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Ethereum is a next-generation peer-to-peer blockchain-based technology platform. It supports smart contracts and provides a platform for distributed applications.

Ethereum Clients

There are multiple ethereum clients that implement the ethereum protocol. The leading implementations are the clients go-ethereum and Parity. The go-based go-ethereum client is developed by the Ethereum Foundation, while the rust-based Parity client is developed by Parity Technologies.

For more details about the different clients have a look at the wiki.

Ethereum wallet

In most cases users don't want to run CLI-based programs such as geth. Instead, they want to run a UX-friendly applications that allows them to manage their ethereum accounts.

For this case, these users can use the Mist browser. The latter is a tool to browse and use distributed applications or for short Dapps. The Ethereum Wallet is basically an Electron-based application and a Dapp, which runs in the background the go-ethereum client.

go-ethereum aka geth

The go-ethereum client, which is also knwon as geth, is the the command line interface for running managing a full ethereum node. As the name indicates, geth is written using the Go programming language. Users that install and run geth, can take part in the ethereum live network. Moreover, they can do the following things using geth:

  • mine real ether using the integrated CPU miner
  • transfer funds between addresses
  • create contracts and send transactions
  • explore blockchain history


On Arch Linux geth can be installed using the command below:

pacman -S geth

On Ubuntu, we can use the PPA ethereum/ethereum to install geth:

apt-get install software-properties-common
add-apt-repository -y ppa:ethereum/ethereum
apt-get update
apt-get install ethereum

CLI Overview

The following table provides a short overview of all the commands that the geth client supports.

Command Description
bug Opens a window to report a bug on the geth repo
console Start an interactive JavaScript environment
copydb Create a local chain from a target chaindata folder
dump Dump a specific block from storage
dumpconfig Show configuration values
export Export blockchain into file
import Import a blockchain file
init Bootstrap and initialize a new genesis block
js Execute the specified JavaScript files
license Display license information
makecache Generate ethash verification cache (for testing)
makedag Generate ethash mining DAG (for testing)
monitor Monitor and visualize node metrics
removedb Remove blockchain and state databases
version Print version numbers
wallet Manage Ethereum presale wallets
help, h Shows a list of commands or help for one command

Blockchain Management

Sometimes the internal database formats need to be updated. This can be done with the following command:

geth upgradedb

Geth's blockchain and state databases can be removed with:

geth removedb

This is useful for deleting an old chain and sync'ing to a new one. It only affects data directories that can be re-created on synchronisation and does not touch the keystore.

Account Management

Ethereum account are managed using the subcommand geth account. With the help of this command, you can create, list, update accounts and import private keys into a new account.

Please remember that if you lose the password to encrypt your account, you will not be able to access that account again. Thus, do not forget the password and to backup your account keystore files.

The default data directory on Linux is ~/.ethereum. However, you change the location of the data directory by specifying the --datadir parameter. Per default the private keys are stored under ~/.ethereum/keystore.

Command Description
geth account new Create account
geth account list List accounts
geth account update Update an existing account
geth account import Import a private key into a new account
geth account help Shows help for the command

Moreover, you can use the following options to unlock accounts.

  --unlock value    Comma separated list of accounts to unlock
  --password value  Password file to use for non-interactive password input

Usage examples

Create a new account:

geth account new

List accounts:

geth account list

Import private key:

geth --datadir /someOtherEthDataDir  account import ./key.prv

Update an existing account:

geth account update xyz

CPU Mining

geth supports CPU mining, however, it is not advised to use CPU mining as it's not an effcient way to mine. For mining use a GPU-based miner such as ethminer. Nevertheless, CPU mining is handy in case you want to test thing or setup a private blockchain or ethereum testbed.

For example the command below starts the cpu miner, which is part of geth:

geth --mine --minerthreads 4 --etherbase xyz

Note: these options have the following meanings:

  --mine                    Enable mining
  --minerthreads value      Number of CPU threads to use for mining (default: 4)
  --etherbase value         Public address for block mining rewards (default = first account created) (default: "0")

Ethereum full node

In order to run a full Ethereum node, we need to launch geth:

geth --fast --cache 2048 2> geth.log

In case you want to run a full Ethereum node with remote rpc access, you can run geth as follows:

geth --rpc --rpcaddr --rpcapi --wsapi 2> geth.log

Here we indicate geth to use the network address and to enable rpc API over HTTP as well as the API over the websockets protocol.

To increase the synchronization process we can pass the option --syncmode fast and we can increase the memory cache size, where the synchronized blocks are first written to the memory.

geth --rpc --rpcaddr --rpcapi --wsapi --syncmode fast --cache 2048 2> geth.log

Interactive console

Once a geth instance is running, we can access an interactive JavaScript console by running the following command:

geth attach

Account Management

Once we have access to an interactive console, we can play around with Ethereum.

A new account can be created using the personal object:


With the eth object we can get a list of the ethereum accounts on the current system:


To check the balance of an account, we can use the following code snippet:

s = '0x...'
web3.fromWei(eth.getBalance(s), "ether")

Checking Connectivity


GPU Mining: ethminer

ethminer is an open source Ethereum miner with OpenCL, CUDA and stratum support. It is written in C++ and is actively maintained by the Ethereum community. The code base originates from the cpp-ethereum project where GPU mining has been discontinued.

Thanks to the stratum support, ethminer can be easily used and set up with ethereum mining pools such as or

Installation from source

This section shows how ethminer can be installed from source on Ubuntu.

First, install the necessary dependencies:

sudo apt install build-essential git cmake golang-go

Second, git clone the repo from github using git:

git clone

Third, build the project using the listed commands below:

cd ethminer
mkdir build; cd build
cmake ..
cmake --build

Finally, install the binary:

make install

To double check if the miner works, run the command below, which should print the version number:

ethminer --version


Options Description
--version, -V Show version
-G, --opencl Use GPU mining
-Z [<n>],--simulation [<n>] Simulation mode
-M [<n>],--benchmark [<n>] Benchmark for mining
--list-devices List the detected OpenCL/CUDA devices and exit
--opencl-device <n> Use the OpenCL devices <n>
--opencl-platform <n> Use the OpenCL platform <n>

Usage examples

List the detected OpenCL/CUDA devices and exit.

ethminer --list-devices

Benchmark the OpenCL device 0:

ethminer -M -G --opencl-device 0

Benchmark the OpenCL platform 0:

ethminer -M -G --opencl-platform 0

Simulate mining on the OpenCL device 0:

ethminer -Z -G --opencl-device 0

Simulate mining test on the OpenCL platform 0:

ethminer -Z -G --opencl-platform 0

GPU Mining Script

The listed bash script below can be used to start ethminer. Change the variable ADDRESS to your ethereum wallet address and change the variables S_POOL and FS_POOL to your preferred mining pool.

#/usr/bin/env bash

S_POOL="" # Main mining pool
FS_POOL="" # Failover mining pool

ethminer --report-hashrate --farm-recheck 200 --opencl -S $S_POOL -FS $FS_POOL \


Mist allows users to browse and use Ðapps on the Ethereum network.

For installing Mist, we need to download the latest release from the Mist github page:

In order to install the Ethereum Wallt on Linux, download the zip file via wget:


Next, double check the sha256sum of the downloaded zip file. The sha256sum must match the sha256 hash bacff5b9ca62b43d38234059ec73f75ef076f97da1e96a8d4f5dbc3b3f17ad69, otherwise the zip file is not trustworthy.


Next, unzip the zip file:


Once unpacked, move the contents to the /opt directory and adjust the $PATH variable in your .bashrc or .zshrc config to include the path /opt/ethereum-wallet-mist/:

mv linux-unpacked /opt/ethereum-wallet-mist
echo 'export PATH="$PATH:/opt/ethereum-wallet-mist/"' >> ~/.bashrc

To test the Ethereum wallet run the command below, which should print the version number:

ethereumwallet --version
[2017-12-18 10:21:31.171] [INFO] main - 0.9.3


The Ethereum wallet can be started via the terminal using the command ethereumwallet:


ethereumwallet CLI

ethereumwallet --help

Usage: /opt/ethereum-wallet-mist/ethereumwallet --help [Mist options] [Node

Mist options:
  --mode, -m              App UI mode: wallet, mist.[string] [default: "wallet"]
  --node                  Node to use: geth, eth        [string] [default: null]
  --network               Network to connect to: main, test
                                                        [string] [default: null]
  --rpc                   Path to node IPC socket file OR HTTP RPC hostport (if
                          IPC socket file then --node-ipcpath will be set with
                          this value).                                  [string]
  --swarmurl              URL serving the Swarm HTTP API. If null, Mist will
                          open a local node.
                                     [string] [default: "http://localhost:8500"]
  --gethpath              Path to Geth executable to use instead of default.
  --ethpath               Path to Eth executable to use instead of default.
  --ignore-gpu-blacklist  Ignores GPU blacklist (needed for some Linux
                          installations).                              [boolean]
  --reset-tabs            Reset Mist tabs to their default settings.   [boolean]
  --logfile               Logs will be written to this file in addition to the
                          console.                                      [string]
  --loglevel              Minimum logging threshold: info, debug, error, trace
                          (shows all logs, including possible passwords over
                          IPC!).                      [string] [default: "info"]
  --syncmode              Geth synchronization mode: [fast|light|full]  [string]
  --version, -v           Display Mist version.                        [boolean]
  --skiptimesynccheck     Disable checks for the presence of automatic time sync
                          on your OS.                                  [boolean]

Node options:
  -  To pass options to the underlying node (e.g. Geth) use the --node- prefix,
     e.g. --node-datadir

  -h, --help  Show help                                                [boolean]