Install Bitcoind on Ubuntu Server – Upgrade your Bitcoin Node

If you prefer video and don’t need my help to install Bitcoind on Ubuntu server, see this video for instructions. Use the below text as a way to help when you run in to something you don’t understand. Otherwise, the video should suffice.

Installing Bitcoind on Ubuntu Server

  • Login to your nodebox through SSH using instructions previously shared here
  • Input [mkdir downloads] to make a directory for downloads
  • Type [ls] to confirm your new directory
  • Visit to find the link to download bitcoind
  • Right click/copy link on the Linux (tgz) download
  • In terminal, go to your downloads directory with [cd downloads]
  • Input [wget] and paste in the link for the linux (tgz) file
  • Hit enter. This should download bitcoin to your downloads folder
  • When it’s done you can type [ls] into the command line and see the download in the directory
  • Follow the instruction in the to verify the bitcoin software you downloaded
  • After verifying the file is good, unzip the file using this command: [tar xzf bitcoin-**.0-x86_64-linux-gnu.tar.gz] YOU WILL NEED TO CHANGE THE VERSION NUMBER TO THE ONE YOU DOWNLOADED.
  • Use the command to install in your root directory: [sudo install -m 0755 -o root -g root -t /usr/local/bin bitcoin-22.0/bin/*] (YOU WILL NEED TO CHANGE THE VERSION NUMBER TO THE ONE YOU DOWNLOADED.)
  • You will be prompted to enter your password
  • Enter the command [bitcoind -daemon] to run Bitcoin. Your nodebox should be downloading the bitcoin blockchain, you can confirm that by following instructions below.
  • Use the command [cd ~] to go back to your home directory
  • Enter the command [ll] to see that .bitcoin has been added to your home directory
  • Go into the .bitcoin directory using the command [cd .bitcoin]
  • Type [ls] to see a list of files there
  • Open a new terminal window and enter the command [tail -f .bitcoin/debug.log] to see the blocks downloading in real time if you’d like
    • A few bitcoin -cli commands:
      • bitcoin -cli getblockchaininfo
      • bitcoin -cli getconectioncount
  • Now we setup bitcoin.conf
    • If you aren’t in the .bitcoin directory go there. [cd .bitcoin]
    • You will create a file there called bitcoin.conf using the command [nano bitcoin.conf]
    • You should see a text editor open up named bitcoin.conf
    • Paste in the following:
  • In a browser, go to
  • Keep the bitcoin.conf file open and open a new terminal
  • Use the [cd downloads] command to go into your downloads directory
  • Use the command [wget] to download that file
  • We need to make that file executable. The command for that is [chmod +x]
  • We need to set a password and username for bitcoind. The command for that is [./ bitcoin bitcoin] (in that line “bitcoin” is designated as the password and “bitcoin” is designated as the username. Change that as you’d like.)
  • Hit enter and you will get a string of characters that starts with rpcauth. Starting from the rpcauth part all the way through the rest of the characters, paste that below the “whitelist” line in the bitcoin.conf file you are editing.
  • Hold down the “control” key and the “x” key at the same time to exit. Hit “y” to save the file when prompted. Hit “enter” to exit.
  • In the terminal window with the .bitcoin directory stop bitcoind with the command [bitcoin-cli stop]
  • Start it up again with the command [bitcoind]
  • Use the command [bitcoin-cli blockchaininfo] to see if the timechain has completely downloaded
  • Next… wait until core downloads all of the blocks. Might take 18 hours or so.

Setup the service file so that Bitcoin starts up automatically

  • Go to
  • Enter command [cd /etc/systemd/system/] to move to that directory
  • Enter command [ sudo wget] to download the service file template
  • In the /etc/systemd/system directory enter command [sudo nano bitcoind.service]
  • This will let you edit the service file to change the directories to be accurate
  • Change lines:
ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/bitcoind -daemon \
                            -pid=/run/bitcoind/ \
                            -conf=/home/<YOURUSERNAME>/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf \
  • Place a # in front of this line:
ExecStartPre=/bin/chgrp bitcoin /etc/bitcoin
  • Should now read:
# ExecStartPre=/bin/chgrp bitcoin /etc/bitcoin
  • Change the username to read the same username for your node login:
# Run as bitcoin:bitcoin
  • In the “Hardening Measures” part we will put a # in front of the line that reads “ProtectHome=true”
# Hardening measures

# Provide a private /tmp and /var/tmp.

# Mount /usr, /boot/ and /etc read-only for the process.

# Deny access to /home, /root and /run/user
# ProtectHome=true
  • Control X to save, type “y” to confirm, and enter to return to terminal
  • Enable bitcoind with command [sudo systemctl enable bitcoind]
  • Start bitcoind with command [sudo systemctl start bitcoind]

Enable TOR

  • Install tor with [sudo apt install tor]
  • Verify install using [sudo systemctl status tor]
  • Edit a file in tor with the command [sudo nano /etc/tor/torrc]
  • Add these lines to the bottom of that file:
ControlPort 9051
CookieAuthentication 1
CookieAuthFileGroupReadable 1
  • Hit control x, ‘y’ to save, enter to leave that file
  • Make those changes effective by typing [sudo systemctl restart tor]
  • Add your username by typing [sudo usermod -a -G debian-tor <username>]
  • Add tor to bitcoin.conf file with the command [nano sudo .bitcoin/bitcoin.conf]
  • Add the following lines to the bottom of the file.
  • Control x, ‘y’ to save, enter to exit
  • Reboot machine using [sudo reboot]
  • SSH back into your machine
  • Now you need to check to see if bitcoind is connecting to peers with the move to tor vs. clearnet
  • Using a second terminal, Type command [tail -f .bitcoin/debug.log] to see if new blocks are coming in
  • Back in the other terminal window, enter command [bitcoin-cli getconnectioncount]
  • If you are getting a ‘0’ for connection count you may need to manually find a connection
  • Instructions for that are:
    • Scroll down a bit and you will see a list of nodes online. Picking the first one should work just fine. Copy that onion address including the :8333 port in it.
    • Now you are going to add that address to your bitcoin.conf file using this command [sudo nano .bitcoin/bitcoin.conf]
    • Next, add that node to the bottom of the bictoin.conf file with the command [addnode=<url of that node>]
    • Control x, save, enter to finally exit
    • Restart bitcoind with command [sudo systemctl restart bitcoind]
    • Wait a minute or so and check the other terminal window to see if you are connecting to peers.
    • You can also type in a terminal [bitcoin-cli getconnectioncount] to see if you have any new peers.
    • Once you have 4 or five peers, you can go into the bitcoin.conf file and remove the node you added at the bottom. Command [sudo nano .bitcoin/bitcoin.conf] will get you back in. Scroll down and delete the text you added earlier, then control x, y, enter.
    • Restart bitcoind again with command [sudo systemctl restart bitcoind] to ensure that your node can now connect to peers on it’s own
    • After a minute or so use [bitcoin-cli getconnectioncount] to very connection to other nodes over tor
  • To verify your traffic is going over tor you can use the command [bitcoin-cli getnetworkinfo]
  • You should see an onion address at the bottom of the information that prints out in terminal. You should also see ipv4 reachable: false. Same for ipv6. Onion ‘reachable’ should say ‘true’
  • Another useful command is bitcoin-cli gettxoutsetinfo to verify the supply of all satoshis