MultiBit is a Simplified Payment Verification (SPV) Bitcoin desktop client.
MultiBit relies on the following technologies:
- Maven as the build system, so the usual Maven processes apply. If you're not familiar with Maven then download it first and follow their installation instructions.
- ZXing ("Zebra Crossing") for QR codes
- Bitcoinj for access to the Bitcoin network
- IzPack for creating installers for Windows, Mac, Linux
- Bitcoinj Enforcer Rules to prevent dependency chain attacks
- XChange for access to several Bitcoin exchanges
The Bitcoinj "Alice" dependency
MultiBit depends on a special fork of Bitcoinj for its Bitcoin support. This is due to legacy wallet serialization issues and the MultiBit team are working towards a complete integration through the MultiBit HD project.
While it is possible to build MultiBit using our staging repository you may want to review the modified Bitcoinj library for yourself. You can clone from this fork:
The branch you should use for the MultiBit master code is:
The branch you should use for the MultiBit develop code is:
Once cloned, you should then install the custom Bitcoinj library using
mvn clean install
This follows the "master-develop" or "Git flow" pattern.
There are 2 main branches:
master branch is exclusively for releases, while the
is exclusively for release candidates. The
develop branch always has a Maven version of
Every GitHub Issue gets a branch off develop. When it is complete and code reviewed it is merged into
When sufficient Issues are merged into
develop to justify a release, a new branch off
develop is created with the release number (e.g.
pom.xml is updated to reflect the snapshot version (e.g.
Once the release has been tested and is ready to go live, the final act is to update the
pom.xml to remove the SNAPSHOT suffix and merge it into
master branch is then tagged with the release number. Tags are in the format
v1.2.3 to distinguish them from branch names.
An announcement is made on the MultiBit website to alert everyone that a new version is available.
Maven build targets
The important targets are:
mvn clean package
which will package the MultiBit project into
x.y.z is the current version
number. This is suitable for local development work.
If you want to generate a complete set of multi-platform installers (Windows, Mac and Linux) you use the following command
maven clean install
After some processing, you will have the following artifacts in the target directory:
- an executable jar = multibit-exe.jar
- a Mac application bundle = MultiBit.app
- a Mac DMG file = multibit-x.y.z.dmg
- an installer for Windows = multibit-x.y.z-windows.exe
- an installer for Linux = multibit-x.y.z-linux.jar
To run MultiBit from these artifacts you can follow the instructions provided on the main MultiBit website
MultiBit contains cut down JREs so is a large clone
The MultiBit installers contain cut down JREs so the project clone is quite large. (100 to 200 MB).
MultiBit is quite flexible and has several features only accessible to power users through the configuration file. This is discussed in more detail in configuration.md
MultiBit is a very active project and if you would like to contribute please feel free to get in touch using firstname.lastname@example.org. We are particularly looking for developers with the following skills to contribute:
- Experienced Java programmers
- Web designers for the website
- Translators using the Crowdin site
- Beta testers for checking the latest pre-release
All contributors must be OK with releasing their work under the MIT license.