How to publish an Aragon App to aragonPM

This guide will show you how to publish an App to aragonPM on different environments.

Note 1. Publishing your app requires an on-chain action so you must connect an Ethereum account with enough funds on the selected environment to send a publish transaction.

2. Secondly, your app's frontend content is uploaded to IPFS and it becomes your responsibility to ensure that it stays available to users. Click here to learn more about IPFS and pinning files.

Environment setup

Before starting you need to check if you have already installed all these prerequisites:

  • the right version of node.js (recommended v12 LTS version)

  • Metamask web3 provider

  • the aragonCLI (Aragon Command Line Interface)

  • the Aragon Buidler plugin

If you haven't already installed them or if you need more info about this goes to the "Environment Setup" paragraph here.


We'll start from the Aragon React boilerplate.

npx create-aragon-app <app name>

Make sure you choose a unique app name which has not yet been registered in the aragonpm.eth or open.aragonpm.eth registries since that would lead to an error later on.

This will create a new directory named <app name> with everything you need.

To interact with aragonPM we will use the Aragon Buidler plugin already installed in the boilerplate repository.

We will also need a running IPFS server. Open a new Terminal tab and run:

ipfs init
ipfs daemon

For this tutorial, we will assume that the IPFS server is running locally with its:

  • API port set to 5001

  • gateway port set to 8080.

If you need an IPFS pinning services, you can chose service like Pinata and Eternum. They are also available for a reasonable price.

Introduction to environments

This App has 3 environments defined:

It is a prerequisite to have a ENS Registry address defined.

Environments are defined in arapp.json, for example rinkeby points to:

  • An ENS registry: 0x98df287b6c145399aaa709692c8d308357bc085d

  • An app name (repository and registry of aragonPM): <app name>.aragonpm.eth

  • An Ethereum network: rinkeby

Note The default environment which points to localhost does not have an ENS Registry address specified because the Buidler plugin will default the value to 0xB9462EF3441346dBc6E49236Edbb0dF207db09B7 (the ENS Registry pre-deployed on the local development chain).

Publish a major version: content + contract

To publish the app on aragonPM we will use the following builder task for this tutorial:

npx buidler publish major --network rinkeby

aragonpm.eth is a curated ens registry. So unless your app has been curated by Aragon, you can publish your app on open.aragonpm.eth.Read more about it here.

You will likely run into the following error:

Account 0xb4124cEB3451635DAcedd11767f004d8a28c6eE7 does not have permissions to create a new repo in registry aragonpm.eth

To solve this open arapp.json and replace <app name>.aragonpm.eth with <app name>.open.aragonpm.eth for the network you are publishing to (in this case Rinkeby).

This command will:

  • Apply version bump (major).

  • Compile and deploy the app's contract (by default the output lives in build).

  • Generate application artifact.

  • Publish the app to the rinkeby environment.

  • Upload the app's frontend to the IPFS server.

Sample output:

main     |   App name:          app.aragonpm.eth
main     |   Initial version:   1.0.0
main     |   Manager address:   0x5Ddb5ec4fF143fDaBCCD0a47F30FF2ce319C2a01
main     |   Contract address:  0x2e25c8F88c5cCcbC9400e5bc86cF9C58C7604327
main     |   ContentURI:        QmTBapuxxzFHzxdbxxZUmdEmyRxQohxoK7qiXiJ6id36tu
main     | 
main     |   http://localhost:8080/ipfs/QmTBapuxxzFHzxdbxxZUmdEmyRxQohxoK7qiXiJ6id36tu
main     | 
main     | 
main     |   Tx sent
main     | 
main     |   Tx hash:  0x954fa737215152d2c9be5893bcda91cf889b30dd5e26bada10b657e87b89692f
main     |   
main     | 
main     |   Tx mined
main     |   
main     |   Status:        Success
main     |   Block number:  6293860
main     |   Gas used:      960591

In case of 'outdated' or 'cannot resolve dependencies' errors, update and install dependencies.

Note You can also deploy a major version with only frontend changes by passing the flag: --only-content.

The contract location is defined in arapp.json under path.

Task syntax and options

The publish task has the following syntax:

npx buidler publish [global options] <bump> [task options]

Where global options are Buidler's (now Hardhat) global options and bump is the version bump (either major, minor or patch) or the semantic version. E.g. minor would increase version 1.2.0 to 1.3.0.

The following task options are available:

  • contract: Address of the app's deployed smart contract.

  • manager-address: Permissions manager of the app's aragonPM repo. Must be provided in the initial release.

  • ipfs-api-url (default: http://localhost:5001): IPFS API URL to connect to an IPFS server.

  • only-content (flag): Prevents contract compilation, deployment and artifact generation.

  • verify (flag): Enables Etherscan verification.

  • dry-run (flag): Output transaction data without broadcasting.

Check published versions

To fetch the versions published on aragonPM, we can use the aragon apm versions command from aragonCLI.


aragon apm versions --environment rinkeby

Sample output:

  app.aragonpm.eth has 2 published versions
  1.0.0: 0xE636bcA5B95e94F749F63E322a04DB59362299F1 ipfs:QmR695Wu5KrHNec7pRP3kPvwYihABDAyVYdX5D5vwLgxCn
  1.0.1: 0xE636bcA5B95e94F749F63E322a04DB59362299F1 ipfs:QmUYv9cjyNVxCyAJGK2YXjkbzh6u4iW2ak81Z9obdefM1q

If you have an error similar to:

 didn't find any truffle.js 

You need to add a truffle.js file to the root folder where you are running the command.

Add the following content and saveshell:

 module.exports = require("@aragon/truffle-config-v4")

Fetch other packages versions

We will fetch the published versions of the official voting app on the rinkeby (rinkeby network) environment.


aragon apm versions voting.aragonpm.eth --environment rinkeby

Sample output:

 voting.aragonpm.eth has 24 published versions
  1.0.0: 0x8C06aEBF29F20A2e09b32F5d44cEa49Db3EC2eE0 ipfs:QmQHhcbZRoTKkbjWdwXwqqWZzTNHUFzECPrfqie8f8oq45
  1.1.0: 0x8C06aEBF29F20A2e09b32F5d44cEa49Db3EC2eE0 ipfs:QmT27VvGNiNeWj4tsZ5omDCc6KxaHU3N9uebFCsoxSAEpL
  1.1.1: 0x8C06aEBF29F20A2e09b32F5d44cEa49Db3EC2eE0 ipfs:QmYmQVKj44FNjaY2qT4iWMWGSpKmnoseUw7idJkh9mtjei
  1.1.2: 0x8C06aEBF29F20A2e09b32F5d44cEa49Db3EC2eE0 ipfs:QmWsfxKYLTUyVokhEWEQG9w3Y8VgGbaNGnrL7yx72yPVan
  1.1.3: 0x8C06aEBF29F20A2e09b32F5d44cEa49Db3EC2eE0 ipfs:QmU6kD8qo4HDnqBmka16DTA61FBUkttarVJumZxrizvduP
  1.1.4: 0x8C06aEBF29F20A2e09b32F5d44cEa49Db3EC2eE0 ipfs:QmUJoRBNYebTLQu62fmPUjrGQxrA2reWNfiBxKxcf9ydRc
  1.1.5: 0x8C06aEBF29F20A2e09b32F5d44cEa49Db3EC2eE0 ipfs:QmW3URtbrnZeVQkMP2bLTBe2uF4Eyz9uu2818kVvgJ76c7
  1.1.6: 0x8C06aEBF29F20A2e09b32F5d44cEa49Db3EC2eE0 ipfs:QmcE6bw5WVwGL6Ewc5qYym6KPCeQfE2xbqeRXESmUuEssC
  1.1.7: 0x8C06aEBF29F20A2e09b32F5d44cEa49Db3EC2eE0 ipfs:QmTCYzgvrjtV4ETkhM3ZNgrVYNi2roXhNxCRmwsePNqL1B
  2.0.0: 0xb4fa71b3352D48AA93D34d085f87bb4aF0cE6Ab5 ipfs:QmVpxvSBWY4dLqPzW33UhLXeL17kej1VQJSopaKWjBnu4u
  2.0.1: 0xb4fa71b3352D48AA93D34d085f87bb4aF0cE6Ab5 ipfs:QmeJq7vK5wUg7AsjTsr6oe8bNDGJzAYuZyk4yY2XBhSdVC
  2.0.2: 0xb4fa71b3352D48AA93D34d085f87bb4aF0cE6Ab5 ipfs:QmZJbfNXwV5RrRNmKJUsabMzJsupMM7pqtGdcetnb2CHQz
  2.0.3: 0xb4fa71b3352D48AA93D34d085f87bb4aF0cE6Ab5 ipfs:QmcgUz9PXaZwvA3m7fXPgjsEVKteuivLNSCDvxKGv8ztMa

Building frontends

Your application's frontend will have another build script associated with it, to transpile, bundle, and pack all of its assets (e.g. scripts, images, fonts, etc) together.

If you've used the Aragon React boilerplate, this has already been set up for you with parcel-bundler and aragonUI.

If you need to add, modify, or remove assets or the way the frontend is built, it's important to remember to always use relative paths to serve those assets. Usually, this can be accomplished by adding a ./ in front of the path.

This is important because in production, the Aragon client usually fetches all of an app's assets via an IPFS gateway, and non-relative paths break gateway resolutions. You can test this for yourself by attempting to access your app when it's published by going to an IPFS gateway and making sure its assets are being loaded correctly.

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