Your Bee node can be configured by adding arguments terminal command on startup.

Run bee start --help in your Terminal to get the list of available command line arguments.

Important Configuration Changes#


When you start up Bee for the first time, there is some configuration to do! Make sure you consider updating the following recommended settings!

Full Node#

Bee runs as default in Light Node mode. To fully participate in the swarm, you must set your --full-node configuration to true.

Swap Endpoint#

In order to access the blockchain, your Bee must be connected to an Ethereum blockchain node on the Goerli network. We recommend running your own Geth Goerli Node, but if you prefer, you may also sign up to Infura's API service and set your wss://

NAT Address#

To enable others to connect to your node, you must broadcast your public IP and ensure Bee is accessible on the right p2p port (usually 1634). We recommend you manually configure your external IP and check connectivity to ensure your Bee is able to receive connections from other peers.

First determine your IP address.


Then configure your node, including your p2p port (usually 1634).

nat-addr: ""

LevelDB Open File Descriptors Limit#

Bee is designed to work on a lot of different hardware. To facilitate the exploration of this during our beta phase, we have given node operators access to leveldb's --db-open-files-limit. This influences the speed with which Bee can read and write to its database, and therefore its performance in forwarding and serving chunks. Some say setting this to much more than the default 200 leads to a much enhanced ability to participate in the swarm and to get those gBZZ! Share your experience in the #node-operators channel of our Discord server to help us make this process more automated in the future!

ENS Endpoint#

The ENS domain resolution system is used to host websites on Bee, and in order to use this your Bee must be connected to an Ethereum blockchain node on the main network. If you would like to browse the swarm We recommend you sign up to Infura's API service and set your --resolver-options=

Specifying Configuration#

Configuration file#

Bee can also be configured by providing a yaml configuration file using the --config flag.

bee start --config /home/<user>/bee-config.yaml

Run bee printconfig &> bee-default.yaml to print a default version of the configuration file.

Environment variables#

Bee config may also be passed using environment variables.

Environment variables are set as variables in your operating systems session or systemd configuration file. To set an environment variable, type the following in your terminal session.

export VARIABLE_NAME=variableValue

Verify if it is correctly set by running echo $VARIABLE_NAME.

All available configuration options are also available as prefixed, captilised and underscored environment variables.

e.g. --api-addr becomes BEE_API_ADDR.

Precedence Order of Configuration#

Configuration is processed in the following ascending priority order of preference:

  1. Command Line Variables
  2. Environment Variables
  3. Configuration File

Configuring Bee Installed Using a Package Manager#

Bee node's installed using package managers apt-get or yum are configured using a configuration file which is automatically generated during the installation process.

To alter Bee's configuration, simply edit the configuration file as desired, and restart your Bee node using systemctl.


sudo vi /etc/bee/bee.yaml
sudo systemctl restart bee


vi /usr/local/etc/swarm-bee/bee.yaml
brew services restart swarm-bee

Automatically generate a config file#

Configuration files can be easily generated by simply substituting the start command with printconfig when starting Bee using the command line.


Here we substitute start for printconfig when specifying arguments at the command line.

bee printconfig \
--verbosity=5 \
&> bee-config.yaml

This produces the following file contents, showing the default configuration of Bee, with some added log verbosity:

api-addr: :1633
block-time: "15"
- /dnsaddr/
bootnode-mode: false
cache-capacity: "1000000"
clef-signer-enable: false
clef-signer-endpoint: ""
clef-signer-ethereum-address: ""
cors-allowed-origins: []
data-dir: /Users/sig/.bee
db-block-cache-capacity: "33554432"
db-disable-seeks-compaction: false
db-open-files-limit: "200"
db-write-buffer-size: "33554432"
debug-api-addr: :1635
debug-api-enable: false
full-node: false
gateway-mode: false
global-pinning-enable: false
help: false
nat-addr: ""
network-id: "1"
p2p-addr: :1634
p2p-quic-enable: false
p2p-ws-enable: false
password: ""
password-file: ""
payment-early: "1000000000000"
payment-threshold: "10000000000000"
payment-tolerance: "10000000000000"
postage-stamp-address: ""
resolver-options: []
standalone: false
swap-enable: true
swap-endpoint: ws://localhost:8546
swap-factory-address: ""
swap-initial-deposit: "10000000000000000"
swap-legacy-factory-addresses: []
tracing-enable: false
tracing-service-name: bee
transaction: ""
verbosity: info
welcome-message: ""

Configuration Options#

Bee provides the following options to customise your node.



default /home/<user>/.bee.yaml

The location of a yaml configuration file containing configuration instructions. See configuration.



default :1633

The ip and port the API will serve http requests from. Ommiting the IP part of the address will cause the server to listen to all interfaces. Argument values are of the form ''.


default 15

The expected block time of the attached SWAP endpoint.


default /dnsaddr/

This is a multiaddr specifying the Bee bootnodes used for bootstrapping the network, it can be multiple values.

By default a node connects to the Swarm mainnet. When using a private or test network, network specific bootnodes must be set.

Any Bee node in a network can act as a bootnode.


default 1000000

The amount of disk space, in chunks, that is used for forwarding and uploading chunks.


default false

Set this to true to enable signing using Ethereum's 'Clef' external signer. Clef is an new feature which requires a corresponding rules files or running in advanced mode to allow for auto-signing of handshakes and cheques.


default default path for clef for each host operating system

You may also specify a custom ipc file path for your Clef signer.


default selects the clef address at index 0

Use this command to specify which Bee Clef address is used if you have imported multiple keys into Bee Clef.


If you have multiple addresses imported into your instance of Bee Clef, you must specify your address for each node, including the first one, as addresses may been re-ordered during import.


default []

Http/WS origin domains or wildcards defining these, which the API will allow responses to, e.g.

bee start --cors-allowed-origins="*"
bee start --cors-allowed-origins=""


default /home/<user>/.bee

The location on your disk where Bee stores its data. This consists of the following three types of data.

Data in this directory will be required to restore a node state using the same key.

1. Chunk Data#

This consists of chunks and files that you have pinned locally, cached chunks you have requested, or chunks within your radius of responsibility which you are responsible for serving to your peers.

2. State Data#

This is information about the local state of your Bee node and should be backed up.

3. Keystore Data#

These files contain encrypted versions of your private key and should be backed up and kept private.


Keep the key files in your keystore data directory safe!

They are the cryptographic proof of your network identity and cannot be recovered.

The below four options expose low-level configurations for LevelDB method Openfile. Please let us know how you get on with tweaking these settings on your hardware in the #swarm-infrastructure channel on our Discord server


default 33554432

Corresponds to LevelDB BlockCacheCapacity (see above)


default false

Corresponds to LevelDB DisableSeeksCompaction (see above)


default 200


To accomodate less powerful hardware and operating systems, the open-files-limit is set deliberately low. We recommend that you try to increase it to nearer 10000 or more if this is possible when using your hardware. Please let us know how you get on with tweaking these settings on your hardware in the #swarm-infrastructure channel on our Discord server

Corresponds to LevelDB OpenFilesCacheCapacity (see above)


default 33554432

Corresponds to LevelDB WriteBuffer (see above)


default :1635

The IP and port the Debug API will serve http requests from.

Ommiting the IP part of the address will cause the server to listen to all requests.

--debug-api-enable must be set to true.


default false

Set this to true to enable access to the Debug API


default false

Enable this by setting it to true to fully participate in serving and forwarding chunks to the network.


default false

Set this to true to disable a set of sensitive features in the API to ensure that it is safe to expose your api-addr to the public internet.


default false

Enables the Global Pinning functionality when set to true.


default ""

Sets the expected public IP. Normally this is generated automatically, but in certain circumstances it may be desirable to set it manually.


default 1

The network ID for which to accept new connections. Set to 1 for mainnet, 2 for testnet.


default :1634

The ip and port to listen for p2p protocol messages.


default false


default false

Enables web-sockets transport for p2p communications.


default ""

Password used to decrypt Swarm identity keys.


Passing passwords as command line arguments is insecure. Use a password file or environment variable in production environments.


default ""

The path to a file that contains password for decrypting keys. The empty string assumes no file is presented.


default 1000000000000

Amount in BZZ below the peers payment threshold which causes Bee to initiate settlement.


default 10000000000000

The threshold in BZZ where you expect to get paid from your peers.


default 10000000000000

The excess debt above payment threshold in BZZ where you disconnect from your peer.


default automatically configured depending on network

The address of the postage stamp contract on the Ethereum blockchain, used for buying batches of stamps.


default eth:0x00000000000C2E074eC69A0dFb2997BA6C7d2e1e@localhost:8545

ENS API endpoint for a TLD, with contract address. Multiple values can be provided.

Settings should be provided in the format [tld:][contract-addr@]url

A default top level domain and resolver contract address are provided, but an ENS/Geth endpoint must be provided to enable this functionality.


default false

Set this flag if we would like the node not to try to connect to the network. Useful for development.


default true


default ws://localhost:8546

SWAP ethereum blockchain endpoint. Must be equipped with websockets.


default anointed contract for the current blockchain id


default 10000000000000000


default false

Send tracing spans to the tracing service. More information how to configure and visualize tracing data is available on /docs/bee-developers/useful-dev-info#tracing.



The URL where the tracing service listens for Thrift protocol UDP messages.


default bee

Bee service identifier in tracing spans.


default ""

As a spam prevention measure, for nodes which deployed their chequebook with v0.5.0 or before, specify transaction - the transaction hash of any Ethereum transaction on the Goerli network sent from the Bee node's Ethereum address.


default info

0=silent, 1=error, 2=warn, 3=info, 4=debug, 5=trace


default ""

Custom welcome message to be displayed to peers on succesful connection.