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TUTORIAL: Deploying a smart contract on testnet network with "AEproject"


This tutorial will walk you through the process of deploying Sophia ML Smart contract on the æternity testnet network with the AEproject tool. We will install the AECLI tool, create an æternity account, fund the account using Faucet, and finally deploy a HelloWorld contract.


Before we go any further, please make sure you have followed the Coding Locally with AEproject tutorial.

Installing AECLI

AECLI is a Command Line Interface for the æternity blockchain. The package is available for installation from the npm global repository. You will be able to install it via the following command:

npm install -g @aeternity/aepp-cli

Now, you have a global command aecli, with aecli -h command you have a quick reference list of all commands:

Usage: aecli [options] [command]

  -V, --version  output the version number
  -h, --help     output usage information

  config         Print the client configuration
  chain          Interact with the blockchain
  inspect        Get information on transactions, blocks,...
  account        Handle wallet operations
  contract       Compile contracts
  name           AENS system
  tx             Transaction builder
  crypto         Crypto helpers
  help [cmd]     display help for [cmd]

Creating a secure account

First, let's create an account folder in our coding_locally project folder:

mkdir ~/coding_locally/account

Go to the newly created folder cd ~/coding_locally/account and create a new æternity account with:

aecli account create my-ae-account --password 12345

Expected output:

Address____________ ak_2rBj4fHW6CEcP4w7gZn1ALsyFifrt8wiDECt7n2mpmefRYfnyH
Path_______________ ~/coding_locally/account/my-ae-account

The above command generates an account file with the name my-ae-account, located at the directory the command was executed. The content of the account file looks like this:


To get the public address and secret key of our account, let's execute the following command in our account directory:

aecli account address my-ae-account --privateKey

Type your password and you will see an output similar to this:

✔ Enter your password … *****
Address_______________ ak_2rBj4fHW6CEcP4w7gZn1ALsyFifrt8wiDECt7n2mpmefRYfnyH
✔ Are you sure you want print your secret key? … yes
Secret Key____________ 336e2063e02d7886925aa9a106f85bc952e39ac974e40fa7490c0aab12b551c2f3606032c111eaacb784aa21f35534642ca1d198866285dc37832e1721ea1e47

Getting Tokens

Since we have an account and we are developing on the testnet network, we can copy our account public address, head to æternity's faucet æpp at to fund our account with 5AE.

You should have an output similar to the image below:

Finally, let's check the balance of the account on the testnet network with the following command in our account directory:

aecli account balance ./my-ae-account -u

and we have it:

✔ Enter your password … *****
Balance_____________ 5000000000000000000
ID__________________ ak_2rBj4fHW6CEcP4w7gZn1ALsyFifrt8wiDECt7n2mpmefRYfnyH
Nonce_______________ 1

Note: If you try to get the account balance of a newly created account without funding it with AE you will get the error message seen below:

API ERROR: Account not found

Deploying HelloWorld contract on the testnet network

The aeproject deploy command helps developers run their deployment scripts for their æpp. The sample deployment script is scaffolded in the deployment folder. Before we run the deploy command we have to edit our deployment script in our coding_locally project folder. Here is how our new deploy script looks like:

const Deployer = require('aeproject-lib').Deployer;

const deploy = async (network, privateKey, compiler, networkId) => {
  let deployer = new Deployer(network, privateKey, compiler, networkId)

  await deployer.deploy("./contracts/HelloWorld.aes")

module.exports = {

Now Let's deploy our HelloWorld contract to the testnet network using the secret key of our newly created and funded account with the following command in our coding_locally directory:

aeproject deploy -n testnet -s 336e2063e02d7886925aa9a106f85bc952e39ac974e40fa7490c0aab12b551c2f3606032c111eaacb784aa21f35534642ca1d198866285dc37832e1721ea1e47

The expected result should be similar to this:

===== Contract: HelloWorld.aes has been deployed at ct_27YfPckio77U6RJh9yisxidQZtegWmYQUxL5A8o8biQka7N4f1 =====
Your deployment script finished successfully!

If you get the error message: Cannot find module 'aeproject-utils', execute the below command on your coding_locally directory and re-execute the deploy command.

npm install aeproject-utils prompts aeproject-logger

Deployment Confirmation


You can recheck your account balance to verify the deployment of the smart contract with the previous command. The output should be similar to this:

Balance_______________ 4999919987000000000
ID____________________ ak_2rBj4fHW6CEcP4w7gZn1ALsyFifrt8wiDECt7n2mpmefRYfnyH
Nonce_________________ 2

AE Studio

You can also verify the contract deployment on the testnet network using the might AE Studio with the following steps:

  1. Head to AE Studio.
  2. Copy the HelloWorld Contract codes, and paste it as a new contract.
  3. Copy the contract address given to you after executing the aeproject deploy command.
  4. Paste the contract address at the provided bar beside the Use at address: button, and click the button.
  5. Enter a name for the say_hello function, and click the Send Transaction button.
  6. Click the Call Locally button for the get_info function.


Deploying smart contracts to the æternity testnet network is easy. In just a few minutes and few commands, one can deploy their desired contracts on the network. If you encounter any problems please check out the video tutorial on YouTube or contact us through the æternity dev Forum category.