bitcoind is extremely slow to start (~5-20 minutes). I'm not talking about keeping up with the blockchain, that would be perfectly fine, I'm talking about an initial phase where it doesn't even respond to requests: any call to it returns "error: couldn't connect to server" (either from command line or from web).

Is it a known issue, is there a workaround?

OSX 10.6.8, bitcoind 0.7.0 (but happened with earlier versions too).

  • How slow are we talking? 30 seconds? 30 minutes?
    – Nick ODell
    Jan 31, 2013 at 1:14
  • @NickODell any time between 5 and 20 minutes, more or less.
    – o0'.
    Jan 31, 2013 at 8:10
  • I have the same issue. Do you have FileVault trend on by chance? Feb 1, 2013 at 2:43
  • @AndrewBurns nope :/
    – o0'.
    Feb 1, 2013 at 16:17
  • Calling for a close vote: no longer useful.
    – o0'.
    Mar 7, 2013 at 11:03

1 Answer 1


You very probably have a massive wallet.dat file.

This happens with Instawallet's bitcoind, it takes an hour to start up, it spends this time loading the wallet.

If you want to make sure :

  • Stop bitcoind
  • Open up a Terminal, and type : $ tail -f ~/Library/Application\ Support/Bitcoin/debug.log
  • Press ⌘K to clear the scrollback and window
  • Start bitcoind

You should see some output when the client starts, if the problem is actually with loading the wallet the output should stop for a while on 'Loading wallet'.

  • mmh, seems to be stuck here Bound to [::]:8333 Bound to Loading block index... dbenv.open LogDir=/Users/looris/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/database ErrorFile=/Users/looris/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/db.log
    – o0'.
    Jan 31, 2013 at 8:15
  • 1
    Looks like it's loading the block DB
    – David
    Jan 31, 2013 at 9:34
  • And what should I do about that in that case?
    – o0'.
    Feb 1, 2013 at 16:17
  • 1
    I'd say try to remove your DB entirely and redownload the chain see if that solves the issue, the folks on #bitcoin-dev might have some better insight here.
    – David
    Feb 1, 2013 at 17:22

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