lightning-cli – Control lightning daemon


lightning-cli [OPTIONS] command


lightning-cli sends commands to the lightning daemon.


–lightning-dir=DIR Set the directory for the lightning daemon we’re talking to; defaults to $HOME/.lightning.

–conf=PATH Sets configuration file (default: lightning-dir/config ).

–network=network –mainnet –testnet –signet Sets network explicitly.

–rpc-file=FILE Named pipe to use to talk to lightning daemon: default is lightning-rpc in the lightning directory.

–keywords/-k Use format key=value for parameters in any order

–order/-o Follow strictly the order of parameters for the command

–json/-J Return result in JSON format (default unless help command, or result contains a format-hint field).

–raw/-R Return raw JSON directly as lightningd replies; this can be faster for large requests.

–human-readable/-H Return result in human-readable output.

–flat/-F Return JSON result in flattened one-per-line output, e.g. { "help": [ { "command": "check" } ] } would become help[0].command=check. This is useful for simple scripts which want to find a specific output field without parsing JSON.

–help/-h Pretty-print summary of options to standard output and exit. The format can be changed using -F, -R, -J, -H etc.

–version/-V Print version number to standard output and exit.

allow-deprecated-apis=BOOL Enable deprecated options. It defaults to true, but you should set it to false when testing to ensure that an upgrade won’t break your configuration.


lightning-cli simply uses the JSON RPC interface to talk to lightningd, and prints the results. Thus the commands available depend entirely on the lightning daemon itself.


Arguments may be provided positionally or using key=value after the command name, based on either -o or -k option. Arguments may be integer numbers (composed entirely of digits), floating-point numbers (has a radix point but otherwise composed of digits), true, false, or null. Other arguments are treated as strings.

Some commands have optional arguments. You may use null to skip optional arguments to provide later arguments.


Example 1. List commands

lightning-cli help


This manpage documents how it should work, not how it does work. The pretty printing of results isn’t pretty.


Rusty Russell <> is mainly to blame.


Note: the modules in the ccan/ directory have their own licenses, but the rest of the code is covered by the BSD-style MIT license.