Troubleshooting and tips

This section is meant to address some of the known issues and bugs we’ve encountered with the DFINITY Canister SDK alpha. Please know that we are working continuously to address these and updating our documentation.

Please also note that this is an alpha release, and we will be furiously working on improvements to the SDK in the coming weeks and months. We really appreciate your feedback, and we’ll make an effort to address your questions and recommendations in the next version.

We would like to be fully transparent that we may not be very responsive as we’ll be primarily focused on the development of the next revisions; however, should you have specific technical questions or issues beyond those listed below, please reach out to

Migrating an existing project

Currently, there is no automatic migration or backward compatibility for any projects that you might have created using previous versions of the dfx command-line interface. After upgrading to the latest version, you might see error or failure messages if you attempt to build or install a project created with a previous version of the dfx command-line interface.

In many cases, however, you can continue to work with projects from a previous release by manually changing the dfx setting in the dfx.json configuration file, then rebuilding the project to be compatible with the version of the dfx command-line interface you have currently installed.

For example, if you have a project that was created with dfx version 0.4.9, open the dfx.json file in a text editor and change the dfx setting to the latest version or remove the section entirely.

Reinstalling dfx

Many of the bugs you might encounter can be addressed by uninstalling and reinstalling the dfx command-line interface. Here are a few ways to reinstall dfx:

~/.cache/dfinity/ && sh -ci "$(curl -sSL"
rm -rf ~/.cache/dfinity && rm $(which dfx) && sh -ci "$(curl -sSL"

Xcode prerequisite

Some versions of the DFINITY Canister SDK prompted you to install Xcode when creating a new project on a macOS computer. The prompt has been removed and the dfx new command does not require you to install any macOS developer tools. However, you should have Developer Command Line Tools installed if you want to create a Git repository for your project.

You can check whether you have the developer tools installed by running xcode-select -p. You can install the developer tools by running xcode-select --install.

Failed build when using VMs

If you are running dfx using a virtual machine image on Ubuntu or CentOS, you might see an error message that looks like this when you attempt to run the dfx build command:

Building hello...
An error occured:
    Os {
        code: 2,
        kind: NotFound,
        message: "No such file or directory",

Handling orphan processes

The dfx execution tool runs multiple processes. Sometimes the processes do not get properly terminated. If you encounter an issue where you suspect or you receive a message that a process is already running in the background, run the following command:

pkill replica nodemanager dfx

Memory leak

Fixing memory leaks is an ongoing process. If you encounter any error messages related to memory leaks, you should do the following:

  1. Run dfx stop to stop currently running processes.

  2. Uninstal dfx to prevent further degradation.

  3. Re-install dfx

  4. Run dfx start to restart client processes.

Alternatively, you can remove the .cache/dfinity directory and re-install the latest dfx binary. For example:

rm -rf ~/.cache/dfinity && sh -ci "$(curl -sSL"