Do I need a specific pre-release version of the cardano node for testnet?


I’m an aspiring stake pool operator and I want to set up a stake pool in testnet with faucet ADA for learning purposes. Looking at the docs, it seems pretty straightforward that whenever I see --mainnet I should just replace that with --testnet-magic 1097911063 (which I guess is just the name for “the” testnet?).

My main question is - do I need to be running a pre-release version of the cardano node software? I’m using the 1.25.1 tag because that is what the documentation is telling me to use, but I’m unsure if that’s the right thing to be doing because I know testnet is where cardano features are “beta tested” (I’ve heard about the Mary hardfork, but it’s not really clear to me what the rollout plan or status is on testnet or where to find that).

Any guidance would be appreciated. I’m excited to participate in the community. If there are any known good testnet tutorials I would love to get a link.

Thanks in advance!


Welcome on board!

Version 1.25.1 can be also used in testnet environment;
To switch from the testnet to mainnet u will need to use the configuration files for mainnet, which can be downloaded from here

U cand find more details about Allegra + Mary era here


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Thanks Alex.

The thing that has been tripping me up when following the tutorial (but adapting it to run a node on testnet), is that apparently there is an extra flag that needs to be passed in for some commands.

For example, this is a command I adapted from the tutorial for querying utxo (replaced --mainnet with --testnet-magic). This will give an error (even after letting the node catch up to the latest tip of the blockchain).

>>> cardano-cli query utxo --address $(cat payment.addr) --testnet-magic 1097911063

Shelley command failed: query utxo  Error: A query from a certain era was applied to a ledger from a different era: EraMismatch {ledgerEraName = "Mary", otherEraName = "Shelley"}

Eventually, I looked into the command line’s parameters and found that there is a --mary-era flag. Once I passed that, I was finally able to query the contents of my wallet. I was starting to doubt that the faucet wasn’t working, or that something was wrong with my local node (this is why I was wondering if I needed some kind of pre-release version of cardano-node). But really all I was missing is this flag. Sharing lots of detail here in case it’s useful to any other newbies like me.

Does anyone know if this --mary-era flag is only needed during this Shelly-Goguen transition period? Or do you always need to specify the era for some commands?

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