Running Bitcoind

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Running Bitcoind

There are two variations of the original bitcoin program available; one with a graphical user interface (usually referred to as just “Bitcoin”), and a 'headless' version (called bitcoind). They are completely compatible with each other, and take the same command-line arguments, read the same configuration file, and read and write the same data files. You can run one copy of either Bitcoin or bitcoind on your system at a time (if you accidently try to launch another, the copy will let you know that Bitcoin or bitcoind is already running and will exit).

Linux Quickstart[edit]

The simplest way to start from scratch with the command line client, automatically syncing blockchain and creating a wallet, is to just run this command (without arguments) from the directory containing your bitcoind binary:


To run with the standard GUI interface:


Command-line arguments[edit]

These commands are accurate as of Bitcoin Core version v22.0.0.

Command Description
-? Print this help message and exit
-version Print version and exit
-alertnotify=<cmd> Execute command when a relevant alert is received or we see a really long fork (%s in cmd is replaced by message)
-assumevalid=<hex> If this block is in the chain assume that it and its ancestors are valid and potentially skip their script verification (0 to verify all, default: 00000000000000000008a89e854d57e5667df88f1cdef6fde2fbca1de5b639ad, testnet: 0000000000004ae2f3896ca8ecd41c460a35bf6184e145d91558cece1c688a76, signet: 000000187d4440e5bff91488b700a140441e089a8aaea707414982460edbfe54)
-blockfilterindex=<type> Maintain an index of compact filters by block (default: 0, values: basic). If <type> is not supplied or if <type> = 1, indexes for all known types are enabled.
-blocknotify=<cmd> Execute command when the best block changes (%s in cmd is replaced by block hash)
-blockreconstructionextratxn=<n> Extra transactions to keep in memory for compact block reconstructions default: 100)
-blocksdir=<dir> Specify directory to hold blocks subdirectory for *.dat files (default: datadir>)
-blocksonly Whether to reject transactions from network peers. Automatic broadcast and rebroadcast of any transactions from inbound peers is disabled, unless the peer has the 'forcerelay' permission. RPC transactions are not affected. (default: 0)
-coinstatsindex Maintain coinstats index used by the gettxoutsetinfo RPC (default: 0)
-conf=<file> Specify path to read-only configuration file. Relative paths will be prefixed by datadir location. (default: bitcoin.conf)
-datadir=<dir> Specify data directory
-dbcache=<n> Maximum database cache size <n> MiB (4 to 16384, default: 450). In addition, unused mempool memory is shared for this cache (see maxmempool).
-debuglogfile=<file> Specify location of debug log file. Relative paths will be prefixed by a net-specific datadir location. (-nodebuglogfile to disable; default: debug.log)
-includeconf=<file> Specify additional configuration file, relative to the -datadir path only useable from configuration file, not command line)
-loadblock=<file> Imports blocks from external file on startup
-maxmempool=<n> Keep the transaction memory pool below <n> megabytes (default: 300)
-maxorphantx=<n> Keep at most <n> unconnectable transactions in memory (default: 100)
-mempoolexpiry=<n> Do not keep transactions in the mempool longer than <n> hours (default: 336)
-par=<n> Set the number of script verification threads (-12 to 15, 0 = auto, <0 = leave that many cores free, default: 0)
-persistmempool Whether to save the mempool on shutdown and load on restart (default: 1)
-pid=<file> Specify pid file. Relative paths will be prefixed by a net-specific datadir location. (default:
-prune=<n> Reduce storage requirements by enabling pruning (deleting) of old blocks. This allows the pruneblockchain RPC to be called to delete specific blocks, and enables automatic pruning of old blocks if a target size in MiB is provided. This mode is incompatible with -txindex, -coinstatsindex and -rescan. Warning: Reverting this setting requires re-downloading the entire blockchain. (default: 0 = disable pruning blocks, 1 = allow manual pruning via RPC, >=550 = automatically prune block files to stay under the specified target size in MiB)
-reindex Rebuild chain state and block index from the blk*.dat files on disk
-reindex-chainstate Rebuild chain state from the currently indexed blocks. When in pruning mode or if blocks on disk might be corrupted, use full -reindex instead.
-settings=<file> Specify path to dynamic settings data file. Can be disabled with nosettings. File is written at runtime and not meant to be edited by users (use bitcoin.conf instead for custom settings). Relative paths will be prefixed by datadir location. (default: settings.json)
-startupnotify=<cmd> Execute command on startup.
-txindex Maintain a full transaction index, used by the getrawtransaction rpc call (default: 0)

Connection options:
-addnode=<ip> Add a node to connect to and attempt to keep the connection open (see the addnode RPC help for more info). This option can be specified multiple times to add multiple nodes; connections are limited to 8 at a time and are counted separately from the -maxconnections limit.
-asmap=<file> Specify asn mapping used for bucketing of the peers (default: Relative paths will be prefixed by the net-specific datadir location.
-bantime=<n> Default duration (in seconds) of manually configured bans (default: 86400)
-bind=<addr>[:<port>][=onion] Bind to given address and always listen on it (default: Use [host]:port notation for IPv6. Append =onion to tag any incoming connections to that address and port as incoming Tor connections default:, testnet:, signet:, regtest:
-connect=<ip> Connect only to the specified node; -noconnect disables automatic connections (the rules for this peer are the same as for addnode). This option can be specified multiple times to connect to multiple nodes.
-discover Discover own IP addresses (default: 1 when listening and no -externalip or -proxy)
-dns Allow DNS lookups for -addnode, -seednode and -connect (default: 1)
-dnsseed Query for peer addresses via DNS lookup, if low on addresses (default: 1 unless -connect used)
-externalip=<ip> Specify your own public address
-fixedseeds Allow fixed seeds if DNS seeds don't provide peers (default: 1)
-forcednsseed Always query for peer addresses via DNS lookup (default: 0)
-i2pacceptincoming If set and -i2psam is also set then incoming I2P connections are accepted via the SAM proxy. If this is not set but -i2psam is set then only outgoing connections will be made to the I2P network. Ignored if -i2psam is not set. Listening for incoming I2P connections is done through the SAM proxy, not by binding to a local address and port (default: 1)
-i2psam=<ip:port> I2P SAM proxy to reach I2P peers and accept I2P connections (default: none)
-listen Accept connections from outside (default: 1 if no -proxy or -connect)
-listenonion Automatically create Tor onion service (default: 1)
-maxconnections=<n> Maintain at most <n> connections to peers (default: 125). This limit does not apply to connections manually added via -addnode or the addnode RPC, which have a separate limit of 8.
-maxreceivebuffer=<n> Maximum per-connection receive buffer, <n>*1000 bytes (default: 5000)
-maxsendbuffer=<n> Maximum per-connection send buffer, <n>*1000 bytes (default: 1000)
-maxtimeadjustment Maximum allowed median peer time offset adjustment. Local perspective of time may be influenced by peers forward or backward by this amount. (default: 4200 seconds)
-maxuploadtarget=<n> Tries to keep outbound traffic under the given target (in MiB per 24h). Limit does not apply to peers with 'download' permission. 0 = no limit (default: 0)
-natpmp Use NAT-PMP to map the listening port (default: 0)
-networkactive Enable all P2P network activity (default: 1). Can be changed by the setnetworkactive RPC command
-onion=<ip:port> Use separate SOCKS5 proxy to reach peers via Tor onion services, set noonion to disable (default: -proxy)
-onlynet=<net> Make outgoing connections only through network <net> (ipv4, ipv6, onion, i2p). Incoming connections are not affected by this option. This option can be specified multiple times to allow multiple networks. Warning: if it is used with non-onion networks and the onion or -proxy option is set, then outbound onion connections will still be made; use -noonion or -onion=0 to disable outbound onion connections in this case.
-peerblockfilters Serve compact block filters to peers per BIP 157 (default: 0)
-peerbloomfilters Support filtering of blocks and transaction with bloom filters (default: 0)
-permitbaremultisig Relay non-P2SH multisig (default: 1)
-port=<port> Listen for connections on <port>. Nodes not using the default ports default: 8333, testnet: 18333, signet: 38333, regtest: 18444) are unlikely to get incoming connections. Not relevant for I2P see doc/
-proxy=<ip:port> Connect through SOCKS5 proxy, set -noproxy to disable (default: disabled)
-proxyrandomize Randomize credentials for every proxy connection. This enables Tor stream isolation (default: 1)
-seednode=<ip> Connect to a node to retrieve peer addresses, and disconnect. This option can be specified multiple times to connect to multiple nodes.
-timeout=<n> Specify socket connection timeout in milliseconds. If an initial attempt to connect is unsuccessful after this amount of time, drop it minimum: 1, default: 5000)
-torcontrol=<ip>:<port> Tor control port to use if onion listening enabled (default:
-torpassword=<pass> Tor control port password (default: empty)
-upnp Use UPnP to map the listening port (default: 0)
-whitebind=<[[email protected]]addr> Bind to the given address and add permission flags to the peers connecting to it. Use [host]:port notation for IPv6. Allowed permissions: bloomfilter (allow requesting BIP37 filtered blocks and transactions), noban (do not ban for misbehavior; implies download), forcerelay (relay transactions that are already in the mempool; implies relay), relay (relay even in -blocksonly mode, and unlimited transaction announcements), mempool (allow requesting BIP35 mempool contents), download (allow getheaders during IBD, no disconnect after maxuploadtarget limit), addr responses to GETADDR avoid hitting the cache and contain random records with the most up-to-date info). Specify multiple permissions separated by commas (default: download,noban,mempool,relay). Can be specified multiple times.
-whitelist=<[[email protected]] IP address or network> Add permission flags to the peers connecting from the given IP address e.g. or CIDR-notated network (e.g. Uses the same permissions as -whitebind. Can be specified multiple times.

Wallet options:
-addresstype What type of addresses to use ("legacy", "p2sh-segwit", or "bech32", default: "bech32")
-avoidpartialspends Group outputs by address, selecting many (possibly all) or none, instead of selecting on a per-output basis. Privacy is improved as addresses are mostly swept with fewer transactions and outputs are aggregated in clean change addresses. It may result in higher fees due to less optimal coin selection caused by this added limitation and possibly a larger-than-necessary number of inputs being used. Always enabled for wallets with "avoid_reuse" enabled, otherwise default: 0.
-changetype What type of change to use ("legacy", "p2sh-segwit", or "bech32"). Default is same as -addresstype, except when addresstype=p2sh-segwit a native segwit output is used when sending to a native segwit address)
-disablewallet Do not load the wallet and disable wallet RPC calls
-discardfee=<amt> The fee rate (in BTC/kvB) that indicates your tolerance for discarding change by adding it to the fee (default: 0.0001). Note: An output is discarded if it is dust at this rate, but we will always discard up to the dust relay fee and a discard fee above that is limited by the fee estimate for the longest target
-fallbackfee=<amt> A fee rate (in BTC/kvB) that will be used when fee estimation has insufficient data. 0 to entirely disable the fallbackfee feature. default: 0.00)
-keypool=<n> Set key pool size to <n> (default: 1000). Warning: Smaller sizes may increase the risk of losing funds when restoring from an old backup, if none of the addresses in the original keypool have been used.
-maxapsfee=<n> Spend up to this amount in additional (absolute) fees (in BTC) if it allows the use of partial spend avoidance (default: 0.00)
-mintxfee=<amt> Fee rates (in BTC/kvB) smaller than this are considered zero fee for transaction creation (default: 0.00001)
-paytxfee=<amt> Fee rate (in BTC/kvB) to add to transactions you send (default: 0.00)
-rescan Rescan the block chain for missing wallet transactions on startup
-signer=<cmd> External signing tool, see doc/
-spendzeroconfchange Spend unconfirmed change when sending transactions (default: 1)
-txconfirmtarget=<n> If paytxfee is not set, include enough fee so transactions begin confirmation on average within n blocks (default: 6)
-wallet=<path> Specify wallet path to load at startup. Can be used multiple times to load multiple wallets. Path is to a directory containing wallet data and log files. If the path is not absolute, it is interpreted relative to <walletdir>. This only loads existing wallets and does not create new ones. For backwards compatibility this also accepts names of existing top-level data files in walletdir>.
-walletbroadcast Make the wallet broadcast transactions (default: 1)
-walletdir=<dir> Specify directory to hold wallets (default: <datadir>/wallets if it exists, otherwise <datadir>)
-walletnotify=<cmd> Execute command when a wallet transaction changes. %s in cmd is replaced by TxID, %w is replaced by wallet name, %b is replaced by the hash of the block including the transaction (set to 'unconfirmed' if the transaction is not included) and %h is replaced by the block height (-1 if not included). %w is not currently implemented on windows. On systems where %w is supported, it should NOT be quoted because this would break shell escaping used to invoke the command.
-walletrbf Send transactions with full-RBF opt-in enabled (RPC only, default: 0)

ZeroMQ notification options:
-zmqpubhashblock=<address> Enable publish hash block in <address>
-zmqpubhashblockhwm=<n> Set publish hash block outbound message high water mark (default: 1000)
-zmqpubhashtx=<address> Enable publish hash transaction in <address>
-zmqpubhashtxhwm=<n> Set publish hash transaction outbound message high water mark (default: 1000)
-zmqpubrawblock=<address> Enable publish raw block in <address>
-zmqpubrawblockhwm=<n> Set publish raw block outbound message high water mark (default: 1000)
-zmqpubrawtx=<address> Enable publish raw transaction in <address>
-zmqpubrawtxhwm=<n> Set publish raw transaction outbound message high water mark (default: 1000)
-zmqpubsequence=<address> Enable publish hash block and tx sequence in <address>
-zmqpubsequencehwm=<n> Set publish hash sequence message high water mark (default: 1000)

Debugging/Testing options:
-debug=<category> Output debugging information (default: -nodebug, supplying <category> is optional). If <category> is not supplied or if <category> = 1, output all debugging information. <category> can be: net, tor, mempool, http, bench, zmq, walletdb, rpc, estimatefee, addrman, selectcoins, reindex, cmpctblock, rand, prune, proxy, mempoolrej, libevent, coindb, qt, leveldb, validation, i2p, ipc. This option can be specified multiple times to output multiple categories.
-debugexclude=<category> Exclude debugging information for a category. Can be used in conjunction with -debug=1 to output debug logs for all categories except the specified category. This option can be specified multiple times to exclude multiple categories.
-help-debug Print help message with debugging options and exit
-logips Include IP addresses in debug output (default: 0)
-logsourcelocations Prepend debug output with name of the originating source location source file, line number and function name) (default: 0)
-logtimestamps Prepend debug output with timestamp (default: 1)
-maxtxfee=<amt> Maximum total fees (in BTC) to use in a single wallet transaction; setting this too low may abort large transactions (default: 0.10)
-printtoconsole Send trace/debug info to console (default: 1 when no -daemon. To disable logging to file, set -nodebuglogfile)
-shrinkdebugfile Shrink debug.log file on client startup (default: 1 when no -debug)
-uacomment=<cmt> Append comment to the user agent string

Chain selection options:
-chain=<chain> Use the chain <chain> (default: main). Allowed values: main, test, signet, regtest
-signet Use the signet chain. Equivalent to -chain=signet. Note that the network is defined by the -signetchallenge parameter
-signetchallenge Blocks must satisfy the given script to be considered valid (only for signet networks; defaults to the global default signet test network challenge)
-signetseednode Specify a seed node for the signet network, in the hostname[:port] format, e.g. (may be used multiple times to specify multiple seed nodes; defaults to the global default signet test network seed node(s))
-testnet Use the test chain. Equivalent to -chain=test.

Node relay options:
-bytespersigop Equivalent bytes per sigop in transactions for relay and mining (default: 20)
-datacarrier Relay and mine data carrier transactions (default: 1)
-datacarriersize Maximum size of data in data carrier transactions we relay and mine (default: 83)
-minrelaytxfee=<amt> Fees (in BTC/kvB) smaller than this are considered zero fee for relaying, mining and transaction creation (default: 0.00001)
-whitelistforcerelay Add 'forcerelay' permission to whitelisted inbound peers with default permissions. This will relay transactions even if the transactions were already in the mempool. (default: 0)
-whitelistrelay Add 'relay' permission to whitelisted inbound peers with default permissions. This will accept relayed transactions even when not relaying transactions (default: 1)

Block creation options:
-blockmaxweight=<n> Set maximum BIP141 block weight (default: 3996000)
-blockmintxfee=<amt> Set lowest fee rate (in BTC/kvB) for transactions to be included in block creation. (default: 0.00001)

RPC server options:
-rest Accept public REST requests (default: 0)
-rpcallowip=<ip> Allow JSON-RPC connections from specified source. Valid for <ip> are a single IP (e.g., a network/netmask (e.g. or a network/CIDR (e.g. This option can be specified multiple times
-rpcauth=<userpw> Username and HMAC-SHA-256 hashed password for JSON-RPC connections. The field <userpw> comes in the format: <USERNAME>:<SALT>$<HASH>. A canonical python script is included in share/rpcauth. The client then connects normally using the rpcuser=<USERNAME>/rpcpassword=<PASSWORD> pair of arguments. This option can be specified multiple times
-rpcbind=<addr>[:port] Bind to given address to listen for JSON-RPC connections. Do not expose the RPC server to untrusted networks such as the public internet! This option is ignored unless -rpcallowip is also passed. Port is optional and overrides -rpcport. Use [host]:port notation for IPv6. This option can be specified multiple times (default: and ::1 i.e., localhost)
-rpccookiefile=<loc> Location of the auth cookie. Relative paths will be prefixed by a net-specific datadir location. (default: data dir)
-rpcpassword=<pw> Password for JSON-RPC connections
-rpcport=<port> Listen for JSON-RPC connections on <port> (default: 8332, testnet: 18332, signet: 38332, regtest: 18443)
-rpcserialversion Sets the serialization of raw transaction or block hex returned in non-verbose mode, non-segwit(0) or segwit(1) (default: 1)
-rpcthreads=<n> Set the number of threads to service RPC calls (default: 4)
-rpcuser=<user> Username for JSON-RPC connections
-rpcwhitelist=<whitelist> Set a whitelist to filter incoming RPC calls for a specific user. The field <whitelist> comes in the format: <USERNAME>:<rpc 1>,<rpc 2>,...,<rpc n>. If multiple whitelists are set for a given user, they are set-intersected. See -rpcwhitelistdefault documentation for information on default whitelist behavior.
-rpcwhitelistdefault Sets default behavior for rpc whitelisting. Unless rpcwhitelistdefault is set to 0, if any -rpcwhitelist is set, the rpc server acts as if all rpc users are subject to empty-unless-otherwise-specified whitelists. If rpcwhitelistdefault is set to 1 and no rpcwhitelist is set, rpc server acts as if all rpc users are subject to empty whitelists.
-server Accept command line and JSON-RPC commands

Many of the boolean options can also be set to off by specifying them with a "no" prefix: e.g. -nodnseed.

Bitcoin.conf Configuration File[edit]

All command-line options (except for -conf) may be specified in a configuration file, and all configuration file options may also be specified on the command line. Command-line options override values set in the configuration file.

The configuration file is a list of setting=value pairs, one per line, with optional comments starting with the '#' character.

The configuration file is not automatically created; you can create it using your favorite plain-text editor. A user-friendly configuration file generator is available here. By default, Bitcoin (or bitcoind) will look for a file named 'bitcoin.conf' in the bitcoin data directory, but both the data directory and the configuration file path may be changed using the -datadir and -conf command-line arguments.

Operating System Default bitcoin datadir Typical path to configuration file
Windows  %APPDATA%\Bitcoin\ C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\bitcoin.conf
Linux $HOME/.bitcoin/ /home/username/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf
Mac OSX $HOME/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/ /Users/username/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/bitcoin.conf

Note: if running Bitcoin in testnet mode, the sub-folder "testnet" will be appended to the data directory automatically.

Sample Bitcoin.conf[edit]

Copied from

## bitcoin.conf configuration file. Lines beginning with # are comments.
# Network-related settings:

# Run on the test network instead of the real bitcoin network.

# Run a regression test network

# Connect via a SOCKS5 proxy

# Bind to given address and always listen on it. Use [host]:port notation for IPv6

# Bind to given address and whitelist peers connecting to it. Use [host]:port notation for IPv6

##   Quick Primer on addnode vs connect   ##
## Let's say for instance you use addnode=   ##
## addnode will connect you to and tell you about the  ##
## nodes connected to In addition it will tell ##
## the other nodes connected to it that you exist so  ##
## they can connect to you.        ##
## connect will not do the above when you 'connect' to it. ##
## It will *only* connect you to and no one else.##
##               ##
## So if you're behind a firewall, or have other problems ##
## finding nodes, add some using 'addnode'.    ##
##               ##
## If you want to stay private, use 'connect' to only  ##
## connect to "trusted" nodes.        ##
##               ##
## If you run multiple nodes on a LAN, there's no need for ##
## all of them to open lots of connections. Instead  ##
## 'connect' them all to one node that is port forwarded ##
## and has lots of connections.       ##
##  Thanks goes to [Noodle] on Freenode.    ##

# Use as many addnode= settings as you like to connect to specific peers

# Alternatively use as many connect= settings as you like to connect ONLY to specific peers

# Listening mode, enabled by default except when 'connect' is being used

# Maximum number of inbound+outbound connections.

# JSON-RPC options (for controlling a running Bitcoin/bitcoind process)

# server=1 tells Bitcoin-Qt and bitcoind to accept JSON-RPC commands

# Bind to given address to listen for JSON-RPC connections. Use [host]:port notation for IPv6.
# This option can be specified multiple times (default: bind to all interfaces)

# If no rpcpassword is set, rpc cookie auth is sought. The default `-rpccookiefile` name
# is .cookie and found in the `-datadir` being used for bitcoind. This option is typically used
# when the server and client are run as the same user.
# If not, you must set rpcuser and rpcpassword to secure the JSON-RPC api. The first
# method(DEPRECATED) is to set this pair for the server and client:
# The second method `rpcauth` can be added to server startup argument. It is set at intialization time
# using the output from the script in share/rpcuser/ after providing a username:
# ./share/rpcuser/ alice
# String to be appended to bitcoin.conf:
# rpcauth=alice:f7efda5c189b999524f151318c0c86$d5b51b3beffbc02b724e5d095828e0bc8b2456e9ac8757ae3211a5d9b16a22ae
# Your password:
# On client-side, you add the normal user/password pair to send commands:
# You can even add multiple entries of these to the server conf file, and client can use any of them:
# rpcauth=bob:b2dd077cb54591a2f3139e69a897ac$4e71f08d48b4347cf8eff3815c0e25ae2e9a4340474079f55705f40574f4ec99

# How many seconds bitcoin will wait for a complete RPC HTTP request.
# after the HTTP connection is established. 

# By default, only RPC connections from localhost are allowed.
# Specify as many rpcallowip= settings as you like to allow connections from other hosts,
# either as a single IPv4/IPv6 or with a subnet specification.

# NOTE: opening up the RPC port to hosts outside your local trusted network is NOT RECOMMENDED,
# because the rpcpassword is transmitted over the network unencrypted.

# server=1 tells Bitcoin-Qt to accept JSON-RPC commands.
# it is also read by bitcoind to determine if RPC should be enabled 

# Listen for RPC connections on this TCP port:

# You can use Bitcoin or bitcoind to send commands to Bitcoin/bitcoind
# running on another host using this option:

# Create transactions that have enough fees so they are likely to begin confirmation within n blocks (default: 6).
# This setting is over-ridden by the -paytxfee option.

# Miscellaneous options

# Pre-generate this many public/private key pairs, so wallet backups will be valid for
# both prior transactions and several dozen future transactions.

# Pay an optional transaction fee every time you send bitcoins. Transactions with fees
# are more likely than free transactions to be included in generated blocks, so may
# be validated sooner.

# Enable pruning to reduce storage requirements by deleting old blocks. 
# This mode is incompatible with -txindex and -rescan.
# 0 = default (no pruning).
# 1 = allows manual pruning via RPC.
# >=550 = target to stay under in MiB. 

# User interface options

# Start Bitcoin minimized

# Minimize to the system tray



Start automatically[edit]

To configure the Bitcoin client to start automatically:

You might use the configuration-file, or the GUI-Settings:

Settings -> Options

then mark the checkbox titled:

[X] Start Bitcoin on system startup

Client Settings Options windows.png

Batch automation[edit]

To work with batch, you have to start the daemon (bitcoind.exe). The bitcoin.exe run with option "-server" will respond with GUI-messages you are not able to process its answers.




Client Settings Options.png

See Also on BitcoinWiki[edit]