Sheeps’ noob guide to creating a monero wallet in tails 3.6.2

Currently the live OS tails, which focuses on preserving privacy and anonymity, only offers in-built support for one cryptocurrency through the electrum wallet — bitcoin. Many privacy concerned digital currency users, meaning many tails users, are switching their coin of choice from bitcoin to other more private cryptocurrencies such as Monero. This is due to the myth of bitcoin transactions being anonymous finally being debunked as blockchain analysis and other methods of deanonymization are becoming more commonplace– read more about that here. With this being said, making use of monero within the tails OS is of high importance and the main requirement for that to happen is having an easy to use in built wallet, namely the Monero graphic user interface (GUI — just call it a wallet), which currently is not part of the tails 3.6.2 package. There are other monero wallets available such as the web wallet mymonero (JavaScript required), the android wallet monerujo and iOS wallet cake wallet. Ledger hardware wallets will soon have monero compatibility also. This guide will just be covering how to use the monero GUI within the tails OS version 3.6.2.

Note: This guide presumes you have tails up and running with persistent storage configured. For information on how to use tails visit their website here. This guide also encourages the downloading of the monero blockchain which is currently around 50GB (this is also known as running a full node and helps secure the Monero network). Have an external drive ready for this download before commencing.

If you do not have access to an external hard drive, optionally you can connect to a remote node, which means you won’t have to download the 50GB blockchain, but this method is less secure and is not recommended.

Step 1 — Boot up your tails live OS

Step 2 — Downloading the Monero graphic user interface (GUI)

Once TOR is ready, launch it and visit https://www.getmonero.org (this is the official Monero website) and click on the downloads tab.

Scroll down the page and download the Linux, 64-bit GUI.

Click on ‘Extract Here’ to extract your newly downloaded Monero GUI files.

Step 3 — Configuring Your GUI to connect through the TOR network

Open up your extracted Monero GUI file Monero-gui-linux-x64-v0.11.0.0 à Monero-gui-0.11.0.0 and right click in the blank area and click on ‘Open in Terminal’.

Note: You will have to the below commands every time you launch tails — the blockchain will stay downloaded however just make sure your directory file (see later) are always the same.

You should have a window open up like this.

Copy this command into the terminal:

Enter the administration password you created when booting up tails and hit enter. You should see this message.

Next you will want to copy the below command into the terminal:

*** Replace “/YOUR/DATA/DIRECTORY” in the command with your actual data directory (Ex: /media/amnesia/ExternalDrive/bitmonero) This blockchain will be downloaded.

Upon doing this the Monero blockchain will start downloading to the directory you specified. This can take up to 48 hours and the file is about ~29gb currently so make sure you use a hard drive with enough space. What you have done here in simple terms is allowed for the Monerod client to connect through TOR which is something that it does not currently do ‘out of the box’. You can also connect to a remote node within the GUI which does not require downloading the blockchain but for optimal privacy I would recommend downloading the blockchain and running the GUI as a ‘full node’ which is what we are doing here.

This also helps contribute to the Monero ecosystem and make the whole network more secure!

For statistical data regarding the Monero blockchain, such as its size, avg tx fee etc. click here.

This is what you should see after entering the command.

Step 4 — Setting up your Monero wallet

Now go back to your Monero-guo-0.11.0.0 folder and click on the file called ‘Monero-wallet-gui’, you should see this welcome screen appear. (notice the blockchain syncing nicely in the bottom right). This is where you create your GUI wallet!

Click your desired language then click ‘Create a new wallet’. You can also restore wallets or open from a file if you have these bits of information.

Name your wallet and copy and paste your seed to a SECURE location! This is what will be used if you every lose access to your computer / GUI to recover your Monero. I would recommend copying and pasting it onto a word document and printing it out — leave no copy of this on your computer.

Create a STRONG password for you wallet and store this in a safe place. I personally use the in built KeyPassX password manager that is built into Tails.

Welcome to the GUI and your new Monero Wallet! Whilst the blockchain is syncing you will only be able to receive Monero to this wallet not send it — you can see the Network status in the bottom left.

That’s it! If you want to learn how to navigate around the GUI there are plenty of guides online — I would recommend this one.

Step 5 — Verifying SHA256 and GPG signed hashes

All this means if that you are checking to see if the file you downloaded is not corrupted. This step should primarily be done directly after you download the files but I added this at the end to not deter any newcomers.

1. Open a new terminal (from the directory of the binaries) and type:

sha256sum <name-of-file> (in this case Monero-linux-x64-0.11.1.0.tar.bz2

2. For GPG signed hashes need to get Fluffypony’s (Monero core developer) GPG key from here:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/monero-project/monero/master/utils/gpg_keys/fluffypony.asc

3. Save the content to a new text file and save it as fluffypony.asc.

4. Then enter this into the terminal

gpg --import fluffypony.asc.

5. The next step is to download hashes.txt (or copy the content and save it to a new file called hashes.txt). Download here - https://getmonero.org/downloads/hashes.txt

Verify the file with this command

gpg --verify hashes.txt.

This will produce a hashes.txt out file which contains the correct SHA256 hashes as signed by fluffypony.

(Optional) Step 6— Connecting to a remote node

We do not recommend connecting to remote nodes as it is a compromise on your security however it is a quick way to get a wallet up and running. All connecting to a remote node does is use someone else’s blockchain data to verify Monero transactions.

First click on the settings tab. In the Daemon address tab copy and paste this — xmrag4hf5xlabmob.onion and make sure your port is 18081 (should be this by default). You should see the ‘network disconnected’ change to connected as soon below, this means your node is connected. Sometimes it will say ‘synchronizing blocks’ but no data is being downloaded and the wallet is still usable when this appears.

More nodes can be found on this website — https://moneroworld.com/. However, the one listed above seems to be the only one that works on tails.