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Version: v5.4.x

Genesis Restart Upgrades


Learn how to upgrade your chain and counterparty clients using genesis restarts.

NOTE: Regular genesis restarts are currently unsupported by relayers!

IBC Client Breaking Upgrades

IBC client breaking upgrades are possible using genesis restarts. It is highly recommended to use the in-place migrations instead of a genesis restart. Genesis restarts should be used sparingly and as backup plans.

Genesis restarts still require the usage of an IBC upgrade proposal in order to correctly upgrade counterparty clients.

Step-by-Step Upgrade Process for SDK Chains

If the IBC-connected chain is conducting an upgrade that will break counterparty clients, it must ensure that the upgrade is first supported by IBC using the IBC Client Breaking Upgrade List and then execute the upgrade process described below in order to prevent counterparty clients from breaking.

  1. Create a 02-client UpgradeProposal with an UpgradePlan and a new IBC ClientState in the UpgradedClientState field. Note that the UpgradePlan must specify an upgrade height only (no upgrade time), and the ClientState should only include the fields common to all valid clients and zero out any client-customizable fields (such as TrustingPeriod).
  2. Vote on and pass the UpgradeProposal
  3. Halt the node after successful upgrade.
  4. Export the genesis file.
  5. Swap to the new binary.
  6. Run migrations on the genesis file.
  7. Remove the UpgradeProposal plan from the genesis file. This may be done by migrations.
  8. Change desired chain-specific fields (chain id, unbonding period, etc). This may be done by migrations.
  9. Reset the node's data.
  10. Start the chain.

Upon the UpgradeProposal passing, the upgrade module will commit the UpgradedClient under the key: upgrade/UpgradedIBCState/{upgradeHeight}/upgradedClient. On the block right before the upgrade height, the upgrade module will also commit an initial consensus state for the next chain under the key: upgrade/UpgradedIBCState/{upgradeHeight}/upgradedConsState.

Once the chain reaches the upgrade height and halts, a relayer can upgrade the counterparty clients to the last block of the old chain. They can then submit the proofs of the UpgradedClient and UpgradedConsensusState against this last block and upgrade the counterparty client.

Step-by-Step Upgrade Process for Relayers Upgrading Counterparty Clients

These steps are identical to the regular IBC client breaking upgrade process.

Non-IBC Client Breaking Upgrades

While ibc-go supports genesis restarts which do not break IBC clients, relayers do not support this upgrade path. Here is a tracking issue on Hermes. Please do not attempt a regular genesis restarts unless you have a tool to update counterparty clients correctly.