Multiprocess Bitcoin

On unix systems, the --enable-multiprocess build option can be passed to ./configure to build new bitcoin-node, bitcoin-wallet, and bitcoin-gui executables alongside existing bitcoind and bitcoin-qt executables.

bitcoin-node is a drop-in replacement for bitcoind, and bitcoin-gui is a drop-in replacement for bitcoin-qt, and there are no differences in use or external behavior between the new and old executables. But internally (after #10102), bitcoin-gui will spawn a bitcoin-node process to run P2P and RPC code, communicating with it across a socket pair, and bitcoin-node will spawn bitcoin-wallet to run wallet code, also communicating over a socket pair. This will let node, wallet, and GUI code run in separate address spaces for better isolation, and allow future improvements like being able to start and stop components independently on different machines and environments.

Next steps

Specific next steps after #10102 will be:


After #10102, the -debug=ipc command line option can be used to see requests and responses between processes.


The multiprocess feature requires Cap'n Proto and libmultiprocess as dependencies. A simple way to get starting using it without installing these dependencies manually is to use the depends system with the MULTIPROCESS=1 dependency option passed to make:

make -C depends NO_QT=1 MULTIPROCESS=1
./configure --prefix=$PWD/depends/x86_64-pc-linux-gnu
src/bitcoin-node -regtest -printtoconsole -debug=ipc
BITCOIND=bitcoin-node test/functional/

The configure script will pick up settings and library locations from the depends directory, so there is no need to pass --enable-multiprocess as a separate flag when using the depends system (it's controlled by the MULTIPROCESS=1 option).

Alternately, you can install Cap'n Proto and libmultiprocess packages on your system, and just run ./configure --enable-multiprocess without using the depends system. The configure script will be able to locate the installed packages via pkg-config. See Installation section of the libmultiprocess readme for install steps. See build-unix.html and build-osx.html for information about installing dependencies in general.