Install Electrum Bitcoin Wallet on Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Arch Linux)

Electrum bitcoin wallet is free and open source bitcoin wallet software released under the MIT license, available¬†for Linux, Windows, OS X and Android. It’s installed on the Tails Linux distribution by default. This tutorial is going to show you how to install and use Electrum Bitcoin wallet on Linux including Debian, Ubuntu, Linux Mint, PCLinuxOS, CentOS, Fedora, openSUSE, Arch Linux and Manjaro.

Electrum wallet has more features than the Bitcoin Core wallet. Some of the features are as follows:

  • Lightweight and fast
  • You are not required to download the blockchain.
  • Electrum automatically generates new receiving addresses for you to use.
  • mBTC is used as the default base unit in Electrum.
  • Two factor authentication (2FA)
  • Can display the value of your bitcoins in fiat currency.
  • Support segwit and payment channels, RBF (replace by fee) and multisig hardware wallets
  • You can export your private keys and use them in other Bitcoin clients.
  • Supports SOCKS4 and SOCKS5 proxy.
  • and more

How to Install Electrum Bitcoin Wallet on Linux

The latest stable version is 3.3.8, released on July 11, 2019. It’s included in the Python package index. First install pip3 – the Python package manager and PyQt5 package.

Debian/Ubuntu/Linux Mint/PCLinuxOS

sudo apt install python3-pip python3-setuptools python3-pyqt5

CentOS/Redhat

sudo dnf install python3-pip python3-setuptools python3-qt5

Fedora

sudo dnf install python3-pip python3-setuptools python3-qt5 python3-QtPy

openSUSE

sudo zypper install python3-pip python3-setuptools python3-qt5 python3-QtPy

Then use pip to install Electrum bitcoin wallet.

sudo -H pip3 install https://download.electrum.org/3.3.8/Electrum-3.3.8.tar.gz#egg=electrum[fast]

Arch Linux and Manjaro users can install it from repository.

sudo pacman -S electrum

Once that’s done, start Electrum from your app launcher. (Note that you might need to re-login in order to see the icon in the app launcher.)

electrum ubuntu 16.04

You can also start Electrum by running the following command in terminal.

electrum

Initial Setup

Upon first launch, a setup wizard appears. The first question lets you choose how to connect to a server. This tutorial selects the easy one: Auto connect.

electrum wallet

Next, it will prompt you to create a default wallet. Simply click Next button.

create default wallet in Electrum

Next, select the type of wallet you want. We will choose Standard wallet.

  • Standard wallet is the most common type.
  • Wallet with two factor authentication provides stronger security.
  • Multi-sign wallet is a wallet that requires multiple person to authorize a bitcoin payment.
  • If you have Bitcoins stored in another Bitcoin wallet software, you can choose the 4th option to import them to Electrum.

create new wallet in Electrum

Then, select create a new seed if you never used Electrum bitcoin wallet before.

electrum keystore

Then you will need to choose the seed type. If you’d like to be able to receive Bitcoin from everyone, then choose Legacy, because there are still websites and wallets that don’t support segwit address.

bitcoin segwit wallet

In the next step, you will see your private and unique seed. Copy it to your system clipboard and also save it to a secure place. (Don’t worry. The seed in screenshot isn’t my real seed.)

electrum bitcoin seed

Then paste your seed in the next window.

electrum bitcoin wallet seed

After that, you can optionally encrypt your wallet keys with a password.

electrum encrypt wallet

Now you shall have a new Electrum bitcoin address, which you can see in the Receive tab. Contrary to Bitcoin Core, Electrum requires no local copy of the blockchain, so you can starting sending and receiving bitcoin right away. Your Electrum wallet configuration will be saved at ~/.electrum/ directory.

Install Electrum Bitcoin Wallet on Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora, OpenSUSE, Arch Linux)

How To Import Your Bitcoins From Bitcoin Core to Electrum

To import your bitcoins from Bitcoin Core client, you need to open the Electrum install wizard by selecting the File menu and then click New/Restore. It will prompt you to create a new wallet file. Simply click Next.

electrum import private keys from bitcoin coreIn the next window, choose Import Bitcoin addresses or private keys.

import bitcoin addresses or private keys

Then you need to enter the private key of your original Bitcoin address. In the Bitcoin Core client, you can display your private key by running the following command in the Console (Window -> Console).

dumpprivkey your-bitcoin-address

bitcoin core dumpprivkey

After entering the private key, click Next button. You can then optionally enter a password to encrypt the wallet file. Finally, Electrum will display the transaction history of the imported Bitcoin address and you can now send and receive bitcoins in Electrum.

migrate from bitcoin core to electrum

Note that you still can use Bitcoin Core client to send and receive bitcoins with the same address, because the Bitcoin Core client still stores the private key. If you want to allow only Electrum to use the address, you need to delete the wallet.dat file in the Bitcoin Core data directory, which effectively deletes the private key from Bitcoin core client.

Wrapping Up

I hope this tutorial helped you to install Electrum bitcoin wallet on your Linux distribution. As always, if you found this post useful, then Subscribe to our free newsletter to get more tips and tricks. Take care ūüôā

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