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Import DB

This page will guide you through the process of starting a node in import-db mode, allowing the reprocessing of older transactions.


The node is able to reprocess a previously produced database by providing the database and starting the node with the import-db related flags explained in the section below.

Possible use cases for the import-db process:

  • index in ElasticSearch (or something similar) all the data from genesis to present time;
  • validate the blockchain state;
  • make sure there aren't backwards compatibility issues with a new software version;
  • check the blockchain state at a specified time (this includes additional code changes, but for example if you are interested in the result of an API endpoint at the block 255255, you could use import db and force the node to stop at the block corresponding to that date).

How to start the process

Let's suppose we have the following data structure:


the node binary is found in the above-mentioned path. Now, we have a previously constructed database (from an observer that synced with the chain from the genesis and never switched the shards). This database will be placed in a directory, let's presume we will place it near the node's binary, yielding a data structure as follows:

├── config
│ ├── api.toml
│ ├── config.toml
│ ...
├── import-db
│ └── db
│ └── 1
│ ├── Epoch_0
│ │ └── Shard_1
│ │ ├── BlockHeaders
│ │ │ ...
│ │ ├── BootstrapData
│ │ │ ...
│ │ ...
│ └── Static
│ └── Shard_1
│ ...
├── node

It is very important that the directory called db is a subdirectory (in our case of the import-db). Also, please check that the config directory matches the one of the node that produced the db data structure, including the prefs.toml file.


Please make sure the /mx-chain-go/cmd/node/db directory is empty so the import-db process will start from the genesis up until the last epoch provided.

Next, the node can be started by using:

 cd ~/mx-chain-go/cmd/node
./node -use-log-view -log-level *:INFO -import-db ./import-db

Please note that the -import-db flag specifies the path to the directory containing the source db directory. The value provided in the example above assumes that the import db directory is called import-db and is located near the node executable file.

The node will start the reprocessing of the provided database. It will end with a message like:

import ended because data from epochs [x] or [y] does not exist

The import-db process can be sped up by skipping the block header's signature check if the import-db data comes from a trustworthy source. In this case the node should be started with all previously mentioned flags, adding the -import-db-no-sig-check flag.

Import-DB with populating an Elasticsearch cluster

One of the use-cases for utilizing the import-db mechanism is to populate an Elasticsearch cluster with data that is re-processed with the help of this process.


Import-DB for populating an Elasticsearch cluster should be used only for a full setup (a node in each Shard + a Metachain node)

The preparation implies the update of the external.toml file for each node. More details can be found here.

If everything is configured correctly, nodes will push the re-processed data into the Elasticsearch cluster.