dcrctl Basics

Last updated for v1.0.0.

This guide is intended to help you learn the basic commands of the dcrctl application using a minimal configuration file.


  • Use the latest dcrinstall to install dcrctl. Additional steps will be required if another installation method was used.
  • Review how the launch commands for the Command Prompt (Windows) and Bash (OSX/Linux) shells differ here.
  • Setup dcrd and have it running in the background.
  • Setup dcrwallet and have it running in the background.

dcrctl is the client that controls dcrd and dcrwallet via remote procedure call (RPC). You can use dcrctl for many things such as checking your balance, buying tickets, creating transactions, and viewing network information.

REMINDER: This guide uses OS-agnostic examples for commands. Review the prerequisites to determine if you should be using ./dcrctl or dcrctl.exe instead of dcrctl.

Configure RPC Username and Password

Commands sent to either dcrd or dcrwallet will require RPC username/passwords to be setup in the configuration files.

If you used dcrinstall, your configuration files are already setup with the RPC username/password for dcrd, dcrwallet, and dcrctl.

If you did not use dcrinstall, you will need to enable the bare minimum settings in your configuration files. Follow this guide to do so.

dcrctl Commands

You will need to run dcrctl commands in a separate shell window (Command Prompt/Bash).

To issue commands to dcrwallet, you will need to use dcrctl --wallet <command>.

To issue commands to dcrd, you will need to use dcrctl <command>.

To see a full list of commands that dcrctl can send to dcrd and dcrwallet, issue the following command in your shell:

dcrctl -l

This will return a very long list of commands, separated by application. The commands on the top section are for dcrd and the commands on the bottom section are for dcrwallet. You can find out more about an individual command by typing the following for dcrwallet commands:

dcrctl help --wallet <command>

or the following for dcrd commands:

dcrctl help <command>

Unlocking Your Wallet

Some functionality of dcrwallet requires the wallet to be unlocked.

The command to unlock your wallet follows:

dcrctl --wallet walletpassphrase <private passphrase set during wallet creation> 0

Here, we are specifying for dcrctl to send the command to dcrwallet by using the --wallet flag. The actual command is walletpassphrase which accepts two parameters, your private passphrase and a time limit. Specifying 0 for a time limit unlocks dcrwallet without a time limit. Note, however, that this only unlocks the wallet for the current session. If you close the window the wallet is running in, or stop/restart the dcrwallet, you will need to unlock it again the next time you start it.

If the command was successful, you will not get a confirmation from dcrctl, but if you look at your dcrwallet session, it will say:

[INF] RPCS: The wallet has been unlocked without a time limit.

NOTE: Because unlocking the wallet is required for many functions of dcrwallet, dcrwallet can be started with the --promptpass flag or setting promptpass=true in dcrwallet.conf (discussed here).

Checking Your Balance

To send the getbalance command to dcrwallet using dcrctl, enter the following in your shell:

dcrctl --wallet getbalance

This will return all of the balances for all of your accounts.

Getting a New Receiving Address

To send the getnewaddress command to dcrwallet using dcrctl, enter the following in your shell:

dcrctl --wallet getnewaddress

This will generate and return a new payment address. To minimize address reuse, use this command to get a new address for each transaction you wish to receive.

Sending DCR

To send DCR to an address, issue the sendtoaddress command to dcrwallet using dcrctl. Enter the following in your shell, filling in the receiving address and amount to send:

dcrctl --wallet sendtoaddress <address> <amount>

If successful, dcrctl will return a transaction hash that can be used to watch the transaction on the official Decred Block Explorer.

Check Network Stats

There are many different commands to check different network stats. Here we will cover sending getinfo to dcrd and getstakeinfo to dcrwallet.

To get information about your local dcrd node, issue the getinfo command to dcrd using dcrctl. Enter the following in your shell:

dcrctl getinfo

To get staking information about the Proof-of-Stake network, issue the getstakeinfo command to dcrwallet using dcrctl. Enter the following in your shell:

dcrctl --wallet getstakeinfo

Additional Commands

More commands can also be found on the Program Options page.