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Installing Bitcoin Core on Ubuntu

By Rich Apodaca | Updated

Configurability and security make Linux a favorite operating system for running Bitcoin Core. This guide shows how to install and run Bitcoin Core on a clean Ubuntu 18.04 system.

Prerequisites

Although Ubuntu carries Bitcoin Core in the Software Center, the release tends to be out-of-date. For this reason, this tutorial won’t use the Software Center. Compilation from source offers one alternative, but involves many steps. A more direct route is to install a precompiled binary from the command line.

Terminal Icon
Searching for the Terminal application.

The method described here uses Terminal, an application into which text-based commands can be issued. Access Terminal by clicking on the grid icon in the lower left of the desktop and typing “terminal”. Click the icon to launch the application.

Terminal Running
Running the Terminal application. Commands are entered after the dollar sign.

This installation method is more secure than many, but it’s not entirely without risk. Take a moment to become familiar with some red flags.

Install Bitcoin Core

Begin by adding the Bitcoin Personal Package Archive (PPA):

$ sudo apt-add-repository ppa:bitcoin/bitcoin

You’ll be prompted for a password. Enter the one you use to log into Ubuntu.

Next, update Ubuntu’s software package lists:

$ sudo apt-get update

Finally, install Bitcoin core itself. Enter “Y” when asked asked for permission to continue:

$ sudo apt-get install bitcoin-qt

This last command may take some time, during which both Bitcoin Core and all of its dependencies will be installed.

Run Bitcoin Core

Bitcoin Core can be started from the command line with:

$ bitcoin-qt

You will probably receive an error in Terminal saying something like:

Failed to load module “canberra-gtk-module”

This error can be eliminated by installing the missing module:

sudo apt-get install libcanberra-gtk-module

Bitcoin Core can more conveniently be launched by clicking on the grid icon and typing “bitcoin.”

Startup
The Bitcoin Core welcome screen.

If all goes well, the welcome screen should appear.