Bitcoin Knots is a derivative of Bitcoin Core (since 2011 December) with a collection of improvements backported from and sometimes maintained outside of the master git tree. More details on the enhancements in Bitcoin Knots are listed below the downloads.
Please note: As with all software you install, you should verify you have downloaded the authentic program, and nobody has maliciously injected a virus. Always verify the correct PGP signature on any downloads to avoid risk of malware. Bitcoin Knots is signed by Luke Dashjr's PGP key. You can (and should, if you don't already have it from another trusted source) download the key from at least two independent sources and ensure they match. Luke's PGP key is also available from bitcoin.org (this can be your second source if you have nothing better).
SHA256 hashes of all downloads, signed by Luke Dashjr's PGP key, are available under the "digital signatures" link in the download box. If this link is missing, broken, or fails to verify, do not trust the downloaded files, and contact him immediately.
Features that will be available in the next release of Bitcoin Core are highlighted in green.
Adds options to build using system LevelDB, libsecp256k1, and UniValue libraries, and/or without protobuf (see ./configure --help for usage).
Please note this may be dangerous and make theft from you possible if used with versions of the LevelDB or libsecp256k1 libraries which have not been audited to meet the bug-for-bug compatibility required by Bitcoin's consensus protocol. These options are disabled by default for this reason.
It also adds options to disable building bitcoin-cli or bitcoin-tx individually, and avoids involving foreign git trees in the build.
Bitcoin Knots began in 2011 December as Bitcoin Next-Test, a derivative of Bitcoin Core's "master" branch with upcoming and proposed features merged in manner as unbiased as possible toward the changes themselves. In 2014, due to time constraints and a desire to maintain a more stable and well-maintained derivative, I began instead to base the branch off the latest stable release, and include only modifications that both looked reasonably safe and I did not personally consider problematic or flawed; along with this change, since it was no longer an unbiased derivative, I renamed it to Bitcoin Core "ljr", and later Bitcoin LJR. With 0.12 in 2016, the project was once again renamed (to "Bitcoin Knots") and has a goal of being a general enhanced derivative of the reference Bitcoin Core software.