Development Tools

Recommended tools for Solana program development.

Anchor is the Solidity of Solana

The Solana program SDK provides low-level interfaces for writing smart contracts. It doesn’t help you define methods for you contract or how data is stored, you can decide for yourself what tools you want to use.

The Anchor framework makes Solana program development much simpler. Developing a contract with Anchor will a little closer to the experience of building with Solidity. It allows programs to define human readable method names and provides helpers for serializing contract state in many different programming languages.

solana-test-validator is the Ganache of Solana

Solana provides a tool called solana-test-validator which starts up a local node on your machine for development purposes. It is installed as part of the Solana Tool Suite.

Useful solana-test-validator Options


Running solana-test-validator to setup a new node with a local blockhain ledger. Restarting from the same directory will reuse the same ledger state. Pass the --reset flag to start fresh.


Add your own locally built programs (smart contracts) to your local blockchain’s genesis block by using the --bpf-program option for as many programs as you need. This is useful for speeding up development iterations and setting up other programs that your program will call.


Copy the account state from another cluster by using the --clone option. This must be used along with the --url option to specify which cluster to fetch accounts from.

solana-program-test is the Truffle of Solana

Solana provides Rust package called solana-program-test which includes a test framework which can be used to test programs in a local Solana VM instance. Check out the Solana Program Library to learn how to use it.

Last modified May 8, 2021: new structure (755eb64)