DAML Assistant (daml)

daml is a command-line tool that does a lot of useful things related to the SDK. Using daml, you can:

  • Create new DAML projects: daml new <path to create project in>

  • Initialize a DAML project: daml init

  • Compile a DAML project: daml build

    This builds the DAML project according to the project config file daml.yaml (see Configuration files below).

    In particular, it will download and install the specified version of the SDK (the sdk-version field in daml.yaml) if missing, and use that SDK version to resolve dependencies and compile the DAML project.

  • Launch the tools in the SDK:

    • Launch DAML Studio: daml studio
    • Launch Sandbox, Navigator and the HTTP JSON API: daml start You can disable the HTTP JSON API by passing --json-api-port none to daml start.
    • Launch Sandbox: daml sandbox
    • Launch Navigator: daml navigator
    • Launch Extractor: daml extractor
    • Launch the HTTP JSON API: daml json-api You can find more information in the README.
    • Run DAML codegen: daml codegen
  • Install new SDK versions manually: daml install <version>

    Note that you need to update your project config file <#configuration-files> to use the new version.

Moving to the daml assistant

To move your projects to use daml, and see the difference between da commands and daml commands, read the Moving to the new DAML assistant.

Full help for commands

To see information about any command, run it with --help.

Configuration files

The DAML assistant and the DAML SDK are configured using two files:

  • The global config file, one per installation, which controls some options regarding SDK installation and updates
  • The project config file, one per DAML project, which controls how the DAML SDK builds and interacts with the project

Global config file (daml-config.yaml)

The global config file daml-config.yaml is in the daml home directory (~/.daml on Linux and Mac, C:/Users/<user>/AppData/Roaming/daml on Windows). It controls options related to SDK version installation and upgrades.

By default it’s blank, and you usually won’t need to edit it. It recognizes the following options:

  • auto-install: whether daml automatically installs a missing SDK version when it is required (defaults to true)

  • update-check: how often daml will check for new versions of the SDK, in seconds (default to 86400, i.e. once a day)

    This setting is only used to inform you when an update is available.

    Set update-check: <number> to check for new versions every N seconds. Set update-check: never to never check for new versions.

Here is an example daml-config.yaml:

auto-install: true
update-check: 86400

Project config file (daml.yaml)

The project config file daml.yaml must be in the root of your DAML project directory. It controls how the DAML project is built and how tools like Sandbox and Navigator interact with it.

The existence of a daml.yaml file is what tells daml that this directory contains a DAML project, and lets you use project-aware commands like daml build and daml start.

daml init creates a daml.yaml in an existing folder, so daml knows it’s a project folder. It incorporates info from da.yaml in the generated daml.yaml, if da.yaml is available (see Moving to the new DAML assistant).

daml new creates a skeleton application in a new project folder, which includes a config file. For example, daml new my_project creates a new folder my_project with a project config file daml.yaml like this:

sdk-version: __VERSION__
name: __PROJECT_NAME__
source: daml
scenario: Main:setup
parties:
  - Alice
  - Bob
version: 1.0.0
exposed-modules:
  - Main
dependencies:
  - daml-prim
  - daml-stdlib
scenario-service:
  grpc-max-message-size: 134217728
  grpc-timeout: 60
build-options: ["--ghc-option", "-Werror",
                "--ghc-option", "-v"]

Here is what each field means:

  • sdk-version: the SDK version that this project uses.

    The assistant automatically downloads and installs this version if needed (see the auto-install setting in the global config). We recommend keeping this up to date with the latest stable release of the SDK.

    The assistant will warn you when it is time to update this setting (see the update-check setting in the global config to control how often it checks, or to disable this check entirely).

  • name: the name of the project. This determines the filename of the .dar file compiled by daml build.

  • source: the root folder of your DAML source code files relative to the project root.

  • scenario: the name of the scenario to run when using daml start.

  • parties: the parties to display in the Navigator when using daml start.

  • version: the project version.

  • exposed-modules: the DAML modules that are exposed by this project, which can be imported in other projects. If this field is not specified all modules in the project are exposed.

  • dependencies: the dependencies of this project.

  • scenario-service: settings for the scenario service

    • grpc-max-message-size: This option controls the maximum size of gRPC messages. If unspecified this defaults to 128MB (134217728 bytes). Unless you get errors, there should be no reason to modify this.
    • grpc-timeout: This option controls the timeout used for communicating with the scenario service. If unspecified this defaults to 60s. Unless you get errors, there should be no reason to modify this.
  • build-options: a list of tokens that will be appended to some invocations of damlc (currently build and ide). Note that there is no further shell parsing applied.

Building DAML projects

To compile your DAML source code into a DAML archive (a .dar file), run:

daml build

You can control the build by changing your project’s daml.yaml:

sdk-version
The SDK version to use for building the project.
name
The name of the project.
source
The path to the source code.

The generated .dar file is created in .daml/dist/${name}.dar by default. To override the default location, pass the -o argument to daml build:

daml build -o path/to/darfile.dar

Managing SDK releases

In general the daml assistant will install versions and guide you when you need to update SDK versions or project settings. If you disable auto-install and update-check in the global config file, you will have to manage SDK releases manually.

To download and install the latest stable SDK release and update the assistant, run:

daml install latest --activate

Remove the --activate flag if you only want to install the latest release without updating the daml assistant in the process. If it is already installed, you can force reinstallation by passing the --force flag. See daml install --help for a full list of options.

To install the SDK release specified in the project config, run:

daml install project

To install a specific SDK version, for example version 0.12.17, run:

daml install 0.12.17

Rarely, you might need to install an SDK release from a downloaded SDK release tarball. This is an advanced feature: you should only ever perform this on an SDK release tarball that is released through the official digital-asset/daml github repository. Otherwise your daml installation may become inconsistent with everyone else’s. To do this, run:

daml install path-to-tarball.tar.gz