Bitcoin uses peer-to-peer technology to operate with no central authority or banks; managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network. Bitcoin is open-source; its design is public, nobody owns or controls Bitcoin and everyone can take part. Through many of its unique properties, Bitcoin allows exciting uses that could not be covered by any previous payment system. We tested the best Ubuntu Bitcoin Clients for you (Multibit, Armory and Bitcoin-Qt). Here you'll find a short review with some installation instructions.
We list Bitcoin-Qt first because it is the official Bitcoin client which acts as the backbone of Bitcoin's network security. The below clients depend on Bitcoin-Qt, so you will have to install it first to use Multibit or Armory. The installation with the below commands is very easy. But once you started it for the first time, it will take quite long to synchronize with the Bitcoin network. The best is you let it run over night.
sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bitcoin/bitcoin sudo apt-get update sudo apt-get install bitcoin-qt
Once the installation is complete you can launch the client from the Unity dash or by running the command bitcoin-qt from the command shell.
The biggest priority as far as a Bitcoin user is concerned is security, and MultiBit bitcoin client is a perfect combination of security and functionality. MultiBit is free to download, very easy to install and it is open source (MIT license). It is a very good wallet management software for Bitcoin beginners with many advanced features such as the support for multiple wallets, locally stored encrypted private keys etc. For the installation on Ubuntu you can follow the steps below:
1. Download the Linux installer from here: https://multibit.org/download.html
2. Install Open Java
sudo apt-get install openjdk-7-jre
3. Install Multibit (you have to exchange multibit-hd-unix-0.x.y.sh with the filename of the downloaded script)
cd ~ chmod +x multibit-hd-unix-0.x.y.sh ./multibit-hd-unix-0.x.y.sh
Armory is a Bitcoin wallet management platform which is designed from the ground up to provide the highest level of security to Bitcoin users. It is intended for the super-paranoid among you, who don't like to take any chances when it comes to Bitcoin management. You can install Armory as follows:
1. Download the installer from here: https://bitcoinarmory.com/download/
2. Double-click to install it, the Ubuntu Software Center will do the rest
Many users report that they can't get online because they encounter the message: "Armory can’t find my Bitcoin installation" although it has been installed (see 1. Bitcoin-Qt). The most common point of confusion is that Armory is not looking for “bitcoin-qt”, it is looking for “bitcoind” - it’s a different executable. This is the version of Bitcoin software that runs in the background with no user interface. If you are in Ubuntu using the Bitcoin PPA you have to install it separately:
sudo apt-get install bitcoind
Thereafter you might have the problem to get Armory connected. Although your Internet connection is up you might get the message "You are currently offline because Armory could not detect an Internet connection.". Sometimes you can resolve this issue by changing the settings under File > Settings. Check the box "Skip online check at start-up". More troubleshooting can be found here: https://bitcoinarmory.com/troubleshooting/
Conclusion: In any case you have to install Bitcoin-Qt first. If you are happy with its basic functionality this is the most common used client what speaks for its reliability. For more advanced purposes we recommend you MultiBit. MultiBit is very easy to install, works out of the box and offers you a great range of functionality. If you are an advanced Ubuntu you may try Armory. If claims to offer you the maximum of security, although the prominent "no guarantee warning" during the start-up leaves us behind with a shallow feeling.