This guide is broken into five parts:
If you just want to install the Urbit OS, Arvo, and don't need to be on the Urbit network, you can skip to Installing Arvo.
Urbit's identity layer, called Azimuth, is a suite of contracts on the Ethereum blockchain. An Azimuth address, called a point, functions as an identity and a network address for Arvo, the Urbit OS. An instance of Arvo is called a ship. A ship can't use the Arvo network until it's combined with a point.
Throughout this guide, we'll refer to "Urbit identities" and "points" interchangeably.
Points are generally not freely available, so you will need to either purchase one or get one from a friend. This guide assumes you have found a way to acquire a point.
If you went through the address registration process and used Wallet Generator, then you should have have received a .zip file that contains an Ethereum address and cryptographic secrets in the form of a PDF.
Your ownership PDF contains two secrets that must be kept safe.
Master Ticket: This is a master key that allows you to manage every aspect of your address.
Ownership Seed BIP39 Mnemonic: The master ticket encoded as a BIP39 mnemonic for compatibility with most Ethereum wallet software, including our own Bridge client.
Bridge is a client that we built for accessing and managing your Urbit identities. Like Wallet Generator, Bridge is a web application that can also be run in offline mode. It can be run in Firefox on all platforms, and also in Chrome if you're using a Mac.
Importantly, Bridge also allows you to generate a keyfile that
you will need to boot your ship on the Arvo network for the first time. Once you boot a ship with a keyfile, you can restart it later without the keyfile.
Note Bridge allows you to make writes to the blockchain, but we ask you to confirm anything that will incur a transaction cost. If you plan to do anything heavy-duty, make sure your Ethereum address has some pocket ETH.
Download Bridge here and follow the instructions below.
Unlock a Wallet.
On the dropdown menu, make sure that
Main Network is selected. Then click
On this dropdown menu, choose how you'd like to access your Ethereum wallet. If you aren't using a hardware wallet (we support Ledger and Trezor), you'll want to use your Ethereum wallet's BIP39 Mnemonic.
If you used Wallet Generator to generate an HD wallet, you have a few choices: you can choose
Urbit Master Ticket, which is high-value, but allows you unfettered permissions to update your point. The mnemonic associated with your management seed is also useful to perform everyday operations (such as boot your ship!).
Select the appropriate option and click
If you already have a point -- for example, if you are trying to boot a ship from a pre-Ethereum-era network -- you should see a list of points associated with your keys. If you are trying to boot a planet for the first time, click on the
Details link for that point. At the bottom on the Details page, there is a section called
Urbit Networking. If the fields in this section are filled out, proceed to step 6.
If you do not yet have a point and are getting one sent to you, proceed to step 4.
If you were sent a point by a friend, then you should see a graphic under
Incoming Transfers. Click the
Details -> link under that graphic.
Now you'll be on the management page of your point. The transfer isn't completed yet, so click
Accept incoming transfer. Then check both boxes and and click their associated
Sign Transaction and
Send Transaction buttons.
If you already own a point, then click on the
Details -> under your sigil in the
Your Points section.
If you just accepted a point, you'll be returned to your point screen. Notice that that links and buttons are now clickable. You now own this point!
Click the link that says
Set Urbit networking keys. Bridge will let you either download a keyfile derived from your networking keys are you can paste in your own network seed and derive a new keyfile. See our HD Wallet Spec for more information.
It should be noted that this is an event on the Ethereum network and will cost a trivial, but non-zero, amount of gas to complete.
From the detail page associated with your point, click the
Generate Arvo Keyfile button and you'll be taken to a page with a field titled
Network seed. If you went through the address registration process, this should be filled in already. Click
Generate ->, which will download a keyfile onto your machine.
With that keyfile in hand, you can now exit Bridge.
Now you're ready to run Arvo. You're almost there!
But first, some terminology:
urbit: the interpreter that runs when you run a command like
/bin/urbit in your command line
arvo: the deterministic OS that lives in a directory whose name matches your Azimuth point, ie
~famreb-todmec lives in
Arvo runs nicely on a Unix-like operating system -- Ubuntu, Fedora, macOS, and FreeBSD, for example. If you're using Windows, you'll need to get one of the aforementioned systems. Don't worry: most of them are free.
We have different installation instructions for different platforms. To install and run Arvo, run the commands that are listed for your operating system.
On any platform, you can check your Arvo installation by running the
urbit command. Installation was successful if you get a block of output that begins with the line below:
Urbit: a personal server operating function
Urbit depends on:
C compiler (gcc or clang) curses git gmp libcurl libsigsegv libuv meson ninja openssl pkg-config python2 zlib
We recommend using the Homebrew package manager to run Arvo on MacOS.
# Bash brew update brew install gcc git gmp libsigsegv libtool meson ninja pkg-config python2 openssl git clone https://github.com/urbit/urbit cd urbit ./scripts/bootstrap ./scripts/build sudo ninja -C ./build/ meson-install urbit
# Bash sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install g++ git libcurl4-gnutls-dev libgmp3-dev libncurses5-dev libsigsegv-dev libssl-dev make openssl pkg-config python python3 python3-pip zlib1g-dev ninja-build sudo -H pip3 install --upgrade pip sudo -H pip3 install meson git clone https://github.com/urbit/urbit cd urbit ./scripts/bootstrap ./scripts/build sudo ninja -C ./build/ install urbit
# Bash sudo yum upgrade sudo yum install autoconf automake cmake ctags gcc gcc-c++ git gmp-devel libcurl-devel libsigsegv-devel libtool ncurses-devel ninja-build openssl openssl-devel pkgconfig python2 python3 ragel re2c wget # meson requires python 3.5; RHEL supplies wrong version pushd /usr/src sudo wget https://www.python.org/ftp/python/3.5.5/Python-3.5.5.tgz sudo tar xzf Python-3.5.5.tgz cd Python-3.5.5 sudo ./configure --enable--optimizations sudo make altinstall which python3.5 cd /usr/local/bin sudo ln -s python3.5 python3 hash python3 popd curl https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py -o get-pip.py sudo /usr/local/bin/python3 get-pip.py # downgrade meson to avoid dependencies that redhat can't meet sudo -H /usr/local/bin/pip3 install meson git clone git://github.com/ninja-build/ninja.git && cd ninja git checkout release ./configure.py --boostrap sudo cp ./ninja /usr/local/bin git clone https://github.com/urbit/urbit cd urbit ./scripts/bootstrap ./scripts/build sudo /usr/local/bin/ninja -C ./build/ install urbit
# Bash sudo pacman -Syu sudo pacman -S curl gcc git gmp libsigsegv ncurses ninja openssl python curl https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py -o get-pip.py sudo python3 get-pip.py git clone https://github.com/urbit/urbit cd urbit ./scripts/bootstrap ./scripts/build sudo ninja -C ./build/ meson-install urbit
# Bash or Sh pkg upgrade sudo pkg install curl gcc git gmake gmp libsigsegv python python3 ncurses openssl gmp curl https://bootstrap.pypa.io/get-pip.py -o get-pip.py sudo python3 get-pip.py sudo -H pip install --upgrade pip sudo -H pip install meson sudo pkg install ninja git clone https://github.com/urbit/urbit cd urbit sh ./scripts/bootstrap sh ./scripts/build sudo ninja -C ./build/ meson-install urbit
# Bash sudo yum update sudo yum install gcc gcc-c++ git gmp-devel libcurl-devel libsigsegv-devel ncurses-devel openssl openssl-devel pkgconfig python2 python3 python3-pip wget git sudo env "PATH=$PATH" pip3 install --upgrade pip sudo env "PATH=$PATH" pip3 install meson # we need libsigsegv # wget http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/25/Everything/x86_64/os/Packages/l/libsigsegv-2.10-10.fc24.x86_64.rpm wget http://dl.fedoraproject.org/pub/fedora/linux/releases/25/Everything/x86_64/os/Packages/l/libsigsegv-devel-2.10-10.fc24.x86_64.rpm sudo yum localinstall libsigsegv-2.10-10.fc24.x86_64.rpm sudo yum localinstall libsigsegv-devel-2.10-10.fc24.x86_64.rpm git clone git://github.com/ninja-build/ninja.git pushd ninja git checkout release ./configure.py --bootstrap sudo cp ./ninja /usr/local/bin popd git clone https://github.com/urbit/urbit cd urbit ./scripts/bootstrap ./scripts/build sudo env "PATH=$PATH" ninja -C ./build/ install urbit
Perhaps you want to boot a ship without an identity. We recommend doing that for development purposes, or if you just want to play around with an un-networked ship without getting a point. You can now use the command of the scheme below to boot a fake
urbit -F zod
If you want to get on the Arvo network with your point, then continue to the next section.
If you're running Urbit in the cloud on a small instance, you may need to additionally configure swap space. If you're not, skip this section.
Urbit wants to map 2GB of memory when it boots up. We won’t necessarily use all this memory, we just want to see it. On a normal modern PC or Mac, or on a large cloud virtual machine, this is not an issue. On some small cloud virtual machines (Amazon or Digital Ocean), the default memory configuration is smaller than this, and you need to manually configure a swapfile.
Don’t spend a lot of time tweaking these settings; the simplest thing is fine.
Now the rubber meets the road. You'll be booting your ship with the keyfile that you downloaded from Bridge.
This will look something like
~lodleb-ritrul. You can see the name of your point(s) when you log into your wallet using the Bridge client.
Find the absolute path to the keyfile that you downloaded from Bridge. Copy it.
cd in your terminal to return to your home directory. If you want to store your ship somewhere besides your home directory, change the terminal's working directory to the desired directory.
Run the command below, except with
~sample-planet replaced by the name of your Urbit identity, and
path/to/my-planet.key replaced with the path to your keyfile:
urbit -w ~sample-planet -k path/to/my-planet.key
Or, if you'd prefer to copy your key in, you can run:
urbit -w ~sample-planet -G rAnDoMkEy
Either command will create a directory called
sample-planet/ and begin building your ship. It may take a few minutes.
When your ship is finished booting, you will see the
~sample-planet:dojo> prompt. At that point, you should permanently erase your keyfile from your machine.
Welcome to your urbit! There's a few things you should do to become oriented.
Let's try out the Dojo, the Arvo command line and Hoon REPL:
~sample-planet:dojo> (add 2 2)
> (add 2 2) 4
Clay, the Arvo filesystem, isn't mounted to Unix by default. Switch to the Dojo prompt and run:
~sample-planet:dojo> |mount %
This should produce:
> |mount % >=
which indicates that the command was processed.
|mount % will cause a
home/ directory to appear inside your pier folder in Unix (the “pier” is our shorthand for the directory whose name corresponds to your Azimuth point). Changes to these files are automatically synced into your ship.
Landscape is web app we built for chatting and making posts. We are using Landscape to run a few experimental “cities” -- private discussion communities -- as a closed beta of sorts. If you have an Azimuth point, you’ll need to email us a request to gain access to one of these cities.
Once you're in a channel, you can also interact with it from the command line, if you so wish. Use
ctrl-x in your ship's terminal window to toggle between the Dojo and the Talk prompts.
You can turn your ship off with
ctrl-d from the Talk or Dojo prompts.
To restart your ship, simply pass the name of your pier:
$ urbit some-planet