Having examined the output of

bitcoind -h

and searched through all the bitcoin-cli rpc items listed here


I did not find anything which produces a live stream to stdout of all the tasks my full node is running/performing. What is required to make all that visible?

One is led to understand that the main benefit of running one's own full node is to be able to independently confirm transactions and that is all fine, but another important effect is supposedly the continual assistance the node provides to the network, serving historical blocks and so forth. That traffic is what I would like to see.

2 Answers 2


bitcoind -printtoconsole -debug

This will output an unreasonable amount of information and break your terminal, and not particularly help you with your sovereignty.

  • Initially got "Error: Cannot obtain a lock on data directory /node/BTC. Bitcoin Core is probably already running." After issuing bitcoin-cli stop, it worked as expected. Very informative. Commented Feb 29, 2020 at 23:10

The debug.log files is updated regularly details activity of bitcoind and bitcoin-qt. The file can be found in $HOME/.bitcoin on Linux, and in %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin on Windows.

A "tail -f debug.log" will give you live info. It's not the most user-friendly.

I modified bitcoin core tn to give more useful information in debug.log, and more human readable, with more granular options to enable or disable certain debugging. It can be found at https://github.com/rebroad/bitcoin/

It's not been updated since 0.13 though. I'm curious to know what specific information you'd like to see.

  • Hi, yes, used tail -f -n 200 debug.log a lot while the IBD was in progress. Fascinating. But once the node was up to date and properly indexed, that file activity drops to just the occasional activity of peers dropping off the network or new peers being added and of course every 10 minutes or so some info about a new block. I specifically wanted to see as much as possible of the ongoing work the node performs for the network. -printtoconsole -debug got me a long ways towards that. I see that all the settings to bitcoind can be used to tailor what gets included. Looked at your repo. Nice. Commented Mar 2, 2020 at 23:49

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.