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Author Topic: BTC Security: Run your wallet client from a bootable linux USB  (Read 1540 times)
tomwoods
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April 08, 2013, 09:03:45 PM
 #1

Hi,
I was asked to post step by step instructions on how to safely maintain and access your wallet from a bootable USB drive. It is really quite simple for the mildly cumputer literate:

Download & Install LiLi
1. Get a USB with +2GB, I've tested with 4GB. Make sure you have a USB 2.0 drive at least.
2. Go to http://www.linuxliveusb.com/ and click on "Download", then "Download Lili" and save it to your computer (not the USB).
3. Execute the install file, and follow the screens to install on your computer.

Install Mint Linux to the USB Drive
5. Open Linux Live USB Creator.
6. From the main screen choose the drive letter for the USB Drive you are going to install to.
7. In Step 2: Choose a Source
* Choose "Linux Mint {version here} (MATE)" from the drop down. Linux mint is nice alternative to Ubuntu, easy on the eyes and on resources.
* Go to http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=119 and download the latest Linux Mint from the list of mirrors (Its about a 966MB download, sit back and relax)
* Click on ISO / IMG / ZIP and specify the location where you downloaded the Linux Mint image to. It will start a process to check the file.

8. In Step 3: Persistence (The persistence allows you to keep your preferences and data even after reboot) after you download the linux, it should show you an interface to enter how many MB to set aside for persistence. I entered 1024 MB in the text field, which might be overkill.
9. In Step 4: Options, make sure all three checkboxes are marked.
10. In Step 5: Click on the Lighting Bolt! When it's done it will say "Your Linux Live key is now up and ready".


Boot into you USB Linux and Install Bitcoin-QT
11. Reboot your machine with the USB drive still connected.
12. Go into your BIOS setup, this varies from computer to computer, usually you have to press the F12 or Delete key just after you reboot to enter the BIOS setup. Usually it will say which one it is in the first message it displays after it restarts. Configure the boot sequence to check the USB before the hard disk.
Expect the first boot to take around 15 minutes. Be patient, you are booting a whole operating system off a fregging USB drive!

13. The first time you run you will be prompted a user name and password. Enter a combination you will use to enter next time you log on. Set up your network by clicking on the icon to the right of the volume icon in the bottom right.
* If you use an online client like Blockchain.info you are set! Mint comes with Firefox pre-installed.

14. If you want to install a bitcoin client follow the instruction on this page: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/903

Happy BTC!


* If you feel Mint is too sluggish for you, there are lighter versions of linux you can put your hands on, like DSL (Damn Small Linux). But hey, Using a Linux called "Mint" for managing "coins" is pretty cool in and of itself!

-------------
Bitcoin is the perfect crytpo-comodity-money, now we need a crypto-currency. Go.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_money
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VishwaJay
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April 08, 2013, 09:05:11 PM
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Does this work as posted for Windows lusers like me?
tomwoods
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April 08, 2013, 09:12:33 PM
 #3

Does this work as posted for Windows lusers like me?

The guide is Windows specific. Wont work on Mac that I know of.

-------------
Bitcoin is the perfect crytpo-comodity-money, now we need a crypto-currency. Go.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_money
Coincrazy
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April 09, 2013, 03:10:55 AM
 #4

Hi,
I was asked to post step by step instructions on how to safely maintain and access your wallet from a bootable USB drive. It is really quite simple for the mildly cumputer literate:

Download & Install LiLi
1. Get a USB with +2GB, I've tested with 4GB. Make sure you have a USB 2.0 drive at least.
2. Go to http://www.linuxliveusb.com/ and click on "Download", then "Download Lili" and save it to your computer (not the USB).
3. Execute the install file, and follow the screens to install on your computer.

Install Mint Linux to the USB Drive
5. Open Linux Live USB Creator.
6. From the main screen choose the drive letter for the USB Drive you are going to install to.
7. In Step 2: Choose a Source
* Choose "Linux Mint {version here} (MATE)" from the drop down. Linux mint is nice alternative to Ubuntu, easy on the eyes and on resources.
* Go to http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=119 and download the latest Linux Mint from the list of mirrors (Its about a 966MB download, sit back and relax)
* Click on ISO / IMG / ZIP and specify the location where you downloaded the Linux Mint image to. It will start a process to check the file.

8. In Step 3: Persistence (The persistence allows you to keep your preferences and data even after reboot) after you download the linux, it should show you an interface to enter how many MB to set aside for persistence. I entered 1024 MB in the text field, which might be overkill.
9. In Step 4: Options, make sure all three checkboxes are marked.
10. In Step 5: Click on the Lighting Bolt! When it's done it will say "Your Linux Live key is now up and ready".


Boot into you USB Linux and Install Bitcoin-QT
11. Reboot your machine with the USB drive still connected.
12. Go into your BIOS setup, this varies from computer to computer, usually you have to press the F12 or Delete key just after you reboot to enter the BIOS setup. Usually it will say which one it is in the first message it displays after it restarts. Configure the boot sequence to check the USB before the hard disk.
Expect the first boot to take around 15 minutes. Be patient, you are booting a whole operating system off a fregging USB drive!

13. The first time you run you will be prompted a user name and password. Enter a combination you will use to enter next time you log on. Set up your network by clicking on the icon to the right of the volume icon in the bottom right.
* If you use an online client like Blockchain.info you are set! Mint comes with Firefox pre-installed.

14. If you want to install a bitcoin client follow the instruction on this page: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/903

Happy BTC!


* If you feel Mint is too sluggish for you, there are lighter versions of linux you can put your hands on, like DSL (Damn Small Linux). But hey, Using a Linux called "Mint" for managing "coins" is pretty cool in and of itself!


Thanks a ton

Bit coins or no bit coins i see light at the end of the linux tunnel !!! a long time urge of mine is about to be satisfied .... Glory to The Lord !!!  and thanks to you for this kind post

I have tried it yet.... Will try

Some silly questions : what about a web bowser ? Which is most recommended ?
What about some word processors and so sheet ? Again which are reco ?


Best regards


_______ Have a nice day folks =:) _______
===I'm wondering why I was slaving away 9 to 5 , NOT knowing Bitcoins earlier ; Regards, CC===
DarkPunk
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April 09, 2013, 03:15:36 AM
 #5

A lot fancier than my setup.  I just save my privatekey/address combo on a truecrypt image.  When I need to make a transaction, I just publish the raw transaction to the blockchain.info server.  A little overkill, but hey, nobody will be taking my wallet over any time soon Wink
Coincrazy
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April 09, 2013, 05:27:07 AM
 #6

A lot fancier than my setup.  I just save my privatekey/address combo on a truecrypt image.  When I need to make a transaction, I just publish the raw transaction to the blockchain.info server.  A little overkill, but hey, nobody will be taking my wallet over any time soon Wink

thanks for this reply

Set me thinking

could you please explain a little more as to how your setup is easier / less fancier ?

Please start from something like

=> do you work on windows / or on Linux ? I suppose windows ... but please explain

=> when you say Truecrypt image is it truecrypt as here ? http://www.truecrypt.org/

=> I found this help for creating a Truecrypt volume : /rrTnX6]http://[Suspicious link removed]/rrTnX6 : Thought I'd share since it looked quite simple and like windows

=> then to the other operations parts : once you have a truecrypt image, how does one install a wallet into a trucypt image , which wallet is recommended ? is a wallet the same as a client ? ... sorry I'm quite new here



Thanks


CC

_______ Have a nice day folks =:) _______
===I'm wondering why I was slaving away 9 to 5 , NOT knowing Bitcoins earlier ; Regards, CC===
DarkPunk
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April 09, 2013, 05:33:12 AM
 #7

=> do you work on windows / or on Linux ? I suppose windows ... but please explain

I used debain linux

=> when you say Truecrypt image is it truecrypt as here ? http://www.truecrypt.org/

Yes, yes I do.

=> then to the other operations parts : once you have a truecrypt image, how does one install a wallet into a trucypt image , which wallet is recommended ? is a wallet the same as a client ? ... sorry I'm quite new here

I generate wallet pairs, and the raw transactions with bitcoinJS (a JS based bitcoin library), using Webkit to run the scripts.

This isn't for your average user, but the extremely paranoid and/or board developer. (I would be both)
Coincrazy
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April 09, 2013, 05:42:16 AM
 #8

=> do you work on windows / or on Linux ? I suppose windows ... but please explain

I used debain linux

=> when you say Truecrypt image is it truecrypt as here ? http://www.truecrypt.org/

Yes, yes I do.

=> then to the other operations parts : once you have a truecrypt image, how does one install a wallet into a trucypt image , which wallet is recommended ? is a wallet the same as a client ? ... sorry I'm quite new here

I generate wallet pairs, and the raw transactions with bitcoinJS (a JS based bitcoin library), using Webkit to run the scripts.

This isn't for your average user, but the extremely paranoid and/or board developer. (I would be both)

thanks Dark Punk

could i re-trace / re - wind / step back a little so that the thread continues helping an average user like me

1. saving / installing the bit coin wallet on a truecrypt volume adds a layer of safety [user's actions and reactions to situations decide how secure this is]

2. as a start up user, I still have to decide which client to use, which wallet to use etc

3. I prefer to keep all on my computer with backups and further backups

4. any help in this direction is appreciated .....



regards

_______ Have a nice day folks =:) _______
===I'm wondering why I was slaving away 9 to 5 , NOT knowing Bitcoins earlier ; Regards, CC===
DarkPunk
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April 09, 2013, 05:59:21 AM
 #9

Install bitcoin-qt at this point would be a slow, and boring process, because you have to sync with the blockchain.

I would go with a light wallet, like Electrum, and just backup your word list.
tomwoods
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April 10, 2013, 03:38:12 PM
 #10

Some silly questions : what about a web bowser ? Which is most recommended ?
What about some word processors and so sheet ? Again which are reco ?

Firefox is installed by default, I found it was faster / more responsive than Chromium.
Re:office "Libreoffice is a full-featured office productivity suite that provides a near drop-in replacement for microsoft(r) office."

By the way, if what you want is to play with Linux, I would suggest you do a Windows Install, instead of installing to USB since it will run much faster. A Windows Install (one of the options if you mount the Mint Image using something like Daemon Tools) is that it installs Linux as a program in windows, creating a virtual partition of sorts that doesn't mess up your hard disk, then when you re-boot, you finish the installation into this virtual partition and you are set. I've done this and it is great.

The advantage of installing it to USB for security purposes, is that you can stash your bitcoins in the USB linux and throw it in a safer, bury it, or whatever, hehe.

-------------
Bitcoin is the perfect crytpo-comodity-money, now we need a crypto-currency. Go.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_money
tomwoods
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April 10, 2013, 03:42:16 PM
 #11

A lot fancier than my setup.  I just save my privatekey/address combo on a truecrypt image.  When I need to make a transaction, I just publish the raw transaction to the blockchain.info server.  A little overkill, but hey, nobody will be taking my wallet over any time soon Wink

Yes, its also a good option. The USB Linux option gives you the added peace of mind that what you don't have any keyloggers or spyware taking note of your passwords, etc.

-------------
Bitcoin is the perfect crytpo-comodity-money, now we need a crypto-currency. Go.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commodity_money
Coincrazy
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April 11, 2013, 08:33:45 PM
 #12

Hi,
I was asked to post step by step instructions on how to safely maintain and access your wallet from a bootable USB drive. It is really quite simple for the mildly cumputer literate:

Download & Install LiLi
1. Get a USB with +2GB, I've tested with 4GB. Make sure you have a USB 2.0 drive at least.
2. Go to http://www.linuxliveusb.com/ and click on "Download", then "Download Lili" and save it to your computer (not the USB).
3. Execute the install file, and follow the screens to install on your computer.

Install Mint Linux to the USB Drive
5. Open Linux Live USB Creator.
6. From the main screen choose the drive letter for the USB Drive you are going to install to.
7. In Step 2: Choose a Source
* Choose "Linux Mint {version here} (MATE)" from the drop down. Linux mint is nice alternative to Ubuntu, easy on the eyes and on resources.
* Go to http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=119 and download the latest Linux Mint from the list of mirrors (Its about a 966MB download, sit back and relax)
* Click on ISO / IMG / ZIP and specify the location where you downloaded the Linux Mint image to. It will start a process to check the file.

8. In Step 3: Persistence (The persistence allows you to keep your preferences and data even after reboot) after you download the linux, it should show you an interface to enter how many MB to set aside for persistence. I entered 1024 MB in the text field, which might be overkill.
9. In Step 4: Options, make sure all three checkboxes are marked.
10. In Step 5: Click on the Lighting Bolt! When it's done it will say "Your Linux Live key is now up and ready".


Boot into you USB Linux and Install Bitcoin-QT
11. Reboot your machine with the USB drive still connected.
12. Go into your BIOS setup, this varies from computer to computer, usually you have to press the F12 or Delete key just after you reboot to enter the BIOS setup. Usually it will say which one it is in the first message it displays after it restarts. Configure the boot sequence to check the USB before the hard disk.
Expect the first boot to take around 15 minutes. Be patient, you are booting a whole operating system off a fregging USB drive!

13. The first time you run you will be prompted a user name and password. Enter a combination you will use to enter next time you log on. Set up your network by clicking on the icon to the right of the volume icon in the bottom right.
* If you use an online client like Blockchain.info you are set! Mint comes with Firefox pre-installed.

14. If you want to install a bitcoin client follow the instruction on this page: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/903

Happy BTC!


* If you feel Mint is too sluggish for you, there are lighter versions of linux you can put your hands on, like DSL (Damn Small Linux). But hey, Using a Linux called "Mint" for managing "coins" is pretty cool in and of itself!

Hi Tomwoods

"Linux Mint {version here} (MATE)" = this will take ~5+ hours on my slow internet connection. could you please recommend a smaller / sleek version. I just need linux + browser + spreadsheet + wordprocessor to test

thanks


_______ Have a nice day folks =:) _______
===I'm wondering why I was slaving away 9 to 5 , NOT knowing Bitcoins earlier ; Regards, CC===
torify
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April 12, 2013, 12:55:40 AM
 #13

I have my backup wallet on a Tails live USB.

 https://tails.boum.org

 First you burn a DVD. Booting from the DVD you can then use a Tails wizard to make a USB with a LUKS encrypted persistent partition.

 I can't get a miner to run on linux yet, so I do my mining on a Windows to Go external hard drive with BitLocker full disk excryption.

http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/03/ordering-windows-to-go-how-to-create-a-bootable-windows-8-usb-thumb-drive/

 I have plug and play hard drives which I only insert when I'm playing video games.
Coincrazy
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April 12, 2013, 05:05:11 AM
 #14

Hi,
I was asked to post step by step instructions on how to safely maintain and access your wallet from a bootable USB drive. It is really quite simple for the mildly cumputer literate:

Download & Install LiLi
1. Get a USB with +2GB, I've tested with 4GB. Make sure you have a USB 2.0 drive at least.
2. Go to http://www.linuxliveusb.com/ and click on "Download", then "Download Lili" and save it to your computer (not the USB).
3. Execute the install file, and follow the screens to install on your computer.

Install Mint Linux to the USB Drive
5. Open Linux Live USB Creator.
6. From the main screen choose the drive letter for the USB Drive you are going to install to.
7. In Step 2: Choose a Source
* Choose "Linux Mint {version here} (MATE)" from the drop down. Linux mint is nice alternative to Ubuntu, easy on the eyes and on resources.
* Go to http://www.linuxmint.com/edition.php?id=119 and download the latest Linux Mint from the list of mirrors (Its about a 966MB download, sit back and relax)
* Click on ISO / IMG / ZIP and specify the location where you downloaded the Linux Mint image to. It will start a process to check the file.

8. In Step 3: Persistence (The persistence allows you to keep your preferences and data even after reboot) after you download the linux, it should show you an interface to enter how many MB to set aside for persistence. I entered 1024 MB in the text field, which might be overkill.
9. In Step 4: Options, make sure all three checkboxes are marked.
10. In Step 5: Click on the Lighting Bolt! When it's done it will say "Your Linux Live key is now up and ready".


Boot into you USB Linux and Install Bitcoin-QT
11. Reboot your machine with the USB drive still connected.
12. Go into your BIOS setup, this varies from computer to computer, usually you have to press the F12 or Delete key just after you reboot to enter the BIOS setup. Usually it will say which one it is in the first message it displays after it restarts. Configure the boot sequence to check the USB before the hard disk.
Expect the first boot to take around 15 minutes. Be patient, you are booting a whole operating system off a fregging USB drive!

13. The first time you run you will be prompted a user name and password. Enter a combination you will use to enter next time you log on. Set up your network by clicking on the icon to the right of the volume icon in the bottom right.
* If you use an online client like Blockchain.info you are set! Mint comes with Firefox pre-installed.

14. If you want to install a bitcoin client follow the instruction on this page: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/903

Happy BTC!


* If you feel Mint is too sluggish for you, there are lighter versions of linux you can put your hands on, like DSL (Damn Small Linux). But hey, Using a Linux called "Mint" for managing "coins" is pretty cool in and of itself!

Hi Tomwoods

"Linux Mint {version here} (MATE)" = this will take ~5+ hours on my slow internet connection. could you please recommend a smaller / sleek version. I just need linux + browser + spreadsheet + wordprocessor to test

thanks



Searching the net I have hit something called Damn small linux

will that do the work ? I mean bootable USB , storing wallet and keys on bootable USB ? of course multiple copies is a sine qua non


_______ Have a nice day folks =:) _______
===I'm wondering why I was slaving away 9 to 5 , NOT knowing Bitcoins earlier ; Regards, CC===
VishwaJay
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April 12, 2013, 03:25:50 PM
 #15

Just wanted to thank you, as this worked like a friggin' charm!

It's wonderful being able to run Linux without having to give Windows up completely (as work tends to be Windows-centric, with little sign of changing soon).
Coincrazy
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April 12, 2013, 03:33:18 PM
 #16

Just wanted to thank you, as this worked like a friggin' charm!

It's wonderful being able to run Linux without having to give Windows up completely (as work tends to be Windows-centric, with little sign of changing soon).


I tried the windows virtual machine and everything worked

However when i tried to boot damn small Linux (DSL) http://www.damnsmalllinux.org/ from the USB the mouse and wifi wouldn't work

I was semi dead without the wifi

Ay help appreciated



Thanks



_______ Have a nice day folks =:) _______
===I'm wondering why I was slaving away 9 to 5 , NOT knowing Bitcoins earlier ; Regards, CC===
Coincrazy
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April 12, 2013, 05:50:35 PM
 #17

Some silly questions : what about a web bowser ? Which is most recommended ?
What about some word processors and so sheet ? Again which are reco ?

Firefox is installed by default, I found it was faster / more responsive than Chromium.
Re:office "Libreoffice is a full-featured office productivity suite that provides a near drop-in replacement for microsoft(r) office."

By the way, if what you want is to play with Linux, I would suggest you do a Windows Install, instead of installing to USB since it will run much faster. A Windows Install (one of the options if you mount the Mint Image using something like Daemon Tools) is that it installs Linux as a program in windows, creating a virtual partition of sorts that doesn't mess up your hard disk, then when you re-boot, you finish the installation into this virtual partition and you are set. I've done this and it is great.

The advantage of installing it to USB for security purposes, is that you can stash your bitcoins in the USB linux and throw it in a safer, bury it, or whatever, hehe.

Hi Tom woods and others

Thanks for the great tutorials

I have three questions here

1. How to connect to net while on Linux
---------------------------------------------------------
 I used Linux live USB to create a bootable USB. This worked fine. i choose dam small Linux version 4.x and created a bootable disk, not unbuntu but as you know a knoppix variant

I could make a clean boot from the  USB , i am able to see other things on the linux like explorer etc, but I am  unable to connect to the net while within Linux

What am I doing wrong ? I'm  hoping you know about DSL ..damm small Linux and can help me
 


 Question 2. Existing bit coin client on windows
------------------------------------------------------------------
I have already run a bit coin client while on windows . This is before I did anything about Linux ...i havent done any transactions or anything with that

i havent given out that address anywhere

should I un install that ? Or ?


Question 3
----------------------
I know a little bit about Ppg ..I've used it to test send e mail etc. I unrstand key pairs etc.

could you please explain to such a user , what is a bitcoin wallet  ? What is the function of the private key ? Etc a little more than on lay man terms


Thanks and regards





_______ Have a nice day folks =:) _______
===I'm wondering why I was slaving away 9 to 5 , NOT knowing Bitcoins earlier ; Regards, CC===
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