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Author Topic: HowTo: Jump-start Bitcoin installation download time with blockchain torrent  (Read 23917 times)
af_newbie
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February 10, 2012, 07:07:32 PM
 #21

This is the only thing that bugged me when I first started with Bitcoin. It took nearly a week for the blockchain to be downloaded.

A week?  on DSL?  It was like 4 hours for me.
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LoWang
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February 10, 2012, 07:30:42 PM
 #22

4hours? And when was it?
deepceleron
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February 10, 2012, 07:53:05 PM
 #23

4hours? And when was it?
4 hours. Yesterday. That was using my local network and a decent desktop computer with a SSD to process the incoming blocks, so that is about the minimum time required now. If you have an older laptop on non port-forwarded wi-fi, it is of course going to take longer.

LoWang
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February 10, 2012, 09:20:32 PM
 #24

very interesting, but your theory is wrong. You obviously did not read "what happened to me". Check the link in my first post here in this thread. There are other unknown factors in play because neither disk or network or CPU is overloaded and it can take really forever Undecided
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February 11, 2012, 08:22:31 PM
 #25

My first install took about 5-6 hours once I figured that client was 'crashing' during reboots. Was also on a wi-fi at first(not recommended)

If you are not planning on keeping it running until the entire blockchain comes in I would recommend going into options and un-checking the 'Start bitcoin on windows start-up'

She is a fickle bitch when downloading the blockchain at first, and has never started up/shut down, with option checked, well on my slower comps.

Some I know that has trouble with the blockchain, this helped them out. You might need to re-download the entire chain tho.

Some of these older comps have less than a gig of space left on the hard drive, some just don't have the space left.

When starting up for a friend, I grab a copy of my blkindex.dat and blk0001.dat on a thumb drive and copy it to their bitcoin app folder. New installs only.

Just my two-bit cents. And Good Luck.


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February 11, 2012, 10:29:52 PM
 #26

Man thank you for confirming that I am not the only one with these problems. But I see you read probably only the first post, thus did not notice that I have fixed it already ;-)

Anyway I am a total newbie with no BTC, but this just confirms my fear that no normal non geeky people will ever be interested in using this currency when this kind of things happen with an official client Undecided
af_newbie
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February 13, 2012, 03:56:52 AM
 #27

4hours? And when was it?

A week ago.  Downloaded ~168K blocks...using 5Mb DSL
deepceleron
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May 30, 2012, 07:00:12 PM
 #28

I'll give this thread a bump since there are currently several noob posts experiencing Bitcoin and it's slow initial startup - questions answered here. First post updated.

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July 04, 2012, 07:42:48 AM
 #29

I was unaware about adding BitCoin to the firewall (port forwarding?) so that it wouldn't have the 8 connection limit.  Now I am getting 16-20 active connections and it appears to be growing.  If this was done prior to the initial blockchain download (where I maxed out at 8 connections), I might have downloaded the blockchain in a few hours instead of it taking days.  I have dual core windows VPS with 100 Gbps connection; I was wondering WTF was taking so long to download blockchain. 

I'll have to watch now how much quicker transactions take to validate (used to be 1 hour for micro transactions <0.01 BTC)

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deepceleron
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July 17, 2012, 11:11:25 PM
 #30

Newer blockchain files added, an uninterrupted blockchain download over local network from updated client. Integrity verified with --checkblocks 0 and --checklevel 6 (no changes). I compressed this one on an x64 machine using 7zip single threaded with dictionary size 256M and word size 273, after 14 hours of pagefile thrashing, I had smashed 2.67GB of blockchain into 1.48GB.

deepceleron
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November 07, 2012, 05:39:11 AM
 #31

When I started this thread, the blockchain was 1GB, now the datadir files are over 4GB!

Files updated to recent block height, similar procedure employed to build this blockchain as the bootstrap torrent uses, resulting in an identical dat structure as other methods, without orphan blocks. I also separated the files so if you have need or use for just one, you can grab it by itself.

Frisoso
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January 14, 2013, 07:41:31 AM
 #32

Any plans to upload a more recent version of the blockchain? Currently on block 206847 with 9617 blocks remaining which go VERY slow...
If it keeps going like this I suspect It'll take at least another day...
deepceleron
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January 14, 2013, 09:24:04 AM
 #33

Yes, I have some half-baked php I've been writing to captcha, rate limit downloads, and only let one file download per user ever, but haven't put it all together and put it up.

mmortal03
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January 29, 2013, 11:42:32 PM
 #34

New import blocks procedure - Bitcoin version 0.7.1+:
A blockchain import feature was recently added to Bitcoin to "bootstrap" or import an external blockchain file, which allows one to also perform a full validation on the Bitcoin blocks being added. As of now, this procedure still requires CPU and disk resources and can take several hours; however all transaction signatures in the blockchain file are verified by your own client, increasing your security. You do not need to download the blkindex.dat file above, but can use the other dat files to import all blocks up to 206000.

Download just the first or both of the blk000x.dat files, and extract them to your disk (the Windows C: drive in the example below). Then to launch Bitcoin, open "Command Prompt" on Windows, or a Linux terminal/console/TTY. You must change to the program directory of Bitcoin and type in the command below to specify the block import file location.

(this step only required on Windows):
cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\Bitcoin" (remove the ' (x86)' on 32-bit Windows)

bitcoin-qt -loadblock=c:\blk0001.dat -loadblock=c:\blk0002.dat

Other blockchain links:

http://sourceforge.net/projects/bitcoin/files%2FBitcoin%2Fblockchain/ (1.1GB zip from Mar 10 2012, up to block 170000)
http://eu2.bitcoincharts.com/blockchain/ (now a link to 2.3GB bootstrap.dat file)
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=117982 (bootstrap-only torrent, longer import process)

Making sure that I understand you correctly, with Bitcoin version 0.7.1+, there is now no reason (even for security purposes) to use the bootstrap.dat method as offered by jgarzik at that last link, because now any external blockchain files used are fully validated when following these quoted steps?
deepceleron
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January 30, 2013, 02:24:18 AM
 #35

New import blocks procedure - Bitcoin version 0.7.1+:...

Making sure that I understand you correctly, with Bitcoin version 0.7.1+, there is now no reason (even for security purposes) to use the bootstrap.dat method as offered by jgarzik at that last link, because now any external blockchain files used are fully validated when following these quoted steps?
Rather, there is no reason not to use it other than time required, which is still 6+ hours to import the blocks after the time spent downloading (making total time near that of normal sync on a good connection), and the fact that the method the developers hoped to create - simply drop a bootstrap.dat file in the datadir and it will be automatically imported - will only will import up to 2.0GB of blocks due to a bug.

Here is a summary of methods, using the current 0.7.2 client:

1. From an already-synced copy of Bitcoin (which must have been last closed with the -detach option), copy all blockchain files (BLK000x.DAT) plus the matching index file (BLKINDEX.DAT) to your data directory [fast, no re-verification of block data]
(This is what I offered in the first post, but I've temporarily removed my files due to DOS attempts. The current best drop-in blockchain is this 2.1GB torrent),

2. From an already-synced copy of Bitcoin, copy just the blockchain files (BLK000x.DAT), and use the -loadblock=BLK0001.DAT -loadblock=BLK0002.DAT -loadblock=BLK0003.DAT option to import any or all block data into your fresh Bitcoin, and re-verify the contents. [slow, safe, verifies all data],

3. Get the bootstrap.dat that has been distributed (2.3GB torrent or direct download ), and drop it in your data directory before you start Bitcoin, to import only 2GB of blocks up to 189205 (due to bug). Basically does the same thing to import data as loadblock command. [slow, safe, only 40% of current size]

3a. Optionally split the bootstrap torrent into two parts, and import both parts with the -loadblock option to use the complete data (instructions here). [slow, safe, only 50% of current size]


Bitcoin 0.8.0+ fixes the bootstrap.dat import bug and will probably coincide with a new larger bootstrap torrent. It also improves the initial download experience with it's complete refactoring of how data is downloaded and stored.

deepceleron
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April 03, 2013, 05:23:31 PM
 #36

This is now a noob thread for torrent talk, new versions of Bitcoin have a different database format than previously posted, and importing the bootstrap torrent is safer than using an already-compiled block database from someone else.

Coiner505
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April 24, 2013, 02:52:57 PM
 #37

This is the only thing that bugged me when I first started with Bitcoin. It took nearly a week for the blockchain to be downloaded.
Ditto here. I am on a dual-core MacBook Pro with 8GB of RAM, and this is headed for a week, easily. v0.8.1-beta. It got to 80% within some hours, then started putting along, slower and slower. It's now at 91% of the almost 233k blocks after several days, not 24x7, maybe 16x7. I've also done the 8333 port forward on both TCP and UDP and restarted the client and can't get >8 connections. I've tested the forward: I can telnet to my public IP from the outside on 8333, and it connects.

BitCoin has 1GB virtual memory allocated and is only using 200MB of resident RAM. The disk is not overloaded at all. This is all without any of the tricks posted here, like the bittorrent download. I'm at 91%. BitCoin seems to be doing its own bittorrent, effectively (maybe literally). I should now download a different, 2.5GB torrent compressed (?), to prime BitCoin, when I'm at 91%? And the prime may only work for the first 2 GB of raw data?

My ~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin is 5.0 GB right now.

This is mostly FYI as a datapoint to developers, as I will probably switch to a different client, unfortunately. Whatever tricks are posted here need to basically be rolled in as the default, coded behavior of the app. Good luck, seriously. I'm a developer and I know the challenges. This is obviously a growing-pain stage.

Bitcoins are really designed so that every client must "know" and verify every single transaction since the beginning of time? That, um, doesn't scale.  Undecided

All right, I'll try the torrent. Seems silly.
kimihiro
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June 14, 2013, 09:05:00 AM
 #38

so if i want to add extra mining rig, do i have to "download" the synchronizing again?
deepceleron
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June 14, 2013, 12:58:26 PM
 #39

so if i want to add extra mining rig, do i have to "download" the synchronizing again?
If you are pool mining, you don't need Bitcoin with a blockchain installed at all.

mprep
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June 14, 2013, 01:01:41 PM
 #40

so if i want to add extra mining rig, do i have to "download" the synchronizing again?
If you are pool mining, you don't need Bitcoin with a blockchain installed at all.
That's probably one of the bigger pooled mining pluses.

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