Nile is a CLI tool to develop or interact with StarkNet projects written in Cairo. It consists of different components for developing, compiling, testing, and deploying your smart contracts and dApps, providing a CLI for executing tasks, and a Runtime Environment (NRE) for scripting.

The package is designed to be extensible and very customizable by using plugins. This guide will take you through the installation of our recommended setup, but as we expect a lot of functionality coming from plugins, you are free to customize it.


Using a sample contract, we will explore the basics of creating a Nile project. We will test it locally, deploy an account and the contract to a devnet node, and send transactions through the account to the contract.


GMP for fastecdsa

Before installing Cairo on your machine, you need to install gmp:

sudo apt install -y libgmp3-dev # linux
brew install gmp # mac
If you have any trouble installing gmp on your Apple M1 computer, here’s a list of potential solutions.

Supported Python versions

Some Nile dependencies have specific python version requirements. Therefore we recommend using a python version manager like pyenv, and virtual environments to avoid conflicts.

Currently supported Python versions are >=3.8 and <3.10.


Create a folder for your project and cd into it:

mkdir myproject && cd myproject

Create a virtualenv and activate it:

python3 -m venv env
source env/bin/activate

Install Nile:

pip install cairo-nile

Use nile init to quickly set up your development environment:

nile init
🗄 Creating project directory tree
⛵️ Nile project ready! Try running:

nile compile


nile init creates a sample Cairo contract and test for you. Check contracts/contract.cairo and tests/test_contract.py for the source code.

Run pytest to run the test suite against the Smart Contracts:

pytest tests/
For a more in-deep guide on testing with parallelism and coverage, check our testing guide.


Use nile compile to compile contracts under the contracts/ folder by default.

nile compile
🤖 Compiling all Cairo contracts in the contracts directory
🔨 Compiling contracts/contract.cairo
✅ Done
For a full reference of Nile command options, check the CLI Reference section.

Interacting with Starknet

Running a local node

By default, nile commands interacting directly with starknet nodes assume that you are using a local one if you don’t specify the network using the --network option (default to localhost).

Use nile node to run a local devnet node for development.

nile node

Deploying an account

  1. Add an environment variable with the account’s private key to the .env file.

    # .env
    ACCOUNT_1 = 0x1234
    Don’t use this private key in production environments!
  2. Use nile counterfactual-address to precompute the deployment address of the Account contract for the given signer.

    nile counterfactual-address ACCOUNT_1 --salt 123
    Different salts compute to different addresses, even with the same private key.
  3. Estimate the fee for executing the transaction.

    nile setup ACCOUNT_1 --salt 123 --estimate_fee
    The estimated fee is: 52147932632842 WEI (0.000052 ETH).
    Gas usage: 5063
    Gas price: 10299808934 WEI

    In production, you will need to fund the counterfactual address with Ether to pay for the deployment fees, which will be mandatory in testnets soon. There are multiple bridges and faucets, like Starkgate being implemented at the moment to support the developer experience.

    For local development using a devnet node, you can use predeployed accounts to fund your address by using this script.

  4. After funding the precomputed address, deploy the account using nile setup.

    nile setup ACCOUNT_1 --salt 123 --max_fee 52147932632842
    Nile will estimate the max_fee by default if this option is not set. This is valid for other commands involving transaction execution, like declare, send, or deploy.

    In StarkNet, users can deploy only previously declared contracts. Openzeppelin Account is declared soon after every release in devnet, testnets and mainnet, but there could be an out-of-sync period between account update release and devnet release. Then you can declare the OZ Account using predeployed accounts through scripts.

    Check Declare the OZ Account script.

Deploying a contract

  1. First, declare the contract to register the class hash on the network. You only need to do this once as long as the contract bytecode doesn’t change.

    nile declare ACCOUNT_1 contract
  2. Use nile deploy to deploy the contract.

    nile deploy ACCOUNT_1 contract --alias my_contract
    The alias option allows you to interact with the contract later without using the address.

Reading from a contract

Use nile call to read from a contract view function.

nile call my_contract get_balance

Writing to a contract

Use nile send to execute a transaction.

nile send ACCOUNT_1 my_contract increase_balance 2