Just built no gui, no wallet bitcoin on WSL Ubuntu Bionic, Bitcoin v0.17.1.

I want to experiment with bitcoin-cli.

I followed recommendation to run bitcoind -princonsole and it says: Using config file


This file doesn't exist.

I followed some dense discussion on how should this behave to make dumb users happier on github, supposedly there were some merges, but frankly, I have no clue what was the final conclusion and what is or isn't in 0.17.1

Eventually, I understood that datadir must be specified first.

But that doesn't work for me.

~/bitcoin$ bitcoind -datadir /mnt/d/blockchain -txindex
Error: Specified data directory "" does not exist.

/mnt/d/blockchain definitely exists.

Thanks for any help.

Many thanks to Nate Eldredge for pointing out a dumb error of mine and hope someone can help parsing and shedding some light on this:


Blockchain download has started and now I am waiting for the end result.

  • Please mark Nate's answer as correct by clicking the checkmark instead of editing your answer
    – arubi
    Jan 21, 2019 at 18:17

2 Answers 2


The syntax should be

bitcoind -datadir=/mnt/d/blockchain -txindex

Note the = sign.

This will look for the bitcoin.conf file at /mnt/d/blockchain/bitcoin.conf and will store the blockchain, databases, wallet files, etc, all in /mnt/d/blockchain. With this option, Bitcoin Core shouldn't read or write anything in ~/.bitcoin at all.

  • Lol. Feel embarassed. That worked.
    – Tony
    Jan 20, 2019 at 23:18

On Ubuntu your bitcoin.conf file should be located at /home/username/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf

If that file do not exist create it and fill with standard parameters like:

rpcallowip=your ip or the rpc commands sending machine
  • Maybe it should but it isn't: ~/.bitcoin$ ls banlist.dat blocks chainstate debug.log fee_estimates.dat mempool.dat peers.dat wallets
    – Tony
    Jan 20, 2019 at 23:15
  • Just type 'touch bitcoin.conf' and fill the file with the aforementioned parameters.
    – AG23
    Jan 22, 2019 at 10:43

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