personal Namespace

The personal API managed private keys in the key store. It is deprecated in favour of using Clef for interacting with accounts Please refer to the ns_personal deprecation page to see the equivalent methods. The following documentation should be treated as archive information and users should migrate tousing Clef for account interactions.


Requests a HD wallet to derive a new account, optionally pinning it for later reuse.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.deriveAccount(url, path, pin)
RPC {"method": "personal_deriveAccount", "params": [string, string, bool]}


Imports the given unencrypted private key (hex string) into the key store, encrypting it with the passphrase.

Returns the address of the new account.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.importRawKey(keydata, passphrase)
RPC {"method": "personal_importRawKey", "params": [string, string]}


Initializes a new wallet at the provided URL by generating and returning a new private key.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.initializeWallet(url)
RPC {"method": "personal_initializeWallet", "params": [string]}


Returns all the Ethereum account addresses of all keys in the key store.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.listAccounts
RPC {"method": "personal_listAccounts", "params": []}


> personal.listAccounts
["0x5e97870f263700f46aa00d967821199b9bc5a120", "0x3d80b31a78c30fc628f20b2c89d7ddbf6e53cedc"]


Returns a list of wallets this node manages.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.listWallets
RPC {"method": "personal_listWallets", "params": []}


> personal.listWallets
  accounts: [{
    address: "0x51594065a986c58d4698c23e3d932b68a22c4d21",
    url: "keystore:///var/folders/cp/k3x0xm3959qf9l0pcbbdxdt80000gn/T/go-ethereum-keystore65174700/UTC--2022-06-28T10-31-09.477982000Z--51594065a986c58d4698c23e3d932b68a22c4d21"
  status: "Unlocked",
  url: "keystore:///var/folders/cp/k3x0xm3959qf9l0pcbbdxdt80000gn/T/go-ethereum-keystore65174700/UTC--2022-06-28T10-31-09.477982000Z--51594065a986c58d4698c23e3d932b68a22c4d21"


Removes the private key with given address from memory. The account can no longer be used to send transactions.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.lockAccount(address)
RPC {"method": "personal_lockAccount", "params": [string]}


Generates a new private key and stores it in the key store directory. The key file is encrypted with the given passphrase. Returns the address of the new account.

At the geth console, newAccount will prompt for a passphrase when it is not supplied as the argument.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.newAccount()
RPC {"method": "personal_newAccount", "params": [string]}


> personal.newAccount()
Repeat passphrase: 

The passphrase can also be supplied as a string.

> personal.newAccount("h4ck3r")


Initiates a hardware wallet opening procedure by establishing a USB connection and then attempting to authenticate via the provided passphrase. Note, the method may return an extra challenge requiring a second open (e.g. the Trezor PIN matrix challenge).

Client Method invocation
Console personal.openWallet(url, passphrase)
RPC {"method": "personal_openWallet", "params": [string, string]}


Decrypts the key with the given address from the key store.

Both passphrase and unlock duration are optional when using the JavaScript console. If the passphrase is not supplied as an argument, the console will prompt for the passphrase interactively.

The unencrypted key will be held in memory until the unlock duration expires. If the unlock duration defaults to 300 seconds. An explicit duration of zero seconds unlocks the key until geth exits.

The account can be used with eth_sign and eth_sendTransaction while it is unlocked.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.unlockAccount(address, passphrase, duration)
RPC {"method": "personal_unlockAccount", "params": [string, string, number]}


> personal.unlockAccount("0x5e97870f263700f46aa00d967821199b9bc5a120")
Unlock account 0x5e97870f263700f46aa00d967821199b9bc5a120

Supplying the passphrase and unlock duration as arguments:

> personal.unlockAccount("0x5e97870f263700f46aa00d967821199b9bc5a120", "foo", 30)

If you want to type in the passphrase and stil override the default unlock duration, pass null as the passphrase.

> personal.unlockAccount("0x5e97870f263700f46aa00d967821199b9bc5a120", null, 30)
Unlock account 0x5e97870f263700f46aa00d967821199b9bc5a120


Deletes a pairing between wallet and geth.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.unpair(url, pin)
RPC {"method": "personal_unpair", "params": [string, string]}


Validate the given passphrase and submit transaction.

The transaction is the same argument as for eth_sendTransaction (i.e. transaction object) and contains the from address. If the passphrase can be used to decrypt the private key belogging to tx.from the transaction is verified, signed and send onto the network. The account is not unlocked globally in the node and cannot be used in other RPC calls.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.sendTransaction(tx, passphrase)
RPC {"method": "personal_sendTransaction", "params": [tx, string]}


> var tx = {from: "0x391694e7e0b0cce554cb130d723a9d27458f9298", to: "0xafa3f8684e54059998bc3a7b0d2b0da075154d66", value: web3.toWei(1.23, "ether")}
> personal.sendTransaction(tx, "passphrase")


The sign method calculates an Ethereum specific signature with: sign(keccak256("\x19Ethereum Signed Message:\n" + len(message) + message)).

By adding a prefix to the message makes the calculated signature recognisable as an Ethereum specific signature. This prevents misuse where a malicious DApp can sign arbitrary data (e.g. transaction) and use the signature to impersonate the victim.

See ecRecover to verify the signature.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.sign(message, account, [password])
RPC {"method": "personal_sign", "params": [message, account, password]}


> personal.sign("0xdeadbeaf", "0x9b2055d370f73ec7d8a03e965129118dc8f5bf83", "")


SignTransaction will create a transaction from the given arguments and tries to sign it with the key associated with tx.from. If the given passwd isn’t able to decrypt the key it fails. The transaction is returned in RLP-form, not broadcast to other nodes. The first argument is a transaction object and the second argument is the password, similar to personal_sendTransaction.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.signTransaction(tx, passphrase)
RPC {"method": "personal_signTransaction", "params": [tx, string]}


ecRecover returns the address associated with the private key that was used to calculate the signature in personal_sign.

Client Method invocation
Console personal.ecRecover(message, signature)
RPC {"method": "personal_ecRecover", "params": [message, signature]}


> personal.sign("0xdeadbeaf", "0x9b2055d370f73ec7d8a03e965129118dc8f5bf83", "")
> personal.ecRecover("0xdeadbeaf", "0xa3f20717a250c2b0b729b7e5becbff67fdaef7e0699da4de7ca5895b02a170a12d887fd3b17bfdce3481f10bea41f45ba9f709d39ce8325427b57afcfc994cee1b")