# Get started
The Filecoin Network is made with miners and clients. They make deals and contribute to maintaining the Filecoin blockchain, obtaining storage services, and receiving rewards in the process. This section walks your through how to get started, build a node, and create a simple application.
working with blockchains is difficult, and the inherent complexity of blockchains can be overwhelming for new developers. If you're not sure where to begin, we recommend you take a look at these sections before diving into more complex parts of Filecoin:
Looking for Lotus?
Lotus documentation has moved to lotus.filecoin.io (opens new window)
# Become familiar with the concepts
- Read How Filecoin Works and IPFS and Filecoin.
- Complete the Protoschool tutorial (opens new window) to get a closer, practical look.
- Check out the existing networks (opens new window).
- Explore the mainnet using one of the available block explorers. Discover the blocks, the messages, the scoreboards for miners. Watch the self-adjusting base fee, the deals, and all the things tracked by the chain.
# Store content on Filecoin
Looking for an easy way to store and access your files on Filecoin? Use one of the community built tools and services to get started. Take a look now →
- Visit Slate (opens new window) to store content on Filecoin and make deals from your browser.
- Install and launch your Lotus Node (opens new window). Setup your first wallet and learn how to send and receive ⨎ (opens new window) and make storage deals (opens new window).
- Use Starling to simplify the management of storage deals in Lotus.
- Check out the Lotus API methods (opens new window) to learn how to programmatically store data on the Filecoin network.
# Contribute to Filecoin
- Mine Filecoin: for those wanting to provide storage and retrieval capabilities to the Network.
- Build on Filecoin: for those wanting to build applications that interact with the Filecoin network.
# Filecoin Software
|Lotus (opens new window)||Implementation of Filecoin node, maintained by Protocol Labs. |
For users that want to participate in the Filecoin network validating blocks, manage a wallet and perform deals on the command line.
|Slate (opens new window)||Slate is a fully open-source file-sharing network designed for research and collaboration, powered by Textile (opens new window), IPFS (opens new window) and Filecoin. |
For users that want to easily store their data in a cloud backed by decentralized technologies.
|Powergate||A multitiered storage solution that stores data with IPFS ("Hot" storage layer) and Filecoin ("Cold" storage layer).|
|Fleek space daemon (opens new window)||A wrapper around awesome IPFS tools to start coding a decentralized desktop app as fast as possible. It is built on top of Textile Threads, Buckets, and Powergate.|
|Starling||A command-line interface for simplified, coordinated, decentralized storage on the Filecoin network.|
Filecoin wallets allow you to manage FIL, Filecoin's native token. Wallets store the private keys that allow you to authorize Filecoin transactions, including paying for storage deals and sending FIL to other accounts. See the About Wallet Addresses (opens new window) to learn about the kinds of addresses used by Filecoin accounts.
The table below lists the recommended wallet implementations:
|Lotus (opens new window)||Lotus can manage bls, sec1p256k1 wallets and supports Ledger integration (opens new window).|
|Glif wallet (opens new window)||Glif is a lightweight web interface to send and receive Filecoin with a Ledger device (instructions (opens new window)).|
Both Lotus and the Glif wallet support Ledger (opens new window) hardware devices, allowing you to use Filecoin without ever storing your private keys on a network-connected device. This can help protect your valuable private keys from malicious software on your computer and so is commonly used for accounts with large balances.
There are a number of additional wallets (opens new window) that support Filecoin tokens, including mobile wallets.
# Filecoin implementations
There are 4 Filecoin protocol implementations (or "node software") currently in progress:
- lotus (opens new window) (Go): This implementation is closest to feature-complete and is, therefore, the recommended Filecoin protocol implementation.
- venus (opens new window) (Go): This implementation is currently running tens of nodes on the Filecoin network. Participants are encouraged to experiment with this implementation and provide feedback to the Venus team (opens new window).
- forest (opens new window) (Rust)
- fuhon (opens new window) (C++)
Each of these software clients implements the Filecoin protocol as described in the Filecoin protocol specification (opens new window). To learn more about why there are multiple Filecoin implementations, please read this blog post (opens new window).
Here is a snapshot of each implementation's progress across the primary parts of the Filecoin protocol (updated June 24, 2020):
|2. Files & data||✅||🔶||🔶||✅|
|3. Virtual Machine||✅||✅||🔶||🔶|
|4. VM Actors||🔶||🔶||🔶||🔶|
|7. Storage Mining||✅||🔄||🔄||🔄|
✅ : fully-featured implementation.
🔄 : reuses components from another implementation.
🔶 : partial implementation.
⛔️ : pending implementation.