The Armory stack uses 3 processes and 3 paths
Your Bitcoin node
It needs a single path, its datadir, where it maintains blockchain data.
This folder defaults to:
"~/Bitcoin/blocks" on Windows (~ usually resolves to C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Roaming) "~/.bitcoin/blocks" on Linux "~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/blocks" on OSX
If you want to specify a custom datadir for your node, you’d run it with the -datadir command line (CLI) argument:
If instead of running BitcoinQt manually, you let Armory manage it for you, you have to give the custom blockchain datadir to Armory, using the –satoshi-datadir CLI arg:
Note that Armory takes its CLI args with 2 dashes (–) whereas your node takes a single dash (-).
Armory’s DB process needs to know of 3 paths: the Armory datadir and the dbdir and the node datadir.
The datadir is where Armory’s wallet and settings files are maintained. It defaults to:
"~/Armory" on Windows "~/.armory" on Linux "~/Library/Application Support/Armory" on OSX
You can set a custom datadir using the –datadir CLI arg:
The dbdir is where Armory’s DB maintains its own files. It defaults to:
"~/Armory/databases" on Windows "~/.armory/databases" on Linux "~/Library/Application Support/Armory/databases" on OSX
As you can see, the dbdir defaults to the datadir + “/databases”. If ArmoryDB is not given a custom dbdir, it will append “/databases” to the datadir.
To set a custom dbdir, use the –dbdir CLI arg:
The node datadir is described in section 1. The CLI arg to set point ArmoryDB to a custom node datadir is
ArmoryQt is a bit special in that, as the GUI, it manages both your node and the db by default. Therefor, the amount of paths it needs to know about may vary:
If ArmoryQt is running on its own, it only needs to know the Armory datadir. If ArmoryQt is controlling ArmoryDB for you (>99% of use cases), it needs to know of the node datadir and dbdir. If ArmoryQt is controlling your Bitcoin node (this is a default setting) it needs to know of the node datadir.
Assuming you want to run Armory with a custom node datadir and custom dbdir, with node and db controlled by the client, your command line would look like this:
armory --satoshi-datadir="/custom/blockchain/path" --dbdir="/custom/database/path/"
CLI args do not persists the process. If you want to run Armory with custom paths, you need to spawn it with the same CLI args every run. A way around this using the config files.
There are 2 Armory config files:
armoryqt.conf (for the GUI) armorydb.conf (for the db)
Both reside in Armory’s datadir. Any CLI args you can feed to either the GUI or the db, you can put in the respective config file for it to persist.
Taking the previous example, you could pass the same path arguments in armoryqt.conf. The content of the file would look like this:
The config file rules are as follow:
- config files can take any valid CLI args for their respective process
- CLI args provided to the process override args in the config file
- You do not need to prepend args in the config file with double dashes (–), but their use is legal
- one argument per line
- no spaces between the arg, the equal sign, and its value (if it applies, some args don’t take value)
Because of the second property, the ArmoryDB config file is not useful for regular operations. Since in this case the GUI is managing the DB, it will pass it pathing arguments that will override anything in the .conf. Generally, when it comes to pathing, you only really care about armoryqt.conf
Say you are Windows, and your user name is Adam.
We know that by default your paths are:
Node datadir: C:\Users\Adam\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\blocks Armory datadir: C:\Users\Adam\AppData\Roaming\Armory Armory dbdir: C:\Users\Adam\AppData\Roaming\Armory\databases
Now let’s say your blockchain data is on an external drive, at “D:\Bitcoin” and you want your database dir on that drive as well, at “D:\ArmoryDB”.
To achieve this, you want to create/modify the GUI config file in your Armory datadir, which is
C:\Users\Adam\AppData\Roaming\Armory\armoryqt.conf. The config file should look like this: