Setting up a project using npm

  1. Create a project directory, open a terminal or command line, and change directory into the project directory.

  2. Use npm init to set up your project.

  3. Install gnosis.js into your project as a dependency using:

    npm install --save

    Be sure to issue this command with this exact spelling.

    This command installs the Gnosis JavaScript library and its dependencies into the node_modules directory. The package contains the following:

    • ES6 source of the library in src which can also be found on the repository
    • Compiled versions of the modules which can be run on Node.js in the dist directory
    • Webpacked standalone gnosis[.min].js files ready for use by web clients in the dist directory
    • API documentation in the docs directory

Notice that the library refers to the dist/index module as the package.json main. This is because even though Node.js does support many new JavaScript features, it natively does not support the use of ES6 imports yet (see this issue), so the modules are transpiled with Babel for Node interoperability.

In the project directory, you can experiment with the Gnosis API by opening up a node shell and importing the library like so:

const Gnosis = require('')

This will import the transpiled library through the dist/index entry point, which exports the Gnosis class.

If you are playing around with gnosis.js directly in the project folder, you can import it from dist

const Gnosis = require('.')

Browser use

The gnosis.js file and its minified version gnosis.min.js are self-contained and can be used directly in a webpage. For example, you may copy gnosis.min.js into a folder or onto your server, and in an HTML page, use the following code to import the library:

<script src="gnosis.min.js"></script>
// Gnosis should be available as a global after the above script import, so this subsequent script tag can make use of the API.

After opening the page, the browser console can also be used to experiment with the API.

Integration with webpack projects (advanced)

The ES6 source can also be used directly with webpack projects. Please refer to the Babel transpilation settings in .babelrc and the webpack configuration in webpack.config.js to see what may be involved.

Setting up an Ethereum JSON RPC

After setting up the Gnosis.js library, you will still need a connection to an Ethereum JSON RPC provider. Without this connection, the following error occurs when trying to use the API to perform actions with the smart contracts:

Error: Invalid JSON RPC response: ""

Gnosis.js refers to Truffle contract build artifacts found in node_modules/, which contain a registry of where key contracts are deployed given a network ID. By default Gnosis contract suite is already deployed on the Ropsten, Kovan, and Rinkeby testnets.

Ganache-cli and private chain providers

Ganache-cli is a JSON RPC provider which is designed to ease developing Ethereum dapps. It can be used in tandem with Gnosis.js as well, but its use requires some setup. Since Ganache-cli randomly generates a network ID and begins the Ethereum VM in a blank state, the contract suite would need to be deployed, and the deployed contract addresses recorded in the build artifacts before use with Ganache-cli. This can be done by running the migration script in the core contracts package directory.

(cd node_modules/\ && truffle migrate)

This will deploy the contracts onto the chain and will record the deployed addresses in the contract build artifacts. This will make the API available to Gnosis.js applications which use the transpiled modules in dist (typically Node.js apps), as these modules refer directly to the build artifacts in the package. However, for browser applications which use the standalone library file gnosis[.min].js, that file has to be rebuilt to incorporate the new deployment addresses info.


MetaMask is a Chrome browser plugin which injects an instrumented instance of Web3.js into the page. It comes preloaded with connections to the Ethereum mainnet as well as the Ropsten, Kovan, and Rinkeby testnets through Infura. Gnosis.js works out-of-the-box with MetaMask configured to connect to these testnets. Make sure your web page is being served over HTTP/HTTPS and uses the standalone library file.