Introducing RTL — A Web UI for Lightning Network Daemon

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ridethelightning

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Intro

With this post, we would like to introduce “ Ride The Lightning ” or RTL application. This is a modest attempt to address and improve usability of Lightning Network Daemon (LND), for a node operator.

We are two individuals with complementary skill sets and fascination for Bitcoin Lightning Network. We are reasonably certain, that many such solutions are being developed right now. This is our small contribution, to this amazing, evolving ecosystem which is being developed right in front of our eyes.

We thought Ride the Lightning was a good moniker for an app, which enables better management of Lightning Nodes. No offense to Metallica fans! :slight_smile: (feedback and artwork suggestions are welcome).

The App

RTL a web app, which is an easy to use interface for LND. The idea is to provide a GUI abstraction to the command line interface, which is currently available to the users to interact with LND.

This app has been written in Angular 6, with a node.js middle-layer, which interacts with the LND REST APIs.

The app right now is in alpha testing stage and needs developers and testers who can help us by uncovering bugs and provide feedback so that we can improve the application. Our current plan is to keep this application in alpha testing for at-least next three months.

So if you are an enthusiast or a developer on Lightning Network, please help us with testing, code review, contributing code or provide your feedback.

Feature Highlights

Below are some feature highlights, to provide a perspective of the app layout. More features are being added at a regular clip, which you can track on our repo.

  • Home Page (Dashboard)

The home page is a dashboard, which provide basic information about the node like wallet balance, peers, active channels, channel balance and sync status. The lower part of the dashboard provide information on the routing fee and network information for the node.

Home Page

  • LND Wallet

This page provides a status of funds on your LND wallet, which are not committed on the channels. You can view total balance, confirmed balance and unconfirmed balance. This page also provides interfaces to the basic wallet functions of LND, which can be use to fund your node or send funds out from your node.

Please note, that this software is still in alpha testing, and our advise is to run it only on ‘testnet’ right now .

LND Wallet

  • Peers

This page provides an interface to connect peers to your node. And, also lists the connected peers with your node. Connecting with peers is a prerequisite to opening channels on the Lightning Network.

Peers

  • Channels

This page provides a Channel Status view (active, inactive, pending), ability to open channel with connected peers and list of channels.

Channels

Installation Instructions

Future Roadmap

We are working on adding features continuously. The current priorities include Channel Details, Closing channels, Verifying Payment requests, Sending Payments and more. We are maintaining and updating our roadmap here.

We are also open for collaboration with developers who are interested in integrating this UI on their full node stacks.

Credits

First and foremost special thanks to all the folks of LND development community, who have developed this amazing protocol, which sits on top of Bitcoin. We believe lightning network is the scaling solution for Bitcoin and it will revolutionize the next generation of financial infrastructure, which can potentially be built on top of Bitcoin.

LND’s slack channel is especially helpful in resolving our issues. Special thanks to ever responsive Alex Bosworth and Olaoluwa Osuntokun.

We would also like to thank Stadicus whose famous guide has been an easy to follow manual for us to setup and work with Lightning Network.

Closing

We embarked on the development of this application with as much an objective of learning about Lightning Network as contributing usable software. The process of learning continues as we continue to build the software.

If even a small percentage of the community or the users in general can utilize this software and help grow the lightning network, that’s mission accomplished for us.

Again, we would like to invite developers, testers and users who can provide feedback and help us improve this software.

Thanks!

References

Feature List:

Roadmap:

LND Guide: