This is a guide to making a completely secure Bitcoin Wallet wallet you keep on a thumb drive. The reason it is so secure is that we will be using Ubuntu to create a boot-able operating system to avoid any malware, spyware, or viruses. We are doing it this way because there are programs out there that try to steal your Bitcoin Wallet. There are online wallets that you can use but I highly suggest you only use those for day to day transactions and you keep a separate wallet for your savings account.
Before we get started you will need 1 or 2 Thumb Drives (will go into detail on why you may need 2 later). They don’t have to be big. I bought my 2 Gb drives for 5 dollars each. Once you have that, we can get started.
The Operating system for your Secure Bitcoin Wallet will be Ubuntu. Don’t be scared if you’ve only used Windows your whole life. I will be walking you through this step-by-step.
Go to the Ubuntu Download Page and click the download option on the right of the screen. Make sure you save it to a place you will remember because we will be needing it later. You can also download this from a torrent site if you know how. If you are unfamiliar with torrents just download it from the link above.
Now we need to make a boot-able thumb drive. Lucky for us, there is easy to use software that does this for us. Go to the USB Installer Page and download the usb installer program. This program will make is so you can boot from a usb drive. Once it’s downloaded, run the program and extract it to a folder you will remember. I would suggest using your download folder and then creating a new folder called “USBinstaller” so you remember where it is. Once it’s unzipped, go to that folder and run the software.
Select Ubuntu for step 1. It should be the top option on the drop down menu. Then you click the browse button and you select the Ubuntu download from earlier (remember when I told you to remember where you saved it to?). Then select your usb thumb drive. If you plug it in and it doesn’t show up, leave it plugged in and restart the program and it should be there. Then all you have to do is click create and let it run. It shouldn’t take too long but it will be a minute or two. Here is what mine looked like.
**Before you continue make sure that you remember our address startbitcoin.com so you can come back and finish the tutorial. **
***Read the following couple paragraphs before booting from Ubuntu ***
Now that we have a Boot-able version of Ubuntu, we need use it. Keep the thumb drive plugged in and restart your computer. If it doesn’t automatically start Ubuntu, you may have to hit the Esc or Del key as your computer is booting up. The next part is very important. ** Do not install Ubuntu. Select “Run Ubuntu from USB Drive” from the screen that pops up. The security of this method comes from making sure you have a fresh Operating System every time you want to access your wallet so you aren’t keeping any information that might be malicious.
Once Ubuntu is running, go ahead and connect to the internet. If you use a hardwired Ethernet connection (actually have a cable running into your computer from your modem or router) this should be done for you already. If not click the wireless button on the top right of the screen, select your router and enter in your password.
Now we need to download the Bitcoin client and start a new wallet. Go to the official Bitcoin Homepage and remember that you are using Linux now. So don’t download the Windows edition. I always unzip the file to my downloads folder but it doesn’t matter, just remember where you extract it to. Once extracted go to your download folder and open Bin>32> and then open the Bitcoin icon. This will open the Bitcoin App. Now close it. The only reason that we opened it was to create a wallet.dat file.
The next step is to make is so we can see the hidden files on the computer. Open your file explorer (looks like a house on a folder at the top of the menu to the left), move your mouse to the top left of the monitor. You should see a familiar menu now including file, edit and more. Click edit and then preferences. See Below -
At the top of the window that just popped up an option to view hidden files. Select OK and the window should close. Now in file explorer click Ubuntu on the top left of the window and you should be able to see a folder named “.bitcoin”.
Go ahead and open that and there is your wallet.dat file. Right click it and copy it.
Now while still in your file explorer you can select your other USB drive from the left side of that window. Right click and paste your wallet.dat file onto your USB drive. Now you have a secure wallet that is safe from malware and viruses.
When you want to access your wallet you will boot Ubuntu and install Bitcoin like you did before, but this you will want to copy the wallet.dat file from the usb drive and paste it into the .bitcoin folder and you are good to go.
Make sure that you do not overwrite your wallet.dat file and I would recommend making more then 1 thumb drive just in case something happens to your main. Some people recommend encrypting your thumb drive but I would recommend hiding it in a safe place… like a safe. If you have enough Bitcoins where you would suffer a serious loss, I would go with a safety deposit box.
If you have found this tutorial helpful – Donate to 1G1ehppEgjiFTUSHFz2xs9KLSQuWLPYF2o and if I get enough, I’ll move it to my secure wallet.