This is a multi-part question, mainly do to contradictory information from different articles. It's got me all confused.
From my understanding, bitcoin-qt is just a GUI version of bitcoind - which was the original 'client' or 'node'. Is it true that bitcoind is actually built within bitcoin-qt, and runs in the background as a daemon (when the app is open)?
When I first started bitcoin-qt, it started downloading the block-chain. After that, I was curious about setting up a pool server, so I sought out information about that. I ended up going through a tutorial on installing Eloipool - they informed me that I had to have bitcoind setup and running as a daemon. That was interesting, because I thought that it was already running through bitcoin-qt?
This is where my confusion started. I even tried using the bitcoin-qt debug console; but it didn't have the same commands as bitcoind - specifically the rpc ones.
Where does this leave me? Am I doing something wrong? If I shutdown bitcoin-qt and start bitcoind -daemon, then it starts downloading another block-chain.
Do I really need both of these to make this work, or does the bitcoin-qt have access (somehow) to all the bitcoind commands?
Does bitcoin-qt use bitcoin.conf, the same as bitcoind? The reason I ask this, is for setting up the rpcuser and rpcpassword, amongst other things.
* UPDATE *
I did some more reading, and found out that most people just use bitcoind for more serious stuff. Is there not a way to configure bitcoin-qt to use a currently running instance of bitcoind, instead of spawning it's own daemon (when GUI is open).