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Updating Your Bitcoin Node from Git on Linux

Step-by-Step Guide: Seamlessly Upgrading Your Bitcoin Node from Git on Linux - Ensuring Security, Performance, and Network Compatibility with the Latest Technologies

by BiTux
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Keeping your Bitcoin node up-to-date is vital for security, performance, and staying in sync with the Bitcoin network. If you initially installed your node from source code via Git, updating involves a few critical steps. This guide will walk you through updating your node, including how to handle situations where you no longer have access to the original source code.


  • A running Bitcoin node installed from the source.
  • Basic knowledge of Linux terminal commands.
  • A backup of your wallet.dat file and other essential data.

1. Stopping the Bitcoin Node

The first step in the update process is to stop your running Bitcoin node. This is essential to prevent any conflicts or corruption during the update. You can safely stop the node using:

$ bitcoin-cli stop

This command ensures that all processes are terminated gracefully.

2. Fetching or Downloading the Latest Code

  • If You Have the Original Source Code:Navigate to your Bitcoin directory (typically named bitcoin), where you initially cloned the Git repository. Fetch the latest updates from the repository:
    $ cd ~/bitcoin
    $ git fetch
  • Alternatively, If You No Longer Have the Source Code:If you don’t have the original source directory available, download the latest source code again from the official Bitcoin GitHub repository. Clone the repository or download the source as a ZIP file and extract it.

3. Selecting the Desired Version

Decide whether to install the latest stable release or the current development version. For a stable release, find and checkout the most recent tag. If you prefer the latest development version, switch to the master branch:

$ git tag
$ git checkout  eg. v26.0
# or for the master branch
$ git checkout master

4. Compiling the Source Code

After selecting the desired version, compile the source code. This process can vary in duration based on your system’s capabilities:

$ ./autogen.sh
$ ./configure
$ make

5. Installing the New Version

Once compilation is complete, proceed with installing the new version. Since you’ve already stopped the Bitcoin daemon, you can safely run as a root user:

$ make install

This command will replace the old binaries with the newly compiled ones.

6. Restarting the Node

After installation, restart your Bitcoin node. If you’re manually managing bitcoind, simply start it again with the bitcoind command. For those using a system service, use the appropriate command to restart the service.

$ bitcoind
$ bitcoind -daemon

7. Verifying the Update

Finally, verify that the update was successful by checking the version of your Bitcoin node:

$ bitcoind --version
$ bitcoin-cli --version
Check version of the Bitcoin node after upgrade

Check version of the Bitcoin node after upgrade with “make install” command.


Regularly updating your Bitcoin node is crucial for maintaining a secure and efficient network presence. Remember to back up important data before beginning the update process, and always download updates from trusted sources.


1. Do I need to backup my entire Bitcoin node data before updating?

It’s essential to back up your wallet.dat file and any other critical data before updating. However, a complete backup of the entire node data is not necessary unless you want to be extra cautious. The update process typically does not affect the blockchain data.

2. How often should I update my Bitcoin node?

It’s recommended to update your Bitcoin node whenever a new stable release is available. Regular updates ensure your node has the latest security fixes and features. Keeping an eye on official Bitcoin release announcements is a good practice.

3. Can I switch from a stable version to a development version, and vice versa?

Yes, you can switch between stable and development versions. However, be aware that development versions may include experimental features and might not be as stable as the release versions.

4. What should I do if I encounter errors during the update process?

If you encounter errors during the update, check the error messages for clues. Often, issues can be resolved by installing missing dependencies or adjusting configurations. If you’re stuck, seeking help from online forums or the Bitcoin community can be beneficial.

5. Is it necessary to stop the Bitcoin node before updating?

Yes, it is necessary to stop your Bitcoin node before performing the update. This prevents any conflicts and ensures that the update process goes smoothly without corrupting any data.

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