The Ultimate Guide to the CLI

The Ultimate Guide to the CLI - thirdweb Guides

In this guide, we will show you how you can use the CLI to create a full web3 application. The CLI is a tool that helps you perform the most common actions of building a full-stack web3 application.

Creating A Smart Contract

Creating smart contracts with proper configuration can be a lengthy task. The CLI helps you create new Solidity projects using either Hardhat or Foundry/Forge and allows you to start with pre-configured contracts with just one command:

npx thirdweb create contract

This kicks off an interactive series of questions to create a new Solidity project and set up your smart contract with the tools you prefer.

You can choose the project name, project type (Hardhat or Forge), type of contract to start with (ERC20, ERC721, ERC1155, or empty contract), and any extensions related to the type of the contract selected:

Creating a contract using thirdweb CLI
Creating a contract using thirdweb CLI

Now your chosen project is created with @thirdweb-dev/contracts package already installed; so that you can utilize any of the functionality available inside the ContractKit!

Compiling Smart Contracts & Detecting Features

The CLI can compile your contract and detect any standards you've used in your custom contracts (such as ERC-20, ERC-721, Permissions, etc.).

This helps you identify what functionality will be unlocked for you in the dashboard and SDK when you deploy your smart contract to the blockchain

You can do that by running the following command in the terminal:

npx thirdweb build

This will compile your contract and show you all the detected extensions, like so:

thirdweb CLI compiling the contract and detecting contract extensions
thirdweb CLI compiling the contract and detecting contract extensions

Deploying Smart Contracts to the Blockchain

Deploy allows you to ship your smart contract to the blockchain of your choice without ever exposing your private key.

Once you've created your contract with the create command and are satisfied with the implemented features shown by the build command, you're ready to run deploy to kickstart the deployment process:

npx thirdweb deploy

The CLI will then detect the project type (Hardhat, Truffle, or Solc), and perform the following actions:

  • Compile all the contracts in the current directory.
  • Allow you to select which contract(s) you want to deploy.
  • Upload your contract source code (ABI) to IPFS.
  • Open the deploy flow in the dashboard for you to select one of our supported networks to deploy to.
thirdweb CLI uploading contract data to IPFS
thirdweb CLI uploading contract data to IPFS
How to Deploy Any Smart Contract Using the thirdweb CLI
In this guide you will learn how to deploy smart contracts with thirdweb CLI with no wallet private keys involved!

Releasing Smart Contracts

If you're building a protocol or smart contract standard that is intended for other developers to deploy, you can use the release command.

Using the release command, you publish a new version of your smart contract to our on-chain registry, where anyone can view and deploy it from the explore page.

To release your contract, run the following command in your project directory:

npx thirdweb release

This will compile the contract and upload the contract data to IPFS. Then you will be redirected to thirdweb dashboard in your browser to further the process.

thirdweb CLI releasing custom contracts
thirdweb CLI releasing custom contracts
Introducing thirdweb Release | thirdweb Blog
When you create a Release with thirdweb, your contracts become shareable, verifiable and deployable by anyone. Our registry is permission-less, trust-less, and backed by decentralized storage.

Creating a Web3 Application

Now your smart contract is deployed to the blockchain, you can create a new web application to interact with it. Using the create command, you can create frontend applications with the SDK installed and pre-configured:

npx thirdweb create app

After running the above command, you will be asked some basic preferences about your app, for example, the name, framework and the language you choose to use.

Creating an app using thirdweb CLI
Creating an app using thirdweb CLI

Deploying Your Application

The CLI also has built-in decentralized storage capabilities that allow you to upload and host your application (or any other file) on IPFS.

Using the CLI, you can now deploy your site to IPFS with just a single command!

yarn deploy

Under the hood, this runs the thirdweb upload command and uploads the build output directory of your web application to IPFS, and generates a URL where your application is hosted.

How To Host A Web Application On IPFS (React, Vite, Next.js)
Learn How To Host Web Applications (Built With Create React App, Vite, Next.js) On IPFS Using the thirdweb CLI.


In this guide, we saw how you can use thirdweb CLI during your dApp development process and how it can make development significantly easier for you.

If you have any questions regarding this guide, please join our Discord server and share them with us!