This section breaks down our hello world program in section 1.2. We elaborate on the project structure and what the prove and verify commands did in the previous section, and usage of the contract command.

Anatomy of a Nargo Project

Upon using the new command, Nargo will create a Noir project.

Noir Projects have the following structure:

- src
- Prover.toml
- Verifier.toml
- Nargo.toml

contract and proofs directories will not be immediately visible until you create a contract or proof respectively.

Source directory

This directory holds the source code for your Noir program.

Inside of the src directory will be a single file:


The file contains a main method, this method is the entry point into your Noir program.

In our sample program, looks like this:

fn main(x : Field, y : Field) {
    constrain x != y;

The parameters x and y can be seen as the API for the program and must be supplied by the prover. Since neither x nor y is marked as public, the verifier does not supply any inputs, when verifying the proof.

The prover supplies the values for x and y in the Prover.toml file.


The Prover.toml file is a file which the prover uses to supply his witness values(both private and public).

In our hello world program the Prover.toml file looks like this:

x = "5"
y = "10"

When the command nargo prove my_proof is executed, two processes happen:

  • First, Noir creates a proof that x which holds the value of 5 and y which holds the value of 10 is not equal.This not equal constraint is due to the line constrain x != y.

Note: We have not expanded on the meaning of the syntax constrain x != y as it is not the focus of this chapter.

  • Second, Noir creates and stores the proof of this statement in the proofs directory and names the proof file my_proof. Opening this file will display the proof in hex format.

Verifying a Proof

When the command nargo verify my_proof is executed, two processes happen:

  • Noir checks in the proofs directory for a file called my_proof

  • If that file is found, the proof's validity is checked.

Note: The validity of the proof is linked to the current Noir program; if the program is changed and the verifier verifies the proof, it will fail because the proof is not valid for the modified Noir program.


This directory holds the compiled Ethereum contract for the current Noir program. The contract is not automatically compiled when the prove or verify command is ran. To compile execute the following:

Note: At the time of pre-alpha, Nargo supports only one backend which is Aztec-Barretenberg. This backend only allows you to compile from a Noir program to an Ethereum contract. It is possible for Noir to compile to another smart contract platform as long as the backend supplies an implementation.

$ nargo contract