One-click Bitcoin Lightning networks for local app development & testing

Spend less time setting up your development environment, so you can spend more time building your next killer Lightning app.

Reduce Setup Time

Get started building on Lightning in minutes, instead of hours, or potentially days, if you setup a local network manually

Visual Experience

Say goodbye to the command line and config files. Say hello to a pleasing graphical interface with all of the same functionality

Improved Productivity

Spend more time building your app, and less time building your developer environment. Iterate faster so you can release faster

Open Source

The source code is open for all to view. Community contributions of code, suggestions or issues are welcomed and appreciated

Ease of Access

RPC Connection info at your fingertips

What good are Lightning nodes if you don't know how to connect to them? Polar surfaces some of the most common pieces of RPC connection information, which you will need to connect from your app. You'll also have quick links to the API documentation for each node.

Credentials in many formats

The full file paths to the certificate and macaroons

Some SDKs require credentials in HEX format

Other SDKs require credentials in Base64 format

But the cool kids are using LNDConnect to make connecting to your node even easier

Visualize your entire network

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, how many terminal commands is a sexy Lightning Network graph worth?

Quickly identify channel balances

Save a ton of time, and key-strokes, by viewing channel balances in color. The green & blue lines shift as payments are sent from one node to another. Keep in mind, the green side is where the money started.

Drag-n-drop Actions

It couldn't be easier to open channels from one node to another by simply dragging and dropping. Move nodes around, into any layout that you prefer. You can also drag new nodes from the sidebar onto the canvas.

Maximum Flexibility

Create as many networks as you like

Have you ever been working on your app with a local network and wanted to quickly simulate a completely different scenario? Resetting your network, then bringing then state back is no walk in the park. With Polar, you can have as many network configurations as you can imagine. You can even have multiple of them running at the same time.

Simplified Administration

Manage your nodes with just a few clicks

Many of the most common actions you would perform on Lightning are made available right there in the UI.

What can I do?

The bitcoin nodes in your network act as faucets, so you can easily deposit regtest coins into any of the Lightning nodes with just a click.

Quickly open channels and pay invoices between multiple nodes

Start, stop and remove nodes from the network

For those command line ninjas, there's also a built-in terminal which gives you full access to the node's CLI commands

But wait, there's more...

Polar has a few more tricks up its sleeve to help make your Lightning development experience even more enjoyable

Easy Node Updates

When new versions of Lightning or Bitcoin node software is released, all it takes is a few clicks to begin using them. Our goal is to make new versions available within 24 hours after final builds are available

Simulate Chain Splits

With the ability to stop individual nodes, you can simulate a chain split by stopping one of three Bitcoin nodes, then mining on the other two separately, they will be operating on different chains.

Multiple Platforms

Polar was built with cross-platform support in mind from the beginning. Using tools like Electron and Docker, you can speed up your workflow whether you are on Mac, Windows or Linux.

Multiple Languages

Available for English, French, German, Spanish, Russian, Italian, Chinese Simplified, Portuguese-Brazilian, Japanese, Korean. Help translate more by contributing to the Crowdin project.

Multiple Bitcoin and Lightning nodes can be mixed and matched in a network to simulate many scenarios for testing. Here are the latest versions supported.




Core Lightning




Bitcoin Core

What Bitcoiners Are Saying

Polar has received some great feedback from the community. Here's what some Lightning developers and enthusiasts have to say about it...

Will O'Beirne

Easily the biggest development for Lightning creators yet. If you're looking to build lightning apps or already doing so, Polar is a must have.

Carla Kirk-Cohen

@ChaincodeLabs ressie @jamaljsr doing the MOST for LN developers everywhere 👏

Tools which make it easier to build on Lightning play such an important role in development. I’ve already deleted a few tiresome setup scripts thanks to Polar!

Michael Goldstein

I've been playing with this a little bit this afternoon. This is incredibly useful!

Even if you aren't a developer, this is a great way to dip your toes into the Lightning Network.

Marty Bent

@jamaljsr built Polar, a tool that devs building on the Lightning Network can use to quickly build and test ideas. Quicker testing and iterating leads to better, more useful products. Useful products are good. Number go up.

Alex Bosworth

Pretty cool tool for deploying LND and RegTest nodes if you haven't seen it:

I personally spend a lot of time spinning up mini networks of RegTest nodes backing up LNDs in varied configurations in order to play out various scenarios for testing purposes.


For developers looking to create comprehensive test environments, i was really impressed with Polar by @jamaljsr ( link includes a short video). Also from a technical standpoint it’s fantastic - 100% code cov, international support out of the gate, etc.

Evan Kaloudis

Interested in building apps on lightning? Check out @jamaljsr's Polar. No more command line headaches, just point and click and you have a virtual network of nodes in minutes. Been using it to iron out the upcoming Zeus release. I absolutely love it.

Francisco Calderón ⚡

I just tried polar and I can say It's awesome, it saves a lot of time in configuration at the moment of start a new #LightningNetwork project.

great work!

Ivan 🔑

Polar by @jamaljsr is a game changer for lightning developers. Just tried it and made my life better. Saved a lot of time.

Highly recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to commonly asked questions, which will likely lead to them being asked a bit less frequently. Interesting...

How much does it cost?

Polar is open source and 100% free. Sorry, but you're going to have to spend your stacked sats somewhere else.

What information do you collect?

We do not collect any usage or analytics information when you view this website or use Polar on your computer. While it would be really helpful to understand how you are using the app, your privacy is far more important.

What are the system requirements?
  • Polar is actively tested on Mac OS Catalina, Windows 10 and Linux (Ubuntu & Arch). While other platforms are not being tested regularly, it should run where ever Electron and Docker are supported.
  • Docker and Docker Compose are required to run the network nodes. On Mac and Windows, you can just install Docker Desktop. On Linux, you need to install Docker Server and Docker Compose
Can I use it on mainnet or testnet?

Unfortunately, Polar was built to improve the experience of developers building applications for Lightning and Bitcoin. To obtain the immediate feedback loop necessary to be productive, you'll need to be able to mine blocks as fast as possible. Waiting 10 minutes for your channel to open just won't cut it.

Which Lightning and Bitcoin nodes are supported?

The goal is to support the node implementations most commonly used by application developers building on Lightning. We will attempt to support the latest 3 versions of each implementation to allow developers to continue to test their apps on older versions.

Can I contribute to the project?
  • If you use Polar to develop on Lightning, then any feedback you have would be greatly appreciated.
  • If you develop apps on Lightning and do not use Polar, then we'd love to know why it doesn't work for you.
  • If you know Typescript, React, Electron or Docker, then Pull Requests are a great way to give back.

Still have a question?

Please head on over to the project's GitHub repo to let us know what's on your mind.