From Devnet to Mainnet: Aleo’s four testing environments
June 03, 2024

From Devnet to Mainnet: Aleo’s four testing environments

When Aleo mainnet launches, it will be the culmination of many months of testing and validation across multiple  network environments. These networks, ranging from closed, isolated devnets to full public testnets have all contributed to helping our team and community validate, debug, and optimize the core features of Aleo. In addition, these environments have helped application developers test and validate their applications in advance of mainnet launch.

Even after mainnet launch, these environments will persist, helping the Aleo Network Foundation and the community achieve the following goals:

  • Stress test the various aspects of the Aleo blockchain, from transaction throughput to program deployments

  • Provide a stable environment for developers to test application deployments

  • Evaluate new features and fixes to the core Aleo node software and VM

  • Assess validator candidates for potential delegations and inclusion into the broader mainnet validator set

In the following post, we will outline the different network environments that we’ve utilized to this point, describe how they will be used in the future, and explain how these networks can be leveraged by the community going forward. 


DevNet was used for implementing and testing initial features for the purpose of validating the acceptance criteria before releasing them upstream. However, going forward, we will no longer maintain a canonical DevNet. Instead, Aleo community members will run their own DevNets or Iso-devnets to test features before submitting pull requests (PRs). This decentralized approach allows anyone to run a DevNet, providing an initial understanding of how changes may impact the network and fostering community-driven development.


CanaryNet, run by the Aleo Network Foundation alongside several ecosystem participants, is a more decentralized, semi-open network that allows us to test the network under more realistic conditions with multiple interacting parties. 

After PRs are reviewed, approved, and merged into the Mainnet-Staging branch, they are deployed to CanaryNet for further testing and validation. The primary purpose of CanaryNet is to ensure that any changes, feature additions, or bug fixes are diligently tested before being introduced to the Mainnet branch. By simulating realistic network scenarios, CanaryNet helps us validate and build confidence in the changes. 

Additionally, CanaryNet provides flexibility for onboarding validators who are preparing to join mainnet to familiarize with the processes of the Aleo's Layer 1.

Testnet Beta

Testnet Beta, which is our current open development environment, is a critical phase in the progression towards mainnet launch. It operates as a public network where validators are bonded by the Aleo Network Foundation. Initially, the Foundation and Provable (formerly Aleo Systems) will manage the validators, gradually onboarding others who have demonstrated their reliability and performance on CanaryNet. As confidence in network stability grows, additional validators will be bonded into Testnet Beta.

After completing the testing in the more limited environments of DevNet and CanaryNet, Testnet Beta provides an opportunity to test and evaluate acceptance criteria in the most realistic and extensive environment before launch.

Mainnet Beta

Mainnet Beta is intended to be the “last stop” for any new code and/or validator onboarding. It will run concurrently with Testnet Beta before turning into the canonical mainnet, serving as the final “burn-in” test.

Initially, Mainnet Beta will be run by the Aleo Network Foundation and kept closed, but it will be fully decentralized and open by mainnet launch.

Mainnet Beta and Testnet Beta will eventually be upgraded to mainnet and testnet, respectively. Testnet and mainnet will mirror each other in code, providing a production-like environment for developers to test their applications before deploying to mainnet. At launch, mainnet will be the full production network and the associated ledger will be considered canonical.

These networks have all contributed to the strength of our final mainnet in different ways. We’re thankful to the ecosystem partners who helped us build, including Demox Labs, Puzzle, Monadicus, Supranational, Kryha, Equilibrium, as well as additional external parties for limited canarynet testing which included: Kintsugi, Figment, Unit410, Lavender.Five, DSRV, Coinbase, Rockaway, Haruka, and many others. 

Stay tuned into what’s next leading up to mainnet on our Road to Mainnet page.