June 09, 2021

How to run Expedition Block Explorer

What is Expedition Ethereum Block explorer?

In this article, we will talk about how to install and run the Expedition Ethereum Block explorer. 

While playing with the Ethereum blockchain network one might need to look up transactions, tokens, addresses, or prices. To accomplish these tasks, we might want an Ethereum blockchain explorer which makes all these tasks easier for not only developers, but for regular blockchain users while potentially reducing development time for building on Ethereum.

Expedition is an open-source block explorer for Ethereum created by Etclabs team. It is built on a bunch of other open-source items including Jade Service Runner for managing background services (Multi-Geth) and OpenRPC for underlying functionality. If you have a node endpoint, you can run Expedition directly. 

Expedition does not use a database and can be configured to point at any remote RPC node for any EVM-based network. We can look forward to these features once everything is set up:

  • Display chain id
  • Node Syncing status
  • Runtime configuration for endpoints
  • Search by Block, Transaction, Address
  • Charts for the hash, transaction count, gas used, uncles
  • Preview latest blocks with pagination
  • Multi-language support

Lastly, before proceeding, please make sure you have the following on your machine. If you don't follow the help links:

  • NodeJS installed on your system [help]
  • git installed in your system [help]

Install Expedition Ethereum Block Explorer

As mentioned earlier, Expedition doesn’t use any database, so we can simply clone it and run it using our QuikNode URL.

Now, let's install Expedition using git and npm installer of nodejs, you can simply copy the below in your cmd/terminal:

$ git clone https://github.com/etclabscore/expedition.git && cd expedition && npm install

Above we are first cloning the Expedition file from GitHub then we're changing the directory to expedition and at last, we're installing expedition using npm.

You might encounter errors 'HTTP' request fatal' this might be because of the git version installed on your computer, so always download the latest and stable git version, another thing you must make sure is that you copy the exact link because these links are case sensitive in git.

The most common issue at this step is an internal failure with `node-gyp`. You can follow node-gyp installation instructions here.

Note: You will need to have your python version match one of the compatible versions listed in the instructions above if you encounter the node-gyp issue.

Getting Ethereum HTTP URL

For our purposes today, we could use pretty much any Ethereum client, such as Geth or OpenEthereum (fka Parity). Since that is a bit too involved for our purposes today, we'll just grab a free endpoint from QuickNode to make this easy. After you've created your free ethereum endpoint, copy your HTTP Provider endpoint:



You'll need this later, so copy it and save it.

Running Expedition

Now we can run our Expedition explorer locally using the below command

$ REACT_APP_ETH_RPC_URL=ADD_YOUR_ETHEREUM_NODE_URL npm start

So go ahead and replace `ADD_YOUR_ETHEREUM_NODE_URL` with the http provider from the instructions above. 

This will start the explorer, to check it navigate to https://localhost:3000/ on your browser.
You might see something like this

Alternative Option for using Expedition with QuikNode

The expedition team deployed an explorer which you can access by navigating https://expedition.dev/ . The best part here is that you can use your QuickNode with this already deployed explorer using the below URL. 

https://expedition.dev/?rpcUrl=ADD_YOUR_ETHEREUM_NODE_URL

Here replace 'ADD_YOUR_ETHEREUM_NODE_URL' with your QuickNode URL. 

However, it's important to note that you could be leaking your QuickNode URL to a third party by doing this. We do not recommend using this method if you have a paid QuickNode account because it could result in unwanted charges that you'd be responsible for.

Conclusion

As we saw, with QuikNode and Expedition, you can host your own Ethereum block explorer within 5 minutes.

As Expedition does not use any database and pull data in real-time, therefore, there is no maintenance cost.

We at QuikNode run hundreds of nodes for you awesome developers. Subscribe to our newsletter for more articles and guide on Ethereum. If you have any feedback, please feel free to reach out to us via Twitter and you can always chat with us if you have a question via our community server on Discord, thanks :)
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