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I can only find instructions for geth, but cannot find anything about doing it using eth which is part of cpp-ethereum.

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I will answer my own question. In short, the answer is ethkey tool that comes with cpp-ethereum.

As a demonstration, I will create some eth wallet on www.myetherwallet.com, import it into cpp-ethereum, and then display its private key.

1. Create some dummy eth wallet on www.myetherwallet.com

I created eth address 0x698042d6233042632711C86452A53a8E9637F585 with private key: a2fc86c38a1a7fb6c0eaea9696d6434cd977dbef46fba3183ac99ad42d2f62ef.

https://www.myetherwallet.com/#view-wallet-info

enter image description here

2. Import it into cpp-ethereum

./ethkey importbare a2fc86c38a1a7fb6c0eaea9696d6434cd977dbef46fba3183ac99ad42d2f62ef

You will be asked for password. Give some.

Enter a passphrase with which to secure account 698042d6…: 
Please confirm the passphrase by entering it again: 
Successfully imported a2fc86c38a1a7fb6c0eaea9696d6434cd977dbef46fba3183ac99ad42d2f62ef as 1c15859c-c3eb-0328-36bc-1ac17792d986

Not that the private key was imported as 1c15859c-c3eb-0328-36bc-1ac17792d986. This means that file ~/.web3/keys/1c15859c-c3eb-0328-36bc-1ac17792d986.json was created.

3. Display private key

Using the ethkey, show the private key:

./ethkey --show-me-the-secret  inspectbare 1c15859c-c3eb-0328-36bc-1ac17792d986

The result is:

Enter passphrase for key 1c15859c-c3eb-0328-36bc-1ac17792d986: 
Key 1c15859c-c3eb-0328-36bc-1ac17792d986:
  ICAP: XE17CBNICXRZJEY6DAJHNL1J8VTUM39OL1H
  Raw hex: 698042d6233042632711c86452a53a8e9637f585
  Secret: a2fc86c38a1a7fb6c0eaea9696d6434cd977dbef46fba3183ac99ad42d2f62ef

where Secret is our private key, while Raw hex is our address.

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  • Why do you use myetherwallet? The private key is just a random number, which you can get through much more secure means... For example, openssl rand -hex 32 if you have openssl, or you can use /dev/urandom on unix systems – Tjaden Hess Jun 26 '17 at 15:53
  • @TjadenHess No particular reason as only to show this example and that the the private key from myetherewallet agrees with ethkey results. – NewTwoEth Jun 26 '17 at 23:39

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