Running Bitcoin

Running Bitcoin is easy. This section with show you how to get your node up and running.


We'll be install Bitcoin binary files here. In case you'd prefer to build and install Bitcoin from source have a look at a relevant build- file for your operating system.

Below steps are intended for users running Linux. We might add guides for other OS in the future.

  1. Download a relevant file from:
  2. Extract the files: tar xvzf bitcoin-22.0-x86_64-linux-gnu.tar.gz
  3. Verify your download
  4. Copy binary files to local bin directory so they can be accessed from anywhere, eg: sudo cp bitcoin-22.0/bin/* /usr/local/bin/


Now that you have successfully installed Bitcoin, we'll go ahead with the configuration.

Bitcoin node can run on several networks:

  • mainnet: main (production) network, these is the only network where coins have value
  • testnet: public testnet network with a long history where things are tested, this network mimics mainnet as much as possible which is why it's based on PoW
  • signet: new type of public testnet network with centralized consensus where a dedicated entity or a group with authority to create new blocks can produce new blocks using valid signatures (not PoW based)
  • regtest: private (sandboxed) version of testnet for individual developers where developer himself has a full control (spinning up and connecting nodes, minig blocks (no actualy PoW needed), triggering manual reorgs etc.)

During this configuration we will guide you to configure a node that will connect to testnet. Later on we will explain how to connect to other networks.

1. Create configuration file

  • Create a .bitcoin folder in your home directory: mkdir ~/.bitcoin
  • Create a bitcoin.conf file to this directory: touch .bitcoin/bitcoin.conf

By default all bitcoin binaries read the configuration from ~/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf path.

2. Setup configuration file

For more info about specific configuration parameters visit bitcoin.conf example file and jlopp's config generator.

 1# Generated by
 3# This config should be placed in following path:
 4# ~/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf
 6# [chain]
 7# Run this node on the Bitcoin Test Network. Equivalent to -chain=test
10# [debug]
11# Enable debug logging for all categories.
14# [network]
15# Automatically create Tor hidden service.
18# [rpc]
19# Accept command line and JSON-RPC commands.
25# [Sections]
26# Most options automatically apply to mainnet, testnet, and regtest networks.
27# If you want to confine an option to just one network, you should add it in the relevant section.
28# EXCEPTIONS: The options addnode, connect, port, bind, rpcport, rpcbind and wallet
29# only apply to mainnet unless they appear in the appropriate section below.
31# Options only for mainnet
34# Options only for testnet
37# Options only for regtest
40# Options only for signet

3. Run Bitcoin

You can start the node by running bitcoind. You should see youre node booting up and starting to sync. Syncing on testnet takes a few hours and with our configuration it will eat up around 40gb of disk space.

If you'd prefer to start a bitcoind as a background process you need to run it with daemon mode enabled eg: bitcoind -daemon. To see output as you did before you can see the logs in .bitcoin/testnet3/debug.log.

Congratulations 🎉

You're running Bitcoin.

Run on other networks

In order to connect to networks other than testnet (the one we used in the example config file), you'll need to make some modifications.


Modify the config:

  1. Under [chain] replace testnet=1 with mainnet=1.
1# [chain]


Modify the config:

  1. Under [chain] replace testnet=1 with signet=1.
1# [chain]


Modify the config:

  1. Under [chain] replace testnet=1 with regtest=1.
1# [chain]
  1. Add the following to the bitcoin.conf file
1# [relay]