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Installing Geth

Last edited on December 1, 2022

There are several ways to install Geth, including via a package manager, downloading a pre-built bundle, running as a docker container or building from downloaded source code. On this page the various installation options are explained for several major operating systems. Users prioritizing ease of installation should choose to use a package manager or prebuilt bundle. Users prioritizing customization should build from source. It is important to run the latest version of Geth because each release includes bugfixes and improvement over the previous versions. The stable releases are recommended for most users because they have been fully tested. A list of stable releases can be found here. Instructions for updating existing Geth installations are also provided in each section.

Package managers

MacOS via Homebrew

The easiest way to install go-ethereum is to use the Geth Homebrew tap. The first step is to check that Homebrew is installed. The following command should return a version number.

brew -v

If a version number is returned, then Homebrew is installed. If not, Homebrew can be installed by following the instructions here. With Homebrew installed, the following commands add the Geth tap and install Geth:

brew tap ethereum/ethereum
brew install ethereum

The previous command installs the latest stable release. Developers that wish to install the most up-to-date version can install the Geth repository's master branch by adding the --devel parameter to the install command:

brew install ethereum --devel

These commands install the core Geth software and the following developer tools: clef, devp2p, abigen, bootnode, evm, rlpdump and puppeth. The binaries for each of these tools are saved in /usr/local/bin/. The full list of command line options can be viewed here or in the terminal by running geth --help.

Updating an existing Geth installation to the latest version can be achieved by stopping the node and running the following commands:

brew update
brew upgrade
brew reinstall ethereum

When the node is started again, Geth will automatically use all the data from the previous version and sync the blocks that were missed while the node was offline.

Ubuntu via PPAs

The easiest way to install Geth on Ubuntu-based distributions is with the built-in launchpad PPAs (Personal Package Archives). A single PPA repository is provided, containing stable and development releases for Ubuntu versions xenial, trusty, impish, focal, bionic.

The following command enables the launchpad repository:

sudo add-apt-repository -y ppa:ethereum/ethereum

Then, to install the stable version of go-ethereum:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ethereum

Or, alternatively the develop version:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ethereum-unstable

These commands install the core Geth software and the following developer tools: clef, devp2p, abigen, bootnode, evm, rlpdump and puppeth. The binaries for each of these tools are saved in /usr/local/bin/. The full list of command line options can be viewed here or in the terminal by running geth --help.

Updating an existing Geth installation to the latest version can be achieved by stopping the node and running the following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install ethereum
sudo apt-get upgrade geth

When the node is started again, Geth will automatically use all the data from the previous version and sync the blocks that were missed while the node was offline.

Windows

The easiest way to install Geth is to download a pre-compiled binary from the downloads page. The page provides an installer as well as a zip file containing the Geth source code. The install wizard offers the user the option to install Geth, or Geth and the developer tools. The installer adds geth to the system's PATH automatically. The zip file contains the command .exe files that can be run from the command prompt. The full list of command line options can be viewed here or in the terminal by running geth --help.

Updating an existing Geth installation can be achieved by stopping the node, downloading and installing the latest version following the instructions above. When the node is started again, Geth will automatically use all the data from the previous version and sync the blocks that were missed while the node was offline.

FreeBSD via pkg

Geth can be installed on FreeBSD using the package manager pkg. The following command downloads and installs Geth:

pkg install go-ethereum

These commands install the core Geth software and the following developer tools: clef, devp2p, abigen, bootnode, evm, rlpdump and puppeth.

The full list of command line options can be viewed here or in the terminal by running geth --help.

Updating an existing Geth installation to the latest version can be achieved by stopping the node and running the following commands:

pkg upgrade

When the node is started again, Geth will automatically use all the data from the previous version and sync the blocks that were missed while the node was offline.

FreeBSD via ports

Installing Geth using ports, simply requires navigating to the net-p2p/go-ethereum ports directory and running make install as root:

cd /usr/ports/net-p2p/go-ethereum
make install

These commands install the core Geth software and the following developer tools: clef, devp2p, abigen, bootnode, evm, rlpdump and puppeth. The binaries for each of these tools are saved in /usr/local/bin/.

The full list of command line options can be viewed here or in the terminal by running geth --help.

Updating an existing Geth installation can be achieved by stopping the node and running the following command:

portsnap fetch

When the node is started again, Geth will automatically use all the data from the previous version and sync the blocks that were missed while the node was offline.

Arch Linux via pacman

The Geth package is available from the community repo. It can be installed by running:

pacman -S geth

These commands install the core Geth software and the following developer tools: clef, devp2p, abigen, bootnode, evm, rlpdump and puppeth. The binaries for each of these tools are saved in /usr/bin/.

The full list of command line options can be viewed here or in the terminal by running geth --help.

Updating an existing Geth installation can be achieved by stopping the node and running the following command:

sudo pacman -Sy

When the node is started again, Geth will automatically use all the data from the previous version and sync the blocks that were missed while the node was offline.

Standalone bundle

Stable releases and development builds are provided as standalone bundles. These are useful for users who: a) wish to install a specific version of Geth (e.g., for reproducible environments); b) wish to install on machines without internet access (e.g. air-gapped computers); or c) wish to avoid automatic updates and instead prefer to manually install software.

The following standalone bundles are available:

  • 32bit, 64bit, ARMv5, ARMv6, ARMv7 and ARM64 archives (.tar.gz) on Linux
  • 64bit archives (.tar.gz) on macOS
  • 32bit and 64bit archives (.zip) and installers (.exe) on Windows

Some archives contain only Geth, while other archives containing Geth and the various developer tools (clef, devp2p, abigen, bootnode, evm, rlpdump and puppeth). More information about these executables is available at the README.

The standalone bundles can be downloaded from the Geth Downloads page. To update an existing installation, download and manually install the latest version.

Docker container

A Docker image with recent snapshot builds from our develop branch is maintained on DockerHub to support users who prefer to run containerized processes. There four different Docker images available for running the latest stable or development versions of Geth.

  • ethereum/client-go:latest is the latest development version of Geth (default)
  • ethereum/client-go:stable is the latest stable version of Geth
  • ethereum/client-go:{version} is the stable version of Geth at a specific version number
  • ethereum/client-go:release-{version} is the latest stable version of Geth at a specific version family

Pulling an image and starting a node is achieved by running these commands:

docker pull ethereum/client-go
docker run -it -p 30303:30303 ethereum/client-go

There are also four different Docker images for running the latest stable or development versions of miscellaneous Ethereum tools.

  • ethereum/client-go:alltools-latest is the latest development version of the Ethereum tools
  • ethereum/client-go:alltools-stable is the latest stable version of the Ethereum tools
  • ethereum/client-go:alltools-{version} is the stable version of the Ethereum tools at a specific version number
  • ethereum/client-go:alltools-release-{version} is the latest stable version of the Ethereum tools at a specific version family

The image has the following ports automatically exposed:

  • 8545 TCP, used by the HTTP based JSON RPC API
  • 8546 TCP, used by the WebSocket based JSON RPC API
  • 8547 TCP, used by the GraphQL API
  • 30303 TCP and UDP, used by the P2P protocol running the network

Note: if you are running an Ethereum client inside a Docker container, you should mount a data volume as the client's data directory (located at /root/.ethereum inside the container) to ensure that downloaded data is preserved between restarts and/or container life-cycles.

Updating Geth to the latest version simply requires stopping the container, pulling the latest version from Docker and running it:

docker stop ethereum/client-go
docker pull ethereum/client-go:latest
docker run -it -p 30303:30303 ethereum/client-go

Build from source code

Linux and Mac

The go-ethereum repository should be cloned locally. Then, the command make geth configures everything for a temporary build and cleans up afterwards. This method of building only works on UNIX-like operating systems, and a Go installation is still required.

git clone https://github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum.git
cd go-ethereum
make geth

These commands create a Geth executable file in the go-ethereum/build/bin folder that can be moved and run from another directory if required. The binary is standalone and doesn't require any additional files.

To update an existing Geth installation simply stop the node, navigate to the project root directory and pull the latest version from the Geth GitHub repository. then rebuild and restart the node.

cd go-ethereum
git pull
make geth

Windows

The Chocolatey package manager provides an easy way to install the required build tools. Chocolatey can be installed by following these instructions. Then, to install the build tool the following commands can be run in an Administrator command prompt:

C:\Windows\system32> choco install git
C:\Windows\system32> choco install golang
C:\Windows\system32> choco install mingw

Installing these packages sets up the path environment variables. To get the new path a new command prompt must be opened. To install Geth, a Go workspace directory must first be created, then the Geth source code can be created and built.

C:\Users\xxx> mkdir src\github.com\ethereum
C:\Users\xxx> git clone https://github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum src\github.com\ethereum\go-ethereum
C:\Users\xxx> cd src\github.com\ethereum\go-ethereum
C:\Users\xxx\src\github.com\ethereum\go-ethereum> go get -u -v golang.org/x/net/context
C:\Users\xxx\src\github.com\ethereum\go-ethereum> go install -v ./cmd/...

FreeBSD

To build Geth from source code on FreeBSD, the Geth GitHub repository can be cloned into a local directory.

git clone https://github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum

Then, the Go compiler can be used to build Geth:

pkg install go

If the Go version currently installed is >= 1.5, Geth can be built using the following command:

cd go-ethereum
make geth

If the installed Go version is < 1.5 (quarterly packages, for example), the following command can be used instead:

cd go-ethereum
CC=clang make geth

To start the node, the followijng command can be run:

build/bin/geth

Additionally all the developer tools provided with Geth (clef, devp2p, abigen, bootnode, evm, rlpdump and puppeth) can be compiled by running make all. More information about these tools can be found here.

To build a stable release, e.g. v1.9.21, the command git checkout v1.9.21 retrieves that specific version. Executing that command before running make geth switches Geth to a stable branch.

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