Defining capability requirements


This topic describes a network that does not use a “system channel”, a channel that the ordering service is bootstrapped with and the ordering service exclusively controls. Since the release of v2.3, using a system channel is now considered the legacy process as compared to the process to Create a channel. For a version of this topic that includes information about the system channel, check out Capability requirements from the v2.2 documentation.

As discussed in Channel capabilities, capability requirements are defined per channel in the channel configuration (found in the channel’s most recent configuration block). The channel configuration contains three locations, each of which defines a capability of a different type.

Capability Type

Canonical Path










.channel_group.groups.Application.values. Capabilities

Setting Capabilities

Capabilities are set as part of the channel configuration (either as part of the initial configuration – which we’ll talk about in a moment – or as part of a reconfiguration).


For more information about how to update a channel configuration, check out Updating a channel configuration.

Capabilities in an Initial Configuration

In the configtx.yaml file distributed in the config directory of the release artifacts, there is a Capabilities section which enumerates the possible capabilities for each capability type (Channel, Orderer, and Application).

Note that there is a Capabilities section defined at the root level (for the channel capabilities), and at the Orderer level (for orderer capabilities).