So I downloaded the Ethereum Wallet

I know you can use a custom directory by running geth first with the datadir flag set up, and then launching the wallet. But besides a custom directory, I want to use a private chain.

I'm geth on a private chain like this:

geth --datadir ./genesis -verbosity 6 --port 30301 --rpcport 8102 --genesis ./genesis.json --networkid 321 --nodiscover  --maxpeers 3 console

And it works well. But upon launching the wallet, it starts syncing with the actual Ethereum blockchain of 900,000 blocks.

Is there anything else I need to do so the Wallet uses the geth instance with the private chain?

  • I'm using --identity My_ID --blockchainversion 1234 --networkid 1234
    – user1395
    Apr 11, 2016 at 19:26

4 Answers 4


When you change the datadir using the --datadir flag you also change the IPC path that the Ethereum Wallet uses to communicate with Geth. When the wallet doesn't detect the socket it assumes Geth is not running and launches the build in one.

You can fix this by using the --ipcpath to specify where the IPC socket should be created. If you run Geth with geth --help you will see the default path for your OS printed and you can copy and paste it to supply it to Geth.


To create a custom chain, there are multiple possibilities:

  1. Set a network id, to tell geth you are not on the main network (with id 1). Like that: --networkid 133337
  2. Use the dev flag, which comes with a predefined set of developer flags, as private testnet, no discovery of the node, etc. Like that: --dev
  3. Always use a testnet flag to tell geth you are not working on the main frontier network, like that: --testnet.

This sums up to:

geth --datadir ./genesis -verbosity 6 --port 30301 --rpcport 8102 --genesis ./genesis.json --networkid 321 --nodiscover --testnet --dev --maxpeers 3 console

What worked for me was opening the ethereum wallet from the console specifying the ipcpath with --rpc like this (from the ethereum wallet location)

Ethereum\ Wallet.app/Contents/MacOS/Ethereum\ Wallet --rpc /ipcPath/geth.ipc

This post details exactly all the steps needed to connect ethereum wallet to a private network


make sure if you are running geth with Administrator rights, that you run your wallet with Administrator rights as well

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