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I have been following Antonopoulos book but it seems to be outdated.

I am having elementary problems. Which command to run when, after I build bitcoind and bitcoin-cli. How am I to get blockchain to start downloading?

Start with the infamous bitcoin.conf which doesn't exist and nobody knows exactly how it should come into existence.

:~/.bitcoin$ bitcoind -datadir=/mnt/d/blockchain -txindex=1 -daemon Bitcoin server starting

Ok, I assume it is now doing something, like downloading blocks.

But:

~/bitcoin$ bitcoin-cli -datadir=/mnt/d/blockchain -getinfo
{
  "version": 170100,
  "protocolversion": 70015,
  "walletversion": null,
  "balance": null,
  "blocks": 0,
  "timeoffset": 0,
  "connections": 0,
  "proxy": "",
  "difficulty": 1,
  "testnet": false,
  "keypoololdest": null,
  "keypoolsize": null,
  "paytxfee": null,
  "relayfee": 0.00001000,
  "warnings": ""
}

implies that nothing is going on. Nothing is being downloaded.

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Start with the infamous bitcoin.conf which doesn't exist and nobody knows exactly how it should come into existence.

Well, I know.

It should come into existence by you creating it with a text editor in your datadir directory, if you wish to do so. It's completely optional. If there are command line options you want to use every time without having to specify them (such as -txindex=1), you can put them into bitcoin.conf. If you're happy continuing to give them on the command line, then there is no need for bitcoin.conf to exist at all.

And now you know too.


As for your other issue, if you use getblockchaininfo instead of getinfo, you'll get more detailed information. Current versions of Bitcoin Core try to download block headers before getting the blocks themselves. You'll see a headers field in getblockchaininfo which perhaps will be increasing.

Otherwise, any and all diagnostic information would be in a file called debug.log in your datadir directory. Look at that file. If it isn't self-explanatory, then you can post the last several lines of it in a question here, or to your other favorite Bitcoin support forum.

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