97

The Metamask client allows access to four test networks:

  • Ropsten
  • Kovan
  • Rinkeby
  • Goerli

I'm curious:

  • What are the similarities / differences between them?
  • Which use cases are best for each network
  • Are there more than these listed above?
137

Ropsten

  • Proof-of-Work (Ethash)
  • Supported by Geth, Besu, and all other Ethereum clients
  • Best reproduces the current Ethereum production environment
  • Chaindata size 15 GB - Apr 2018

Kovan

  • Proof of Authority (Authority Round)
  • Supported by OpenEthereum and Nethermind only
  • Chaindata size 13 GB - Apr 2018

Rinkeby

  • Proof of Authority (Clique)
  • Supported by Geth, Besu, Nethermind, and OpenEthereum
  • Chaindata size 6 GB - Apr 2018

Goerli

  • Proof of Authority (Clique)
  • Supported by Geth, Besu, Nethermind, and OpenEthereum
  • Chaindata size 0 GB - Apr 2018

If you need a stable testnet with support on multiple clients go with Goerli. If you need to have conditions as close as possible to mainnet, but less stability than Goerli, choose Ropsten.


Detailed version below:

Ropsten

Kovan

  • PoA testnet started by the Parity team
  • History:
    • Started in March 2017. Named after a subway station in Singapore.
  • Pros:
    • Immune to spam attacks (as Ether supply is controlled by trusted parties)
  • Cons:
    • Not supported in Geth.
    • Doesn't fully reproduce the current production environment as it uses PoA.
    • Ether can't be mined. It has to be requested from the faucet.
  • Network id: 42
  • Block time: 4 seconds
  • Command: openethereum --chain kovan
  • Explorer https://kovan.etherscan.io/
  • Github https://github.com/kovan-testnet/proposal

Rinkeby

  • PoA testnet started by the Ethereum team. Uses Clique PoA consensus protocol.
  • History:
    • Started in April 2017. Named after a metro station in Stockholm.
  • Pros:
    • Immune to spam attacks (as Ether supply is controlled by trusted parties)
  • Cons:
    • Supported by Geth only
    • Doesn't fully reproduce the current production environment as it uses PoA.
    • Ether can't be mined. It has to be requested from a faucet:
  • Network id: 4
  • Block time: 15 seconds
  • Command: geth --rinkeby
  • Explorer https://rinkeby.etherscan.io/
  • Github https://github.com/ethereum/EIPs/issues/225
  • Website https://www.rinkeby.io

Görli

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  • 3
    Great answer. Could you also tell us about the approximate size (in gigs) of each as of today ,please? It s v. important for people with a small hd :). – hartmut Dec 17 '17 at 21:53
  • Probably faucet.metamask.io doesn't working. – kodmanyagha Feb 7 '18 at 16:17
  • Update with Görly may be nice now. – Nicolas Massart Nov 27 '18 at 11:54
  • @NicolasMassart feel free to edit the answer or send me what you want to add. – medvedev1088 Nov 28 '18 at 8:21
  • 1
    @medvedev1088 done. Note the distinct informations for chain id and network id even if values are similar, this is mostly for educational purpose as we'll have to explain why we have those two values one day and that they ca be different... – Nicolas Massart Nov 29 '18 at 10:53
20

There are other (test-)networks as well, as described in this SO answer, copied here with their network id numbers:

  • 0: Olympic, Ethereum public pre-release testnet
  • 1: Frontier, Homestead, Metropolis, the Ethereum public main network
  • 1: Classic, the (un)forked public Ethereum Classic main network, chain ID 61
  • 2: Morden, the public Ethereum testnet, now Ethereum Classic testnet (retired)
  • 3: Ropsten, the public proof-of-work Ethereum testnet
  • 4: Rinkeby, the public Geth Ethereum testnet
  • 5: Goerli, the fresh cross-client Ethereum testnet
  • 42: Kovan, the public OpenEthereum testnet
  • 77: Sokol, the public POA testnet
  • 99: POA, the public Proof of Authority Ethereum network
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