Skip to main content

4: Motoko quickstart


This at-a-glance cheat sheet summarizes the steps to follow for quick reference.


Before getting started, assure you have set up your developer environment according to the instructions in the developer environment guide.

Creating a new project

Open a terminal window on your local computer, if you don’t already have one open.

Create a new project and change to the project directory.

Use `dfx new [project_name]` to create a new project:

dfx new hello_world

You will be prompted to select a language that your backend canister will use:

? Select a backend language: ›
❯ Motoko
TypeScript (Azle)
Python (Kybra)

Then, select a frontend framework for your frontend canister. In this example:

? Select a frontend framework: ›
❯ Vanilla JS
No JS template
No frontend canister

Lastly, you can include extra features to be added to your project:

? Add extra features (space to select, enter to confirm) ›
⬚ Internet Identity
⬚ Bitcoin (Regtest)
⬚ Frontend tests

Editing the default files

Edit the src/<project_name>_backend files to define your service or application.

Edit the src/<project_name>_frontend files with HTML, JavaScript, and CSS that provides the frontend for your service or application.

Starting the deployment environment

Start the Internet Computer for local development or check your connection to the Internet Computer for network deployment:

Register, build, and deploy locally or on the mainnet

To deploy locally, use the command:

dfx deploy

For deploying to the mainnet, use: --network ic.

dfx deploy --network <network>

View your service or application in a browser, using the URLS in the output of the dfx deploy command:

Committing batch.
Committing batch with 18 operations.
Deployed canisters.
Frontend canister via browser
Backend canister via Candid interface:

Next steps

For a more detailed look at writing and deploying canisters, move onto the writing and deploying canisters page.