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Interacting with Monero

You can interact with Monero via desktop GUI, commandline interface, and programming API.

On top of that, Monero nodes interact with each other in a peer-to-peer network.

Installation directory overview

Once unpacked you will see several executable files. You will also find a nice PDF guide for the GUI wallet.

Monero project nicely decouples network node logic from wallet logic. Wallet logic is offered through three independent user interfaces - the GUI, the CLI, and the HTTP API.

# cd monero-gui-v0.13.0.3

# ---- guide to Monero GUI ----

monero-GUI-guide.pdf

# ---- executable files -----------

monerod

monero-wallet-cli
monero-wallet-gui
monero-wallet-rpc

monero-gen-trusted-multisig

monero-blockchain-export
monero-blockchain-import

monero-blockchain-mark-spent-outputs
monero-blockchain-usage
monero-blockchain-ancestry
monero-blockchain-depth

start-gui.sh

# ---- directories ----------------

libs
plugins
qml

Executables - what is what

Executable Description
monerod The full node daemon. Does not require a wallet.
Documentation.
monero-wallet-gui Wallet logic and graphical user interface.
Requires monerod running.
monero-wallet-cli Wallet logic and commandline user interface.
Requires monerod running.
monero-wallet-rpc Wallet logic and HTTP API (JSON-RPC protocol).
Requires monerod running.
monero-blockchain-export Tool to export blockchain to blockchain.raw file.
monero-blockchain-import Tool to import blockchain.raw - ideally your own trusted copy.
monero-gen-trusted-multisig Tool to generate a set of multisig wallets.
See chapter on multisignatures.
monero-blockchain-mark-spent-outputs Advanced tool to mitigate potential privacy issues related to Monero forks. You normally shouldn't be concerned with that.
See the commit and pull request.
monero-blockchain-usage Advanced tool to mitigate potential privacy issues related to Monero forks. You normally shouldn't be concerned with that.
See the commit and the pull request.
monero-blockchain-ancestry Advanced research tool to learn ancestors of a transaction, block or chain. Irrelevant for normal users. See this pull request.
monero-blockchain-depth Advanced research tool to learn depth of a transaction, block or chain. Irrelevant for normal users. See this commit.

Interacting

There are quite a few ways you can interact with Monero software. Perhaps the most surprising for newcomers is that monerod daemon accepts interactive keyboard commands while it is running.

Also, please note that HTTP API is split across monerod and monero-wallet-rpc. You need to run and call both daemons to explore the full API. This follows the node-logic vs wallet-logic split mentioned earlier.

All wallet implementations depend on the monerod running.

Executable p2p network node commands via keyboard node HTTP API wallet commands via keyboard wallet HTTP API wallet via GUI
monerod
monero-wallet-cli
monero-wallet-rpc
monero-wallet-gui

Data directory

This is where the blockchain, log files, and p2p network memory are stored.

By default data directory is at:

  • $HOME/.bitmonero/ on Linux
  • $HOME/Library/Application\ Support/ on macOS
  • C:\ProgramData\bitmonero\ on Windows

Please mind:

  • data directory is hidden as per OS convention
  • the bitmonero directory name is historical artefact from before Monero forked away from Bitmonero, about 2000 years Before Christ

Data directory contains:

  • lmdb/ - the blockchain database directory
  • p2pstate.bin - saved memory of discovered and rated peers
  • bitmonero.log - log file

It can also contain subdirectories for stagenet and testnet, mirroring the same structure:

  • stagenet/ - data directory for Stagenet
  • testnet/ - data directory for Testnet