[Tutorial] Primecoin Getting Started and Basic Commands (updated)


  • Added link to high performance (hp) client
  • Added balance command
  • Added how to backup and move your wallet

This is a quick guide on how to download, install and operate Primecoin.

It has been updated to acknowledge the fact that there is a QT GUI version.

Note that all the steps used for the Windows version of the GUI also apply to the Linux version of the GUI since they are identical. Steps for setting up the Linux version of the GUI are not included (perhaps someone could contribute?).


You can download the client for Windows or Linux here:

There is an (objectively) “higher performance” client available here:

The HP client’s discussion thread is here:


A GPU miner is being worked on here:


Weekly updates on Primecoin development are here:


You can exchange Primecoin for prepaid debit cards here:


[End links]

To download for Windows, click the green Download button.

To download for Linux, go to the Files tab and click the version that matches the version you want (usually the highest version).

The Linux version contains the binaries for both 64 bit and 32 bit systems and the source so you do not need to compile from source unless you have special environmental conditions.

To get started on Windows:

  1. Download the installer.
  2. Run the installer.
  3. Open the installer.
  4. Wait for the chain to syncronize.

The client will provide updates as the chain is synchronizing. 6 weeks, 5 weeks, etc.

For some reason the Windows client will not start generating (the Primecoin equivalent to Bitcoin’s “hashing”) until you run a command in the debug window.

To do so:

  1. Go to Help.
  2. Click Debug Window.

This is the console where you will execute all commands to the Primecoin daemon.

  1. Type this command to use all CPU cores:
setgenerate true -1

If you want to use a specific number of cores, instead of -1, type the number of cores.

You can then type getmininginfo to see the status of generation.

“primespersec” is your generation rate.

If you want to turn generation off you can use:

setgenerate false

This allows you to keep the wallet running without generating to receive/send transactions, messages, etc.

You are now generating. Transactions will appear in the Overview window. When you get paid for generating it will appear as an incoming transaction.

To get started on Linux:

  1. Download the client.
wget http://sourceforge.net/projects/primecoin/files/0.1.2/primecoin-0.1.2-linux.tar.gz

Replace the URL with the actual URL for the latest client from Sourceforge.

  1. Unarchive the client.
tar -xzvf primecoin-0.1.2-linux.tar.gz/download
  1. Install the client.
mv primecoin-[version]-linux/bin/primecoind/[architecture]/primecoind /usr/local/bin/primecoind

Replace [version] with the version of primecoin you downloaded.

Replace [architecture] with 32 or 64 depending on whether your system is 32 or 64 bit.

  1. Make the daemon a service.
  1. Start generating.
primecoind --daemon

Primecoin will start as a daemon (background service) and will continue to run if you exit the shell.

Basic Commands

To get a list of commands type:

primecoind help

To get help with a command type:

primecoind help [command]

To stop the daemon type:

primecoind stop

To get your mining status type:

primecoind getmininginfo

To see your transactions (including rewards for generating) type:

primecoind gettransactions

To get your balance type:

primecoind getbalance

This tells you how much primecoin currency you have in your wallet.

To send primecoins to another address type:

primecoind sendtoaddress [address] [amount] "[comment]"

For example:

primecoind sendtoaddress AGx4qUkpKGLtBAib7AwzMyvRRFWChfnSdC 1 "Thanks for your help with setting up Primecoin"

[ul]Moving and Backing Up Primecoin

[list][li]If you want to move Primecoin, install the Primecoin wallet software on the target computer and drop wallet.dat into the install folder.[/li]
[li]To backup your wallet, make a copy of the file wallet.dat.[/li][/list]

End of Tutorial
[list][li]If you find this tutorial useful, you can use the above command to send me 1 primecoin, currently worth about 50 cents.[/li]
[li]If you have any questions please let me know.[/li]
[li]If you see any errors in my tutorial please let me know.[/li]

If you find this tutorial useful please send a donation to:

Bitcoin: 1LJU4GnHSM4ovdLNfaz4CmsacuznJewDh3
Primecoin: AGx4qUkpKGLtBAib7AwzMyvRRFWChfnSdC

Nice post :slight_smile:

Thank you for this write up ;D

thnx, helps a lot :smiley:

This should probably be moved to the Primecoin getting started board.

Under getting started in Linux, using line 2:

tar -xzvf primecoin-0.1.2-linux.tar.gz/download

Gives me the error msg (in Ubuntu):

tar: primecoin-0.1.2-linux.tar.gz/download: Cannot open: Not a directory
tar: Error is not recoverable: exiting now
gzip: stdin: unexpected end of file
tar: Child returned status 2
tar: Exiting with failure status due to previous errors

The command runs OK if I delete “/download” at the end, but I have not yet gotten through the whole installation.

Proceeding further on my attempted installation, I get through the following, with my entries italicized:

boss@Slave:~$ service=primecoind
boss@Slave:~$ primecoind --daemon
bash: /usr/local/bin/primecoind: cannot execute binary file
boss@Slave:~$ sudo primecoind --daemon
/usr/local/bin/primecoind: 1: Syntax error: “(” unexpected

(Ubuntu requires me to use sudo since I am not Root)

I’m a Linux newbie, though I have been mining Primecoin with Windows a couple of months now, on a different system.
Help please?