I want to experiment with the bitcoin-cli in the easiest way. I just installed bitcoin core and waiting for it to download the blockchain. Is there a way meanwhile I can run bitcoind and/or bitcoin-cli, that doesn't require downloading the whole blockchain? I guess running the test-net is a natural approach. My main problem is: I don't see the bitcoind and bitcoin-cli executables anywhere on my system. I'm running Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS and installed bitcoin core through the command line as described here: http://bitzuma.com/posts/getting-started-with-bitcoin-core-on-ubuntu/

ultimately running bitcoin-qt from the command line.

  • Please don't include "side notes" in questions - ask it as a separate question, otherwise it will likely get overlooked or removed. When you do ask a new question, be sure to explain what OS you are using, the Bitcoin Core version, and how you installed Bitcoin Core (e.g. where you got the packages). Apr 8, 2017 at 16:24

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can run bitcoind with the -testnet option. This starts a separate process that runs independently of the mainnet bitcoind. You can control it with bitcoin-cli -testnet.

Note that you will have to download and verify the testnet blockchain before being able to do very much. This also takes some time / bandwidth / disk space / CPU, though much less than for mainnet. Depending on the speed of your CPU and Internet connection, it might also make the mainnet download take longer if they have to share resources.

  • The problem is I don't see a bitcoin-cli or bitcoind executable although I downloaded bitcoin core. Perhaps it creates them only when it finishes downloading the blockchain?
    – relG
    Apr 8, 2017 at 18:47
  • As I said, that is a separate question. Apr 8, 2017 at 19:05
  • OK revised question to address my main concern more accurately
    – relG
    Apr 9, 2017 at 8:30

Alright, my problem was simply that the link I mentioned didn't mention bitcoind needed to be installed in addition to bitcoin-qt to get access to bitcoin-cli. So I just needed to do:

sudo apt-get install bitcoind

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