ArNS Demonstration on the Arweave Dev Net
AR.IO – brought to you by the team behind Web3 storage solution ArDrive – recently commenced their test period for their Arweave Name System (ArNS), a decentralised and censorship-resistant naming system stored on Arweave. ArNS is enabled by AR.IO gateways and used to connect friendly names to PermaWeb dApps, pages, and data (instead of a lengthy URL which is a combination of an Arweave Gateway’s DNS name plus an Arweave Transaction ID).
It is the Smartweave-powered phonebook of the PermaWeb.
I had the pleasure of getting to try out ArNS. In this article, I will show you how to use it by taking you through my experience when trying to link my ArNS subdomain to my Permapage that I created on Arweave. If you want to learn more about the trial period of ArNS check out our article here.
Let’s dive in!
Step 1: Get your wallet ready
First thing’s first. We’ll need two tokens for this to work.
- Test ArNS tokens that will be used to purchase an ArNS subdomain.
- AR tokens that will be used for the gas to register the subdomain.
We need a wallet containing both of these. I will be using an Arweave wallet via the ArConnect browser plugin. The Test ArNS tokens were sent to me from the AR.IO team in order to play around with the system a little. You can visit the AR.IO discord server to request your own test tokens. As for the AR tokens, you can buy them at many different marketplaces and send them to your test wallet.
Step 2: Create a permapage
Now, before registering an ArNS subdomain, we’ll need to create something to link it to. This will essentially be an Arweave Transaction ID (TXID). Thanks to Permapages, we are able to create a web page on Arweave (a permapage). Subsequently we can take the TXID of that permapage and link it to our ArNS subdomain. This way when someone clicks on our ArNS subdomain, they will be redirected straight to the permapage we created on Arweave.
By going to “https://permapages.arweave.dev” you can easily set up a permapage.
Firstly click “Pages”.
And then “New Permapage”.
On the next page, you’ll get a simple HTML editor to make your permapage. I personally know some HTML, but am not 100% versed in it, so I will enter three lines of text that will display upon someone visiting my site. I’ll go with:
Just testing out ArNS!!!
Next, press Publish and fill in all the extra details of your permapage, like Title, Description, and the Page’s status (for reference with later edits), then hit Submit.
You will then be able to see your Permapage listed, along with its details, like TXID. Here is mine.
Step 3: Register an ArNS subdomain
Now that we have a permapage set up, it is time to register an ArNS subdomain. On the Permapages website, click ArNS in the top right corner. This will take you to the ArNS Registry Portal. Before trying to register a subdomain, you can easily search to see if the one you want is available. Let’s try it out and see if anyone has registered the subdomain “Sam” for example.
Oh no! It looks like someone with the name Sam is going around in the Arweave ecosystem. I wonder who that could be[…] ? Okay I’ll try my own name then “Az”. Something very interesting happens when you fill in the name you would like to register as your subdomain. The ArNS token value of the subdomain fluctuates, with shorter names (containing fewer characters) having a higher token premium. So for example my preferred subdomain “Az”, is fairly more expensive than registering the subdomain “Eddie.Munson” for example. See below.
Anyhow, on the subdomain registration page you can enter your preferred subdomain into the subdomain field, and right underneath choose a reference. In this instance, we will be referencing the permapage we created earlier. The dropdown menu will already have it readily listed to select. After that, press Register and you will see a series of pop-up message indicating that everything is going smoothly.
My registration was successful, but as you can see by the message prompt it might take a while for the subdomain link to actually work. This is because the gateway needs to process it. So we will need to wait a few minutes for the subdomain to be installed on the gateway. Going back to the ArNS Registry Portal, I see my subdomain listed, but there is a red glowing circular icon to the left of it. The red glowing icon indicates that the subdomain link is not yet ready. If you visit your ArNS subdomain right now, you’ll just be taken to a blank page (trust me, I tried this a few times with mine).
It didn’t take long for that red icon to turn green. And seeing the green icon meant only one thing, it was time to click on the subdomain link to check if everything worked.
My Permapage is now linked to “az.arweave.dev”! And hopefully your subdomain is also working! All anyone needs to do to visit your permapage is type in your ArNS subdomain link into their browser.
While the Permapage I created is a website in its simplest form (without any editing other than putting my name in italics), the concept remains that this method can be used to link any Arweave TXID on the Permaweb to an ArNS subdomain.
I just want to remind everyone that ArNS is currently in its test phase. At the end of the phase (ending on the 29th of August) all ArNS test subdomains will be deleted.
All in all ArNS is going to be a game changer for the Arweave ecosystem, just like the Ethereum Naming Service (ENS) was for the Ethereum blockchain. So we cannot wait to see the full implementation of ArNS on the Arweave main net.
Till then, I’ll leave you with this.
I found out who took the subdomain “Sam”! Of course, who other than the founder of the Arweave protocol, Sam Williams, who has successfully linked his subdomain “https://sam.arweave.dev” to his landing page.
If you have an experience to share, please let us know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading Arweavers!