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Installing Prerequisites

In this section, we will set up our machine and install the prerequisites for developing, deploying and interacting with smart contracts on Cosmos SDK chains.


You can set up Go following the official documentation. The latest versions of wasmd require go version v1.18+.


Assuming you have never worked with Rust, you will first need to install some tooling. The standard approach is to use rustup to maintain dependencies and handle updating multiple versions of cargo and rustc, which you will be using.

Installing Rust in Linux and Mac

First, install rustup. Once installed, make sure you have the wasm32 target:

rustup default stable
cargo version
# If this is lower than 1.55.0+, update
rustup update stable

rustup target list --installed
rustup target add wasm32-unknown-unknown

wasm32-unknown-unknown states the target specification, and is called "target triple" consisting of three strings separated by hyphens. Strings represent architecture, vendor, and operating system respectively. unknown means there is no specifications for the target and the application is more flexible.

Read the rust docs for a more detailed explanation.

Installing Rust in Windows 10

First, download and execute rustup-init.exe from or

If requested, manually download and install Visual C++ Build Tools 2019, from . Make sure "Windows 10 SDK" and "English language pack" are selected.

Continue running rustup-init.exe, and proceed with the installation.


Install the wasm32 target:

rustup default stable
cargo version
# If this is lower than 1.55.0, update
rustup update stable

rustup target list --installed
rustup target add wasm32-unknown-unknown


wasmd is the backbone of the CosmWasm platform. It is the implementation of a Cosmos zone with wasm smart contracts enabled.

The code was forked from the cosmos/gaia repository as a basis, then x/wasm was added and many gaia-specific files were cleaned up. However, the wasmd binary should function just like gaiad except for the addition of the x/wasm module. As such, wasmd have all the same features (plus WASM smart contracts obviously). If you'd like to learn more about accessing those features take a look at the Gaia docs. If you'd like to learn more about getting started with the Cosmos SDK in general, take a look at the series of Tutorials that show how to build custom modules for application-specific blockchains.

Run the following commands to install wasmd:

git clone
cd wasmd
# If you are updating wasmd, first update your local repository by fetching the remote tags available
git fetch --tags
# replace the v0.27.0 with the most stable version on (or look at `git tag`)
git checkout v0.27.0
make install

# verify the installation
wasmd version
  • If you are on a Windows machine and make software is not preinstalled in the OS, install it following the instructions here.

  • make install will copy wasmd to $HOME/go/bin by default. Still, if you have any problems with the installation of wasmd, check your PATH and make sure it includes $HOME/go/bin.

Setting up command-line tools

We will be using a few command-line tools extensively:

apt install jq curl

Setting up your IDE

We will need a good IDE for developing smart contracts with Rust. The following development environments are highly recommended and coupling them with the corresponding Rust plugins will help you learn the syntax, especially if you have no prior experience.

  • VSCode is the best supported environment for RLS (Rust Language Server) and coupled with the Use the rust-analyzer extension instead (The previous plugin, RLS for VSCode, is deprecated.), it makes use of the rust compiler to type-check all your code on each save. This gives the same error messages as the actual compiler would and highlights the errors, but it can be a bit slow to respond (as it runs the compiler). It is a solid option, particularly if you are used to VSCode.

  • The other option is IntelliJ IDEA Community Edition along with the IntelliJ Rust plugin, which has fast support for inline language features. In particular, it shows the inferred types of variables, which can be very helpful, especially when working with (nested) generics. It catches most syntax errors very quickly, but not all of them. This means sometimes you have to look at compile failures to find the errors. It is highly recommended, more so, if you are coming from another IntelliJ product (eg. Goland).

There are other editors out there with varying degrees of Rust support. However, unless you have a strong preference for another editor (e.g., Sublime, Emacs, Vim) trying one of the two above is recommended, especially if you are new to Rust. Once you are confident in the language, you can always use another editor and customize it to your liking.

CosmWasm IDE

CosmWasm IDE is a tool that simplifies CosmWasm smart contract development & deployment processes. It integrates with Gitpod & Keplr to create a simple yet powerful environment to build, deploy, and interact with CosmWasm smart contracts through default and custom networks using CosmWasm. With Gitpod, CosmWasm developers can develop smart contracts on the browser, and it is well maintained. The tool is currently maintained by Oraichain & CosmWasm.


The CosmWasm IDE consists of three sub-repositories:

  • CosmWasm Gitpod serves as a Gitpod builder which automatically builds a complete development environment including Rust installation, VS Code browser, crucial VS Code extensions, and is fully compatible with the Keplr wallet. With this repository, CosmWasm developers will not have to worry about spending hours installing tools & libraries, and they also feel secure when deploying contracts using Keplr.

  • CosmWasm IDE extension is a VS Code extension which integrates all the important functionalities related to building & deploying CosmWasm smart contracts through simple button clicks.

  • CosmWasm IDE extension webview is a React application that lies on top of the CosmWasm IDE Extension. It is responsible for connecting with the Keplr wallet and displaying inputs to deploy & interact with smart contracts. It also allows adding custom networks.

For more information, please visit the repositories on GitHub. You can also find a tutorial for CosmWasm IDE here or through the official Oraichain documentation site.