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🛠 GordianServer-macOS

by Peter Denton and Christopher Allen

  • part of the gordian technology family

(Previously known as Bitcoin-Standup-macOS.)

GordianServer-macOS is a open source project and a suite of tools that helps users to install a Bitcoin-Core full-node on a fresh computer or VPS and to add important privacy tools like onion services. It will eventually also support optional Bitcoin-related tools like Electrum Personal Server, C-Lightning, Esplora, and BTCPay Server as well as emerging technologies like Bitcoin-based Decentralized Identifiers. GordianServer-macOS strives to provide the community with an easy-to-use "one-click" setup for a full node, complete with a purpose-built remote app for securely connecting to your node over Tor from anywhere in the world, providing you with a powerful suite of tools.

This tool will also harden and secure your OS to current best practices and will add sufficient system tools to support basic Bitcoin development. After setup, GordianServer-macOS will present a QR code and/or special URI that can be used to securely link your full-node to other devices, such as a remote desktop or a mobile phone using Gordian Wallet or Fully Noded on iOS.

This repo includes the GordianServer-macOS, which allows you to run a full node and Tor on your Mac computer.

Additional Information

For more information on GordianServer-macOS:

  1. Using GordianServer-macOS provides basic description of functions and some FAQs.
  2. How GordianServer-macOS macOS Works describes the specifics of what GordianServer-macOS does.
  3. The Main Gordian Repo contains general information on the project.

Gordian Principles

GordianServer is primarily a wrapper to make it easy to stand up an existing server: the Bitcoin Core server. Doing so displays the Gordian Principles and also links to reference apps such as GordianWallet to demonstrate the functionality of the entire Gordian reference architure. Our document "Why Run a Full Node" describes how it does so. In short:

  • Independence. A full node allows you to validate Bitcoin transactions.
  • Privacy. A full node means you're not handing a full record of your transactions to someone else (and it's further protected by a Torgap).
  • Resilience. Well-tested Bitcoin Core software, a Torgap, and a 2-of-3 multisig shared with GordianWallet all protect your funds.
  • Openness. Bitcoin Core and Tor are both open code and they both allow interactions using open standards, such as RPC (and of course, Tor itself).

Blockchain Commons apps do not phone home and do not run ads. Some are available through various app stores; all are available in our code repositories for your usage.

Status — Feature-Complete (1.0.2)

The v1.0.2 release of GordianServer-macOS is considered feature-complete. It is a polished and stabilized version of our v0.1 releases from 2020. We are aware of some minor nuisances with starting and stopping the server that appear in unusual circumstances. Please report these and any other issues to the Gordian Bug Reports Discussion Area. We also have plans to add some new RPC features to GordianServer-macOS, which we expect to release as v1.1.0.

If you use GordianServer-macOS for real funds, please ensure that you backup any seeds stored on the server. It has not yet been peer-reviewed or audited. There are some known minor glitches. It may not yet be ready for production uses. Use at your own risk.

Version History

1.0.2 (patch release), May 18, 2022

  • Updated for changes in Bitcoin Core structure of downloadable files

There are still minor glitches that show up from time to time. The Tor framework now complains about permissions if you compile by hand. In addition, M1 Macs will not correctly use the arm64 binary, because at time of release the arm64 bitcoind died on M1 macs with a "Killed: 9" error. In other words, use with caution; this bugfix release solely resolved issues with Bitcoin 23.0 file-name changes, which were preventing it from working correctly for new users.

1.0.1, November 17, 2021

  • Fixed bug where Tor died on sleep.

1.0.0, October 27, 2021

  • First feature-complete version.


  • macOS 10.15.7 Catalina or better (if you'd like to support ensuring it works back to at least Mojave, let us know!)
    • If you do not have a Mac that is supported for running Catalina, you may wish to investigate the Catalina Patcher.
  • ~320 GB of free space for a full mainnet node with txindex; or ~30 GB for a full testnet3 node; or substantially less if the full node is pruned.
  • If you wish to verify your GordianServer-macOS installation, GordianServer-macOS will prompt you to download Brew and GPG. You may also install the Strap secure development environment: you can read more about Strap here.

Installation Instructions

Download from this Repo

You must meet minimum OS and space requirements to install GordianServer-macOS on your Mac, as described below.

  • Ensure you have a minimum macOS of 10.15.7 Catalina
  • Navigate to Tagged release v1.0.1
  • Click to download gordian-server-1.0.1.dmg
  • Check signatures and checksums
  • Open the DMG and drag the app to the Applications folder alias. That's it!

How to Check Signatures & Checksums

  1. Also download the signature files from the Tagged release, which all end with "asc", as well as the SHA256SUMS file.
  2. Make sure you have GPG installed, as discussed in GPG Installation instructions (Optional), below.
  3. If you do not have the signatures of the signers, you must download them. One way is to download the GPG keys from GitHub. Just look at each signature file, and the signer's Github name will be after the first .. You can then download a public key directly from Github to assure yourself that it's from a trusted source:
$ curl | gpg --import
  % Total    % Received % Xferd  Average Speed   Time    Time     Time  Current
                                 Dload  Upload   Total   Spent    Left  Speed
100 24303  100 24303    0     0  26885      0 --:--:-- --:--:-- --:--:-- 27033
gpg: key F8D36C91357405ED: public key "Christopher Allen <>" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1

$ curl | gpg --import 
  1. If you are confident that the key you downloaded was from a trusted source, you can sign it to give it full validity. This is not required, but if you do not you will get a warning whenever you check the key's signatures, "WARNING: This key is not certified with a trusted signature!". You tell gpg to --lsign-key the keyid that you received, such as F8D36C91357405ED.
$ gpg --lsign-key F8D36C91357405ED
  1. Verify the signatures of the DMG. This will tell you the DMG file was verified by the signing accounts.
$ gpg --verify gordian-server-1.0.0.dmg.ChristopherA.F8D36C91357405ED.asc gordian-server-1.0.0.dmg
gpg: Signature made Wed Oct 27 12:41:08 2021 HST
gpg:                using RSA key FDFE14A54ECB30FC5D2274EFF8D36C91357405ED
gpg: Good signature from "Christopher Allen <>" [full]
gpg:                 aka "[jpeg image of size 9272]" [full]

$ gpg --verify gordian-server-1.0.0.dmg.shannona.7EC6B928606F27AD.asc gordian-server-1.0.0.dmg
gpg: Signature made Wed Oct 27 12:32:05 2021 HST
gpg:                using RSA key A4889A09F9819D8C054004507EC6B928606F27AD
gpg: Good signature from "Shannon Appelcline <>" [ultimate]
  1. Verify the signatures of the Checksum. This tells you the Checksum file was verified by the signing accounts.
$ gpg --verify SHA256SUMS.ChristopherA.F8D36C91357405ED.asc SHA256SUMS
gpg: Signature made Wed Oct 27 12:42:09 2021 HST
gpg:                using RSA key FDFE14A54ECB30FC5D2274EFF8D36C91357405ED
gpg: checking the trustdb
gpg: Good signature from "Christopher Allen <>" [full]

$ gpg --verify SHA256SUMS.shannona.7EC6B928606F27AD.asc SHA256SUMS
gpg: Signature made Wed Oct 27 12:33:34 2021 HST
gpg:                using RSA key A4889A09F9819D8C054004507EC6B928606F27AD
gpg: Good signature from "Shannon Appelcline <>" [ultimate]
  1. Verify the Checksum of the DMG. This is a double-check that the checksum the signers verified matches the DMG that they verified.
$ shasum -c SHA256SUMS (for mac)
gordian-server-1.0.0.dmg: OK

$ sha256sum -c SHA256SUMS (for Linux)
gordian-server-1.0.0.dmg: OK

If the signatures check out and the shasum is correct, the DMG should be safe.

Build Mac App from source using Xcode

Instead of downloading binaries through our Github repo, you can build GordianServer-macOS by hand using Apple's Xcode.

  1. Install Xcode.
  2. Create a free Apple developer account.
  3. Link your GitHub account
    • In Xcode, click "Xcode" > "preferences" and choose the "Accounts" tab.
    • Click "+" to link a new account.
    • Choose "GitHub".
    • Enter your GitHub credentials.
  4. On this GitHub repo, click "Clone and Download" > "Open in Xcode".
    • If "Open in Xcode" does not show up as an option, try refreshing your browser's view of the GitHub repo
    • If that doesn't work, you can instead download a clone via "Source Control > Clone" within XCode.
  5. When Xcode launches, press the "play" button in the top left.
    • If you had to download the clone by hand from within XCode, you'll likely need to navigate to the xcodeproj file in the Xcode directory.

Warning: Old Installations

If you had an installation of Gordian Server prior to 1.0.0 it may not be fully compatible with your 1.0.0 setup. In this case, watch for any problems, particularly with Tor setup, with Bitcoin Core setup, and with RPC connections. If any such errors occur, you should ask Gordian Server to reinstall Bitcoin:

  1. Use your wallet (such as Gordian Wallet or Fully Noded) to backup any private keys or to sweep funds off of Server addresses. If you do not do this, your funds will be lost.
  2. Shutdown your current network by clicking "Stop". Wait for it to finish.
  3. Remove Bitcoin by going to the "Settings" button and choosing "KILL ALL".
  4. Restart Gordian Server, and agree to install the newest Bitcoin.

This process will remove and reinstall Bitcoin, which will make sure any old, incompatible configuration files are removed and recreated.

After Installation: Quick Connect

Once the app has completely installed (by either method) and once it has launched Bitcoin Core, you can access a Quick Connect QR code that can be used to securely link your full node remotely over Tor to other devices, such as the iOS application GordianWallet or Fully Noded. Simply choose "Quick Connect > Quick Connect" from the main menu or click the "Quick Connect" button to see the QR code.

Gordian Server allows you to run all four Bitcoin networks (mainnet, testnet, signet and regtest) simultaneously via its user interface. It will present an independent Quick Connect QR code for each network so that you may remotely connect to and utilize each.

After Installation: Startup

If'd you'd like your Gordian Server to start whenever your Mac does:

  1. In the dock, right click on Gordian Server and choose "Options > Keep in Doc".
  2. In Gordian Server, click the "Settings" button and make sure that "Start Bitcoin on Open" is checked.

GPG Installation instructions (Optional)

If you are planning to use Gordian Server for an operational installation, you will want to maximize your security by checking the GPG signatures of the Bitcoin server after it's installed. This requires a bit of additional work that may be done either before or after your Gordian Server installation.

We suggest using homebrew to install gpg.

  1. If you haven't already, install Homebrew:
$ /bin/bash -c "$(curl -fsSL"

Afterward, use it to install GPG:

$ brew install gpg pinentry-mac

If you prefer not to use the command line, you can install GPG Suite, but it nags about the installation of a GPG Mail program, so we prefer the cleaner install of Homebrew.

Checking Signatures

Now, you can click "Verify" and the console will log an elongated process of finding and installing keys related to signatures. Don't worry that many are "skipped". The object is simply to collect enough public keys that you feel comfortable with the result.

When the public-key acquisition is complete, you should see a listing of good signatures. If more than a few are found you should feel comfortable:

gpg: Good signature from "Ben Carman <>" [unknown]
gpg: Good signature from "Antoine Poinsot <>" [unknown]
gpg: Good signature from "Stephan Oeste (it) <>" [unknown]
gpg: Good signature from "Michael Ford (bitcoin-otc) <>" [unknown]
gpg: Good signature from "Oliver Gugger <>" [unknown]
gpg: Good signature from "Hennadii Stepanov (hebasto) <>" [unknown]
gpg: Good signature from "Jon Atack <>" [unknown]
gpg: Good signature from "Wladimir J. van der Laan <>" [unknown]

Checking Checksums

Besides checking the signatures on Bitcoin Core, it's also helpful to check the checksums to make sure they matched. This will appear in the installation window, and can later be reviewed in your Gordian Log:

See two hashes (they should match):
Hashes match

If you do not install GPG, then you can still verify your checksums, but the signatures will not be checked.

Financial Support

GordianServer-macOS is a project of Blockchain Commons. We are proudly a "not-for-profit" social benefit corporation committed to open source & open development. Our work is funded entirely by donations and collaborative partnerships with people like you. Every contribution will be spent on building open tools, technologies, and techniques that sustain and advance blockchain and internet security infrastructure and promote an open web.

To financially support further development of GordianServer-macOS and other projects, please consider becoming a Patron of Blockchain Commons through ongoing monthly patronage as a GitHub Sponsor. You can also support Blockchain Commons with bitcoins at our BTCPay Server.


We encourage public contributions through issues and pull requests! Please review for details on our development process. All contributions to this repository require a GPG signed Contributor License Agreement.


The best place to talk about Blockchain Commons and its projects is in our GitHub Discussions areas.

Gordian User Community. For users of the Gordian reference apps, including Gordian Coordinator, Gordian Seed Tool, Gordian Server, Gordian Wallet, and SpotBit as well as our whole series of CLI apps. This is a place to talk about bug reports and feature requests as well as to explore how our reference apps embody the Gordian Principles.

Blockchain Commons Discussions. For developers, interns, and patrons of Blockchain Commons, please use the discussions area of the Community repo to talk about general Blockchain Commons issues, the intern program, or topics other than those covered by the Gordian Developer Community or the Gordian User Community.

Other Questions & Problems

As an open-source, open-development community, Blockchain Commons does not have the resources to provide direct support of our projects. Please consider the discussions area as a locale where you might get answers to questions. Alternatively, please use this repository's issues feature. Unfortunately, we can not make any promises on response time.

If your company requires support to use our projects, please feel free to contact us directly about options. We may be able to offer you a contract for support from one of our contributors, or we might be able to point you to another entity who can offer the contractual support that you need.


The following people directly contributed to this repository. You can add your name here by getting involved. The first step is learning how to contribute from our documentation.

Name Role Github Email GPG Fingerprint
Christopher Allen Principal Architect @ChristopherA <> FDFE 14A5 4ECB 30FC 5D22 74EF F8D3 6C91 3574 05ED
Peter Denton Project Lead @Fonta1n3 <> 1C72 2776 3647 A221 6E02  E539 025E 9AD2 D3AC 0FCA
Shannon Appelcline Release Manager @shannona <> A488 9A09 F981 9D8C 0540 0450 7EC6 B928 606F 27AD

Responsible Disclosure

We want to keep all of our software safe for everyone. If you have discovered a security vulnerability, we appreciate your help in disclosing it to us in a responsible manner. We are unfortunately not able to offer bug bounties at this time.

We do ask that you offer us good faith and use best efforts not to leak information or harm any user, their data, or our developer community. Please give us a reasonable amount of time to fix the issue before you publish it. Do not defraud our users or us in the process of discovery. We promise not to bring legal action against researchers who point out a problem provided they do their best to follow the these guidelines.

Reporting a Vulnerability

Please report suspected security vulnerabilities in private via email to (do not use this email for support). Please do NOT create publicly viewable issues for suspected security vulnerabilities.

The following keys may be used to communicate sensitive information to developers:

Name Fingerprint
Christopher Allen FDFE 14A5 4ECB 30FC 5D22 74EF F8D3 6C91 3574 05ED

You can import a key by running the following command with that individual’s fingerprint: gpg --recv-keys "<fingerprint>" Ensure that you put quotes around fingerprints that contain spaces.