Build and run the BitShares client

To build the BitShares client, just type the following:

$ bts build

This will take some time, but you should end up with a BitShares binary ready to be executed. To make sure this worked, and see all the versions available on your system, type:

$ bts list

This should also show you the default version of the client that will be run.

To run it, you just need to:

$ bts run

After the first run, this will have created the ~/.BitShares directory (~/Library/Application Support/BitShares on OSX) and you should go there, edit the config.json file, and fill in the user and password for the RPC connection.

At this point, you want to create a wallet, an account and register it as a witness. Please refer to the BitShares documentation for instructions.

Pro Tip: running the client in tmux

Running the client inside your shell after having logged in to your VPS is what you want to do in order to be able to run it 24/7. However, you want the client to still keep running even after logging out. The solution to this problem is to use what is called a terminal multiplexer, such as screen or tmux. Don’t worry about the complicated name, what a terminal multiplexer allows you to do is to run a shell to which you can “attach” and “detach” at will, and which will keep running in the background. When you re-attach to it, you will see your screen as if you had never disconnected.

Here we will use tmux, but the process with screen is extremely similar (although a few keyboard shortcuts change).

The first thing to do is to launch tmux itself, simply by running the following in your shell:

$ tmux

You should now see the same shell prompt, but a status bar should have appeared at the bottom of your screen, meaning you are now running “inside” tmux.


The keyboard shortcuts are somewhat arcane, but this is the bare minimum you have to remember:

when outside of tmux:

  • tmux : create a new tmux session
  • tmux attach : re-attach to a running session

when inside of tmux:

  • ctrl+b d : detach the session - do this before disconnecting from your server
  • ctrl+b [ : enter “scrolling mode” - you can scroll back the screen (normal arrows and sliders from your terminal application don’t work with tmux…) Use q to quit this mode

So let’s try attaching/detaching our tmux session now: as you just ran ‘tmux’, you are now inside it type ctrl-b d, and you should now be back to your shell before launching it

$ tmux attach  # this re-attaches to our session
$ bts run      # we run the bitshares client inside tmux

type ctrl-b d, you are now outside of tmux, and doesn’t see anything from the bts client

$ tmux attach  # this re-attaches your session, and you should see the bts client still in action

To get more accustomed to tmux, it is recommended to find tutorials on the web, this one for instance seems to do a good job of showing the power of tmux while not being too scary…