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Created August 15, 2021 06:29
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CLI Joinmarket (Modified for joinmarket base)

Notes on upgrading, binaries and compatibility

(You can ignore this whole section if starting from scratch).

Notes on upgrading versions generally:

If you just want the latest version in a new directory, go to the releases page. Binary executables (of JoinmarketQt) are currently being built only for Windows, please verify the signature on the .exe file attached to the release.

Otherwise: if you are upgrading from an older version, just update using git: git pull origin master, or git fetch; git checkout tags/<tagname> for a specific tagged release, then rerun the installation process as described below. This will only work if the latest commit, or the tag, is actually newer in version number, than what was there already.

Installation on Linux

WARNING: This manual process is more difficult; the script is recommended, please go back to the README unless you're sure you need to do this.

To install everything (client and server), install these packages:

sudo apt-get install python3-dev python3-pip git build-essential automake pkg-config libtool libffi-dev libssl-dev libgmp-dev

(+ libsodium-dev if you can find it, else build after)

(to build libsodium after):

git clone git://
cd libsodium
git checkout tags/1.0.18
make check
sudo make install
cd ..

Then install this repo:

git clone
cd joinmarket-clientserver


sudo pip install virtualenv
virtualenv --python=python3 jmvenv
source jmvenv/bin/activate

At this point you should see (jmvenv) at the beginning of your command prompt.

Then build and install a local copy of libsecp256k1 for python-bitcointx:

mkdir -p deps
cd deps
git clone git://
cd secp256k1
git checkout 0d9540b13ffcd7cd44cc361b8744b93d88aa76ba
make clean
./configure --prefix JM_ROOT --enable-module-recovery --disable-jni --enable-experimental --enable-module-ecdh --enable-benchmark=no
make check
make install
cd ../..

NOTE: JM_ROOT must be replaced with the venv directory you've just created, so it will be ~/joinmarket-clientserver/jmvenv if you installed to your home directory.

Installing packages to run everything in-one:

NOTE: It is very important to have activated virtualenv before running this step. Otherwise, pip install will fail, you may be tempted to re-run it with sudo pip install which will cause problems in the future.

pip install -r requirements/base.txt

If you have installed this "full" version of the client, you can use it with the command line scripts as explained in the usage guide.

Installation on macOS

WARNING: This manual process is more difficult; the script is recommended, please go back to the README unless you're sure you need to do this.

  1. Install Apple Command Line Tools

    xcode-select --install
  2. Install Homebrew

    /usr/bin/ruby -e "$(curl -fsSL"
  3. Install automake, libtool, and libsodium

    brew install automake libtool libsodium
  4. Build secp256k1

    git clone
    cd secp256k1
    git checkout 0d9540b13ffcd7cd44cc361b8744b93d88aa76ba
    ./configure --enable-module-recovery --disable-jni --enable-experimental --enable-module-ecdh --enable-benchmark=no
    make check
    sudo make install
    cd ..
    rm -rf secp256k1
  5. Clone the joinmarket-clientserver repo.

    git clone
    cd joinmarket-clientserver
  6. Create virtualenv "jmvenv"

    sudo pip3 install virtualenv
    virtualenv jmvenv
    source jmvenv/bin/activate

    At this point you should see (jmvenv) at the beginning of your command prompt.

  7. Setup joinmarket base utilities

    pip install -r requirements/base

Installation on Windows

Before starting, note you need either (a) Bitcoin Core installed on Windows or (b) use a remote connection to Bitcoin Core specified in the joinmarket.cfg (explained at the end of this section).

If (a), then note the following two points:

Installing Bitcoin Core

If you haven't done so yet, install Bitcoin Core, version 0.18 or newer, as described here. After starting it for the first time, it will start the Initial Block Download. JoinMarket cannot be used until this is finished. More information on that can be found here.

Configuring Bitcoin Core

Bitcoin Core needs to be configured to allow JoinMarket to connect to it. From the Settings menu choose Options and click Open Configuration File. Add server=1, save and close the file. After that restart Bitcoin Core.

There are currently two choices for installing on Windows; one, directly installing on Windows, requiring the manual addition of a libsodium dependency, or, two, using Ubuntu via the WSL mechanism (which may require additional setup to make the Qt GUI work).

  1. Installation directly on Windows

  2. Installation using WSL

Installation directly on Windows

As per the note above, binaries for JoinmarketQt are being offered with releases as of 0.7.0+. This section is for doing a full command line install, on Windows.

First, if you have not done so, install Python - specifically, the latest Python 3 version. Make sure to choose to install pip during the installation (it should be included automatically, but you can choose the custom installation option to choose it).

Be sure to choose the option that allows python to be in your PATH variable (you are prompted to do this at the end of the install).

Install Joinmarket, choosing the zip file of the latest release. You should check the .asc signature file on the zip that you download.

Unzip the joinmarket-clientserver-x.x.x (where x.x.x is the release number) in any appropriate location.

Using the command prompt in Administrator mode, go to that directory and run the commands:

pip install -r requirements\base.txt pip install -r requirements\gui.txt

(the latter is needed for Joinmarket-Qt).

The final step is to manually add the libsodium dependency, as mentioned. Do the following:

Download the file at and rename it to .zip so that you can unzip it. Once unzipped, find the libsodium.dll file at runtimes\win-x64\native\libsodium.dll and copy it into C:\Windows\System (note this will require Admin rights).

At this point Joinmarket should be ready to run both in command line and Joinmarket-Qt form (using python from the \scripts subdirectory of joinmarket-clientserver).

From here, go to Configuring Joinmarket below.

Installation using WSL

note: The following method requires Windows 10 version 1607 or later.

Enable Windows Subsystem for Linux

note: a more detailed guide can be found here.

  1. Open the Control Panel and navigate to Programs, Programs and Features, Turn Windows features on or off.
  2. Select Windows Subsystem for Linux and click OK.
  3. When asked, choose to restart.
Install Ubuntu from the Microsoft Store
  1. Open the Microsoft Store, search for Ubuntu 18.04 LTS and click Get.

note: other distributions are available, but this is the only one tested

  1. When finished downloading click Launch.
  2. A window should pop up, telling your Installing, this may take a few minutes...
  3. After installation is done, you'll be asked to provide a UNIX username and UNIX password. This will be the administrator account for the Ubuntu installation.
  4. Finish the installation with updating the software within Ubuntu by typing the command sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade -y. When asked, type the password provided earlier.
Installing JoinMarket

At this point you have an (almost) fully featured Linux installation on Windows and you can install JoinMarket using the instructions in the readme file or Installation on Linux section of this file.

Once you have finished installing the program via one of the two above methods for Windows, the final step is to configure Joinmarket:

Configuring JoinMarket

Lastly we must configure JoinMarket to allow it to connect to Bitcoin Core. Refer to this section in the usage guide to generate a joinmarket.cfg file using scripts/

Edit your joinmarket.cfg file (at ~/.joinmarket in Ubuntu if you used WSL, or in C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Roaming\joinmarket if not) and replace the following lines in the section [BLOCKCHAIN]

rpc_user = bitcoin
rpc_password = password


#rpc_user = bitcoin
#rpc_password = password
rpc_cookie_file = <path to the Bitcoin Core data directory>/.cookie

The location of the data directory was chosen when Bitcoin Core was first run. The default is C:\Users\<your username>\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin. In Ubuntu this would be /mnt/c/Users/<your username>/AppData/Roaming/Bitcoin. Assuming your username is Alice the full line would be

rpc_cookie_file = /mnt/c/Users/Alice/AppData/Roaming/Bitcoin/.cookie

Running JoinMarket-Qt

If you installed directly on Windows, this should work normally, as explained in the usage guide

If you installed using WSL, the following configuration is necessary:

note: you need to have installed JoinMarket with Qt support (see this section in the readme file)

  1. In Ubuntu, install additional dependencies sudo apt install libgl1-mesa-glx.
  2. Download and install MobaXterm. This program needs to be running before you can start JoinMarket-Qt. It requires no additional configuration.
  3. Open WSL-Ubuntu session in MobaXTerm. Go to JoinMarket directory and run source jmvenv/bin/activate to activate Python virtualenv.
  4. You can now start JoinMarket-Qt as described here. If you find that the program crashes with qt.qpa.plugin: Could not load the Qt platform plugin, you can add Qt5 dependencies with sudo apt install qtbase5-dev and try again.

Alternative/custom installation:

Installing the daemon separately

Just do

python --daemon

Then, you can run the daemon on its own with

cd scripts; python <port number>

The reason for doing this may be either (1) to run command-line scripts provided here, but in a separate process from the daemon; or, (2) to run a separate (e.g. wallet plugin) codebase to do the bitcoin operations.

In the former case you will need still to install the local packages:

python --client-bitcoin

and then edit your joinmarket.cfg section DAEMON, setting no_daemon = 0.

The latter case applies to the Electrum plugin (not currently operational), see here.

There, you need to install the client code (without Joinmarket's bitcoin):

python --client-only

Development (or making other changes to the code)

If you are a developer or you plan on modifying the code (for example to add customizations), do not run the python commands above. Instead run:

python --develop

The normal installation (--daemon or --client-bitcoin) would install the JoinMarket packages to the virtualenv's site-packages directory. This would mean any changes you make to the local code would not have effect until the packages are reinstalled.

Using --develop causes a .egg-link file to be added to site-packages for each package. The .egg-link file acts like a symlink pointing to the local code. This means any changes you make to the code will have effect immediately.

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