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Intermediate · 30 minutes

Compile and Run the Algorand Node Natively on Windows

This tutorial explains building the Algorand node software and devtools natively on Microsoft Windows then run them without the need of emulators, virtual machines and even WSL.


  • Microsoft Windows 10 x64
  • MSYS2
  • Go Language
  • 8GB RAM


The steps below explains how to build the node and utilities with code located in master branch of the go-algorand repository. This branch contains the latest features but also contains code that is in testing stage. A subset of this code is used to release MainNet and TestNet nodes and, while the compiled node usually works on these networks, 100% compatibility is not guaranteed.


MSYS2 is a collection of tools and libraries that provides an easy-to-use environment for building, installing and running native Windows software. It also gives us a bash-like interface suitable to run the scripts used in the build process.


1. Environment setup

Installation MSYS2

First download and install the MSYS2 package from here and follow the instructions on it.

Update all the packages to their latest versions. The link above shows how to do it.


MSYS2 uses pacman package manager to install libraries and updates but their servers are usually slower than OS upgrade repositories. I strongly recomment to add the --disable-download-timeout to every execution of the pacman utility.

Update the MSYS2 environment:

pacman -Syu --disable-download-timeout

EditorImages/2020/11/08 15:26/msys2.jpg


By default, MSYS2 is installed on C:\msys64 and the home folder $ is physically located at C:\msys64\home\{user-name}. Although not used in the scope of this tutorial, from the bash console, you are able to access the whole disk using the following path format: /c/your-target-folder.

Now close all the MSYS2 windows by typing exit (enter) or by clicking on the window’s close button.

Installation of GIT and GO

On Microsoft Windows Startup menu you will find an entry named MSYS2 MinGW 64-bit. Run it and a bash-like console window will appear.

Type the following command and press enter:

pacman -S --disable-download-timeout --noconfirm git mingw-w64-x86_64-go

GOPATH variable setup

The $GOPATH environment variable is not explicitly set by Go installer as it is not needed anymore in recent versions. But this leads go to use
%USERPROFILE%\Go as default in Windows systems, causing the build stage to fail
if not set accordingly, as the module installation scripts will look for modules in the $HOME directory instead.
Setup the GOPATH variable in your bash shell startup script, or just paste this into your MSYS2 command prompt.:

echo 'export GOPATH=$HOME/go' >> $HOME/.bashrc

In order to ensure the GOPATH is correct, you can restart the MSYS2 MinGW 64-bit shell console, execute go env command and inspect the output.


You must close this terminal window before proceeding to cloning the repository.

Close this terminal window:


Cloning repository

From the Windows Startup, launch a new terminal by clicking the MSYS2 MinGW 64-bit program.

Clone the Algorand node repository by running the following command:

git clone

And switch to source code directory with:

cd go-algorand

EditorImages/2020/11/08 15:48/clone.JPG

2. Install prerequisites

Type the following command and press enter to install required dependencies:


The above script will do the following actions:

  1. Install the latest version of GCC, AutoMake, Python 3 and other utilities required to build the project.
  2. Download and install the Windows version of shellcheck from the authors repository because it isn’t available in MSYS2 package repo.
  3. Install some GO utilities like a code linter and the swagger used in the RestAPI documentation.


This procedure may take several minutes to complete. You will see a large output in the process.

EditorImages/2020/11/15 12:44/after_deps.JPG

3. Building the project

To build the node and the whole set of utilities just run the following command and press enter:



While the build process runs, you might see some warnings related to SQLite C++ code and HID device management. Don’t worry because they are false alarms and code is safe. If you are a developer, you can corroborate this.

EditorImages/2020/11/15 12:55/build.JPG

4. Installing the node

When the build process ends, you will find all the binaries and dependant dlls in the ~/go/bin folder.

At this point, MSYS2 environment is not required any more and you can close the console window by typing exit and pressing the enter key.

Currently, there is no installer package for Microsoft Windows so we will do a manual installation by opening the Windows Start Menu and locating the Command Prompt application (you can type cmd as a shortcut). Start it.

Like before, I’ll assume you installed MSYS2 in the default folder C:\msys64. If not your case, adjust the commands according.

  1. Create a folder in the location you wish to run the node, i.e. C:\AlgorandNode, and switch to it.

    MD C:\AlgorandNode
    CD C:\AlgorandNode
  2. Copy compiled files there.

    COPY /Y C:\msys64\home\%USERNAME%\go\bin .
  3. Create the data folder and switch to it.

    MD data
    CD data
  4. Copy the genesis file there. I’ll pick the TestNet genesis file but you can find mainnet and betanet files inside installer\genesis\mainnet and installer\genesis\betanet respectively.

    COPY /Y C:\msys64\home\%USERNAME%\go-algorand\installer\genesis\testnet\genesis.json .
  5. Copy the configuration example file and rename to config.json.

    COPY /Y C:\msys64\home\%USERNAME%\go-algorand\installer\config.json.example config.json
  6. Open the copied configuration settings to make some adjustments.

    NOTEPAD config.json
    • Locate the EndpointAddress entry and replace the value with some fixed port number you would like to use. For e.g., set the value to "" to use port 8101.
      If you want the node to be accessible from outside, set the value to just the port like this ":8101".

    • To connect to the TestNet network, change the DNSBootstrapID entry from "<network>" to "".

    • (recommended) If you are a developer, you will want to enable the Developer API by setting the EnableDeveloperAPI value to from false to true.

    • (optional) If you want to enable archival mode (storing all the blockchain instead of only the latest 1000 blocks), change the Archival entry from false to true.


      If you enable archival mode, ensure you have at least 200GB of free disk space.

    • (required) Save the configuration file and close notepad.


      Here you can find the explanation of the rest of the configuration options.

  7. Back in the command prompt window go back to the node folder.

    CD ..

EditorImages/2020/11/15 15:05/after_install1.JPG

EditorImages/2020/11/15 15:05/after_install2.JPG

5. Running the node

At this point we are ready to start the node. Type the following command and press enter.

goal node start -d data

You can verify the node is running by waiting for a minute and executing this

goal node status -d data

You will see an output similar to this:

EditorImages/2020/11/15 15:09/running_node.JPG

For the more information about using the Fast Catchup feature to quickly sync your non-archival node, please reference this document

6. Running the devtools

All of the devtools are also available within the C:\AlgorandNode folder including, goal, kmd, algokey, etc.