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How to create or restore a Monero wallet using a Linux LiveCD or pendrive


If you are using an ordinary (not a LiveCD or bootable USB) Linux installation, you can simply use our tutorial on creating a command line wallet or creating a GUI wallet.

However, if you are booting to a Linux LiveCD or USB pendrive, any files you download will be stored in your computer's RAM. This means that unless you have at least about 16GB of RAM or more, you will not have enough space availalbe to download the Monero blockchain.

There is a solution to this RAM issue. You can run your Monero daemon on another trusted computer, and run only the Monero wallet on your Linux LiveCD booted machine. This will keep your wallet password and private key (and therefore your seed) as safe as possible. To achieve this, we need to configure a secure tunnel between your Monero wallet and your Monero daemon.

For clarity, we will refer to your freshly restarted LiveCD or USB pendrive computer as COMPUTER A (where you will install the wallet software), and your second computer where you will install your Monero daemon as COMPUTER B.

Note that this is a slightly complicated tutorial that will involve you knowing about IP addresses and enabling remote SSH login to COMPUTER B.

Installing the Monero daemon onto a trusted Linux or Mac computer (COMPUTER B)

The trusted computer needs to be running Linux or Mac OS for the following solution to work. Your first step will be to follow the first part of our tutorial which will run a Monero daemon on COMPUTER B.

You only need to follow the first half of that tutorial, and can stop after you have completed the step where you run the "monerod" command.

Installing a LiveCD or USB pendrive Linux onto COMPUTER A

Either download a LiveCD of Fedora or Ubuntu linux and burn it to a CD, or create a bootable USB stick using the PendriveLinux web site.

Create a secure tunnel from COMPUTER A to COMPUTER B

First, on COMPUTER B, you need to enable SSH remote login. Instructions for Mac are here, and for Linux users we recommend you Google search for the method of enabling remote SSH login for your particular Linux variant.

On COMPUTER B, find out the local IP address (this is not the public IP address, it's the local IP address of the computer on your home/work network)
ifconfig | grep "inet "
Then on COMPUTER A, type:
ssh username@COMPUTER_B_IP_ADDRESS_HERE -L 18081: -N
The command above will listen for connections on port 18081 on COMPUTER A, and then forward any traffic received on that port to port 18081 (the Monero daemon port) on COMPUTER B.

What this does is make the Monero daemon on COMPUTER B appear to exist on COMPUTER A. Therefore when you run the Monero wallet on COMPUTER A, it will think there is a Monero daemon locally available.

You can now follow the second half of our GUI wallet tutorial or command line wallet tutorial for creating a Monero wallet on COMPUTER A, skipping the steps to create the Monero daemon and just running the Monero wallet instead.
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