April 12, 2022

How to Deploy an NFT on Solana Using Candy Machine V2

Overview

Hello readers, in this guide we are going to go into how to set up an NFT mint on Solana using Candy Machine v2. Previously we had a guide up on the V1, but it is now deprecated and is no longer in use for new mints.

Candy Machine v2 has some similarities to v1, but quite a lot of differences. The main catalyst that drove v2 was to curb the botting that the NFT community was falling victim to. It was very easy for bots to scoop up all of the NFTs of cheaper projects, and led to a less-than-ideal experience for many newcomers to the space.

I will now refer to Candy Machine v2 as CMv2 moving forward. There are many new features CMv2 is rolling out with:

  • Unpredictable mint index — With CMv1 the mint happened in a predetermined order, which opened up opportunities to game the system for the specific NFT you wanted.
  • Whitelist — You can now set up white listing with this new version. You can distribute any SPL Token to act as a white list. Knobs to play around with include: early minting, closed minting, or discounted minting for users that have the designated token.
  • Captcha Integration — This option prevents bots from interfering with your mint.
  • Hidden drops — You can now have all mints sharing a single hash, which means you can then populate all of the NFT's metadata after the drop sells out.

prerequisites:
  • NodeJS
  • TS-Node
  • Yarn
  • Solana CLI
  • Text Editor
  • Python with a version between 3.6-3.9
  • Phantom Wallet browser extenstion

Configuring CMv2

With all of the needed context, we can begin the configuration.

The first thing you will need to do is clone the metaplex repo, and install all of the dependencies.

NOTE: All commands shown are run on a unix machine.

To do so run the following command:

git clone -b v1.1.0 https://github.com/metaplex-foundation/metaplex.git ~/metaplex

Then to install the dependencies you can run this command:

yarn install --cwd ~/metaplex/js/

This should have installed everything properly.

To test that, we can check the version of Metaplex by running the script:

ts-node ~/metaplex/js/packages/cli/src/candy-machine-v2-cli.ts --version

We will now set up the Solana CLI for devnet testing.

We first want to create a new wallet for devnet testing. It is always a good practice to seperate your testing keys from the keys that hold your mainnet assets.

solana-keygen new --outfile ~/.config/solana/devnet-wallet.json

You can skip the password (by hitting enter) as we will only use this wallet on devnet, so the funds are not important.

We can make sure that the wallet we generated is the wallet that the Solana CLI will use by running this next command.

solana config set --keypair ~/.config/solana/devnet-wallet.json

We will want to fund our wallet by asking for an airdrop. To do this we will need to make sure our Solana CLI is connected to a Node. To do that we will sign up for a free trial on QuickNode

Getting a Solana Node


While this goal could be accomplished by any node connection on the Solana network, here at QuickNode, we make it quick and easy to set up a Solana node.

You can register for a free trial. Make sure to launch your node under the Solana Devnet to follow this tutorial!

You can register for a free trial, as well as see pricing here

You will need the HTTPS endpoint for this tutorial. It should look something like this:

Screenshot of Quicknode Solana endpoint

With your endpoint on the Solana Devnet setup, you can now run this command, substituting YOUR_QUICKNODE_URL with the HTTP URL you have copied.

solana config set --url YOUR_QUICKNODE_URL

Now to fund your wallet you can run the command:

solana airdrop 1

If the command is successful you should be able to run solana balance in your terminal and see the 1 Sol is there.

With our Solana CLI configured, we now need to create the config for our CMv2. One of the changes moving from v1 to v2 is how we configure the candy machine. It reads a json file that you can tweak to your liking. There is a full list of all of the options on the Metaplex docs you can find here.

I will be using their recommended minimal setup configuration. To follow along with me you can create a config.json file, and place it at ~/dev/ by running the command below.

touch ~/dev/config.json

Next, open up that file with your text editor of choice and paste the following:

{
    "price": 1.0,
    "number": 10,
    "gatekeeper": null,
    "solTreasuryAccount": "<YOUR WALLET ADDRESS>",
    "splTokenAccount": null,
    "splToken": null,
    "goLiveDate": "25 Dec 2021 00:00:00 GMT",
    "endSettings": null,
    "whitelistMintSettings": null,
    "hiddenSettings": null,
    "storage": "arweave-sol",
    "ipfsInfuraProjectId": null,
    "ipfsInfuraSecret": null,
    "awsS3Bucket": null,
    "noRetainAuthority": false,
    "noMutable": false
}

Replace <YOUR WALLET ADDRESS> with the address of the keypair you previously set up.

NOTE: you can run solana address in your terminal to obtain your address.

Next, replace the "arweave-sol" option with "arweave." With that done, save and close the file.

With all of that done, you should be ready to get going with your mint! But what is an NFT project without some .jpegs? We can get that ready next.

The Assets

If you have used CMv1 or Metaplex before, this is the same. We need to create a 1-to-1 mapping of .png and .json files. The files should be named by number, so 0.png maps to 0.json. The numbers should start at 0, and go up sequentally, never skipping a number.

Metaplex has a sample set that we can download and work with; we will use theirs for the sake of consistency. You could edit the json to be whatever values you would like, as long as it is compliant with the URI json schema.

Download the sample set and put it somewhere you can easily reference from the command line. I will be putting mine at ~/dev. This will allow me to reference all the png/json files by using the path ~/dev/assets.

The last thing we need to do is update the address value in the json files. By default the address used in the json files is "6j4nNrozTJkk1zatiXHezSLZArnRUq3WkGKHACThXGpZ". We will update all of these to be your address that we set up in the solana CLI earlier.

To do so run the following bash script:

for json_file in ~/dev/assets/*.json;
do
  address=$(solana address)
  sed -i '' "s/6j4nNrozTJkk1zatiXHezSLZArnRUq3WkGKHACThXGpZ/$address/g" $json_file 
done

This will loop through all of the files in your assets directory that end in .json. Then we store your solana address in a variable with the address=$(solana address). The last step uses the sed command line tool to do a find and replace. We search through each file and replace "6j4nNrozTJkk1zatiXHezSLZArnRUq3WkGKHACThXGpZ" with your address that we got from the CLI.

NOTE: The empty pair of quotes at the beginning are necessary if you're on a Mac device. If you are running a linux machine you may omit the initial empty quotes in the sed command.

Creating Your Candy Machine

With all of your assets loaded, and your programs configured, we can now create a Candy Machine and upload it to the Solana Devnet.

To do so, we will run the following command:

ts-node ~/metaplex/js/packages/cli/src/candy-machine-v2-cli.ts upload \
    -e devnet \
    -k ~/.config/solana/devnet.json \
    -cp ~/dev/config.json \
    -c example \
    --rpc-url <YOUR_QUICKNODE_URL> \
    ~/dev/assets

NOTE: Do not freak out if you get errors that look like signatureUnsubscribe error: Invalid subscription id. This will not impact your upload, and you should not stop the process upon seeing these errors. If for some reason your upload stops before it is finished, you can run this command repeatedly until your upload is successful.

Save the CMv2's public key from that output. If you forget this step, you can always find it from wherever you ran the command from, at /.cache/devnet-example.json

After running that command, you should see it start processing the assets. Once it has completed, you need to verify that everything uploaded correctly. You can use the veryify_upload command to do so.

ts-node ~/metaplex/js/packages/cli/src/candy-machine-v2-cli.ts verify_upload \
 -e devnet \
 -k ~/.config/solana/devnet.json \
 -c example

Your output should look like the picture below, but with your address instead of mine.



Once that runs successfully we can move onto the next step. We will now spin up the frontend so we can deploy our page to the internet and have other people mint our NFT.

Setting Up the Website

For the easiest possible set up, we will be using the front end that Metaplex provides us. You will go to where you cloned your Metaplex repository, in my case ~/metaplex/js/packages/candy-machine-ui. Open up this folder in your code editor of choice.

Rename the file .env.example to .env

After changing the file name, you can change the values in there to the following:

REACT_APP_CANDY_MACHINE_ID=<YOUR_CANDY_MACHINE_PUBKEY>

REACT_APP_SOLANA_NETWORK=devnet
REACT_APP_SOLANA_RPC_HOST=<YOUR_QUICKNODE_DEVNET_ENDPOINT>

With all of that information plugged in you can now save the file. From the candy-machine-ui folder, run the command:

yarn install
yarn start

This will open up a browser at localhost:3000, where you can connect your wallet and mint an NFT. If done successfully you should see a website like this:

NOTE: Be sure your Phantom Wallet is set to devnet and not mainnet.


You can see I already minted 2 out of the original 10. You can view the NFT in your wallet after purchasing. Mine looks like this.


Conclusion

With all of that done, you have successfully generated and minted your own CMv2 NFT project! You learned what Candy Machine is, how to configure it, and deployed your very own NFT project. Congrats!!

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