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Aptos Indexer

Tails the blockchain's transactions and pushes them into a postgres DB

Tails the node utilizing the rest interface/client, and maintains state for each registered TransactionProcessor. On startup, by default, will retry any previously errored versions for each registered processor.

When developing your own, ensure each TransactionProcessor is idempotent, and being called with the same input won't result in an error if some or all of the processing had previously been completed.

Example invocation:

cargo run -- --pg-uri "postgresql://localhost/postgres" --node-url "https://fullnode.devnet.aptoslabs.com" --emit-every 25 --batch-size 100

Try running the indexer with --help to get more details


Local Development

Installation Guide (for apple sillicon)

  1. brew install libpq (this is a postgres C API library). Also perform all export commands post-installation
  2. brew install postgres
  3. pg_ctl -D /opt/homebrew/var/postgres start or brew services start postgresql
  4. /opt/homebrew/bin/createuser -s postgres
  5. Ensure you're able to do: psql postgres
  6. cargo install diesel_cli --no-default-features --features postgres
  7. diesel migration run --database-url postgresql://localhost/postgres
  8. Start indexer
cargo run -- --pg-uri "postgresql://localhost/postgres" --node-url "" --emit-every 25 --batch-size 100
# or
cargo run -- --pg-uri "postgresql://localhost/postgres" --node-url "https://fullnode.devnet.aptoslabs.com" --emit-every 25 --batch-size 100

Optional PgAdmin4

  1. Complete Installation Guide above
  2. brew install --cask pgadmin4
  3. Open PgAdmin4
  4. Create a master password
  5. Right Click Servers > Register > Server
  6. Enter the information in the registration Modal:
Name: Indexer

Hostname / Address:
Port: 5432
Maintenance Database: postgres
Username: postgres
  1. Save


  • Diesel uses the DATABASE_URL env var to connect to the database.
  • Diesel CLI can be installed via cargo, e.g., cargo install diesel_cli --no-default-features --features postgres.
  • diesel migration run sets up the database and runs all available migrations.
  • Aptos tests use the INDEXER_DATABASE_URL env var. It needs to be set for the relevant tests to run.
  • Postgres can be installed and run via brew.

Adding new tables / Updating tables with Diesel

  • diesel migration generate <your_migration_name> generates a new folder containing up.sql + down.sql for your migration
  • diesel migration run to apply the missing migrations. This will re-generate schema.rs as required.
  • diesel migration redo to rollback and apply the last migration
  • diesel database reset drops the existing database and reruns all the migrations
  • You can find more information in the Diesel documentation

General Flow

The Tailer is the central glue that holds all the other components together. It's responsible for the following:

  1. Maintaining processor state. The Tailer keeps a record of the Result of each TransactionProcessor's output for each transaction version (eg: transaction). If a TransactionProcessor returns a Result::Err() for a transaction, the Tailer will mark that version as failed in the database (along with the stringified error text) and continue on.
  2. Retry failed versions for each TransactionProcessor. By default, when a Tailer is started, it will re-fetch the versions for all TransactionProcessor which have failed, and attempt to re-process them. The Result::Ok /Result::Err returned from the TransactionProcessor::process_version replace the state in the DB for the given TransactionProcessor/version combination.
  3. Piping new transactions from the Fetcher into each TransactionProcessor that was registered to it. Each TransactionProcessor gets its own copy, in its own tokio::Task, for each version. These are done in batches, the size of which is specifiable via --batch-size. For other tunable parameters, try cargo run -- --help.

The Fetcher is responsible for fetching transactions from a node in one of two ways:

  1. One at a time (used by the Tailer when retrying previously errored transactions).
  2. In bulk, with an internal buffer. Although the Tailer only fetches one transaction at a time from the Fetcher, internally the Fetcher will fetch from the /transactions endpoint, which returns potentially hundreds of transactions at a time. This is much more efficient than making hundreds of individual HTTP calls. In the future, when there is a streaming Node API, that would be the optimal source of transactions.

All the above comes free 'out of the box'. The TransactionProcessor is where everything becomes useful for those writing their own indexers. The trait only has one main method that needs to be implemented: process_transaction. You can do anything you want in a TransactionProcessor - write data to Postgres tables like the DefaultProcessor does, make restful HTTP calls to some other service, submit its own transactions to the chain: anything at all. There is just one note: transaction processing is guaranteed at least once. It's possible for a given TransactionProcessor to receive the same transaction more than once: and so your implementation must be idempotent.

To implement your own TransactionProcessor, check out the documentation and source code here: ./src/indexer/transaction_processor.rs.


  1. If you run into
  = note: ld: library not found for -lpq
          clang: error: linker command failed with exit code 1 (use -v to see invocation)

first make sure you have postgres and libpq installed via homebrew, see installation guide above for more details. This is complaining about the libpq library, a postgres C API library which diesel needs to run, more on this issue here 2. Postgresql Mac M1 installation guide 3. Stop postgresql: brew services stop postgresql 4. Since homebrew installs packages in /opt/homebrew/bin/postgres, your pg_hba.conf should be in /opt/homebrew/var/postgres/ for Apple Silicon users 5. Likewise, your postmaster.pid should be retrievable via cat /opt/homebrew/var/postgres/postmaster.pid. Sometimes you may have to remove this if you are unable to start your server, an error like:

waiting for server to start....2022-05-17 12:49:42.735 PDT [4936] FATAL:  lock file "postmaster.pid" already exists
2022-05-17 12:49:42.735 PDT [4936] HINT:  Is another postmaster (PID 4885) running in data directory "/opt/homebrew/var/postgres"?
 stopped waiting
pg_ctl: could not start server

then run brew services restart postgresql 6. Alias for starting testnet (put this in ~/.zshrc)

alias testnet="cd ~/Desktop/aptos-core; CARGO_NET_GIT_FETCH_WITH_CLI=true cargo run -p aptos-node -- --test"

Then run source ~/.zshrc, and start testnet by running testnet in your terminal


~2M SLoC