When I trying to unlock the account with personalUnlockAccount.accountUnlocked() method of PersonalUnlockAccount class of web3j library, it's giving NullPointerException even if I am entering right password.

Please point out the wrong doing, I am committing in the below code.

package com.kaushik.blockchain;

import java.io.IOException;
import java.math.BigInteger;

import org.slf4j.Logger;
import org.slf4j.LoggerFactory;
import org.web3j.protocol.admin.Admin;
import org.web3j.protocol.admin.methods.response.PersonalUnlockAccount;
import org.web3j.protocol.core.DefaultBlockParameterName;
import org.web3j.protocol.core.methods.request.Transaction;
import org.web3j.protocol.core.methods.response.EthGetBalance;
import org.web3j.protocol.core.methods.response.EthGetTransactionCount;
import org.web3j.protocol.core.methods.response.EthGetTransactionReceipt;
import org.web3j.protocol.core.methods.response.EthSendTransaction;
import org.web3j.protocol.core.methods.response.TransactionReceipt;
import org.web3j.protocol.http.HttpService;
import org.web3j.utils.Convert;

public class MainTransferApp {
    private static final Logger log =
    public static void main(String[] args) throws Exception {
        new MainTransferApp().run();
    private void run() throws IOException, InterruptedException {
        String from = "0xe8fbbddf73c128e50f824ec6af65cb15c237fe58";
        String to =   "0x288a49996ae58aa9999389912cba8cf908a0990e";
        Admin web3j = Admin.build(new HttpService());
        log.info("Connected to Ethereum client version: "
                + web3j.web3ClientVersion().send().getWeb3ClientVersion());
        PersonalUnlockAccount personalUnlockAccount = web3j.personalUnlockAccount(from, "passPhrase").send();
        log.info("Unlocked: "+personalUnlockAccount.accountUnlocked());
        EthGetTransactionCount transactionCount = 
                web3j.ethGetTransactionCount(from, DefaultBlockParameterName.LATEST).send();
        BigInteger value = Convert.toWei("45.0", Convert.Unit.ETHER).toBigInteger();
        Transaction transaction = Transaction.createEtherTransaction(from, 
                BigInteger.valueOf(10000), BigInteger.valueOf(4500000), 
                to, value);
        EthSendTransaction response = web3j.ethSendTransaction(transaction).send();
        if (response.getError() != null) {
            log.info("Transaction error: {}", response.getError().getMessage());
        log.info("Transaction: {}", response.getResult());
        EthGetTransactionReceipt receipt = 
        if (receipt.getTransactionReceipt().isPresent()) {
            TransactionReceipt r = receipt.getTransactionReceipt().get();
            log.info("Tx receipt: from={}, to={}, gas={}, cumulativeGas={}", r.getFrom(), r.getTo(), r.getGasUsed().intValue(), r.getCumulativeGasUsed().intValue());
        EthGetBalance balance = web3j.ethGetBalance(from, DefaultBlockParameterName.LATEST).send();
        log.info("Balance: address={}, amount={}", from, balance.getBalance().longValue());
        balance = web3j.ethGetBalance(to, DefaultBlockParameterName.LATEST).send();
        log.info("Balance: address={}, amount={}", to, balance.getBalance().longValue());
            log.info("Error occurred while unlocking account");


Now this is the error I am getting. Please help me out.

[main] INFO com.kaushik.blockchain.MainTransferApp - Connected to Ethereum client version: Geth/nodeSOL/v1.8.13-stable-225171a4/windows-amd64/go1.10.3
[main] INFO com.kaushik.blockchain.MainTransferApp - Unlocked: null
Exception in thread "main" java.lang.NullPointerException
    at com.kaushik.blockchain.MainTransferApp.run(MainTransferApp.java:35)
    at com.kaushik.blockchain.MainTransferApp.main(MainTransferApp.java:24)

Please suggest me the other way around. In my project, I want to send from address and password from the UI. Is there any other approach, I can go with, which should be easy from user perspective?

  • 1
    What is the command used to launch geth? Is the personal api enabled?
    – Ismael
    Aug 29, 2018 at 17:46
  • 1
    @Ismael I am using the below command. geth --datadir=E:/BC_Private/node1 --networkid 2061 --port 30304 --nodiscover --rpc --rpcaddr --rpcport 8545 --ipcpath=E:/BC_Private/node1/geth.ipc --mine --minerthreads 1 --gasprice "10000" --etherbase 0xd0831f602d3e10c2c4442918abb0a84cef5582f5 --targetgaslimit "5800000"--verbosity 3 console
    – kaushik_pm
    Aug 29, 2018 at 19:10
  • 1
    From this answer ethereum.stackexchange.com/a/1414 you need explicitely enable it for RPC with --rpcapi "db,eth,net,web3,personal".
    – Ismael
    Aug 29, 2018 at 19:25
  • 1
    @Ismael If I am not using this flag, it means by default it will have "db,eth,net,web3,personal". Isn't it? Please clarify my doubt.
    – kaushik_pm
    Aug 29, 2018 at 19:31
  • 2
    For security reason personal is not enabled in RPC you have to explicitely enable it.
    – Ismael
    Aug 29, 2018 at 19:34

2 Answers 2


I need to explicitly use the personal api for RPC. Using this flag worked for me.

--rpcapi "db,eth,net,web3,personal"

Thanks @Ismael for the help.


Some more insight. I seems to be getting some inconsistent results here. In this code segment the RawResponce is null however the boolean is returned correctly.

                LOG.info("CALLING UNLOCK !!");
                PersonalUnlockAccount ok = RPC_ADMIN.personalUnlockAccount(HOT_WALLET, ac.getPrivateKey(), ACCOUNT_UNLOCK_SECONDS).send();
                LOG.info("RAW RESPONCE IS: " + ok.getRawResponse());
                LOG.info( "BOOLEAN IS:"  +  ok.accountUnlocked().toString());

10:35:42.550 [main] INFO com.abelgo.eth.EthAdaptor - CALLING UNLOCK !! 10:35:42.552 [main] DEBUG org.web3j.protocol.ipc.IpcService - >> {"jsonrpc":"2.0","method":"personal_unlockAccount","params":["0xf1b0725bd64cbe62a5160357d53e92c54788f2e5","-SECRET-",7],"id":13} 10:35:43.245 [main] DEBUG org.web3j.protocol.ipc.IpcService - << {"jsonrpc":"2.0","id":13,"result":true}

10:35:43.247 [main] INFO com.abelgo.eth.EthAdaptor - RAW RESPONCE IS: null 10:35:43.247 [main] INFO com.abelgo.eth.EthAdaptor - BOOLEAN IS:true

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