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Mina Overview

Generating a Keypair

In order to create a keypair for Mainnet or to fully participate in a Mina test network, the first step is to generate a Keypair, which consists of a Public Key and a Private Key. Currently there are two supported tools for generating keypairs mina-generate-keypair and ledger-app-mina. We also have a tool for validating that your private key is created properly.

Note that you may want to generate more than one keypair. For example, if you'd like to run a block producer most securely, you'll want a hot wallet / cold wallet block production setup.

Methods

mina-generate-keypair

We've created a simple command-line utility called mina-generate-keypair. This is the simplest method and instructions can be found below.

Ledger Hardware Wallet

You can use your Ledger Nano S hardware wallet to securely store your Mina private keys. We are in the process of an independent security audit which currently has found no vulnerabilities, and development is nearly completed. Please see our ledger-app-mina documentation to get started with this tool.

Client SDK

We've also created a client SDK that is able to generate key pairs and sign transactions. Please note that this method is unadvised and should only be used by experienced security professionals. Please use our `mina-generate-keypair tool instead for creating key pairs. See our client SDK documentation for more information.


warning

Never give out your private key and make sure they are stored safely. If you lose your private key or if a malicious actor gains access to your private key, you will lose access to your account and will lose your account funds. Always give out your public keys instead. Mina will never ask you for your private keys.


Using mina-generate-keypair

To simplify the process of creating a keypair, we've created a simple command-line utility called mina-generate-keypair. The mina-generate-keypair tool has easy to use functionality to create your own Keypair to start participating in the Mina network. Please see below to see how to install and use on your local system.

Installation

We support several different operating systems for the mina-generate-keypair tool. Follow the instructions below to install the tool onto your system.

macOS

If you are using macOS please install Docker and follow the docker based instructions below.

Ubuntu 18.04 / Debian 9

After adding the Mina repo you can simply run the following command.

echo "deb [trusted=yes] http://packages.o1test.net release main" | sudo tee /etc/apt/sources.list.d/mina.list
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install mina-generate-keypair=1.1.8-b10c0e3

Check that keygen tool installed correctly by running mina-generate-keypair -version. The output should read Commit b10c0e3db9112a2a8aebc3eec7c6d2570fcc4044 on branch master .

Windows / Other Platforms

Install Docker and follow the Docker-based instructions in step 3b. below.

Usage

Creating a keypair is simple and is accomplished in a few short steps.

  1. First make sure you have a folder on your system where you can store the key files. We recommend using the ~/keys folder.
mkdir ~/keys
  1. Next, ensure the permissions are set properly this folder, this prevents unwanted processes from accessing these files.
chmod 700 ~/keys
  1. Generate a key using either the instructions in Step 3a on Debian/Ubuntu, or Step 3b in Docker

warning

Make sure to set a new and secure password for the following commands. Mina will never ask you for this password, and you should not share it with anyone.


3a. In Ubuntu/Debian: Generate your keys using the mina-generate-keypair command. When prompted, type in the password you intend to use to secure this key. If is set, the tool will use the password from the CODA_PRIVKEY_PASS environment variable instead of prompting you. Do NOT forget this password.

mina-generate-keypair -privkey-path ~/keys/my-wallet

3b. In Docker on Windows/MacOS/Linux: Generate your keys using the minaprotocol/generate-keypair docker image. When prompted, type in the password you intend to use to secure this key. Do NOT forget this password.

cd ~
docker run  --interactive --tty --rm --volume $(pwd)/keys:/keys minaprotocol/generate-keypair:1.0.2-06f3c5c -privkey-path /keys/my-wallet

This will create two files on your system, ~/keys/my-wallet which contains the encrypted private key and ~/keys/my-wallet.pub which contains the public key in plain text. Please store the private key file and password you used in a secure place, such as a password manager.


warning

Never give out your private key and make sure they are stored safely. If you lose your private key or if a malicious actor gains access to your private key, you will lose access to your account and will lose your account funds. Always give out your public keys instead. Mina will never ask you for your private keys.


  1. Finally, ensure the permissions are set properly for the private key file, this prevents unwanted processes from accessing it.
chmod 600 ~/keys/my-wallet

Validate your private key

Now that you've created your key -- you'll want to validate that it works. It's sufficient to verify that you can sign a transaction. You can verify this using the mina-validate-keypair tool.

On Linux run the following command:

mina-validate-keypair -privkey-path <path-to-the-private-key-file>

If you are using Docker run the following command:

docker run --interactive --tty --rm --entrypoint=mina-validate-keypair --volume $(pwd)/keys:/keys minaprotocol/generate-keypair:1.0.2-06f3c5c -privkey-path /keys/my-wallet

Next steps

Now that we have created our keypair, we can finally connect to the network or share your public key.