System Requirements and Installation Guide


The easiest way to start Rotkehlchen is to download the packaged binary for your Operating system. For now only Linux and OSX is supported. To see how to do this go to the next section.

Packaged Binaries


Go to the releases page and download the linux-x64 package from the latest release.

Unzip it in a directory of your choice. In the root directory of the unzipped archive there is a rotkehlchen executable. Run it via the terminal to start rotkehlchen.


Go to the releases page and download the darwin-x64 package from the latest release.

Unzip it in a directory of your choice. In the root directory of the unzipped archive there is are two rotkehlchen files. Click (or run from the terminal) the one that does not have the electron logon on its icon.


If you get “The python backend crushed” error then you probably did not click on the correct executable.

To make it easier to understand which one is the executable you have to click in OSX look at the following screenshot.

This is the executable you should click when running OSX.

If you did click on that and you still get an error, then please open an issue with the contents of the console window that was also opened. This will help us debug the problem.


Go to the releases page and download the win32-x64 package from the latest release.

Unzip it in a folder of your choice. In the root directory of the unzipped archive there is a rotkehlchen executable. Double click it to start rotkehlchen.


If you get “The python backend crushed” or any other error please run the executable via the Command Prompt. Then provide us with the output that is visible in the prompt and this will help us debug your issue.

Build from Source


Make sure you have node.js and npm. If you don’t, use your linux distro’s package manager to get them.

Get zeromq using the package manager of your distro. For example here is the package in Archlinux and in Ubuntu.

Also get sqlcipher:

  • If you’re running Archlinux you can install the package with pacman.
  • If you’re running Ubuntu you will need to install libsqlcipher-dev with apt-get instead.

Install electron and any other npm dependencies by:

npm install
npm rebuild zeromq --runtime=electron --target=3.0.0

Create a new virtual environment to install all the python dependencies. If you don’t have mkvirtualenv then check how to get it depending on your distribution. Here is a guide for Ubuntu and here is one for ArchLinux:

mkvirtualenv rotkehlchen

Then install all the python requirements by doing:

pip install -r requirements.txt

If you want to also have the developer requirements in order to develop rotkehlchen then do:

pip install -r requirements_dev.txt

Now to start the application you need to type npm start.

If you get runtime errors about a Node version mismatch, you can try to rebuild the electron modules like this::



The tl;dr version is: - install sqlcipher - use a virtual env with python 3.7.x - make sure pip installed everything it says it installed - get your node under control with nvm. It has been tested with 8.9

The following recipe has been tested using Anaconda. VirtualEnv works as well, refer to the documentations of those projects to install and use them.

Rotkehlchen uses an encrypted database called SQLCipher. Before we can proceed, we need to install it. Homebrew makes it simple::

$ brew update && brew install sqlcipher

Also these are some dependencies that may or may not be properly installed in your system so make sure you have them.:

$ brew install zmq
$ brew install gmp

If you wish to use Conda, use the following commands::

$ brew cask install caskroom/cask/anaconda
$ echo "export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/anaconda3/bin" >> ~/.bash_profile
$ echo ". /usr/local/anaconda3/etc/profile.d/" >> ~/.bash_profile
$ source ~/.bash_profile
$ conda create python=3.7 --name rotkehlchen
$ conda activate rotkehlchen

If you wish to use Virtualenvwrapper use the following:

$ pip install virtualenv
$ pip install virtualenvwrapper

And add the following to your shell startup file, assuming virtualenvwrapper was installed in /usr/local/bin:

export WORKON_HOME=$HOME/.virtualenvs
source /usr/local/bin/

Before using pip, let´s ensure we have the latest version::

$ pip install --upgrade pip

Install all the requirements::

$ sudo pip install -r requirements.txt

If you want to also have the developer requirements in order to develop rotkehlchen then do::

$ pip install -r requirements_dev.txt


Make sure that pysqlcipher3 is properly installed. If $ pip freeze | grep pysqlcipher3 returns nothing for you then it was not installed. Try to manually install only that dependency with the verbose option to see where it fails. $ pip install pysqlcipher3 -v. If it fails at the stage of finding the library for -lsqlcipher then brew install sqlciper did not place the installed lib directory to the LIBRARY_PATH and you will have to do it manually. For example if sqlcipher was installed at /usr/local/Cellar/sqlcipher/3.4.2/ then use pip install this way::
$ LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/local/Cellar/sqlcipher/3.4.2/lib pip install pysqlcipher3.

Rotkehlchen uses electron, we need to install it. To do so you need node.js and npm. If you don’t have it use homebrew to install it:

$ brew install node

Almost there, we can now install all the NodeJS dependencies. Using a recent NodeJS version such as 8.9.x, it should be smooth. Also since npm uses gyp and gyp requires python 2.7 make sure to set it up appropriately before invoking npm:

$ npm config set python python2.7
$ npm install
$ PYTHON=/usr/bin/python2.7 ./node_modules/.bin/electron-rebuild

You can now start Rotkehlchen::

$ npm start


This is the guide on how to manually build rotkehlchen binaries in Windows from source.


Python and git

Get python 3.7.

Make sure it’s 64 bit if you are in 64-bit windows!!!!!

If it’s not in the Path add both directories to the path:


Get latest git.

Setup a python virtualenvironment. If you don’t know how to do it in windows here is a good guide.

Make sure you have pip installed.

Also make sure you have the Microsoft visual studio build tools. Check the troubleshooting guide’s relevant section Microsoft Visual C++ 14.0 is required.

Sqlcipher and pysqlcipher3

Here is a good guide on how to compile SQLCipher for windows.

The guide also requires you to get OpenSSL. You can do that from here. Make sure it’s for the same architecture as the rest. 32/64 bit. At the installer change the location to the bin directory as the tutorial says. Make sure that -IC:\dev\OpenSSL-Win64\include and all other relevant options point to the actual location where openssl was installed. Also pay attention to the rest of the stuff in the tutorial warns to change in Makefile.msc.

Then you can go to pysqlcipher3 and edit the file to include the location of the headers and the libraries you just compiled. Add the following to the extension that is being built.:


Obviously replace yourusername with whatever you are using. And then do python build and python install.


Get node.js from here.


Inside rotkehlchen install normally like you would in linux … but you got to either copy slqcipher.dll in the rotkehlchen directory or put it in the directory where windows searches for DLLs.


anyapi-ms-win-crt-runtime missing

If you get anyapi-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll is missing error when running python follow this guide to resolve it.

Microsoft Visual C++ 14.0 is required

If you get:

building 'gevent.libev.corecext' extension
error: Microsoft Visual C++ 14.0 is required. Get it with "Microsoft Visual C++ Build Tools":

Then go here and get the microsoft visual studio build tools and install them. The specific parts of the tools that need to be installed can be seen in this SO answer.

You also need to add them to the path. The tools were probably installed here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio\2017\BuildTools\Common7\Tools Environment variable should be: VS140COMNTOOLS

Alternative dependencies with sqlciper amalgamation

This is a not so well tested way but some work has been done by cryptomental in this issue for it. With the amalgamation you can obtain all sqlcipher dependencies precompiled and amalgamated in one big blog. But … it’s tricky, hense not so well tested.

Read the issue for a lot of details and also the appveyor.yml for what needs to be done to build sqlcipher and keep the following in mind:

  1. Replace robocopy with copy -r and make sure to copy into python system include and not the venv one.

  2. If while building the amalgamation you get: "Fatal error: OpenSSL could not be detected!" try this SO answer. and make sure to add OPENSSL_CONF to the environment variables pointing to the location of openssl.conf.

  3. In addition copy the amalgamation dir’s ssl include folder to the python include folder:

    $ cp -r sqlcipher-amalgamation-3020001/openssl-include/openssl/ /c/Users/lefteris/AppData/Local/Programs/Python/Python37-32/include/openssl
  4. Copy the amalgamation dir’s ssl libraries to the python lib folder:

    $ cp sqlcipher-amalgamation-3020001/OpenSSL-Win32/* /c/Users/lefteris/AppData/Local/Programs/Python/Python37-32/libs/

    Note it has to be the OpenSSL-Win32 part.