I'm trying to communicate with the new Bitcoin-Qt -server via a command line on Mac. I run ./Bitcoin-Qt -server, the application starts, but my terminal window is stuck on an empty line (no matter what I type in, there is no response). Only when I quit Bitcoin am I able to run any commands, but then I can't communicate with Bitcoin, because it is already off.

How do I start Bitcoin-Qt -server on Mac and control it through command line?

3 Answers 3


You can start it from the command-line using:

open Bitcoin-Qt.app --args -server

I think the --args option to open is OSX 10.6 and later; if you are running an older OSX put server=1 in your ~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/bitcoin.conf file. In fact, to use the -server command you must set a -rpcuser/-rpcpassword, so I'd suggest creating a bitcoin.conf that contains:

rpcpassword=...something else

We don't ship a bitcoind for the Mac, but you can use curl (for example) to send commands to the running Bitcoin-Qt:

curl --user yourname --data-binary '{"id":"t0", "method": "getinfo", "params": [] }'

The bitcoin source tree also contains python code that uses the free 'jsonrpc' library to communicate with a running Bitcoin-Qt (see contrib/bitrpc/).


bitcoind 0.5.x, starting with 0.5.6rc3 and 0.6.x starting with 0.6.3 include a deterministic Mac build. Unfortunately, bitcoind 0.7 does not build with the Mac OS X 10.5 toolchain (which is what I compiled for gitian), so until I manage to make a LLVM-based cross-compiler you'll have to stick to the new Debug window interface and JSON-RPC.


Don't forget to add rpcallowip:

open Bitcoin-Qt.app --args -server=1 -rpcuser=bitcoinrpc -rpcpassword=barfoo -rpcport=8332 -rpcallowip=

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