How to Install and Set up Full Monero Node on Linux

Mario Dian May 10, 2018 5 min read

With the rise of cryptocurrencies, financial privacy has become a hot topic.

Monero is currently the best in the field, thanks to its fairly large anonymity set, mandatory privacy for all transactions, ring signatures, Ring CT, stealth addresses, and the future Kovri anonymization network.

Although Monero developers have mitigated most, if not all, privacy risks associated with connecting your wallet to a third-party node, it is recommended to run your own full node for peace of mind.

In this article, I will go through the steps to install and set up Monero on Linux, specifically the latest Ubuntu 18.04 Bionic.

However, the steps should be the same for any Debian-based distribution using systemd and fairly similar for other distros, with the exception of the package manager (apt).

Sorry, no Mac or Windows.

#1 Update the operating system

First, update the system packages:

sudo apt update && sudo apt-get upgrade

#2 Install dependencies

Make sure you have git installed. If not, do it now:

sudo apt install git

Install the rest of dependencies:

sudo apt install build-essential cmake pkg-config libboost-all-dev libssl-dev libzmq3-dev libunbound-dev libsodium-dev libunwind8-dev liblzma-dev libreadline6-dev libldns-dev libexpat1-dev doxygen graphviz libpgm-dev qttools5-dev-tools libhidapi-dev libusb-1.0-0-dev libprotobuf-dev protobuf-compiler libudev-dev

Unfortunately, libgtest-dev doesn't currently come as binary on Ubuntu, so you'll have to compile it yourself:

cd /usr/src/gtest
sudo cmake .
sudo make -j2
sudo mv libg* /usr/lib/
How to Create a Monero Paper Wallet to Secure Your Coins
Despite the effort from the Monero community at manufacturing a hardware wallet and Ledger implementing Monero into the existing one, it may not be available anytime soon. Because of the lack of HW wallets, storing your coins in a paper wallet is your best and safest option for now. If

#3 Download and build Monero

Create source directory if you haven't already:

mkdir ~/source
cd ~/source

Clone the repository and its submodules:

git clone --recursive
cd monero
make -j2 release # -j4 for 4 threads etc

It may take a while to compile depending on your machine.

When finished, copy all the binaries to /usr/local/bin:

sudo cp ./build/release/bin/* /usr/local/bin/

#4 Set up the service

I have written a systemd service that automatically starts the node after a reboot or when it crashes.

cd /lib/systemd/system
sudo wget
sudo chmod 644 monerod.service

Please ensure that you edit the file to suit your specific environment. If you are using a robust hardware setup, you might consider increasing the block-sync-size to a higher number, or you can choose to omit it entirely and allow the daemon to determine the appropriate value automatically.

As a result of the April fork, my node was unable to maintain synchronization with the current chain height. Consequently, I had to configure it manually.

Proceed by generating a configuration file:

mkdir ~/.bitmonero
cd ~/.bitmonero
touch monerod.conf

and add the following lines:

echo "data-dir=/home/satoshi/.bitmonero" >> monerod.conf
echo "log-file=/home/satoshi/.bitmonero/monero.log" >> monerod.conf
echo "log-level=0" >> monerod.conf

To be able to connect your wallet from another machine, please add the following:

echo "rpc-bind-ip=" >> monerod.conf
echo "rpc-bind-port=18081" >> monerod.conf
echo "rpc-login=veryLongAndRandomUsername:veryLongAndRandomPassword" >> monerod.conf

Don't forget to change rpc-login to your own one.

#5 Run the service

Enable the systemd config and start the daemon:

sudo systemctl enable monerod
sudo service monerod start

You can check the progress with:

tail -f monero.log

or using a simpler output:

monerod --config-file /home/satoshi/.bitmonero/monerod.conf status

The synchronization may take from a few hours to a few days depending on your hardware.

Please be patient.

#6 Allow incoming connections (optional)

You can enable two types of incoming connections on your node: P2P and RPC.

The P2P connection allows other nodes to download the chain from you. The RPC connection enables a wallet to connect to your node and retrieve information about its balance, transactions, etc.

To establish the P2P connection, execute the following command:

sudo iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 18080 -j ACCEPT

For the RPC:

sudo iptables -I INPUT -p tcp --dport 18081 -j ACCEPT

Save the rules permanently:

sudo iptables-save

If you are behind a router, you will need to forward the ports to your machine. Please refer to the manual of your router.

#7 Connect to the node with your wallet

Now, test your connection from your wallet. If you are using the GUI wallet, go to Settings and fill in the Address and Port fields.

Next, under Manage Daemon, click on Show Advanced and enter the RPC login that you set earlier in the ~/.bitmonero/monerod.conf file.

If you are using the command line wallet, you can start it by using the following command:

monero-wallet-cli --wallet-file /path/to/your/wallet --trusted-daemon --daemon-address ip.of.your.node:18081 --daemon-login veryLongAndRandomUsername:veryLongAndRandomPassword

Personally, I prefer the command line wallet because it is cleaner, and most of the time, all you really need are just three or four commands.

The ones that you will likely use the most are:

  • show_transfers to view the list of all transactions
  • integrated_address to get a receiving address containing a payment ID
  • balance to view locked and unlocked balance
  • transfer <address> <amount> to make a payment

Type help to access the list of all commands.

As you can tell, setting up a Monero full node from source is fairly easy if you have a basic knowledge of the Linux command line.

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With the recent crackdown on AlphaBay dark market it’s more important than ever to use tools that offer strong privacy and anonymity. You don’t necessarily have to be a drug dealer to be in genuine need for privacy. Governments will use any arbitrary reason to throw you in prison, so

Optionally, to make your node more secure and anonymous, you may want to run it behind torify or torsocks (essentially the same). Unfortunately, I haven't done it myself yet, so you'll have to look elsewhere.

All in all, I hope you found the tutorial enjoyable.

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Mario Dian

I'm an Anarchist, Rothbardian, Bitcoiner and Travel Hacker. Also founder of @freedomnodecom.

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