38

I'm used to synchronize my data on different machines. Depending on the data I use SVN, Dropbox or SSH (Unison). Is this possible with the bitcoin wallet, too?

34

It is, with three provisos.

  1. Never run the same wallet on more than one computer at a time.

  2. Never run an older copy of a wallet when a newer version exists. If you send any funds, make sure to keep the newer copy of the wallet.

  3. Make sure all client programs are linked to the same version of BerkeleyDB.

Overall, I think it's just not a good idea. The client software wasn't designed to cleanly handle the many things that can go wrong.

6

Yes. The only file you need to worry about is wallet.dat (location dependent on operating system). If you copy that one file to another computer (or to a secure backup), you will have access to your money and address book. Conversely, that is the only file you need to protect -- all of the other files should be safe to share without worrying about anyone getting their hands on your money.

This only applies to your money and address book. If you only copy wallet.dat, you will need to re-download the entire block chain on the other computer (so you may want to copy the other files too, but it is not necessary). There is no point in backing up the other files, because if you need to, you can redownload everything else.

Finally, you should not leave your cleartext wallet in any server that you don't control (such as DropBox). Make sure you encrypt it before backing it up.

  • 2
    I think you do need to take care not to use the same wallet.dat simultaneously from two computers ... am I right? – ripper234 Sep 3 '11 at 5:51
  • By "simultaneously", do you mean take a copy of the file and use it in two places at once (without synchronising), or literally use the same file shared over a network from two PCs at once? In the case of two PCs using a copy -- it will work, but is probably wise not to do this, simply because it's hard to merge (a tool could be made to merge wallets). But because there are 100 pre-generated addresses, it is quite unlikely that using it for a short time in two places without synchronising would cause you to lose data when you copy one back over the other. – mgiuca Sep 3 '11 at 6:13
  • The other question (if you literally share a file over a network), this should be okay, because it internally uses Berkeley DB which I believe is designed to handle reads and writes from different processes or machines without conflict. So that approach should be fine, but I cannot guarantee it. The best solution would be to have only one "active" copy of a wallet at any given time, and every time you finish using it, synchronise it back over. – mgiuca Sep 3 '11 at 6:15
-1

You can get yourself an online wallet at a site like Blockchain. Then you can log in on the site from any computer to access your wallet.

  • 4
    This would probably be better as a comment to the original post as it doesn't necessarily provide an answer to the question. – Stephen Gornick Dec 5 '12 at 1:47
  • 1
    @StephenGornick Why? With an online wallet you can log in from any computer to acces your wallet, so it's a really good way to acces your wallet from multiple computers. – stommestack Dec 7 '12 at 10:40
  • 1
    @Jop there are many cases of blockchain users having their bitcoins stolen through various means even when using google 2 factor auth, via keylogging, malware etc. Its much safer to leave your main bank of coins in a cold storage wallet and just a small amount in blockchain – wired00 Nov 19 '13 at 23:55

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