If you need to use the Monero command line tools, how do I get started with Monero?

  • surprisingly, this basic level question doesn't seem to be here on SE. But I could be blind.
    – Ginger Ale
    Nov 9, 2016 at 16:35

4 Answers 4


When you’re on Linux or macOS, I usually put the Monero software in the /opt directory. That’s where “optional” software typically goes outside of the OS packaging system. I also try to plan ahead and keep multiple versions.

E.g. on macOS, for the Wolfram Warptangent release, I created a subdirectory like this:

$ cd /opt
$ sudo mkdir monero.mac.x64.v0-10-0-0
$ cd monero.mac.x64.v0-10-0-0
$ sudo tar -jxvf /Users/Nicolas/Downloads/monero.mac.x64.v0-10-0-0.tar.bz2
x ./monero-blockchain-export
x ./monero-blockchain-import
x ./monero-wallet-cli
x ./monerod

Then I make a symbolic link to the “current” release:

$ cd ..
$ sudo ln -s monero.mac.x64.v0-10-0-0 monero
$ ls -lrd monero*
drwxr-xr-x  10 root  wheel  340 Aug 31 22:21 monero.mac.x64.v0-9-4-0
drwxr-xr-x   6 root  wheel  204 Nov  6 13:02 monero.mac.x64.v0-10-0-0
lrwxr-xr-x   1 root  wheel   24 Nov  6 13:03 monero -> monero.mac.x64.v0-10-0-0

As you can see, I did the same for the 0.9.4 release. It allows to easily switch to an older release (by removing the monero symbolic link, and recreating it to another target directory), in case you need to test something with an older wallet.

At the user level, from my home directory, I just added the following to my .profile file:

# Monero

Then, from a new terminal (or after re-login), you can just call the binaries without ./ in front of it.

$ which monero-wallet-cli
$ monero-wallet-cli --help

For Linux and Mac OS X, browse to the folder you extracted the Monero binaries to. Subsequently, open the terminal and type ./monero-wallet-cli to start the wallet or ./monerod to start the daemon. If you want to see all the flags the wallet and daemon can be launched with and how they should be used, use the following commands (from the same directory). monero-wallet-cli --help for the wallet and monerod --help for the daemon.

On Windows, also browse to the folder you extracted the Monero binaries to. To start the wallet and/or daemon you can simply double click on the executable. However, to use certain flags you have to open the command window. This is done as follows. First, make sure your cursor isn't located on any of the files. Subsequently do SHIFT + right click and it will give you an option to "Open command window here". Lastly, type the following command:

monero-wallet-cli.exe --help (for the wallet)

monerod.exe --help (for the deamon)


If you can get past the laid-back drawl, try this video for enlightenment!



2 years later, it is now thoroughly documented on Monero Docs:



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