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Local Test Network Creation

In this section, we will learn how to use the ash.avalanche Ansible collection to provision a local Avalanche test network on Multipass virtual machines.


  • Python >=3.9 with venv module installed
  • For the local test network:
    • 7+GiB of free RAM
    • Multipass installed (see Install Multipass)

      Multipass is a tool to generate cloud-style Ubuntu VMs quickly on Linux, macOS, and Windows

    • Terraform installed (see Install Terraform)

      Terraform is an infrastructure as code tool that lets you build, change, and version infrastructure safely and efficiently

  • For filtering outputs:

We recommend installing the Ash CLI to easily get information about your nodes and Subnets. See Ash CLI - Installation.
The tutorials still provide the snippets to query the Avalanche APIs with cURL.

Setup the environment

  1. Clone the Getting Started repository:

    git clone
    cd ansible-avalanche-getting-started
  2. Setup and activate Python venv:

    source .venv/bin/activate
  3. Install the ash.avalanche collection:

    ansible-galaxy collection install git+
  4. Initialize the Terraform modules:

    terraform -chdir=terraform/multipass init

Bootstrap the local test network


This section uses the local inventory which is pre-configured as a local Avalanche network (see avalanchego_network_id: local in avalanche_nodes.yml).

  1. Create the virtual machines that will host the validator nodes using Terraform (enter yes when prompted):

    terraform -chdir=terraform/multipass apply

We will use the ash.avalanche.bootstrap_local_network playbook to bootstrap the local network. This playbook starts a first validator (validator01) and then boostrap additional nodes (validator02-05) from the first node, thus creating a local network.

  1. Bootstrap the Avalanche nodes:

    ansible-playbook ash.avalanche.bootstrap_local_network -i inventories/local

It's done! We now have a ready-to-use 5-nodes Avalanche local test network.

Issue API calls

The validator nodes expose AvalancheGo APIs on their local and public interfaces. Because the public IP address is not known in advance, it is easier to leverage multipass exec to query the Avalanche APIs on the local interface. For example, to check if the P-Chain is done bootstrapping:

multipass exec validator01 -- curl -X POST --data '{
"jsonrpc": "2.0",
"id" : 1,
"method" : "info.isBootstrapped",
"params": {
"chain": "P"
}' -H 'content-type:application/json;'

You can still use the public interface to query the API. To retrieve a node public IP address using the terraform output command as shown above. E.g. for validator02:

terraform -chdir=terraform/multipass output -json validators_ips | jq '.[1]'

Use the Ash CLI

The Ash CLI is a powerful tool to interact with Avalanche networks. See Ash CLI - Introduction for more information.

Use the Ash CLI installed in the VMs

The Ash CLI is installed and automatically configured in the Avalanche nodes of the local test network, and can be used through multipass exec. For example, to check if the P-Chain is done bootstrapping:

multipass exec validator01 -- ash avalanche node is-bootstrapped P
Chain 'P' on node '': Bootstrapped ✓

Use the Ash CLI installed locally


See Ash CLI - Installation for the installation instructions on your platform.

To use the Ash CLI with the local network, we need to use a custom configuration file. Fortunately, the local-test-network.yml file is generated by Terraform in the terraform/multipass directory. Set it as default for the Ash CLI:

export ASH_CONFIG=terraform/multipass/local-test-network.yml

You can now use your local Ash CLI, e.g. to list all the Subnets on the local network:

ash avalanche subnet list

Pre-funded account

On local Avalanche networks, a pre-funded account is available with the following private key:

  • CB58 encoded: PrivateKey-ewoqjP7PxY4yr3iLTpLisriqt94hdyDFNgchSxGGztUrTXtNN
  • Hex encoded: 0x56289e99c94b6912bfc12adc093c9b51124f0dc54ac7a766b2bc5ccf558d8027

We will use this account in the next tutorials.

Customize the installation

Different aspects of the installation can be customized:

For a list of all available variables, see ash.avalanche.node reference.

Use Multipass to manage the VMs

List the VMs

multipass list

Stop/restart the VMs

# Stop all VMs
multipass stop validator0{1..5} frontend
# Start all VMs
multipass start validator0{1..5} frontend
# Restart all VMs
multipass restart validator0{1..5} frontend

Teardown the local test network

  1. Destroy the virtual machines:

    terraform -chdir=terraform/multipass destroy
  2. Deactivate the Python venv: