Quick start

The Quick start assumes that you are a new developer without any prior experience working with Substrate or FRAME, but that you are aware that these tools exist. The Quick start also assumes that you want a simplified entry point for setting up a development environment and starting a blockchain node on your local computer.

In the Quick start, you'll get a brief overview of what Substrate is, learn how to compile and start a node, and take a short tour through the node template code. The following topics are intended to be read in order as a fast path to learning to build with Substrate:

If the Quick start isn't your route of choice, there are other ways to approach the documentation for learning to build with Substrate. For example, you can dive directly into core concepts in the Learn section or work through hands-on exercises in the Tutorials section.

To help you find your way, think of Substrate documentation as being divided into three parts: the developer journey, the tutorials, and an API and reference section. Although the parts are interrelated, each part presents information in a different way and with a different purpose:

The Developer journey presents information in the form of a narrative arc:

  • Learn covers core blockchain and Substrate concepts and operations.
  • Install provides platorm-specific installation instructions and troubleshooting tips for installation-related issues.
  • Build exposes the tools and techniques for building custom blockchain applications.
  • Test highlights approaches for unit testing and benchmarking code before deploying on a test network or in a production environment.
  • Deploy describes different options for deploying nodes, how to prepare for deployment, and how to move from a test network to a production network.
  • Maintain provides general information about maintaining your network with hardware and software upgrades, managing new releases, and maintaining your infrastructure.

The Tutorials provide hands-on learning experiences that cover different aspects of building and managing a Substrate-based blockchain:

  • Build a blockchain tutorials are focused on network basics from starting a single node to creating a private four node blockchain, monitoring node operations, and upgrading a running network.
  • Build application logic tutorials are focused on how to implement application-specific logic working with existing and custom pallets.
  • Build a parachain tutorials are focused on how to move from a standalone chain to a parachain, connect a parachain to a relay chain, and send messages between chains.

The Reference provides direct access to technical information such as the Rust API and help for command-line tools.