Writing Bitcoin Core Documentation

Bitcoin Core documentation is spread across three projects: Bitcoin Core, the Bitcoin Wiki, and Bitcoin.org—and is further subdivided into different parts. The sections below briefly describe what documentation is available and how you can contribute.

Bitcoin Core Docs Directory

The docs directory contains various files describing aspects of Bitcoin Core. Almost all of the files are meant for developers and testers rather than users, although some (such as the build instructions) may be used by power users.

The files are all written in Markdown, which can be easily edited in GitHub’s web interface:

  1. Create a GitHub account, or if you already have one, log in.

  2. Find the file you want to edit. For example, build-unix.md

  3. Click the Edit icon (a pencil).

  4. Make your change and click the Preview button to preview it. Revise and edit until you’re happy with it.

  5. At the bottom of the page, fill out the Propose File Change form and submit it.

Need help getting started? Stop by the #bitcoin-dev IRC chatroom and tell us what documentation you want to write.

Bitcoin.org Bandwidth Sharing Guide

The Bitcoin.org bandwidth sharing guide currently provides instructions for how to install Bitcoin Core on multiple operating systems, configure it to automatically start at boot, and manually open port 8333 so it accepts incoming connections.

To contribute, you can edit the guide using the same GitHub web interface as described in the previous section.

Need help getting started? You can open an issue or email Bitcoin.org documentation maintainer Dave Harding.

Bitcoin Wiki

The Bitcoin Wiki uses the popular MediaWiki software, so you may already know how to edit it and create new pages. To reduce spam, you need to create an account and then follow the instructions to enable editing.

Current documentation can be found in the Bitcoin Core documentation category. If you create a new page, be sure to add it to the Bitcoin Core documentation template and then add the following code to the very bottom of the page:

{{Bitcoin Core documentation}}

Adding the line above to a page will also add that page to the Bitcoin Core documentation category.

Need help getting started? Stop by the #bitcoin-wiki IRC chatroom and tell us what documentation you want to write.

Bitcoin.org RPC/REST API Reference

The Bitcoin.org developer reference contains over 100 printed pages worth of documentation for the Bitcoin Core RPC and REST interfaces, which are mainly used by Bitcoin Core command line users and developers of apps depending on Bitcoin Core.

To contribute RPC edits, the easiest way is to:

  1. Go to the Bitcoin.org developer documentation main page.

  2. Search for the RPC you want to edit.

  3. Under the subheading for the RPC, click the Edit link.

To create new RPC/REST documentation or edit the REST documentation:

  1. Follow these instructions to clone the Bitcoin.org repository.

  2. RPC files are in the _includes/ref/bitcoin-core/rpcs directory.

    REST files are in the _includes/ref/bitcoin-core/rest directory.

    New files need to be added to the list in en/developer-reference.md

Need help getting started? You can open an issue or email Bitcoin.org documentation maintainer Dave Harding.


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