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Author Topic: Preinstalling bitcoin client  (Read 1297 times)
P4man
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November 08, 2011, 08:34:15 AM
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Im curious how I would best preinstall a bitcoin client with up to date block chain in a way that the PC owner can be confident I can not steal his coins.

Here is the thing;  Ive been promoting ubuntu for 5 years in my circles, with only limited success, until recently, now its really taking off. Im hardly exaggerating when I say people are lining up at my front door, usually with older malware infected PCs and laptops asking me to "fix" it like I did for their neighbor/son/wife/collegue.  Its spreading by word of mouth, I did 4 PCs just last week. The fix is simply installing ubuntu (and sometimes throwing in a bit of extra ram).

I typically do that for free, but its becoming too much, Im getting requests from people I really do not even know (the collegue of the son of my neighbor's neighbor), so to kill two birds with one stone, ive started to accept bitcoins for it. Either bitcoins or Westvleteren 12s Smiley.

Of course these people have never heard of bitcoin, so my cellar is filling up nicely with Westvleteren lol. Anyway, its fun to say "you owe me 10 million satoshi's" and let them figure out what it is, Id really like to install bitcoin client on their PCs, but in such a way that they do not have to fear I have access to their private key, and ideally without it taking them 24 hours to download the block chain.

How do I do that?

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deepceleron
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November 08, 2011, 08:47:46 AM
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If you had physical access to the machine, then the owner of the machine cannot be confident of anything.

It sounds like what you want to do is to take a currently running bitcoin's %appdata%/bitcoin directory (without the wallet.dat file) and copy it to the new pc to the user's default location. Then install, but do not run, Bitcoin. This means that the wallet.dat and addresses are not created by you, but the blockchain/IP addresses are there for a quick startup.

PS, use Kubuntu, nobody likes GNOME.

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November 08, 2011, 08:54:38 AM
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How do I do that?
you can't if you ever had access to their computers. you could install backdoors, and other nasty stuff. with out their knowledge.

im not saying that you DO that, only that you COULD.

but its a great idea anyway. just tell your customers about the benefits, risks. and also that if someone found out that you did install trojans, backdoors, and stuff. your would go to jail, and lose your reputation. and thats the reason that you don't do that.

PS, use Kubuntu, nobody likes GNOME.
FUCK YOU, ANYONE LIKES GNOME! KDE SUCKS! Tongue (let the flamewar begin)

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
P4man
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November 08, 2011, 09:04:47 AM
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It sounds like what you want to do is to take a currently running bitcoin's %appdata%/bitcoin directory (without the wallet.dat file) and copy it to the new pc to the user's default location. Then install, but do not run, Bitcoin. This means that the wallet.dat and addresses are not created by you, but the blockchain/IP addresses are there for a quick startup.

Sounds like a plan, Ill give that a shot, thanks

BTW, Im obviously aware of the fact they still rely on me not being a crook preloading their stuff with backdoors, but having their bitcoin wallet is something different, if for no other reason that it couldnt be discovered or proven. If I installed a backdoor, at least theoretically someone could find out. Thats more than a small nuance.

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PS, use Kubuntu, nobody likes GNOME.

I do Smiley. Im  a gnome classic man and while Im not the biggest fan of Unity myself, Unity is being greeted with great enthusiasm by less tech savvy people who dont need a complicated but powerful interface like KDE or gnome. Unity now (finally) looks beautiful and its extremely simple to use. Thats why I dont like it for myself, I dont want easy, I want power,  but my "customers" generally do like it a lot. It does a great job making the transition from windows easier.

If Gnome3 matures that will probably become my next default, for now Unity fits the bill.

paraipan
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November 08, 2011, 12:30:15 PM
 #5

thanks deepceleron for the easy solution, i'm almost in the same situation as p4man here.
If we managed to spread the word on ubuntu why not bitcoin too

I don't have any interest getting ppl wallets only enabling them by default with a working software. They will send their bitcoins to me as a reward there's no need to dump reputation and trust that i've gathered over the years.
I passed a few unlucky episodes too and i was responsible, in their eyes, for malware, backdoors or viruses they had on those windows pc's too so now deb-ubuntu makes the life lot easier for all of us because they are not able to install rogue software without really knowing what they do.

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Gavin Andresen
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November 08, 2011, 02:03:39 PM
 #6

This would be a good bitcoin.stackexchange.com question.

Do what deepceleron says... although you might want to copy JUST the two blk*.dat files (you don't need addr.dat or the database/ subdirectory).

How often do you get the chance to work on a potentially world-changing project?
paraipan
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November 08, 2011, 02:47:30 PM
 #7

This would be a good bitcoin.stackexchange.com question.

Do what deepceleron says... although you might want to copy JUST the two blk*.dat files (you don't need addr.dat or the database/ subdirectory).

ack on that  Cheesy

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ovidiusoft
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November 08, 2011, 03:18:18 PM
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You should also configure Bitcoin to connect to specific nodes, to reduce initial startup and sync time. You can run your own, it's really easy, also see here: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Fallback_Nodes#IPv4_Nodes
onesalt
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November 08, 2011, 06:06:13 PM
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Do you even tell people you are going to install Ubuntu on their systems? Because if they don't then you're a tremendous dick. Some programs only run on specific OS's and (especially if you are a university student) Can be extremely vital to studies and be the difference between passing and failing.

Also arbitrarily installing a bitcoin client on someone's machine without their consent is also fucking stupid.
kokjo
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November 08, 2011, 07:18:06 PM
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Do you even tell people you are going to install Ubuntu on their systems? Because if they don't then you're a tremendous dick.
correct me if im wrong... windows fanboy?

Quote
Some programs only run on specific OS's and (especially if you are a university student) Can be extremely vital to studies and be the difference between passing and failing.
ever heard of wine? or alternative programs, that do exactly the same task?
Education should not be bound to one specific OS, or program, it should not even be required to have a computer(unless you are studying computer science, or other computer related stuff). of course its could be a great help to have one, im not denier that.

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Also arbitrarily installing a bitcoin client on someone's machine without their consent is also fucking stupid.
and computer manufactors, that include all kinds of crapware. is not?

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
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November 08, 2011, 07:24:05 PM
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Do you even tell people you are going to install Ubuntu on their systems? Because if they don't then you're a tremendous dick. Some programs only run on specific OS's and (especially if you are a university student) Can be extremely vital to studies and be the difference between passing and failing.

Also arbitrarily installing a bitcoin client on someone's machine without their consent is also fucking stupid.

Any time my professors told me I had to use Windows I told them to buy me a copy.  I managed to graduate with a 3.42 from a school where a 3.0 is hard to come by.  Education dependent on shitty, expensive software is no education at all.

https://www.bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
While no idea is perfect, some ideas are useful.
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kokjo
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November 08, 2011, 07:29:59 PM
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Education dependent on shitty, expensive software is no education at all.
+1

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deepceleron
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November 08, 2011, 08:20:38 PM
 #13

Do what deepceleron says... although you might want to copy JUST the two blk*.dat files (you don't need addr.dat or the database/ subdirectory).
You should also configure Bitcoin to connect to specific nodes, to reduce initial startup and sync time. You can run your own, it's really easy, also see here: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Fallback_Nodes#IPv4_Nodes
addr.dat is a list of recently connected p2p IP addresses, you are giving future clients a bump in connectivity if they already have a list of 1000+ recently seen addresses.

paraipan
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November 08, 2011, 08:28:39 PM
 #14

.................................

who you're talking to ? did you ever gave tech assistance to your relatives, close friends or other known ppl to them ?
if not pls don't post in here...

FYI i never install a distinct OS before prior knowledge of the owners and having them convinced it's a better alternative  Wink

@deepceleron got it, a copy of my addr.dat too

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P4man
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November 08, 2011, 10:15:00 PM
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Do you even tell people you are going to install Ubuntu on their systems? Because if they don't then you're a tremendous dick. Some programs only run on specific OS's and (especially if you are a university student) Can be extremely vital to studies and be the difference between passing and failing.

Also arbitrarily installing a bitcoin client on someone's machine without their consent is also fucking stupid.

And you both rude and illiterate. If you actually read what i posted, you might have noticed those people come to me because they want me to install ubuntu on it (while where possible preserving their bookmarks, address books, files, emails etc). And yes, I tell them precisely what to expect.

As for needing windows to pass your education, I assume you are American? Where I live universities do not demand or use proprietary document standards they use open standards. And should you really need windows-only apps, there is always wine and VMs.

P4man
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November 08, 2011, 10:22:09 PM
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FYI i never install a distinct OS before prior knowledge of the owners and having them convinced it's a better alternative  Wink

I never install closed source OSs on other people's PCs anymore.  If they want to use windows (or OS-X), they are on their own, Im sick and tired of providing support for it. Endless viruses, malware, DLL hell, not being able to SSH in to do anything, .. nope, not me. If they got a windows problem I tell them to take it to the shop or use their OEM or MS hotline support.

Ever since I switched to supporting ubuntu only, the time I spent on helping others has dropped to almost zero. Every 6 months or so I get a phone call asking if its a good idea to upgrade to this new version, and thats essentially it. Honestly, if it werent for those few occasional questions I would have sworn most of them stopped using the PC or reinstalled windows themselves, but nope,  people manage just fine.

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