I'm trying to run the plutus-playground-client. My OS is macOS Big Sur 11.6.2

I have set up the environment with the following steps based on the nix install instructions from: https://docs.plutus-community.com/docs/setup/MacOS.html

and the playground setup instructions (on page 2) from: https://docs.google.com/document/d/13112LHG9vVvNUs40oZSqZ-DF6_yFiT_SJZ2NaEmjMM4/edit#

These are the exact steps I've taken for setup:

# install nix
$ sh <(curl -L https://nixos.org/nix/install) --darwin-use-unencrypted-nix-store-volume

# check version 
$ nix --version # prints (nix (Nix) 2.5.1)

# edit nix conf file
$ sudo nano /etc/nix/nix.conf

# after edit, contents of conf file are
build-users-group = nixbld
experimental-features = nix-command
substituters        = https://hydra.iohk.io https://iohk.cachix.org https://cache.nixos.org/
trusted-public-keys = hydra.iohk.io:f/Ea+s+dFdN+3Y/G+FDgSq+a5NEWhJGzdjvKNGv0/EQ= iohk.cachix.org-1:DpRUyj7h7V830dp/i6Nti+NEO2/nhblbov/8MW7Rqoo= cache.nixos.org-1:6NCHdD59X431o0gWypbMrAURkbJ16ZPMQFGspcDShjY=volume

# restart Mac (confirmed this step is needed, or cache isn't recognized)

# clone plutus-apps repo
$ git clone https://github.com/input-output-hk/plutus-apps

# cd into plutus-apps
$ cd plutus-apps

# checkout latest commit
$ git checkout 41149926c108c71831cfe8d244c83b0ee4bf5c8a

# build server (confirmed after mac restart, cache is recognized and this builds in 1-2 min)
$ nix-build -A plutus-playground.server

# enter nix-shell (as expected, first time always takes ~1 hour)
$ nix-shell

# once in nix-shell, run playground server
$ cd plutus-playground-client
$ plutus-playground-server

# server builds successfully, output printed below:
plutus-playground-server: for development use only
[Info] Running: (Nothing,Webserver {_port = 8080, _maxInterpretationTime = 80s})
Initializing Context
Initializing Context
Warning: GITHUB_CLIENT_ID not set
Warning: JWT_SIGNATURE not set
Interpreter ready 

# in second terminal, enter nix-shell
$ nix-shell

# attempt to run client
$ cd plutus-playground-client
$ npm run start

client starts building, but always runs into the following error.

plutus-playground-server: user error (Error evaluating simulation: InterpreterError (CompilationErrors [CompilationError {filename = "\n/private/tmp/web-ghc-work-81ca65233755c126/Main.hs", row = 2, column = 1, text = [" error:","    Could not find module \8216Playground.Contract\8217","    Use -v (or `:set -v` in ghci) to see a list of the files searched for.","  |","2 | import Playground.Contract","  | ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^"]},CompilationError {filename = "/private/tmp/web-ghc-work-81ca65233755c126/Main.hs", row = 3, column = 1, text = [" error:","    Could not find module \8216Plutus.Contract\8217","    Use -v (or `:set -v` in ghci) to see a list of the files searched for.","  |","3 | import Plutus.Contract","  | ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^"]},CompilationError {filename = "/private/tmp/web-ghc-work-81ca65233755c126/Main.hs", row = 4, column = 1, text = [" error:","    Could not find module \8216PlutusTx.Prelude\8217","    Use -v (or `:set -v` in ghci) to see a list of the files searched for.","  |","4 | import PlutusTx.Prelude","  | ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^"]}]))
npm ERR! errno 1
npm ERR! [email protected] start: `plutus-playground-generate-purs && npm install && npm run install:spago && npm run build:webpack:dev`
npm ERR! Exit status 1
npm ERR!
npm ERR! Failed at the [email protected] start script.
npm ERR! This is probably not a problem with npm. There is likely additional logging output above.

npm ERR! A complete log of this run can be found in:
npm ERR!     /Users/gmoratorio/.npm/_logs/2022-01-14T20_08_36_926Z-debug.log

It looks like it can't resolve several dependencies


but I can't figure out how to fix the resolution.

I've tried wiping my install and starting over several times including running

nix-build -A plutus-playground.server

after reinstalling nix, and every time I get the same dependency resolution error.

Any help or ideas would be appreciated

2 Answers 2


This solution https://cardano.stackexchange.com/a/6451/2758 is what finally did it for me:

GC_DONT_GC=1 npm run start

instead of just npm run start

Heads up to anyone else seeing this issue!

Edit: to clarify, I'd already seen that post, but when OP said the cache clear had resolved the issue for him, I figured it was something else affecting my build (and it was). Thanks to the last commenter on that thread!

Edit2: immediately after solving this issue I ran into dependency issues when trying to compile in the playground. This was resolved by restarting the server with the same prefix

GC_DONT_GC=1 plutus-playground-server

and then reconnecting the client. This post also contains additional steps - https://github.com/renzwo/cardano-plutus-apps-install-m1/blob/main/README.md

  • I can confirm this worked for me, darn GC_DONT_GC=1. macOS i7 monterey (v12.1). Else when I compiled in the playground I got "error Could not find module"
    – TheStophe
    Jan 22, 2022 at 21:22

This solution fixed it for me: https://stackoverflow.com/questions/42308879/how-to-solve-npm-error-npm-err-code-elifecycle

  • As it’s currently written, your answer is unclear. Please edit to add additional details that will help others understand how this addresses the question asked. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Jan 22, 2022 at 10:39

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