Getting Started with Solana Development

Welcome to the Solana developer docs!

This page has everything you need to know to get started with Solana development, including basic requirements, how Solana development works, and the tools you'll need to get started.

High Level Developer Overview #

Development on Solana can be broken down into two main parts:

  1. Onchain Program Development: This is where you create and deploy custom programs directly to the blockchain. Once deployed, anyone who knows how to communicate with them can use them. You can write these programs in Rust, C, or C++. Rust has the most support for onchain program development today.
  2. Client Development: This is where you write software (called decentralized applications, or dApps) that communicates with onchain programs. Your apps can submit transactions to perform actions onchain. Client development can be written in any programming language.

The "glue" between the client side and the onchain side is the Solana JSON RPC API. The client-side sends RPC requests to the Solana network to interact with onchain programs. This is very similar to normal development between a frontend and backend. The major difference with working on Solana is that the backend is a global permissionless blockchain. This means that anyone can interact with your onchain program without the need of issuing API keys or any other form of permission.

How clients work with the Solana blockchainHow clients work with the Solana blockchain

Solana development is a bit different from other blockchains because of its highly composable onchain programs. This means you can build on top of any program already deployed, and often you can do so without needing to do any custom onchain program development. For example, if you wanted to work with tokens, you could use the Token Program that is already deployed on the network. All development on your application would be client-side in your language of choice.

Developers looking to build on Solana will find that the development stack is very similar to any other development stack. The main difference is that you'll be working with a blockchain and have to think about how users potentially interact with your application onchain instead of just on the frontend. Developing on Solana still has CI/CD pipelines, testing, debugging tools, a frontend and backend, and anything you'd find in a normal development flow.

What You'll Need Get Started #

To get started with Solana development, you'll need different tools based on whether you are developing for client-side, onchain programs, or both.

Client-side Development #

If you're developing onchain apps, you should know Rust.

If you're developing on the client-side, you can work with any programming language you're comfortable with. Solana has community-contributed SDKs to help developers interact with the Solana network in most popular languages :


You'll also need a connection with an RPC to interact with the network. You can either work with a RPC infrastructure provider or run your own RPC node.

To quickly get started with a front-end for your application, you can generate a customizable Solana scaffold by typing the following into your CLI:

npx create-solana-dapp <project-name>

This will create a new project with all the necessary files and basic configuration to get started building on Solana. The scaffold will include both an example frontend and an onchain program template (if you selected one). You can read the create-solana-dapp docs to learn more.

Onchain Program Development #

Onchain program development consists of either writing programs in Rust, C, or C++. First you'll need to make sure you have Rust installed on your machine. You can do this with the following command:

curl --proto '=https' --tlsv1.2 -sSf | sh

You'll then need to have the Solana CLI installed to compile and deploy your programs. You can install the Solana CLI by running the following command:

sh -c "$(curl -sSfL"

Using the Solana CLI, it is recommended to run a local validator for testing your program. To run a local validator after installing the Solana CLI, run the following command:


This will start a local validator on your machine that you can use to test your programs. You can read more about local development in this guide.

When building onchain programs, you have a choice to either build with native Rust (ie, without a framework) or use the Anchor framework. Anchor is a framework that makes it easier to build on Solana by providing a higher-level API for developers. Think of Anchor like building with React for your websites instead of raw Javascript and HTML. While Javascript and HTML give you more control over your website, React accelerates your development and makes developing easy. You can read more about Anchor on their website.

You'll need a way to test your program. There are a few different ways to test your program based on your language preference:

If you do not want to develop your programs locally, there's also the online IDE Solana Playground. Solana Playground allows you to write, test, and deploy programs on Solana. You can get started with Solana Playground by following our guide.

Developer Environments #

Choosing the right environment based on your work is very important. On Solana, there are a few different network environments (called clusters) to facilitate mature testing and CI/CD practices:

  • Mainnet Beta: The production network where all the action happens. Transactions cost real money here.
  • Devnet: The quality assurance network were you deploy your programs to test before deploying to production. Think "staging environment".
  • Local: The local network that you run on your machine using solana-test-validator to test your programs. This should be your first choice when developing programs.

Build by Example #

While you get started building on Solana, there's a few more resources available to help accelerate your journey:

  • Solana Cookbook: A collection of references and code snippets to help you build on Solana.
  • Solana Program Examples: A repository of example programs providing building blocks for different actions on your programs.
  • Guides: Tutorials and guides to walk you through building on Solana.

Getting Support #

The best support you can find is on Solana StackExchange. Search for your question there first - there's a good chance there will already be a question asked by someone else, with an answer. If it's not there, add a new question! Remember to include as much detail as you can in your question, and please use text (not screenshots) to show error messages, so other people with the same problem can find your question!

Next steps #

You're now ready to get started building on Solana!