Install + Setup
Urbit is not yet ready for everyday users — but if you're technically inclined or generally intrepid, feel free to try it out. It's a good place to explore.
In order to get going on the network, you'll need an Urbit ID. To try the live network out with a disposable identity, you can always create a comet.
Getting an Urbit ID
For an introduction to Urbit IDs and the address space more generally, see Urbit ID in Understanding Urbit.
While Tlon does not currently sell or distribute Urbit IDs, there are still a few ways to get your own Urbit ID:
- Getting an invitation from a friend
- Purchasing an Urbit ID from a third party, such as urbit.live or OpenSea.
Tlon occasionally selects candidates to distribute invitations, and users operating galaxies and stars can spawn and distribute a finite number of stars and planets, respectively.
Using your Urbit ID
If you have an Urbit ID, you'll use Bridge to get your ship's keyfile before you can boot your ship. For more information on how to use Bridge, see Using Bridge.
The Urbit binary runs nicely on a Unix-like operating system – Ubuntu, Fedora, or macOS, for example. If you're using Windows, you'll need to get one of the aforementioned systems. But first, some terminology:
urbit: the interpreter that runs when you run a command like
./urbitin your command line
arvo: the deterministic OS that lives in a directory whose name matches your Urbit ID, i.e.
We have different installation instructions for different platforms. To install and run Arvo, the Urbit operating system, and its binary, run the commands that are listed for your operating system.
You can check your Arvo installation on any platform 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
We provide static binaries for macOS. You can grab the latest stable release as follows:
curl -O https://bootstrap.urbit.org/urbit-darwin-v0.9.2.tgz tar xzf urbit-darwin-v0.9.2.tgz ./urbit
We also provide static binaries for 64-bit Linux distributions (Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora, Arch, etc.). You can get the latest stable release similarly:
curl -O https://bootstrap.urbit.org/urbit-linux64-v0.9.2.tgz tar xzf urbit-linux64-v0.9.2.tgz ./urbit
To access your Urbit via HTTP on port 80 on Ubuntu, you may need to run the following:
sudo apt-get install libcap2-bin sudo setcap 'cap_net_bind_service=+ep' /path/to/urbit
Compile from source
If you want to compile from source, see the instructions on GitHub.
About swap space
If you're running Urbit in the cloud on a small instance, you may need to additionally configure swap space. If you're not, you can safely ignore this section.
Urbit wants to map 2GB of memory when it boots up. It won’t necessarily use all this memory, it just wants 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.
Digital Ocean has a post on adding swap here. For Amazon there’s a StackOverflow thread here.
Booting your ship
Now the rubber meets the road. You'll be booting your ship with the keyfile that you downloaded from Bridge.
Note that this section is only for booting a ship that uses the live Arvo network. If you just want to create an unnetworked ship for development purposes, read this guide instead.
Step 1: Find Your Urbit ID
This will look something like
~lodleb-ritrul. You can see the name of your Urbit ID when you log into your wallet using the Bridge client.
Step 2: Find the path to your keyfile
Find the absolute path to the keyfile that you downloaded from Bridge. Copy it.
Step 3: Run the boot command
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
sampel-palnet replaced by the name of your
Urbit identity, and
path/to/my-planet.key replaced with the path to your keyfile:
./urbit -w sampel-palnet -k path/to/my-planet.key
Or, if you'd prefer to copy your key in, you can run:
./urbit -w sampel-palnet -G rAnDoMkEy
Either command will create a directory called
sampel-palnet/ and begin building your ship. It may take a few minutes.
When your ship is finished booting, you will see the
~sampel-palnet:dojo> prompt. At that point, you should permanently erase your keyfile from your machine.
Welcome to your ship! Let's try our first command in the Dojo, the Arvo command line and Hoon REPL, to get oriented.
(add 2 2) into the Dojo. You should see the following:
~sampel-palnet:dojo> (add 2 2)
When you press Enter, you should see this:
> (add 2 2) 4
Good, your Dojo is working correctly.