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This directory contains integration tests that test bitcoind and its utilities in their entirety. It does not contain unit tests, which can be found in /src/test, /src/wallet/test, etc.

There are currently two sets of tests in this directory:

  • functional which test the functionality of bitcoind and bitcoin-qt by interacting with them through the RPC and P2P interfaces.
  • util which tests the bitcoin utilities, currently only bitcoin-tx.

The util tests are run as part of make check target. The functional tests are run by the travis continuous build process whenever a pull request is opened. Both sets of tests can also be run locally.

Running tests locally

Build for your system first. Be sure to enable wallet, utils and daemon when you configure. Tests will not run otherwise.

Functional tests


The ZMQ functional test requires a python ZMQ library. To install it:

  • on Unix, run sudo apt-get install python3-zmq
  • on mac OS, run pip3 install pyzmq

Running the tests

Individual tests can be run by directly calling the test script, eg:


or can be run through the test_runner harness, eg:


You can run any combination (incl. duplicates) of tests by calling:

test/functional/ <testname1> <testname2> <testname3> ...

Run the regression test suite with:


Run all possible tests with

test/functional/ --extended

By default, up to 4 tests will be run in parallel by test_runner. To specify how many jobs to run, append --jobs=n

The individual tests and the test_runner harness have many command-line options. Run -h to see them all.

Troubleshooting and debugging test failures

Resource contention

The P2P and RPC ports used by the bitcoind nodes-under-test are chosen to make conflicts with other processes unlikely. However, if there is another bitcoind process running on the system (perhaps from a previous test which hasn't successfully killed all its bitcoind nodes), then there may be a port conflict which will cause the test to fail. It is recommended that you run the tests on a system where no other bitcoind processes are running.

On linux, the test_framework will warn if there is another bitcoind process running when the tests are started.

If there are zombie bitcoind processes after test failure, you can kill them by running the following commands. Note that these commands will kill all bitcoind processes running on the system, so should not be used if any non-test bitcoind processes are being run.

killall bitcoind


pkill -9 bitcoind
Data directory cache

A pre-mined blockchain with 200 blocks is generated the first time a functional test is run and is stored in test/cache. This speeds up test startup times since new blockchains don't need to be generated for each test. However, the cache may get into a bad state, in which case tests will fail. If this happens, remove the cache directory (and make sure bitcoind processes are stopped as above):

rm -rf cache
killall bitcoind
Test logging

The tests contain logging at different levels (debug, info, warning, etc). By default:

  • when run through the test_runner harness, all logs are written to test_framework.log and no logs are output to the console.
  • when run directly, all logs are written to test_framework.log and INFO level and above are output to the console.
  • when run on Travis, no logs are output to the console. However, if a test fails, the test_framework.log and bitcoind debug.logs will all be dumped to the console to help troubleshooting.

To change the level of logs output to the console, use the -l command line argument.

test_framework.log and bitcoind debug.logs can be combined into a single aggregate log by running the script. The output can be plain text, colorized text or html. For example: -c <test data directory> | less -r

will pipe the colorized logs from the test into less.

Use --tracerpc to trace out all the RPC calls and responses to the console. For some tests (eg any that use submitblock to submit a full block over RPC), this can result in a lot of screen output.

By default, the test data directory will be deleted after a successful run. Use --nocleanup to leave the test data directory intact. The test data directory is never deleted after a failed test.

Attaching a debugger

A python debugger can be attached to tests at any point. Just add the line:

import pdb; pdb.set_trace()

anywhere in the test. You will then be able to inspect variables, as well as call methods that interact with the bitcoind nodes-under-test.

If further introspection of the bitcoind instances themselves becomes necessary, this can be accomplished by first setting a pdb breakpoint at an appropriate location, running the test to that point, then using gdb to attach to the process and debug.

For instance, to attach to self.node[1] during a run:

2017-06-27 14:13:56.686000 TestFramework (INFO): Initializing test directory /tmp/user/1000/testo9vsdjo3

use the directory path to get the pid from the pid file:

cat /tmp/user/1000/testo9vsdjo3/node1/regtest/
gdb /home/example/bitcoind <pid>

Note: gdb attach step may require sudo

Util tests

Util tests can be run locally by running test/util/ Use the -v option for verbose output.

Writing functional tests

You are encouraged to write functional tests for new or existing features. Further information about the functional test framework and individual tests is found in test/functional.