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monero-wallet-cli - Reference

Note

Get yourself comfortable with a friendly Monero CLI wallet. It is the most reliable and most complete wallet for Monero. Use stagenet for learning.

Overview

Command line wallet

The "official" command line wallet for Monero. Available for Linux, macOS and Windows.

Wallet uses your private keys to understand your total balance, transactions history, and to facilitate creating transactions.

However, wallet does not store the blockchain and does not directly participate in the p2p network.

The CLI wallet is the most reliable and most feature complete wallet for Monero.

Depends on the full node

Wallet connects to a full node to scan the blockchain for your transaction outputs and to send your transactions out to the network.

The full node can be either local (same computer) or remote.

Normally, you run the full node on the same computer as wallet (or within your home network).

Connection happens over HTTP and uses this API.

Any transaction leaving the wallet is already blinded by all Monero privacy features. This means plain text HTTP communication isn't an issue on its own even if you connect to a remote node.

However, connecting to a remote node has other nuanced trade-offs, which is a topic for a separate article.

Syntax

./monero-wallet-cli [options] [command]

Example:

./monero-wallet-cli --stagenet

Running

Go to directory where you unpacked Monero.

Run the full node and wait until it syncs up with the network (may take up to a few days):

./monerod --stagenet

In a separate terminal window, run the wallet:

./monero-wallet-cli --stagenet --generate-new-wallet MoneroExampleStagenetWallet

Options

Help and version

Option Description
--help Enlist available options.
--version Show monero-wallet-cli version to stdout. Example:
Monero 'Boron Butterfly' (v0.14.0.0-release)

Pick network

Option Description
(missing) By default wallet assumes mainnet.
--stagenet Run on stagenet. Remember to run your daemon with --stagenet as well.
--testnet Run on testnet. Remember to run your daemon with --testnet as well.

Logging

Option Description
--log-file <arg> Full path to the log file.
--log-level <arg> 0-4 with 0 being minimal logging and 4 being full tracing. Defaults to 0. These are general presets and do not directly map to severity levels. For example, even with minimal 0, you may see some most important INFO entries.
--max-log-file-size <arg> Soft limit in bytes for the log file (=104850000 by default, which is just under 100MB). Once log file grows past that limit, monero creates the next log file with a UTC timestamp postfix -YYYY-MM-DD-HH-MM-SS.

In production deployments, you would probably prefer to use established solutions like logrotate instead. In that case, set --max-log-file-size 0 to prevent monero from managing the log files.
--max-log-files <arg> Limit on the number of log files (=50 by default). The oldest log files are removed. In production deployments, you would probably prefer to use established solutions like logrotate instead.

Full node connection

Wallet depends on a full node for all non-local operations. The following options define how to connect to monerod:

Option Description
--daemon-address <arg> Use monerod instance at <host>:<port>. Example:
./monero-wallet-cli --daemon-address monero-stagenet.exan.tech:38081 --stagenet
--daemon-host <arg> Use monerod instance at host <arg> instead of localhost.
--daemon-port <arg> Use monerod instance at port <arg> instead of 18081.
--daemon-login <arg> Specify username[:password] for monerod RPC API. It is based on HTTP Basic Auth. Mind that connections are by default unencrypted. Authentication only makes sense if you establish a secure connection (maybe via Tor, or SSH tunneling, or reverse proxy w/ TLS).
--trusted-daemon Enable commands and behaviors which rely on monerod instance being trusted. Default for localhost connection. The trust in this context concerns preserving your privacy. Only use this flag if you do control monerod. Trusted daemon allows for commands like rescan_spent, start_mining, import_key_images and behaviors like not warning about potential attack on transient problems with transaction sending.
--untrusted-daemon Disable commands and behaviors which rely on monerod instance being trusted. Default for a non-localhost connections. See --trusted-daemon for more details.
--do-not-relay The newly created transaction will not be relayed to the Monero network. Instead it will be dumped to a file in a raw hexadecimal format. Useful if you want to push the transaction through a gateway like https://xmrchain.net/rawtx. This may be easier to use over Tor than Monero wallet.
--allow-mismatched-daemon-version Allow communicating with monerod that uses a different RPC version.

Create new wallet

Option Description
--generate-new-wallet <arg> Create a new Monero wallet and save it to <arg> file. You will be asked for a password. The password is used to encrypt the wallet file but it is unrelated to your master spend key or mnemonic seed. Generate a very strong password with your password manager (~256 bits of entropy). Example:

./monero-wallet-cli --stagenet --generate-new-wallet $HOME/.bitmonero/stagenet/wallets/MoneroExampleStagenetWallet
--kdf-rounds <arg> Concerns encrypting the wallet file. The wallet file is encrypted with ChaCha stream cipher. The encryption key is derived from the user supplied password by hashing the password with CryptoNight. This option defines how many times the CryptoNight hashing will be applied. The default is 1 round of hashing.

Note this is unrelated to spend key generation.

The more rounds the longer you will wait to open the wallet or send transaction. But also the attacker will have it harder to brute force your wallet password.

Note: You will have to remember and provide the same kdf-rounds on every wallet access!

Recommendation: Do not change the default value. Instead generate a very strong wallet password with your password manager (256 bits of entropy).

Open existing wallet

Option Description
--wallet-file <arg> Open existing wallet. Example:

./monero-wallet-cli --stagenet --wallet-file $HOME/.bitmonero/stagenet/wallets/MoneroExampleStagenetWallet

This is only for wallet files generated with monero-wallet-cli, monero-wallet-gui, or monero-wallet-rpc tools. If you have other type of wallet then see importing options.
--password <arg> Provide wallet password as a parameter instead of interactively. Remember to escape/quote as needed.

Not recommended because the password will remain in your command history and will also be visible in the process table. For automation prefer --password-file.

The option also works in combination with --generate-new-wallet.
--password-file <arg> Provide password as a file in stead of interactively. Trailing \n are discarded when reading the password file.

Prefer this over --password if you automate wallet access. Make sure the password file is meaningfully separated from the wallet file. Otherwise it provides no security benefit.

The option also works in combination with --generate-new-wallet.

Restore wallet

Option Description
--generate-from-device <arg> Restore/generate a special wallet to work with a hardware device like Ledger or Trezor and save it to <arg> file. Example:

./monero-wallet-cli --stagenet --generate-from-device MoneroExampleDeviceWallet --subaddress-lookahead 5:20

This is a one-time action. Next time you simply open the wallet.

By default the command expects Ledger hardware connected. For Trezor hardware add --hw-device Trezor (expected ~May 2019).

It will take up to 25 minutes with default settings. This is because hardware devices are slow to pre-generate subaddresses. To mitigate use low --subaddress-lookahead 5:20.

The local wallet will not have private spend key and will not be able to spend on its own. It serves as a user interface and a bridge for low-power hardware devices. Transaction signing with a private spend key always happens on the hardware device.

See the complete guide to hardware wallet setup.
--generate-from-view-key <arg> Restore a view-only version of the wallet to track incoming transactions and save it to <arg> file. The wallet is created based on a secret view key and standard address. The secret view key is meant to be pasted as hexadecimal.
--generate-from-spend-key <arg> Restore a wallet from secret spend key and save it to <arg> file. The secret spend key is meant to be pasted as hexadecimal.
--restore-deterministic-wallet Restore a wallet from secret mnemonic seed. Use this to restore from your 25 words backup.

You will be asked for a password to encrypt the wallet file (once restored). Note this is not a passphrase to mnemonic seed. Mnemonic seeds generated by Monero official wallets are naked.
--restore-height <arg> Only scan for transactions later than specific blockchain height. The default is 0. Raising the value makes wallet restoration radically faster. The optimal value should match the day you originally created the wallet (but cannot be later). The mapping between the block height and date/time is available on block explorers like https://xmrchain.net. For instance, if you created the wallet in 2019+ use 1730000.

Multisig wallet

Option Description
--generate-from-multisig-keys <arg> Create a standard wallet from multisig keys. This is useful to combine all multisig secret keys back into the standard wallet (when you no longer need the multisig). The wallet will then have control of the funds. It only supports providing all secret keys even if the multisig scheme allowed for less (only N/N not N/M).
--restore-multisig-wallet Restore a multisig wallet from secret seed that was earlier exported with the seed interactive command. This only restores your part of the wallet. Other multisig participants will still be necessary to sign the transaction.

Config file

Option Description
--config-file <arg> Full path to the configuration file. Note this should be a separate config than monerod uses because these tools accept different set of options.

Performance

Option Description
--subaddress-lookahead <arg> Accepts m:n, by default 50:200. The first value is the number of accounts and the second value is the number of subaddresses per account.

The wallet will not check for payments to subaddresses further than n away from the last received payment. This can happen if you generated unique subaddresses for n clients in a row but none of them paid.

On the other hand the more subaddresses you set to look ahead, the longer it takes to create your wallet, because they must be pre-computed. This is normally not a concern, except for hardware wallets. On the Ledger the default value of 50:200 can take over 20 minutes (one time on wallet creation)!
--max-concurrency <arg> Max number of threads to use for parallel jobs. The default value 0 uses the number of CPU threads.

Internationalization

Option Description
--mnemonic-language <arg> Language for mnemonic seed words. One of english, english_old, esperanto, french, german, italian, japanese, lojban, portuguese, russian, spanish.

It might be a good idea to stick to default English which is by far the most popular and well tested. It also avoids potential non-ASCII characters pitfalls or bugs.
--use-english-language-names If your display freezes, exit blind with ^C, then run again with --use-english-language-names. This can happen when Monero prompts for a language displaying language names in their natives alphabets.

Legacy

These options are either legacy or rarely useful.

Option Description
--non-deterministic Generate legacy non-deterministic wallet. The view key will not be derived from the spend key. You would also have to backup the .keys. To restore non-deterministic wallet (standard address) use --generate-from-keys. To restore fully you will need the .keys file.
--generate-from-keys <arg> Restore legacy non-deterministic wallet by providing both spend and view keys and the standard address.
--shared-ringdb-dir <arg> Set shared ring database path. No longer worthwhile.
--create-address-file Has no effect. The *.address.txt file is created regardless of this option.
--electrum-seed <arg> Provide mnemonic seed as a commandline option for --restore-deterministic-wallet instead of interactively. This is not recommended b/c the seed will be saved in your command history and also visible in the process list.
--generate-from-json <arg> You would run monero-wallet-rpc to use this option. It seems exposed in monero-wallet-cli by accident.
--tx-notify <arg> You would run monero-wallet-rpc to use this option. It seems exposed in monero-wallet-cli by accident.

Defaults

Wallet files are created and seek in current directory. This is rarely what you want. Use --wallet-file and similar options to control this.

Log files are created in the same directory as monero-wallet-cli binary. Use --log-file to specify the location.

Commands

Commands are used interactively in the monero-wallet-cli prompt.

You can also run a one-off command by providing it as a commandline parameter. This is rarely useful though. For automation prefer monero-wallet-rpc.

The CLI wallet has built-in help for individual commands - we will not attempt to reproduce that. Instead we focus on grouping commands so you can quickly find what you are looking for. Use help command_name to learn more.

Help and version

help - list all commands

help command_name - show help for individual command

version - show version of the monero-wallet-cli binary

Balance

account - total balance; list accounts with respective balances

balance detail - within the current account, list addresses with respective balances

Manage accounts

account

account new

account switch

account label

Manage addresses

address all

address new

address label

Network status

status - show if synced up to the blockchain height

fee - show current fee-per-byte and full node's mempool (the backlog of transactions depending on the priority)

wallet_info - show wallet file path, standard address, type and network

Secret mnemonic seed

seed - show raw mnemonic seed

encrypted_seed - create mnemonic seed encrypted with the passphrase; you will need to remember or store the passphrase separately; restoring will not be possible without the passphrase

Secret keys

spendkey - show secret spend key and public spend key

viewkey - show secret view key and public view key

Proofs

get_reserve_proof -> check_reserve_proof - prove the balance

get_spend_proof -> check_spend_proof - prove you made the payment

sign <file> -> verify <filename> <address> <signature> - prove ownership of the address; allows to verify the file was signed by the owner of specific Monero address

get_tx_proof -> check_tx_proof

Multisig

Setup

prepare_multisig

make_multisig

finalize_multisig

Update

export_multisig_info

import_multisig_info

Other

submit_multisig

exchange_multisig_keys

export_raw_multisig_tx

Tx private key

These allow to learn and verify transaction's private key r. This was useful to create a proof of payment but got superseded by get_spend_proof.

get_tx_key <txid>

check_tx_key <txid> <txkey> <address>

set_tx_key <txid> <tx_key>

Advanced

unspent_outputs - show a list of, and a histogram of unspent outputs (indivisible pieces of your total balance)

export_key_images <file> -> import_key_images <file> - used to inform the view-only wallet about outgoing transactions so it can calculate the real balance; normally view-only wallets only learn about incoming transactions, not outgoing

export_outputs <file> - export a set of outputs owned by this wallet to a <file>

Mining

start_mining

stop_mining

donate <amount> - donate ` to development team.

Non essential or legacy

address_book [(add ((<address> [pid <id>])|<integrated address>) [<description possibly with whitespaces>])|(delete <index>)]

set_description [free text note] -> get_description - manage convenience description of the wallet (the information is local)

save - this now happens automatically

save_bc - this now happens automatically

bc_height - show blockchain height (superseded with status)

sweep_unmixable - only relevant for very old wallets (<= 2016); send all unmixable outputs to yourself with ring_size 10

TODO: document remaining commands