Announcing the Pirx testnet and a Windows release!

Golem has made significant progress over the last weeks. Every day we are one step closer to the Brass release, fulfilling conditions that are close to the production environment. The resource-sharing mechanism, payment system, and blockchain synchronization mechanism have all made huge strides. We have also made big improvements in throughput and network stability.

This brings us to today’s big announcement: the opening of the Pirx testnet — the first Golem testnet we want to scale up to as many machines as possible. We have reached the point where we would like to encourage everyone to join. Pirx is quite different from the Golem that was released before our crowdfunding, and still different from Brass Golem, which is hopefully coming quite soon. As originally planned, we have mainly focused on rendering tasks, scalability, resource sharing, and we still provide all of these features in a “simple” (ahem) Qt frontend. The primary noticeable difference of today’s release is Golem’s ability to grow: the size of the network may now be much greater, growing to perhaps thousands of nodes, depending on demand.

Photography by Grzegorz Borowik

Pirx is a separate Golem network, and although it is similar to the incoming production Golem network, Pirx and the production Golem network will not be compatible. This means that you cannot use real GNT on Pirx, and you cannot use test Golem tokens from Pirx on the future Golem network. Otherwise, they both behave in much the same way.

The goal of Pirx is to find and remove bugs, and make Golem more secure. Therefore, your involvement is essential. And while we are always open to your feedback, detailed questions on how ergonomic and useful the system is, or what would you like to add to the software, will be most useful only when our new UI is here. And it is coming soon!

We have put a lot of effort to prepare binary installers for Pirx. The installation is very simple, but varies depending on the operating system.

  • Windows users: download the installer from here. When downloaded, just run setup.exe.
  • Linux users: the shell script is located here. It should work as an executable script, otherwise, please run chmod +x install.sh before typing ./install.sh.
  • macOS brethren: use Homebrew by entering into a Terminal the following command brew tap golemfactory/golem, and subsequently brew install golem. The detailed information about the macOS release is located here.

It must be noted that a connection with the Golem network requires a public IP address. In the close future, we will provide a configuration that allows you to forward a range of ports — please be on the lookout for our blog post about this matter. At the moment however, check the configuration of your IP address, or resolve it with your Internet provider. You will find instructions here.

Recently, we received several questions about seed parameters such as: Does anyone have a solution for the “Not connected to Golem Network. Check seed parameters.” This is usually caused by node incompatibility, improper seed parameters, or a private IP address.

As you know, GNT is the main currency of the Golem network, but some small amount of ETH is needed for Golem’s smart contracts delivered by Ethereum. In Pirx, test tokens are fictional and have no value. To differentiate them, they are called tGNT and tETH (in the contract), but GNT and ETH (in the UI). For this reason, there is no point to buy or sell Pirx tokens. Although Pirx tokens have no value, they cannot be generated locally, except by tETH mining. Therefore, there is a finite supply of 1000 tGNT and 0.01 tETH provided for every node. If the supply has been spent, you will have to acquire more. The easiest way to do so is to contact the Golem team via our #golem_testers Slack channel.

There is an advantage of using another person’s computer for free, yet a disadvantage at the same time, as the tokens you earn are worth nothing. To mitigate this disadvantage, we plan incentives for testers to join Pirx — we are working on details and will announce them once we see that Pirx is stable enough. But please, for now, treat Golem Pirx as a large rendering farm and do your job for free (or for the glory)! Please look here for more information about testing — it is a simple guide for early users, where you will find some information about setup, settings, as well as creating and running a rendering task. More advanced users may check the command line interface.

Stay tuned! Every day we receive great feedback from the Golem community, and we try to respond to all the questions and issues as best we can. Moreover, we do patch and release a new version of the software as often as is required to resolve issues. Frequent patch releases will be very common during the first period of testing, but hopefully the number of releases will regularly decrease and stabilize.

We are creating Golem for you! We would be grateful for your comments and remarks. We need your help and we cannot go further without your tests! Thank you for all the suggestions. We would be grateful for sending us any bug you find, and provide feedback about stability (or lack thereof). In the case of bugs, we prefer you start an issue on our GitHub or post a message on our Slack golemproject.slack.com channel #golem_testers.

Thank you!


Announcing the Pirx testnet and a Windows release! was originally published in The Golem Project on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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