Using LDK


In this guide, we'll cover common operations when using LDK after you've set up your lightning node.

Time to roll up your sleeves!

Connecting Peers#

First things first, let's join the Lightning Network! Connections to other peers are established with PeerManager. You'll need to know the pubkey and address of another node that you want as a peer. Once the connection is established and the handshake is complete, PeerManager will show the peer's pubkey in its list of peers.

match lightning_net_tokio::connect_outbound(Arc::clone(&peer_manager), pubkey, address).await {
Some(connection_closed_future) => {
let mut connection_closed_future = Box::pin(connection_closed_future);
loop {
// Make sure the connection is still established.
match futures::poll!(&mut connection_closed_future) {
std::task::Poll::Ready(_) => {
panic!("ERROR: Peer disconnected before handshake completed");
std::task::Poll::Pending => {}
// Wait for the handshake to complete.
match peer_manager.get_peer_node_ids().iter().find(|id| **id == pubkey) {
Some(_) => break,
None => tokio::time::sleep(std::time::Duration::from_millis(10)).await,
None => panic!("ERROR: Failed to connect to peer"),

Managing Channels#

Channels are the basic building blocks of the Lightning Network. With channels, you can transact not only with your immediate peers but with others on the network. Let's explore how to open and close channels with LDK.

Opening a Channel#

Now that you have a peer, you can open a channel with them using ChannelManager. You'll need the peer's pubkey as before along with:

  • the amount in sats to use when funding the channel,
  • any msats to push to your peer,
  • an id which is given back in the FundingGenerationReady event, and
  • an optional UserConfig for overriding ChannelManager defaults

Channels can be announced to the network or can remain private, which is controlled via UserConfig::announced_channel.

let amount = 10_000;
let push_msat = 1_000;
let user_id = 42;
let config = UserConfig {
channel_options: ChannelConfig { announced_channel: true, ..Default::default() },
match channel_manager.create_channel(pubkey, amount, push_msat, user_id, Some(config)) {
Ok(_) => println!("EVENT: initiated channel with peer {}", pubkey),
Err(e) => panic!("ERROR: failed to open channel: {:?}", e),

At this point, an outbound channel has been initiated with your peer and it will appear in ChannelManager::list_channels. However, the channel is not yet funded. Once your peer accepts the channel, you will be notified with a FundingGenerationReady event. It's then your responsibility to construct the funding transaction and pass it to ChannelManager, which will broadcast it once it receives your channel counterparty's signature.

// In the event handler passed to BackgroundProcessor::start
match event {
Event::FundingGenerationReady {
} => {
// This is the same channel created earler.
assert_eq!(event.user_channel_id, 42);
// Construct the raw transaction with one output, that is paid the amount of the
// channel.
let network = bitcoin_bech32::constants::Network::Testnet;
let address = WitnessProgram::from_scriptpubkey(&output_script[..], network)
let mut outputs = vec![HashMap::with_capacity(1)];
outputs[0].insert(address, channel_value_satoshis as f64 / 100_000_000.0);
let raw_tx = bitcoind_client.create_raw_transaction(outputs).await;
// Have your wallet put the inputs into the transaction such that the output is
// satisfied.
let funded_tx = bitcoind_client.fund_raw_transaction(raw_tx).await;
assert!(funded_tx.changepos == 0 || funded_tx.changepos == 1);
// Sign the funding transaction and give it to ChannelManager to broadcast.
let signed_tx = bitcoind_client.sign_raw_transaction_with_wallet(funded_tx.hex).await;
assert_eq!(signed_tx.complete, true);
let final_tx: Transaction =
channel_manager.funding_transaction_generated(&temporary_channel_id, final_tx).unwrap();
// ...

After ChannelManager has broadcast the funding transaction, the channel will become usable once the transaction has enough confirmations and will appear in ChannelManager::list_usable_channels. See the guide on Blockchain Data for details on confirmations.

With a fully funded channel, you can now make Lightning payments! No more hefty on-chain fees and long confirmation times when you're transacting on layer 2.

Closing a Channel#

While a channel can remain open indefinitely, there may come a time when you need to close it. There are two ways to close a channel: either cooperatively or unilaterally. The cooperative case makes for lower fees and immediate access to funds while the unilateral case does not. The latter may be necessary if your peer isn't behaving properly or has gone offline.

let channel_id = channel_manager
.find(|channel| channel.user_id == user_id)
.expect("ERROR: Channel not found")
// Example: Cooperative close
channel_manager.close_channel(&channel_id).expect("ERROR: Failed to close channel");
// Example: Unilateral close
channel_manager.force_close_channel(&channel_id).expect("ERROR: Failed to close channel");

Now that we know how to manage channels, let's put our new channel to use!

Sending Payments#

Lightning payments are used to pay invoices, which are typically encoded as a string in accordance with BOLT 11. After parsing the invoice, you'll need to find a route from your node to the recipient and then make the payment using ChannelManager.

// Parse the invoice.
let invoice = Invoice::from_str(encoded_invoice)
.expect("ERROR: failed to parse invoice");
let amt_pico_btc = invoice.amount_pico_btc()
.expect("ERROR: invalid invoice: must contain amount to pay");
let amt_msat = amt_pico_btc / 10;
let payer_pubkey = channel_manager.get_our_node_id();
let network_graph =;
let payee_pubkey = invoice.recover_payee_pub_key();
let payee_features = invoice.features().cloned();
let first_hops = channel_manager.list_usable_channels();
let last_hops = invoice.route_hints();
let final_cltv = invoice.min_final_cltv_expiry() as u32;
// Find a route and send the payment.
let route = router::get_route(
&payer_pubkey, &network_graph, &payee_pubkey, payee_features,
Some(&first_hops.iter().collect::<Vec<_>>()), &last_hops,
amt_msat, final_cltv, logger.clone(),
).expect("ERROR: failed to find route");
let payment_hash = PaymentHash(invoice.payment_hash().clone().into_inner());
let payment_secret = invoice.payment_secret().cloned();
channel_manager.send_payment(&route, payment_hash, &payment_secret)
.expect("ERROR: failed to send payment");

An event is generated once a payment has completed. Successful payments result in a PaymentSent event with the preimage of the payment hash. Be sure to look out for a PaymentFailed event, if the payment fails for some reason, and act accordingly.

// In the event handler passed to BackgroundProcessor::start
match event {
Event::PaymentSent { payment_preimage } => {
// Handle successful payment
Event::PaymentFailed { payment_hash, rejected_by_dest } => {
// Handle failed payment
// ...

Receiving Payments#

To receive a payment, you'll need to create an invoice of your own with an amount and description. ChannelManager contains the remaining information needed for the invoice. Use the provided utility to generate an invoice and register a pending payment in ChannelManager.

let amt_msat = 10_000;
let description = "coffee".to_string();
let invoice = match utils::create_invoice_from_channelmanager(
).expect("ERROR: failed to create invoice");
let encoded_invoice = invoice.to_string();

While it is possible to create an invoice without using the utility, ChannelManager will reject any incoming HTLCs for unregistered payments to protect your privacy. In this case, use either create_inbound_payment or create_inbound_payment_for_hash to register a payment with ChannelManager before creating the invoice with the returned payment hash and/or secret.

As with sending a payment, LDK will generate an event once a payment is received. It is your responsibility to handle the PaymentReceived event by using ChannelManager to release the preimage and claim the funds.

// In the event handler passed to BackgroundProcessor::start
match event {
Event::PaymentReceived { payment_hash, payment_preimage, payment_secret, amt, .. } => {
let payment_hash = hex_utils::hex_str(&payment_hash.0);
match channel_manager.claim_funds(payment_preimage.unwrap()) {
true => println!("EVENT: received payment for {}", payment_hash),
false => panic!("ERROR: failed to claim payment for {}", payment_hash),
// ...


So there you have it! Those are the basics of using LDK. As you can see, LDK offers a ton of flexibility for building Lightning-enabled wallets and apps.