How to Install Bitcoin Core Wallet on Ubuntu

Bitcoin Core is a free and open-source Bitcoin wallet software developed by the Bitcoin Foundation. In this tutorial, we are going to look at how to install the Bitcoin Core Wallet on Ubuntu. Once it’s done, you will have your own bitcoin wallet address which you can use to send, receive and store bitcoins. You can follow this tutorial on all current ubuntu releases, including Ubuntu 16.04, 18.04, 19.10.

Installing Bitcoin Core Wallet on Ubuntu

Bitcoin Core wallet isn’t included in Ubuntu software repository, but we can easily install it from the Bitcoin Team PPA. This PPA is maintained by a Bitcoin developer named Matt Collaro and is recommended for Ubuntu users on Bitcoin Core download page.

Fire up a terminal window (CTRL+ALT+T) and run the following 3 commands to add the PPA, update local package index and install Bitcoin Core wallet.

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bitcoin/bitcoin

sudo apt update

sudo apt install bitcoin-qt bitcoind

bitcoin-qt provides a graphical interface, while bitcoind is the Bitcoin daemon. If you just want a graphical interface and have no plan to use the daemon, then don’t enter bitcoind in the command line.

ppa bitcoin bitcoin

Once installed, Bitcoin Core wallet can be started from Unity Dash or your preferred app launcher.

bitcoin core ubuntu

Or using the command below.


Upon first launch, it will ask you to set your bitcoin data directory which will be used to store the Bitcoin block chain and your wallet. The default is .bitcoin/ under your home directory. Make sure the data directory has more than 80GB free disk space.

bitcoin data directory

Bitcoin Core Wallet User Interface

bitcoin core wallet ubuntu

The block chain is about 80GB in size. (As of December 2019, the Bitcoin blockchain size is 243GB.) So you may need to wait for a few days for it to be downloaded onto your computer and then you can start using Bitcoin.

Backing up Your Wallet

Once the Bitcoin wallet software is installed on your computer, there are 3 important items you need to be aware of. They are:

  • Your Bitcoin wallet address, acting as your account number to send, receive and store bitcoins.
  • Your Bitcoin private key
  • Your Bitcoin public key

Your Bitcoin wallet address is the hashed version of your Bitcoin public key. These 3 items are all stored in a file named wallet.dat under the data directory and it’s very important to back up this file. Should you lose this file, then your Bitcoin currency will be gone.

How to Import Existing Bitcoin Wallet and Block Chain

Let’s say you install Bitcoin Core wallet on a new computer, and you don’t need a new Bitcoin wallet address or to download a new copy of the block chain but want to use your existing wallet address and block chain. All you need to do is change Bitcoin data directory.

First, find your previous Bitcoin data directory and copy this directory to your new computer.

Next, shut down Bitcoin Core on the new computer, and rename ~/.bitcoin directory.

mv ~/.bitcoin ~/.bitcoin.backup

Start Bitcoin Core again.  Because the default data directory has been renamed, the Bitcoin Core software assumes this is the first session and let you choose a data directory. Select the second option and choose your previous data directory.

change bitcoin data directory

Once you hit the Ok button, the client will verify blocks that are stored in your previous data directory.

ubuntu bitcoin wallet

And in a few moments the blocks should be loaded and you will see your coins in the new Bitcoin Core software.

That’s it!

I hope this tutorial helped you to install Bitcoin Core Wallet on Ubuntu. As always, if you found this post useful, then Subscribe to our free newsletter to get latest Linux tutorials. You can also follow us on Google+Twitter or like our Facebook page.

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7 Responses to “How to Install Bitcoin Core Wallet on Ubuntu

  • Take my advice and never install Bitcoin Core. It sucks for regular people.

  • Failed at the very first hurdle on Lubuntu-19.10 :
    $ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bitcoin/bitcoin
    repository has no Release file

    $ sudo snap install bitcoin-core [v0.19.0.1]
    $ /snap/bitcoin-core/current/bin/bitcoin-core

    As of March 2020, the blockchain is 284 GB, downloading at ~200 kbps, so will take 131 days!

    • an0nimus
      4 years ago

      Stop crying about the blockchain size, you have a choice to have control of your bitcoins or you can use a 3rd party wallets who can rip you off at any time.

      Take my advice and use bitcoin core. Yo do not need to store the whole blockchain by the way.

  • I wasn’t complaining about the blockchain size, but when the server only serves at such a slow speed that it takes 4 months to download, it is simply impractical.

    My complaint was that the article doesn’t explain that you don’t need to download the whole blockchain, and what you can do instead.

  • Thanks for that.

    The Atomic Wallet article includes the statement :
    “Despite my attempt, I didn’t manage to get Atomic Wallet running on Debian. The AppImage and the deb package both failed.”

    This article should have something like:
    “Bitcoin-core requires that you download the whole blockchain, which is currently (March 2020) 284 GB and growing. So you will need unlimited bandwidth and twice this amount of space on HDD (568 GB) to load it and back it up. If you don’t want to do this, then install Electrum instead.”

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