zkVM Quick Start
Welcome to the zkVM Quick Start page! Here are the steps to create your first proof:
- Install the
- Create a new project using the
- Familiarize yourself with the project's structure.
- Run your project in dev-mode.
- Run your project locally to generate a zk-proof.
The zkVM provides a zero-knowledge proof of the correct execution of Rust-based program. The host is responsible for launching the zkVM (or a prover), and then the guest is the program that runs inside the zkVM. A proof of execution is a receipt; it contains a public part - a journal and an encryption part - a seal.
1. Install the RISC Zero Toolchain
First, make sure you install Rust, then install the RISC Zero toolchain by running the following:
cargo install cargo-binstall
cargo binstall cargo-risczero
cargo risczero install
2. Create a New Project
cargo-risczero tool takes
--guest-name parameter, a guest program that the zkVM runs, to generate a proof of its execution:
cargo risczero new my_project --guest-name guest_code_for_zk_proof
There is a list of options in the feature flags.
3. Project structure
The Hello World tutorial contains step-by-step instructions on how to:
- Share private data between the host & guest.
- Share the guest's results with the host publicly.
- Generate a receipt and read its journal contents.
4. Quick Development: Leveraging dev-mode
During the development of your project, running your code can take a long time due to the proof generation process. To address this issue and allow for faster iterations of your code, we suggest utilizing dev-mode. This mode bypasses the time-consuming proof generation process. To activate dev-mode, set the environment variable
RISC0_DEV_MODE=1 when executing your project:
RISC0_DEV_MODE=1 cargo run --release
5. Real Proof Generation
Once you've reached a point where you're ready to generate real proofs, you can do so by setting
RISC0_DEV_MODE=0. Generating proofs locally would be achieved by running the following:
RISC0_DEV_MODE=0 cargo run --release
Note that since proofs are now being generated, the execution time will be significantly longer than when running in dev-mode. To create a proof with the zkVM on your own machine, we recommend at least 16 GB of RAM. To avoid these hardware requirements, consider using Bonsai to generate proofs remotely, as it will be significantly faster than running proofs locally. You can request access to Bonsai to set additional flags.
To gain insights into your application's performance, you can obtain executor statistics by setting the
RUST_LOG environment variable to
Setting this filter will print statistics about the execution before proof generation, so you can understand how computationally expensive your application is. Since the statistics concern only the executor phase, it is recommended to run your application in dev-mode to avoid the overhead of proof generation:
RISC0_DEV_MODE=1 RUST_LOG="executor=info" cargo run --release
The statistics include:
- Total Cycles
- Session Cycle
- Segments Count
- Execution time
Knowing these statistics is useful for estimating the cost of your application before submitting real workloads to Bonsai, as the cost of proof generation is proportional to the number of cycles and segments used.
That's all it takes to build and run a minimal RISC Zero application.