Abe: block browser for Bitcoin and similar currencies
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Abe
contrib
doc
tools
.gitignore
CHANGES.txt
LICENSE.txt
MANIFEST.in
README-FASTCGI.txt
README-FIRSTBITS.txt
README-MYSQL.txt
README-POSTGRES.txt
README-SQLITE.txt
README.md
README.txt
TODO.txt
abe.conf
bct-LICENSE.txt
setup.py

README.md

Abe: a free block chain browser for Bitcoin-based currencies. https://github.com/jtobey/bitcoin-abe

Copyright(C) 2011,2012 by John Tobey <jtobey@john-edwin-tobey.org>
License: GNU Affero General Public License, see the file LICENSE.txt.
Portions Copyright (c) 2010 Gavin Andresen, see bct-LICENSE.txt.

Welcome to Abe!

This software reads the Bitcoin block file, transforms and loads the data into a database, and presents a web interface similar to Bitcoin Block Explorer, http://blockexplorer.com/.

Abe draws inspiration from Bitcoin Block Explorer (BBE) and seeks some level of compatibility with it but uses a completely new implementation.

Installation

Issue:

python setup.py install

or simply run Abe from the directory containing setup.py.

Abe depends on Python 2.7 (or 2.6), the pycrypto package, and an SQL database supporting ROLLBACK. Abe runs on PostgreSQL, MySQL's InnoDB engine, and SQLite. Other SQL databases may work with minor changes. Abe formerly ran on some ODBC configurations, Oracle, and IBM DB2, but we have not tested to be sure it still works. See the comments in abe.conf about dbtype for configuration examples.

Abe works with files created by the original (Satoshi) Bitcoin client. You will need a copy of the block files (blk0001.dat, blk0002.dat, etc. in your Bitcoin directory or its blocks/ subdirectory). You may let Abe read the block files while Bitcoin runs, assuming Bitcoin only appends to the file. Prior to Bitcoin v0.8, this assumption seemed safe. Abe may need some fixes to avoid skipping blocks while current and future Bitcoin versions run.

License

The GNU Affero General Public License (LICENSE.txt) requires whoever modifies this code and runs it on a server to make the modified code available to users of the server. You may do this by forking the Github project (if you received this code from Github.com), keeping your modifications in the new project, and linking to it in the page template. Or you may wish to satisfy the requirement by simply passing "--auto-agpl" to "python -m Abe.abe". This option makes all files in the directory containing abe.py and its subdirectories available to clients. See the comments in abe.conf for more information.

Database

For usage, run "python -m Abe.abe --help" and see the comments in abe.conf.

You will have to specify a database driver and connection arguments (dbtype and connect-args in abe.conf). The dbtype is the name of a Python module that supports your database. Known to work are psycopg2 (for PostgreSQL) and sqlite3. The value of connect-args depends on your database configuration; consult the module's documentation of the connect() method.

You may specify connect-args in any of the following forms:

  • omit connect-args to call connect() with no arguments

  • named arguments as a JSON object, e.g.: connect-args = { "database": "abe", "password": "b1tc0!n" }

  • positional arguments as a JSON array, e.g.: connect-args = ["abe", "abe", "b1tc0!n"]

  • a single string argument on one line, e.g.: connect-args = /var/lib/abe/abe.sqlite

For JSON syntax, see http://www.json.org.

Slow startup

Reading the block files takes much too long, several days or more for the main BTC block chain as of 2013. However, if you use a persistent database, Abe remembers where it stopped reading and starts more quickly the second time.

Replacing the Block File

Abe does not currently handle block file changes gracefully. If you replace your copy of the block chain, you must rebuild Abe's database or (quicker) force a rescan. To force a rescan of all data directories, run Abe once with the "--rescan" option.

Web server

By default, Abe expects to be run in a FastCGI environment. For an overview of FastCGI setup, see README-FASTCGI.txt.

To run the built-in HTTP server instead of FastCGI, specify a TCP port and network interface in abe.conf, e.g.:

port 2750
host 127.0.0.1  # or a domain name

Input

To display Namecoin or any block chain with data somewhere other than the default Bitcoin directory, specify "datadir" in abe.conf, e.g.:

datadir = /home/bitcoin/.namecoin

Note that the web interface is currently unaware of name transactions, but see namecoin_dump.py in the tools directory.

The datadir directive can include a new chain's basic configuration, e.g.:

datadir += [{
        "dirname": "/home/weeds/testnet",
        "chain":   "Weeds",
        "code3":   "WDS",
        "address_version": "o" }]

Note that "+=" adds to the existing datadir configuration, while "=" replaces it. For help with address_version, please open doc/FAQ.html in a web browser.

More information

Please see TODO.txt for a list of what is not yet implemented but would like to be.

Forum thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=22785.0 Newbies: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=51139.0

Donations appreciated: 1PWC7PNHL1SgvZaN7xEtygenKjWobWsCuf (BTC) NJ3MSELK1cWnqUa6xhF2wUYAnz3RSrWXcK (NMC)