Mediachain is comprised of two main software projects, concat and aleph. If we were to split them along the popular “porcelain” / “plumbing” axis, aleph would be the porcelain to concat’s plumbing. The storage, indexing and query of metadata is all handled by concat’s mcnode program, and the concat project also includes the reference directory server implementation mcdir.

Controlling a running mcnode is done by issuing HTTP requests to an embedded server that listens on the localhost interface. While it’s possible to control mcnode directly with curl or a similar tool, aleph’s mcclient tool is much friendlier and better suited to the job.

The aleph project also includes an interactive REPL for querying a local or remote mcnode, which provides a flexible javascript environment for exploring the mediachain network.

Which you should install depends on your goals. If you want to control a node that you’ve deployed to the cloud, all you need to do is install aleph.

If you want to run a node on your local machine, you should install concat, then install aleph.

Be sure to check out the Getting Started Guide after installation to learn how to use mediachain to query, publish and share data with the network!

Installing concat

Concat’s mcnode program is the main mediachain node application, responsible for data storage, transmission, and query. It can be easily installed to the cloud with one click, but if you prefer to run it on your own hardware, the installation is straightforward.

In most cases, a binary release will be the simplest way to get up and running. Find the mcnode package for your platform from the latest GitHub release page. Linux packages will end with -linux-amd64.tgz, and macOS packages will end with -darwin-amd64.tgz.

On Windows, we currently recommend installing the linux binaries under the Windows Subsystem for Linux. The concat README has setup instructions.

To get the latest pre-release code, or if you want to run mcnode on a platform without a binary release (FreeBSD, Linux on ARM, etc), follow the instructions from concat’s README for installing from source.

Installing aleph


The aleph project is written in javascript on the Node.js platform, and it requires node version 6 or greater.


Linux users will need to have a modern c++ compiler installed to build the native dependencies. You’ll also need the development headers for openssl for the crypto libraries. On Ubuntu and other debian-based distros, you should be able to do:

$ sudo apt-get install build-essential g++ libssl-dev


Users on macOS will need the Xcode command line tools installed. This can be done from within Xcode (under Preferences -> Downloads), or as a standalone package.


We’re working on “real” Windows support, but for now we recommend using the Windows Subsystem for Linux, which creates a minimal Ubuntu system that runs under Windows 10 without virtualization. This supports native linux binaries, and will allow you to install the Linux versions of node.js, git, and other aleph dependencies.

To install aleph’s dependencies on the Windows Subsystem for Linux:

  • Enable the WSL
  • Open a command prompt or PowerShell, then run bash. This may take a few minutes to prepare the linux root filesystem.

The following steps should be done from within bash:

  • Prepare the system to install node.js: curl -sL | sudo -E bash -
  • Install dependencies: sudo apt-get install build-essential g++ libssl-dev git nodejs

Now you should be able to install aleph within bash with the instructions below.


The simplest way to get started is to globally install the latest release from npm:

$ npm install -g aleph

Depending on how node is installed on your system, you may need to run the above command with sudo or as a user with administrator privileges. For other install methods, see the aleph README.

Aleph provides an mcclient program for controlling a concat node, and an aleph command for running a lightweight javascript node. In the instructions below, we’ll discuss using mcclient to control a concat node. More information about the aleph command is available in the aleph README.

Configure mcclient

By default mcclient is configured to talk to mcnode at http://localhost:9002, which is the default address for the mcnode control API server. If mcnode is running on your local machine (see above for instructions), you shouldn’t need to configure anything.

If you’re controlling a node you’ve deployed to the cloud or installed yourself on a remote machine, you need to first set up a secure “tunnel”, that will forward traffic from your local machine to the remote server. See the SSH tunnel instructions for more information on setting up the tunnel. Once it’s running, you’ll be able to control your remote node as if it were running on your local machine.


See the Getting Started Guide to learn how to take your node online, run queries, publish data, and more.