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I usually run my coin wallets in a ubuntu virtual box for the fear of malware or trojans embedded into wallet clients. Coming from a vanilla ubuntu 14 install, what is the fastest way to get an ethereum wallet client up and running where I can check my balance and do other actions? A gui would be nice.

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The easiest and most trustworthy wallet is the official Mist wallet. It is still in beta, but it allows you to manage accounts, interact with contracts, and buy more ether (via shapeshift).

Simply download the release for your distribution and extract the binaries.

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