If you're a power user, you can run the Urbit virtual machine directly using the command line. Choose the code for your operating system and run the commands in your terminal.
mkdir ~/urbit cd ~/urbit curl -JLO https://urbit.org/install/mac/latest tar zxvf ./darwin.tgz --strip=1 ~/urbit/urbit
mkdir ~/urbit cd ~/urbit wget --content-disposition https://urbit.org/install/linux64/latest tar zxvf ./linux64.tgz --strip=1 ~/urbit/urbit
Linux users may need to run this command in another terminal window to access your Urbit on port 80:
sudo apt-get install libcap2-bin sudo setcap 'cap_net_bind_service=+ep' ~/urbit/urbit
Please note that this method of installing Urbit is experimental, and we may not be able to assist you if you encounter issues related to WSL 2.
Urbit cannot run on Windows itself, but there is a convenient way to run Linux using the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 on Windows 10. Install the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 and open a Linux terminal in Windows, then follow the Linux installation instructions below. These instructions have been tested and verified for WSL 2 + Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, as demonstrated in
~sitful-hatred's step-by-step setup guide here.
For performance reasons, do not install Urbit in the mounted Windows volume, but install it in the Linux file system. For example, in your home directory, which can be navigated to by entering
If successful, you will see a block of output beginning with the line:
Urbit: a personal server operating function
Booting a free identity
There are two parts to Urbit: an ID and an Operating System.
You have just installed the Operating System on your computer.
The ID is similar to a username and password on another site. The difference is that the public part (the username) is verified by thousands of people around the world while only you hold the key (the password) to that ID.
There are five kinds of Urbit IDs but to get started you only need to know about two: we call them planets and comets.
Planets are scarce (this prevents spamming, among other things) and usually require a price to acquire. This is the recommended way to run Urbit, but it's a bit more involved.
A planet name looks like
Follow this guide if you have already acquired a planet.
Comets are practically unlimited and free to acquire. At present, these are a great way to try out the network for free.
A comet name looks like
To boot a comet, go into the command line and run the following command from the
urbit directory you created during Urbit installation.
~/urbit/urbit -c mycomet
It may take a while to load the comet (probably only take a few minutes, but it could take longer). This comes along with it being free. When it's done you'll some messages ending like this:
ames: live on 31337 http: web interface live on http://localhost:8080 http: loopback live on http://localhost:12321 ~sampel_marzod:dojo>
When your comet is finished booting, you will see
~sampel_marzod:dojo> (Dojo: the Urbit command line).
To exit Urbit, use
Ctrl-D or enter
|exit into Dojo.
To start your comet up again, run the following from your
urbit directory (note the lack of
Using the web interface
Urbit is an entirely new computer, so by default it drops you into the "dojo," which is its terminal. Like your current computer, it can be used to do just about anything if you know the right commands. You only need to know one command for now.
At the moment, the most common way to use Urbit is by launching apps like Groups (a communications suite) from the web interface homescreen. The web interface allows you to use your ship without touching the terminal. You just need to get the password, or
code, from the terminal.
- With your Urbit running, look for a line that says something like
http: web interface live on http://localhost:8080. The number given is the port that your ship is using. It will most likely be 80 or 8080, but we're just making sure.
- If the port given is
80, simply type
localhostinto your browser's address bar. If the given port is a different number, such as
8080, you would type
localhost:8080. You'll be met with a login prompt.
- In the window where you found the port number, type
+codeand press return. Copy-paste the code that appears into the "Access Key" field in the browser, and press continue.
- Once in, take a look around and try launching an app like Groups.
Updating your comet
Urbit comes with a recent release of the Urbit OS, but automatic updates of the
%base desk (which contains the kernel of the OS) are not enabled by default for Comets. Many comets are used only once and thrown away, so it would be wasteful to update every single comet as soon as it boots. If you plan to use your comet for more than a quick test, you'll probably want to ensure you're running the latest version of the OS.
You can enable updates for your comet by typing
|install (sein:title our now our) %kids, =local %base into Dojo and pressing Enter.
> |install (sein:title our now our) %kids, =local %base >= kiln: activated install into %base from [~samzod %kids] kiln: downloading update for %base from [~samzod %kids]
Read More about the Dojo
The dojo is Urbit's command line. You can use it to control your ship, or to execute arbitrary code. Check out the links below for more information.
Purchase a Permanent Identity
You can continue using this comet indefinitely. There are currently few differences between using a comet-level identity and a planet-level one. However, some groups will not allow comets entry in order to maintain a certain level of quality, and changes may be made in the future that further devalue comets. They will always, however, be able to access the basic functions of the network.
A comet also comes with a long and fairly unmemorable name whereas a planet has a short name and a "sigil" (avatar) associated with it that makes it more identifiable on the network. You may notice all this within the first few minutes of using Urbit.