Bitcoin Core provides testing tools designed to let developers test their applications with reduced risks and limitations.
When run with no arguments, all Bitcoin Core programs default to Bitcoin’s main network (mainnet). However, for development, it’s safer and cheaper to use Bitcoin’s test network (testnet) where the satoshis spent have no real-world value. Testnet also relaxes some restrictions (such as standard transaction checks) so you can test functions which might currently be disabled by default on mainnet.
To use testnet, use the argument
bitcoin-qt or add
testnet=1 to your
bitcoin.conf file as described earlier. To get free satoshis for testing, use Piotr Piasecki’s testnet faucet. Testnet is a public resource provided for free by members of the community, so please don’t abuse it.
For situations where interaction with random peers and blocks is unnecessary or unwanted, Bitcoin Core’s regression test mode (regtest mode) lets you instantly create a brand-new private block chain with the same basic rules as testnet—but one major difference: you choose when to create new blocks, so you have complete control over the environment.
Many developers consider regtest mode the preferred way to develop new applications. The following example will let you create a regtest environment after you first configure bitcoind.
> bitcoind -regtest -daemon Bitcoin server starting
bitcoind in regtest mode to create a private block chain.
## Bitcoin Core 0.10.1 and earlier bitcoin-cli -regtest setgenerate true 101 ## Bitcoin Core 17.1 and earlier bitcoin-cli -regtest generate 101 ## Bitcoin Core 18.0 and later bitcoin-cli -regtest generatetoaddress 101 $(bitcoin-cli -regtest getnewaddress)
Generate 101 blocks using a special RPC which is only available in regtest mode. This takes less than a second on a generic PC. Because this is a new block chain using Bitcoin’s default rules, the first blocks pay a block reward of 50 bitcoins. Unlike mainnet, in regtest mode only the first 150 blocks pay a reward of 50 bitcoins. However, a block must have 100 confirmations before that reward can be spent, so we generate 101 blocks to get access to the coinbase transaction from block #1.
bitcoin-cli -regtest getbalance 50.00000000
Verify that we now have 50 bitcoins available to spend.
You can now use Bitcoin Core RPCs prefixed with
Regtest wallets and block chain state (chainstate) are saved in the
regtest subdirectory of the Bitcoin Core configuration directory. You can safely delete the
regtest subdirectory and restart Bitcoin Core to start a new regtest. (See the Developer Examples Introduction for default configuration directory locations on various operating systems. Always back up mainnet wallets before performing dangerous operations such as deleting.)