I originally downloaded Geth using the instructions on the original (read: old) Ethereum homepage, using a curl command in a Bash one-liner. I now want to update to a version that will support Homestead.

The current Ubuntu installation instructions are based on apt-get, which pulls things from the official repository.

Is there any way I can update without moving to using the repository method? If I do now have to use the repository method, how do I remove the old version of Geth without losing my account data?

  • I'm not sure about all the details for removing it. But you will not lose you account information as long as you simply make a backup copy of the information located in the keystore directory.
    – dbryson
    Mar 15, 2016 at 0:29

3 Answers 3


Building Geth (command line client)

Clone the repository to a directory of your choosing:

git clone https://github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum

Install latest distribution of Go (v1.4) if you don't have it already:

Building geth requires some external libraries to be installed:

sudo apt-get install -y build-essential libgmp3-dev golang

Finally, build the geth program using the following command.

cd go-ethereum
make geth


cd go-ethereum
git pull
make geth

from the wiki


You can compile yourself and avoid the repository.

The detailed instructions are here

A quick summary of the building process is:

  1. Clone the repo:

    git clone https://github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum
  2. Install dependencies.

  3. Build the software:

    cd go-ethereum && make geth

The bash script you used to install added the repository key to your local keyring and updated your sources. Check /etc/apt/sources.list and have a look at what's there, you'll find ethereum.

As for your concerns about losing your account data when you upgrade or reinstall, you needn't worry. First, because you will (obviously, right?) back up all your app data anyway, at least your keystore folder. And second, because the application data directory is not removed or altered by you upgrading or reinstalling the application. The data directory for geth (on linux) is in a hidden folder ~/.ethereum. Use Ctrl+h in file manager if you want to access via GUI.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.