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If I want to play about with cross-chain messaging (xcm) what's the best way to get an environment up and running?

2 Answers 2

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One option is polkadot-launch, which will mount parachains for you into the relay chain.

For building the relay chain using the cargo build --release --fast-runtime (there is a --profile production rather than --release but the lto means that takes a lot longer to compile)

The mounting process that polka-launch uses assumes that the sudo pallet is included in the relay chain. At the moment there is no flag to achieve this - you will have to add it into the runtime lib.rs manually.

The relay-chain and the parachains have embedded the runtime wasm blob in them, but you can provide an alternative in raw JSON format if you want to start from an earlier version of the runtime.

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Also the following are worthy mentions:

parachain-launch

parachain-launch is a script that generates a docker compose file allowing you to launch a testnet of multiple blockchain nodes.

zombienet

A cli tool to easily spawn ephemeral Polkadot/Substrate networks and perform tests against them.

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