Setting Up Bitmessage on Debian

Bitmessage is a new, secure method of email-like communication. Bitmessage is a decentralized peer-to-peer system that leverages several concepts similar to bitcoin and bittorrent to enable end-to-end encryption for messaging. You can find out more about Bitmessage at their website.

Please vote on our BitMessage Poll!

Installing on Debian

Setting up Bitmessage is a very simple process. There are several articles on how to setup Bitmessage; however, most seem to focus on Windows or Redhat based distros. I use the following steps to set up Bitmessage on my dradux (debian based) computers:

  • Ensure python-qt4 and git are installed
$ apt-get install python-qt4 git
  • Get PyBitmessage Code
$ git clone $HOME/apps/PyBitmessage

Running Bitmessage

Running PyBitmessage is an easy task as well, simply start as follows:

$ cd $HOME/apps/PyBitmessage/src/ && python

Sending a Message

As you may have guessed, sending a message is not too difficult as well. The following steps will have you sending a message in a few minutes:

  • Go to the "Your Identities" tab and click "New"
    • read the options, Random or Passphrase based identities will both work
  • You are now ready to send a message, if you just had someone's address. Feel free to make your first message to me, my address is:
  • Go to the "Send" tab, paste in the above address, type a subject and message and click send
  • One thing to note is that Bitmessage uses several techniques to ensure encryption and security, one of which is time (actually it is cpu processing which takes time but time is the goal here) so when you send a message give it a few minutes (4-5 minutes) as it works its magic!
  • With any luck, you will get a response (as soon as I receive it)


You may want to keep your bitmessage client up-to-date with the latest advancements in the client. To do so:

$ cd $HOME/apps/PyBitmessage/src
$ git fetch --all
$ git reset --hard origin/master