Node configuration

Configuration file location

When starting a node, the corda.jar file defaults to reading the node’s configuration from a node.conf file in the directory from which the command to launch Corda is executed. There are two command-line options to override this behaviour:

  • The --config-file command line option allows you to specify a configuration file with a different name, or in a different file location. Paths are relative to the current working directory
  • The --base-directory command line option allows you to specify the node’s workspace location. A node.conf configuration file is then expected in the root of this workspace.

If you specify both command line arguments at the same time, the node will fail to start.

Configuration file format

The Corda configuration file uses the HOCON format which is a superset of JSON. Please visit HOCON (Human-Optimized Config Object Notation) on GitHub for further details.

Do not use double quotes (") in configuration keys.

Node setup will log Config files should not contain " in property names. Please fix: [key] as an error when it finds double quotes around keys. This prevents configuration errors when mixing keys containing . wrapped with double quotes and without them e.g.: The property "dataSourceProperties.dataSourceClassName" = "val" in Reference.conf would be not overwritten by the property dataSourceProperties.dataSourceClassName = "val2" in node.conf.

By default the node will fail to start in presence of unknown property keys. To alter this behaviour, the on-unknown-config-keys command-line argument can be set to IGNORE (default is FAIL).

Overriding configuration values

Placeholder Overrides

It is possible to add placeholders to the node.conf file to override particular settings via environment variables. In this case the rpcSettings.address property will be overridden by the RPC_ADDRESS environment variable, and the node will fail to load if this environment variable isn’t present (see: Hiding sensitive data for more information).

rpcSettings {

Direct Overrides

It is also possible to directly override Corda configuration (regardless of whether the setting is already in the node.conf), by using environment variables or JVM options. Simply prefix the field with corda. or corda_, using periods (.) or underscores (_) to signify nested options. For example, to override the rpcSettings.address setting, you can override it via environment variables:

# For *nix systems:
export corda_rpcSettings_address=localhost:10015

# On Windows systems:
SET corda_rpcSettings_address=localhost:10015
SET corda.rpcSettings.address=localhost:10015

Or via JVM arguments:

java -Dcorda_rpcSettings_address=localhost:10015 -jar corda.jar
java -Dcorda.rpcSettings.address=localhost:10015 -jar corda.jar

Items in lists can be overridden by appending the list index to the configuration key. For example, the jarDirs setting can be overridden via:

# via JVM arguments:
java -Dcorda.jarDirs.0=./libs -Dcorda.jarDirs.1=./morelibs -jar corda.jar
java -Dcorda_jarDirs_0=./libs -Dcorda_jarDirs_1=./morelibs -jar corda.jar

# or via environment variables

# for *nix systems:
export corda_jarDirs_0=./libs
export corda_jarDirs_1=./morelibs

# for Windows systems:
SET corda.jarDirs.0=./libs
SET corda.jarDirs.1=./morelibs
# or
SET corda_jarDirs_0=./libs
SET corda_jarDirs_1=./morelibs


  • Please note that to limit external connections to your node please use loopback address instead of localhost for client settings such as p2pAddress; since localhost is translated internally to the physical hostname and can be reached externally.
  • If the same key is overridden by both an environment variable and system property, the system property takes precedence.
  • Variables and properties are case sensitive. Corda will warn you if a variable prefixed with CORDA cannot be mapped to a valid property. Shadowing occurs when two properties of the same type with the same key are defined. For example having corda_p2Aaddress=host:port and corda_p2Aaddress=host1:port1 will raise an exception on startup. This is to prevent mistakes that are hard to spot.
  • If an item in a list is overridden via an environment variable/system property, the whole list will be overridden. E.g., with a node.conf containing:
jarDirs=["./dir1", "./dir2", "./dir3"]

When Corda is started via:

java -Dcorda.jarDirs_0=./newdir1

The resulting value of jarDirs will be ["./newdir1"].

  • You can’t override a populated list with an empty list. For example, when devMode=false, cordappSignerKeyFingerprintBlacklist is pre-populated with Corda development keys. It isn’t possible to set this to an empty list via the commandline. You can however override the list with an all zero hash which will remove the keys:
java -Dcorda.cordappSignerKeyFingerprintBlacklist.0="0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000"
  • Objects in lists cannot currently be overridden. For example the rpcUsers configuration key is a list of user objects, overriding these via environment variables or system properties will not work.

Configuration file fields

See Configuration file fields.


A set of default configuration options are loaded from the built-in resource file /node/src/main/resources/reference.conf. This file can be found in the :node gradle module of the Corda repository. Any options you do not specify in your own node.conf file will use these defaults.

Here are the contents of the reference.conf file:

    "baseDirectory" : ".",
    "emailAddress" : "",
    "jarDirs" : [
    "keyStorePassword" : "MYPASSWORD",
    "myLegalName" : "MYLEGALNAME",
    "p2pAddress" : "", // Host and port exposed by Internet facing firewall/load balancer in front of float servers in DMZ.
    "messagingServerAddress" : "", // Specifying endpoints of local Artemis instances
    "messagingServerExternal" : false, // Specifying that it is not an external instance
    "devMode" : false, // Turn off things like key autogeneration and require proper doorman registration.
    "detectPublicIp" : false, // Do not perform any public IP lookup on the host.

    "networkServices" : {
        "doormanURL" : "",
        "networkMapURL" : ""

//Azure SQL
//Microsoft SQL Server 2017

    "dataSourceProperties" : {
        "dataSource" : {
            "url" : "jdbc:sqlserver://SERVER:1433;database=DATABASENAME;encrypt=true;trustServerCertificate=false;hostNameInCertificate=*;loginTimeout=30;",
            "user" : "user",
            "password" : "password"
        "dataSourceClassName" : ""

// postGres 9.6 RDBMS
    "dataSourceProperties" : {
        "dataSource" : {
           "url" : "jdbc:postgresql://SERVER:5432/DATABASENAME",
            "user" : "user",
            "password" : "password"
        "dataSourceClassName" : "org.postgresql.ds.PGSimpleDataSource"

// Oracle 11gR2/12cR2 RDBMS
    "dataSourceProperties" : {
        "dataSourceClassName" : "oracle.jdbc.pool.OracleDataSource",
        "dataSource" : {
   "url" : "jdbc:oracle:thin:@SERVERNAME:1521/DATABASENAME",
   "user" :  "user",
   "password" : "password"
    "database" : {
        "schema" : "dbo",

    "rpcSettings" : {
        "address" : "",
        "adminAddress" : ""
    "rpcUsers" : [
            "password" : "test1",
             "user" : "user1",
            "permissions" : [ "ALL" ]
    "trustStorePassword" : "PASSWORD",
    "sshd" : {
        "port" : "2222"

Configuration examples

Simple notary configuration file

    myLegalName = "O=Notary Node, L=London, C=GB"
    keyStorePassword = "cordacadevpass"
    trustStorePassword = "trustpass"
    p2pAddress = "localhost:12345"
    rpcSettings {
        useSsl = false
        standAloneBroker = false
        address = "my-corda-node:10003"
        adminAddress = "my-corda-node:10004"
    notary {
        serviceLegalName = "O=Notary Service, L=London, C=GB"
        validating = false
    compatibilityZoneURL : ""
    enterpriseConfiguration = {
        tuning = {
            rpcThreadPoolSize = 16
            flowThreadPoolSize = 256
    devMode = false
    networkServices {
        doormanURL = ""
        networkMapURL = ""

Generating a public key hash

This section details how a public key hash can be extracted and generated from a signed CorDapp. This is required for a select number of configuration properties.

Below are the steps to generate a hash for a CorDapp signed with a RSA certificate. A similar process should work for other certificate types.

  • Extract the contents of the signed CorDapp jar.
  • Run the following command (replacing the < > variables):
openssl pkcs7 -in <extract_signed_jar_directory>/META-INF/<signature_to_hash>.RSA -print_certs -inform DER -outform DER \
| openssl x509 -pubkey -noout \
| openssl rsa -pubin -outform der | openssl dgst -sha256
  • Copy the public key hash that is generated and place it into the required location (for example, in node.conf).