, Cygwin, etc.

You can either use Go's built-in dependency management and build tool

cd {GOPATH}/src/
go get -v ./...
go build

or use the Makefile

make # or make all

To run the python integration tests (which requires bitcoind), run make test with-python=false


Install Cygwin and follow the setup instructions or download prebuilt binaries from

  1. Make sure that environmental variable %GOPATH% is initizlized correctly.

  2. Download required dependencies and then build with:

go get -v ./...
cd %GOPATH%\src\\mit-dci\lit
go build -v .
go build -v .\cmd\lit-af

Running lit

The below command will run Lit on the Bitcoin testnet3 network

(Note: Windows users should take off ./ but need to change lit to lit.exe)

./lit --tn3=true

The words yup, yes, y, true, 1, ok, enable, on can be used to specify that Lit automatically connect to peers fetched from a list of DNS seeds. It can also be replaced by the address of the node you wish to connect to. For example for the btc testnet3:

./lit --tn3=localhost

It will use default port for different nodes. See the "Command line arguments" section.


You can make an archive package for any distribution by doing:

./build/ <os> <arch>

and it will be placed in build/_releasedir. It should support any OS that Go and lit's dependencies support. In place of windows use win and in place of 386 use i386.

You can also package for Linux, macOS, and Windows in both amd64 and i386 architectures by running make package. (NOTE: macOS is amd64 only)

Running ./build/ clean cleans the directories it generates.

Using Lightning

Once you are done setting up lit, you can read about


Pull Requests and Issues are most welcome, checkout Contributing to get started.

Command line arguments

When starting lit, the following command line arguments are available. The following commands may also be specified in lit.conf which is automatically generated on startup with tn3=1 by default.

Connecting to networks

Arguments Details Default Port
--tn3 <nodeHostName> connect to nodeHostName, which is a bitcoin testnet3 node. 18333
--reg <nodeHostName> connect to nodeHostName, which is a bitcoin regtest node. 18444
--lt4 <nodeHostName> connect to nodeHostName, which is a litecoin testnet4 node. 19335

Other settings

Arguments Details
-v or --verbose Verbose; log everything to stdout as well as the lit.log file. Lots of text.
--dir <folderPath> Use folderPath as the directory. By default, saves to ~/.lit/.
-p or --rpcport <portNumber> Listen for RPC clients on port portNumber. Defaults to 8001. Useful when you want to run multiple lit nodes on the same computer (also need the --dir option).
-r or --reSync Try to re-sync to the blockchain.


Folder Name Details
bech32 Util for the Bech32 format
btcutil Bitcoin-specific libraries
build Tools used for building Lit
cmd Has some rpc client code to interact with the lit node. Not much there yet
coinparam Information and other constants for identifying currencies
consts Global constants
crypto Utility cryptographic libraries
dlc Discreet Log Contracts
docs Writeups for setting up things and screenshots
elkrem A hash-tree for storing log(n) items instead of n
litrpc Websockets based RPC connection
lndc Lightning network data connection -- send encrypted / authenticated messages between nodes
lnutil Widely used utility functions
portxo Portable utxo format, exchangable between node and base wallet (or between wallets). Should make this into a BIP once it's more stable.
powless Introduces a web API chainhook in addition to the uspv one
qln A quick channel implementation with databases. Doesn't do multihop yet.
sig64 Library to make signatures 64 bytes instead of 71 or 72 or something
snap Snapcraft metadata
test Python Integration tests
uspv Deals with the network layer, sending network messages and filtering what to hand over to wallit
wallit Deals with storing and retrieving utxos, creating and signing transactions
watchtower Unlinkable outsourcing of channel monitoring
wire Tools for working with binary data structures in Bitcoin

Hierarchy of packages

One instance of lit has one litNode (package qln).

LitNodes manage lndc connections to other litnodes, manage all channels, rpc listener, and the ln.db. Litnodes then initialize and contol wallits.

A litNode can have multiple wallits; each must have different params. For example, there can be a testnet3 wallit, and a regtest wallit. Eventually it might make sense to support a root key per wallit, but right now the litNode gives a rootPrivkey to each wallet on startup. Wallits each have a db file which tracks utxos, addresses, and outpoints to watch for the upper litNode. Wallits do not directly do any network communication. Instead, wallits have one or more chainhooks; a chainhook is an interface that talks to the blockchain.

One package that implements the chainhook interface is uspv. Uspv deals with headers, wire messages to fullnodes, filters, and all the other mess that is contemporary SPV.

(in theory it shouldn't be too hard to write a package that implements the chainhook interface and talks to some block explorer. Maybe if you ran your own explorer and authed and stuff that'd be OK.)

Dependency graph

Dependency Graph



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