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Troubleshooting Configuration Issues

This section offers troubleshooting tips for issues with Iroha 2 configuration. Make sure you checked the keys first, as it is the most common source of issues in Iroha.

If the issue you are experiencing is not described here, contact us via Telegram.

Outdated genesis on a Docker-compose setup

When you are using the Docker-compose version of Iroha, you might encounter the issue of one of the peer containers failing with the Failed to deserialize raw genesis block error. This happens if there is a mismatch between Iroha versions, meaning an Iroha peer cannot be initialized with the given genesis file.

If one of the peers is failing and it's been a while since you pulled the Iroha code for the first time, it's safe to assume the outdated genesis file is the cause. Here is how you can make sure Iroha is working incorrectly for exactly this reason:

  1. Use docker ps to check the current containers. Depending on the version, you will see either hyperledger/iroha2:dev or hyperledger/iroha2:lts containers. Check the number of Iroha peer containers in the docker ps output. By default, there are 4 peers configured in docker-compose.yml for Iroha, although you may have changed that value. You will see that the first container that should have been running Iroha just exited with an error, while three other containers remain active.

  2. Check the logs and look for the Failed to deserialize raw genesis block error. If you started your Iroha in daemon mode with docker compose up -d, use docker compose logs command.

The way to troubleshoot such an issue depends on the use of Iroha.

If this is a basic demo and you don't need the peer data to be restored, you can simply reset the genesis file to its latest state. To do this, use the git checkout configs/peer/genesis.json command.

If you need to restore the Iroha instance data, do the following:

  1. Connect the second Iroha peer that will copy the data from the first (failed) peer.
  2. Wait for the new peer to synchronize the data with the first peer.
  3. Leave the new peer active.
  4. Update the genesis file of the first peer.


The features needed to monitor the copying progress between peers and a migration tool to update the genesis file are to be implemented in future releases.

Multihash Format of Private and Public Keys

If you look at the client configuration, you will notice that the keys there are given in multi-hash format.

If you've never worked with multi-hash before, it is natural to assume that the right-hand-side is not a hexadecimal representation of the key bytes (two symbols per byte), but rather the bytes encoded as ASCII (or UTF-8), and call from_hex on the string literal in both the public_key and private_key instantiation.

It is also natural to assume that calling PrivateKey::try_from_str on the string literal would yield only the correct key. So if you get the number of bits in the key wrong, e.g. 32 bytes vs 64, that it would raise an error message.

Both of these assumptions are wrong. Unfortunately, the error messages don't help in de-bugging this particular kind of failure.

How to fix: use hex_literal. This will also turn an ugly string of characters into a nice small table of obviously hexadecimal numbers.


Even the try_from_str implementation cannot verify if a given string is a valid PrivateKey and warn you if it isn't.

It will catch some obvious errors, e.g. if the string contains an invalid symbol. However, since we aim to support many key formats, it can't do much else. It cannot tell if the key is the correct private key for the given account either, unless you submit an instruction.

These sorts of subtle mistakes can be avoided, for example, by deserialising directly from string literals, or by generating a fresh key-pair in places where it makes sense.