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Account Management

It is recommended to use the external key manager Clef for interacting with Geth because it can be run from secure external devices and has additional security benefits such as the ability to sign transactions according to custom rules. Instructions for setting up and using Clef can be found on the Clef page. However, Geth also has its own built-in account management tools that are more convenient and secure enough for many use-cases. This page will describe how to manage accounts using Geth’s built in tools. The command line is considered first and then managing accounts from the Javascript console is considered in a separate section.

Account command

Interacting with accounts is achieved using Geth’s account command:
geth account <command> [options...] [arguments...]
The account command enables the user to create new accounts, list existing accounts, import private keys into a new account, update key formats and update the passwords that lock each account. In interactive mode, the user is prompted for passwords in the console when the account functions are invoked, whereas in non-interactive mode passwords to unlock accounts are saved to text files whose path is passed to Geth at startup. Non-interactive mode is only intended for use on private networks or known safe environments.
The account subcommands are:
COMMANDS:
list Print summary of existing accounts
new Create a new account
update Update an existing account
import Import a private key into a new account
Information about the subcommands can be displayed in the terminal using geth account <command> --help. For example, for the list subcommand:
$ geth account list --help
list [command options] [arguments...]
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Print a short summary of all accounts
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OPTIONS:
--datadir "/home/.ethereum" Data directory for the databases and keystore
--keystore Directory for the keystore (default = inside the datadir)