Canton Console

Canton offers a console (REPL) where entities can be dynamically started and stopped, and a variety of administrative or debugging commands can be run.

All console commands must be valid Scala (the console is built on Ammonite - a Scala based scripting and REPL framework). Note that we also define a set of implicit type conversions to improve the console usability: notably, whenever a console command requires a DomainAlias, Fingerprint or Identifier, you can instead also call it with a String which will be automatically converted to the correct type (i.e., you can, e.g., write"domain1") instead of"domain1"))).

The examples/ sub-directories contain some sample scripts, with the extension .canton.

Commands are organised by thematic groups. Some commands also need to be explicitly turned on via configuration directives to be accessible.

Some operations are available on both types of nodes, whereas some operations are specific to either participant or domain nodes. For consistency, we organise the manual by node type, which means that some commands will appear twice. However, the detailed explanations are only given within the participant documentation.

Remote Administration

The Canton console works with both local in-process nodes and remote nodes. Once you’ve configured the network address, port, and authentication information, you can use a single Canton console to administer all the nodes in your system.

As an example, you might have previously started a Canton instance in daemon mode using something like the following:

./bin/canton daemon -c <some config>

You can then execute commands against this up-and-running participant using a remote-participant configuration such as:

// Example remote participant configuration

// Include TLS configuration
include required("../tls/mtls-admin-api.conf")
include required("../tls/tls-ledger-api.conf")
canton {
    remote-participants.participant {
        ledger-api {
            address = localhost
            port = 10001
            tls = ${?_shared.ledger-api-client-tls}
        admin-api {
            address = localhost
            port = 10002
            tls = ${?_shared.admin-api-client-mtls}

Given a remote config file, start a local Canton console configured to execute commands on a remote Canton instance like this:

./bin/canton -c config/remote-participant1.conf

Additionally, you can use the remote configuration to run a script:

./bin/canton run <some-canton-script> -c config/remote-participant1.conf

Note that most Canton commands can be executed from a remote console. However, a few commands can only be called from the local console of the node itself.

Given a participant’s config file, you can generate a skeleton remote config file using the generate command:

./bin/canton generate remote-config -c participant1.conf

Depending on your network, you might need to manually edit the auto-generated configuration to adjust the hostname. To access multiple remote nodes, consolidate the auto-generated configurations into a single remote configuration file or include all configuration files on the command line:

./bin/canton -c participant1.conf,participant2.conf,mydomain.conf

TLS and Authorization

For production use cases, in particular if the Admin Api is not just bound to localhost, we recommend to enable TLS with mutual authentication.

The remote console can be used in installations that utilize authorization, so long as it has a valid access token. This can be achieved by modifying the configuration or by adding an option to the remote console’s launch command as in the following snippet:

./bin/canton daemon \
   -c remote-participant1.conf \
   -C canton.remote-participants.<remote-participant-name>.token="<encoded-and-signed-access-token-as-string>" \
   --bootstrap <some-script>

The remote console uses the token in its interactions with the ledger API of the target participant. It also extracts the user id from the token and uses it to populate the applicationId field in the command submission and completion subscription requests. This affects the following console commands:

  • ledger_api.commands.submit
  • ledger_api.commands.submit_flat
  • ledger_api.commands.submit_async
  • ledger_api.completions.list
  • ledger_api.completions.list_with_checkpoint
  • ledger_api.completions.subscribe


If you want to know more about the authorization please read the following article about the authorization tokens

Node References

To issue the command on a particular node, you must refer to it via its reference, which is a Scala variable. Named variables are created for all domain entities and participants using their configured identifiers. For example the sample examples/01-simple-topology/simple-topology.conf configuration file references the domain mydomain, and participants participant1 and participant2. These are available in the console as mydomain, participant1 and participant2.

The console also provides additional generic references that allow you to consult a list of nodes by type. The generic node reference supports three subsets of each node type: local, remote or all nodes of that type. For the participants, you can use:


The generic node references can be used in a Scala syntactic way:


but the participant references also support some generic commands for actions that often have to be performed for many nodes at once, such as:


The available node references are:

<console-topic-marker: Generic Node References>


Canton can be very helpful if you ask for help. Try to type



to get an overview of the commands and command groups that exist. help() works on every level (e.g. or can be used to search for particular functions (help("list")) or to get detailed help explanation for each command ("list")).

Lifecycle Operations

These are supported by individual and sequences of domains and participants. If called on a sequence, operations will be called sequentially in the order of the sequence. For example:


can be used to start all configured local domains and participants.

If the node is running with database persistence, it will support the database migration command (db.migrate). The migrations are performed automatically when the node is started for the first time. However, new migrations added as part of new versions of the software must be by default run manually using the command. In some rare cases, it may also be necessary to run db.repair_migration before running db.migrate - please refer to the description of db.repair_migration for more details. If desired, the database migrations can be performed also automatically by enabling the “migrate-and-start” mode using the following configuration option: = yes

Note that data continuity (and therefore database migration) is only guaranteed to work across minor and patch version updates.

The domain, sequencer and mediator nodes might need extra setup to be fully functional. Check domain bootstrapping for more details.


Console command timeouts can be configured using the respective console command timeout section in the configuration file:

canton.parameters.timeouts.console = {
    bounded = 2.minutes
    unbounded = Inf // infinity
    ledger-command = 2.minutes
    ping = 30.seconds

The bounded argument is used for all commands that should finish once processing has completed, whereas the unbounded timeout is used for commands where we do not control the processing time. This is used in particular for potentially very long running commands.

Some commands have specific timeout arguments that can be passed explicitly as type NonNegativeDuration. For convenience, the console includes by default the implicits of scala.concurrent.duration._ and an implicit conversion from the Scala type scala.concurrent.duration.FiniteDuration to NonNegativeDuration. As a result, you can use normal Scala expressions and write timeouts as, timeout = 10.seconds)

while the implicit conversion will take care of converting it to the right types.

Generally, there is no need to re-configure the timeouts and we recommend to just use the safe default values.

Code-Generation in Console

The Daml SDK provides code-generation utilities which create Java or Scala bindings for Daml models. These bindings are a convenient way to interact with the ledger from the console in a typed fashion. The linked documentation explains how to create these bindings using the daml command. The Scala bindings are not officially supported, so should not be used for application development.

Once you have successfully built the bindings, you can then load the resulting jar into the Canton console using the magic Ammonite import trick within console scripts:

interp.load.cp(os.Path("codegen.jar", base = os.pwd))

@ // the at triggers the compilation such that we can use the imports subsequently

import ...

Canton Administration APIs

Canton provides the console as a builtin mode for administrative interaction. However, under the hood, all administrative console actions are effected using the administration gRPC API. Therefore, it is also possible to write your own administration application and connect it to the administration gRPC endpoints.

The protobuf/ sub-directories in the release artifacts contain the gRPC underlying protocol buffers. In particular, the administrative gRPC APIs are located within the admin sub-directories.

For example, the Ping Pong Service which implements a simple workflow to smoke-test a deployment is defined with the protocol buffer */protobuf/*/admin/*/ping_pong_service.proto (where * denotes intermediary directories). This service is then used by the console command

The protocol buffers are also available within the repository following a similar sub-directory structure as mentioned.