Create your own private bitcoin testnet
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README.md

bitcoin-testnet-box

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Create your own private bitcoin testnet

You must have bitcoind and bitcoin-cli installed on your system and in the path unless running this within a Docker container (see below).

Starting the testnet-box

This will start up two nodes using the two datadirs 1 and 2. They will only connect to each other in order to remain an isolated private testnet. Two nodes are provided, as one is used to generate blocks and it's balance will be increased as this occurs (imitating a miner). You may want a second node where this behavior is not observed.

Node 1 will listen on port 19000, allowing node 2 to connect to it.

Node 1 will listen on port 19001 and node 2 will listen on port 19011 for the JSON-RPC server.

$ make start

Check the status of the nodes

$ make getinfo
bitcoin-cli -datadir=1  getinfo
{
    "version" : 90300,
    "protocolversion" : 70002,
    "walletversion" : 60000,
    "balance" : 0.00000000,
    "blocks" : 0,
    "timeoffset" : 0,
    "connections" : 1,
    "proxy" : "",
    "difficulty" : 0.00000000,
    "testnet" : false,
    "keypoololdest" : 1413617762,
    "keypoolsize" : 101,
    "paytxfee" : 0.00000000,
    "relayfee" : 0.00001000,
    "errors" : ""
}
bitcoin-cli -datadir=2  getinfo
{
    "version" : 90300,
    "protocolversion" : 70002,
    "walletversion" : 60000,
    "balance" : 0.00000000,
    "blocks" : 0,
    "timeoffset" : 0,
    "connections" : 1,
    "proxy" : "",
    "difficulty" : 0.00000000,
    "testnet" : false,
    "keypoololdest" : 1413617762,
    "keypoolsize" : 101,
    "paytxfee" : 0.00000000,
    "relayfee" : 0.00001000,
    "errors" : ""
}

Generating blocks

Normally on the live, real, bitcoin network, blocks are generated, on average, every 10 minutes. Since this testnet-in-box uses Bitcoin Core's (bitcoind) regtest mode, we are able to generate a block on a private network instantly using a simple command.

To generate a block:

$ make generate

To generate more than 1 block:

$ make generate BLOCKS=10

Need to generate at least 100 blocks before there will be a balance in the first wallet

$ make generate BLOCKS=200

Verify that there is a balance on the first wallet

$ make getinfo

Generate a wallet address for the second wallet

$ make address2

Sending bitcoins

To send bitcoins that you've generated to the second wallet: (be sure to change the ADDRESS value below to wallet address generated in the prior command)

$ make sendfrom1 ADDRESS=mxwPtt399zVrR62ebkTWL4zbnV1ASdZBQr AMOUNT=10

Does the balance show up?

Run the getinfo command again. Does the balance show up? Why not?

$ make getinfo

Generate another block

$ make generate

Stopping the testnet-box

$ make stop

To clean up any files created while running the testnet and restore to the original state:

$ make clean

Using with docker

This testnet-box can be used with Docker to run it in an isolated container.

Building docker image

Pull the image

  • docker pull freewil/bitcoin-testnet-box

or build it yourself from this directory

  • docker build -t bitcoin-testnet-box .

Running docker container

The docker image will run two bitcoin nodes in the background and is meant to be attached to allow you to type in commands. The image also exposes the two JSON-RPC ports from the nodes if you want to be able to access them from outside the container.

$ docker run -t -i -p 19001:19001 -p 19011:19011 freewil/bitcoin-testnet-box

or if you built the docker image yourself:

$ docker run -t -i -p 19001:19001 -p 19011:19011 bitcoin-testnet-box