Prepare & Setup

Before deploying the IBM Blockchain Developer Environment, you must first prepare a basic cluster on the IBM Container Service.

Prepare required CLIs and plugins

First, we will download and add the CLIs and plugins that we need to interact with the IBM Container Service. If you do not already have zip and unzip, install them now.

1. Download and install Hyperledger Composer CLI

Download and install the Hyperledger Composer CLI using the following command:

npm install -g composer-cli

2. Download and install kubectl CLI

3. Download and install the Bluemix CLI

4. Add the bluemix plugins repo

$ bx plugin repo-add bluemix

Note: If you get the following error, it means that the repository bluemix already exists on your computer. Thus, you can ignore the error and move to the next step.

Plug-in repo named ‘bluemix’ already exists. Try a different name.

5. Add the container service plugin

$ bx plugin install container-service -r bluemix

Setup a cluster

Now, we will use those CLIs and plugins to create a cluster on the IBM Container Service. Use these steps to setup a cluster named blockchain on IBM Container Service. For more information about how to use the bluemix cli.

6. Point Bluemix CLI to production API

$ bx api

7. Login to bluemix

$ bx login

If your id is federated in an SSO, you will have to run the following command to login:

$ bx login -sso

8. Create a cluster on IBM Container Service

This will create a free cluster named blockchain on the IBM Container Service.

$ bx cs cluster-create --name blockchain

9. Wait for the cluster to be ready

Issue the following command to ascertain the status of your cluster:

$ bx cs clusters

The process goes through the following lifecycle - requesting –> pending –> deploying –> normal. Initially you will see something similar to the following:

Name         ID                                 State       Created                    Workers
blockchain   7fb45431d9a54d2293bae421988b0080   deploying   2017-05-09T14:55:09+0000   0

Wait for the State to change to normal. Note that this can take upwards of 15-30 minutes. If it takes more than 30 minutes, there is an inner issue on the IBM Container Service.

You should see the following output when the cluster is ready:

$ bx cs clusters
Listing clusters...
Name         ID                                 State    Created                    Workers
blockchain   0783c15e421749a59e2f5b7efdd351d1   normal   2017-05-09T16:13:11+0000   1

Use the following syntax to inspect on the status of the workers: Command:

$ bx cs workers <cluster-name>

For example:

$ bx cs workers blockchain

The expected response is as follows:

$ bx cs workers blockchain
Listing cluster workers...
ID                                                 Public IP       Private IP       Machine Type   State    Status
kube-dal10-pa0783c15e421749a59e2f5b7efdd351d1-w1   free           normal   Ready

10. Configure kubectl to use the cluster

Issue the following command to download the configuration for your cluster:

$ bx cs cluster-config blockchain

Expected output:

Downloading cluster config for blockchain
The configuration for blockchain was downloaded successfully. Export environment variables to start using Kubernetes.

export KUBECONFIG=/home/*****/.bluemix/plugins/container-service/clusters/blockchain/kube-config-prod-dal10-blockchain.yml

The export command in the output must be run as a separate command along with the KUBECONFIG information that followed it.

(Replace this example with the output from running the step above!)

$ export KUBECONFIG=/home/*****/.bluemix/plugins/container-service/clusters/blockchain/kube-config-prod-dal10-blockchain.yml

Helpful commands for kubectl

# To get the logs of a component, use -f to follow the logs
kubectl logs $(kubectl get pods | grep <component> | awk '{print $1}')
# Example
kubectl logs $(kubectl get pods | grep org1peer1 | awk '{print $1}')

# To get into a running container
kubectl exec -ti $(kubectl get pods | grep <component> | awk '{print $1}') bash
# Example
kubectl exec -ti $(kubectl get pods | grep ordererca | awk '{print $1}') bash

# To get kubernetes UI
kubectl proxy

# On the browser go to


You have successfully created the blockchain cluster on IBM Container Service. Next, you will deploy the Developer Environment. Most users will want to follow the Simple Install instructions (Advanced and Reference are there for those who want to e.g. only set up part of the environment).

Next: Install