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How to set up RetroShare on Linux

RetroShare is a decentralized, encrypted communication network. It has a secure instant messaging tool, filesharing abilities, chat groups, and even its own email system. The app is designed to protect your privacy so that you can communicate with friends and family without the fear of governments or corporations spying on your data. In this guide, we’ll go over how to set up RetroShare on Linux.

We’ll be covering the Linux platform in this tutorial of RetroShare. That said, RetroShare also works on Mac OS, Windows, Android, and even FreeBSD. For more information on it for non-Linux platforms, click here.

Note: RetroShare is decentralized and private. However, for added security, consider running the RetroShare app alongside Tor on Linux. For information on how to set up Tor on Linux, head to the official website.

Installing RetroShare on Linux

The RetroShare application is not officially supported by any modern Linux operating system. As a result, you will need to manually install the program before logging in to the network.

To start the installation, open up a terminal window on the Linux desktop. Then, follow the command-line instructions outlined below that corresponds with the OS you currently use.


To start the installation on Ubuntu, you must source /etc/os-release.

source /etc/os-release

Next, use the wget command to download the release key to your system.

wget -qO - https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/network:/retroshare/xUbuntu_${VERSION_ID}/Release.key | sudo apt-key add -

Add the RetroShare software repository to Ubuntu.

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/network:/retroshare/xUbuntu_${VERSION_ID}/ /' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/retroshare_OBS.list"

Update Ubuntu to make the new RetroShare software repository usable.

sudo apt update

Finally, install RetroShare on your system.

sudo apt install retroshare


To, start, use the wget command to download the RetroShare key file to Debian.

wget -qO - https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/network:retroshare/Debian_${DEBIAN_VERSION}/Release.key | sudo apt-key add -

Next, add the RetroShare software repository to the system.

sudo sh -c "echo 'deb https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/network:/retroshare/Debian_${DEBIAN_VERSION}/ /' > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/retroshare.list"

Run the update command to make the new RetroShare repository usable.

sudo apt-get update

Finally, install the RetroShare program on Debian.

sudo apt-get install retroshare

Arch Linux

RetroShare is in the AUR. To get it working, enter the commands below.

sudo pacman -S git base-devel

git clone https://aur.archlinux.org/trizen.git
cd trizen
makepkg -sri

trizen -S retroshare


Need to get RetroShare working on Fedora Linux? Start by adding the RetroShare software repository to your system with the dnf command.

sudo dnf config-manager --add-repo=https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/network:/retroshare/Fedora_$(rpm -E %fedora)/network:retroshare.repo

After adding the new RetroShare software repository, use the dnf install command to get RetroShare working.

sudo dnf install retroshare


Do you need to get RetroShare working on OpenSUSE? Start by adding the RetroShare repository via Zypper with the command below.

zypper addrepo -f https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/network:/retroshare/openSUSE_Tumbleweed/ retroshare

Next, run the zypper refresh command.

sudo zypper refresh

Finally, install RetroShare

sudo zypper install retroshare


RetroShare is available as an AppImage for those who do not have operating systems supported officially. To get it, enter the commands below.

wget https://download.opensuse.org/repositories/network:/retroshare/AppImage/retroshare-gui-latest-x86_64.AppImage

chmod +x retroshare-gui-latest-x86_64.AppImage

Run the app with:


Or, double-click on the RetroShare AppImage in the Linux file manager.

Setting up RetroShare

To start the setup process for RetroShare, launch the app on your computer. To launch RetroShare, search for it in your app menu. It is also possible to start up RetroShare with the quick launcher (Alt + F2) by typing in retroshare.

Once the RetroShare application is open and ready to use, follow the step-by-step instructions outlined below to learn how to get RetroShare up and running on Linux.

Step 1: You must create a new RetroShare node to use the application. To start the creation process, find the “Username” box, and type out a new username.

Step 2: After writing in a new username for your new RetroShare node, find the “Password” box, and click on it with the mouse. From there, write out the new password in the “Password” box. Be sure to use a secure password, but make sure that the password is memorable, as you need it to log into your RetroShare node.

Step 3: Re-write out your RetroShare password in the “Password again” box to confirm it.

Step 4: Move your mouse around until the last box has a green checkmark next to it. You need to move the mouse to generate enough data for your node to be usable. Want a really secure RetroShare node? Move the mouse around till the last box is at 100%.

Step 5: Click on the “GO” button to log into your new RetroShare node.

Adding friends

To use RetroShare, you will need to know others that use it so you can access their nodes. To do this, find the “People” button, and click on it. From there, fill out your friend’s node info to connect.

Once your friends are connected, you can talk to them by clicking on “Chats” or “Mail.” You can also send them files with “Files.”

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