a bit of overview:

I'm in the process of learning ethereum, and am using geth (1.4.10). following some examples, I am able to launch a web page using web3. my directives in geth was to start it with rpc command.

some issues I'm running into

1. the web app states that my account is locked

2. when I launch geth with the rpc directive, even if I provided the console directive it does not give me an interactive console to perform this unlock

3. neither does a new console (using geth attach) allow me to unlock it

4. I can't perform truffle migrate as well due to the same issue

hopefully someone here can help me to resolve this.

as mentioned in some of my comments, it's not necessarily a duplicate since there was no mention of a specific version, although there was a tip which I'll follow up on later.
  • @varm -- it may sound like it but it's not. simply running truffle to init compile and migrate will fail due to this issue.
    – soler
    Aug 12, 2016 at 15:18
  • 1
    @BokkyPooBah -- it sounds like I may need to use the web3_extended. I'll give that a shot to see if customizing the truffle code would solve this. tks.
    – soler
    Aug 12, 2016 at 15:20
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    @BokkyPooBah -- I've managed to get through it by using geth attach IPC instead of rpc. hope this helps someone else
    – soler
    Aug 16, 2016 at 13:23

1 Answer 1


You need to tell geth to load the personal module on the command line. Assuming you are running geth with RPC connectivity, something like

geth --rpcapi "eth,net,personal,web3" YOUR_OTHER_OPTIONS_HERE

Then you can use personal.unlockAccount("YOUR_ACCOUNT_HERE")

geth does not load the personal module by default.

See the official documentation for Managing Your Accounts which contains other examples.

  • with geth 1.4.10, when rpc is used as a directive to start geth, it would appear that the "personal" is not available, even when it's specified (from your example). the only way I was able to get around it was to attach another geth directly to the IPC. that did solve the problem. unfortunately, that came with hours of head scratching as most examples show attaching to rpc.
    – soler
    Aug 16, 2016 at 13:21
  • I'm using geth 1.5.0 and it works great. Aug 16, 2016 at 14:53
  • thanks for the info Ross -- I thought the stable release is 1.4.10 (github.com/ethereum/go-ethereum/releases)
    – soler
    Aug 16, 2016 at 15:25

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