We set up Electrs (opens in a new tab) to serve as a full Electrum server for use with your Bitcoin software or hardware signing device.


Install dependencies

These are make dependencies (safe to remove after installation, if you want)

$SU apk add cargo cargo-auditable clang-dev cmake git rocksdb-dev

These are runtime dependencies

$SU apk add rocksdb

Create the electrs user/group

$SU addgroup -S electrs
$SU adduser \
    -S \
    -D \
    -H \
    -h /dev/null \
    -s /sbin/nologin \
    -G electrs \
    -g electrs \

Add electrs user to the bitcoin group

$SU adduser electrs bitcoin

Add the user satoshi to the group electrs as well

$SU adduser satoshi electrs

Firewall & reverse proxy

In the Security section, we already set up NGINX as a reverse proxy. Now we can add the Electrum server configuration.

  • Enable NGINX reverse proxy to add SSL/TLS encryption to the Electrum server communication. Create the configuration file and paste the following content
$SU $EDITOR /etc/nginx/streams-available/electrum-reverse-proxy.conf
upstream electrum {
server {
  listen 50002 ssl;
  proxy_pass electrum;
$SU ln \
    -s \
    ../streams-available/electrum-reverse-proxy.conf \
  • Test and reload NGINX configuration
$SU nginx -t
$SU rc-service nginx restart
  • Configure the firewall to allow incoming requests
$SU ufw allow 50002/tcp comment 'allow Electrum SSL from anywhere'


An easy and performant way to run an Electrum server is to use Electrs (opens in a new tab), the Electrum Server in Rust. There are no binaries available, so we will compile the application ourselves.

Download source code

We get the latest release of the Electrs source code, verify it, compile it to an executable binary and install it.

  • Download the source code for the latest Electrs release. You can check the release page (opens in a new tab) to see if a newer release is available. Other releases might not have been properly tested with the rest of the MicroBolt configuration, though.
cd /tmp
git clone --branch v$VERSION https://github.com/romanz/electrs.git && cd electrs

Signature check

wget -qO- https://romanzey.de/pgp.txt | gpg --import
git verify-tag v$VERSION

Configure, compile and install

  • Now compile the source code into an executable binary and install it. The compilation process can take up to one hour.
ROCKSDB_INCLUDE_DIR=/usr/include \
ROCKSDB_LIB_DIR=/usr/lib \
CARGO_HOME="$PWD/.cargo" \
cargo auditable build \
    --bin electrs \
    --features "metrics_process" \
    --release \
    --locked \
    --jobs "$(nproc)"
$SU install -m 0755 -o root -g root -t /usr/bin ./target/release/electrs
$SU install -D -m 0660 -o electrs -g electrs ./doc/config_example.toml /etc/electrs/config.toml

Strip installed binaries

$SU strip -v /usr/bin/electrs


  • Modify the config file with the following content
$SU $EDITOR /etc/electrs/config.toml
cookie_file = "/var/lib/bitcoind/.cookie"
#db_dir = "/some/fast/storage/with/big/size"
daemon_dir = "/var/lib/bitcoind"
Remote access over Tor

To use your Electrum server when you're on the go, you can easily create a Tor hidden service. This way, you can connect the BitBoxApp or Electrum wallet also remotely, or even share the connection details with friends and family. Note that the remote device needs to have Tor installed as well.

  • Add the following lines in the section for "location-hidden services" in the torrc file.
$SU $EDITOR /etc/tor/torrc
# Hidden Service Electrum
HiddenServiceDir /var/lib/tor/electrum/
HiddenServiceVersion 3
HiddenServicePoWDefensesEnabled 1
HiddenServicePort 50002
  • Reload Tor configuration and get your connection address.
$SU rc-service tor reload
$SU cat /var/lib/tor/electrum/hostname
  • You should now be able to connect to your Electrum server remotely via Tor using your hostname and port 50002

Autostart on boot

Electrs needs to start automatically on system boot.

  • Create the Electrs init.d unit and copy/paste the following configuration. Save and exit.
$SU $EDITOR /etc/init.d/electrs
: ${ELECTRS_CONFIGFILE:=/etc/electrs/config.toml}
: ${ELECTRS_DATADIR:=/var/lib/electrs}
: ${ELECTRS_LOGDIR:=/var/log/electrs}
: ${ELECTRS_USER:=electrs}
: ${ELECTRS_GROUP:=electrs}
: ${ELECTRS_BIN:=/usr/bin/electrs}
description="Efficient re-implementation of Electrum Server in Rust"
command_args="--conf ${ELECTRS_CONFIGFILE}
              --db-dir ${ELECTRS_DATADIR}
start_stop_daemon_args="--stdout ${ELECTRS_LOGDIR}/debug.log
                        --stderr ${ELECTRS_LOGDIR}/debug.log"
depend() {
    use bitcoind
    after bitcoind
start_pre() {
    checkpath --file      --mode 0660 --owner "${command_user}" "${ELECTRS_CONFIGFILE}"
    checkpath --directory --mode 0750 --owner "${command_user}" "${ELECTRS_DATADIR}"
    checkpath --directory --mode 0755 --owner "${command_user}" "${ELECTRS_LOGDIR}"
    checkpath --directory --mode 0755 --owner "${command_user}" "${ELECTRS_PIDDIR}"
start_post() {
    checkpath --file --owner "${command_user}" "${pidfile}"
checkconfig() {
    if ! grep -qs '^cookie_file = ' "${ELECTRS_CONFIGFILE}"
        eerror ""
        eerror "ERROR: You must set a cookie_file path to run Electrs."
        eerror "The setting must appear in ${ELECTRS_CONFIGFILE}"
        eerror ""
        return 1
  • Enable execution permission
$SU chmod +x /etc/init.d/electrs

Enable logrotate

  • Enter the complete next configuration. Save and exit
$SU $EDITOR /etc/logrotate.d/electrs
/var/log/electrs/*.log {
    rotate 104
    create 0640 electrs electrs
        killall -HUP `cat /run/electrs/electrs.pid`
  • Test
$SU logrotate /etc/logrotate.d/electrs --debug

Enable and start Electrs

$SU rc-update add electrs
$SU rc-service electrs start
  • Check the log to see Electrs output. Exit with Ctrl-C
tail -f /var/log/electrs/debug.log

Electrs will now index the whole Bitcoin blockchain so that it can provide all necessary information to signing devices. With this, the signing devices you use no longer need to connect to any third-party server to communicate with the Bitcoin peer-to-peer network.

For the future: Electrs upgrade

Follow again Electrs page replacing the environment variable VERSION=x.xx value for the latest if it has not been already changed in this guide.

  • Update the Electrs configuration if necessary (see release notes)
$SU $EDITOR /etc/electrs/electrs.toml
  • Restart the service to apply the changes
$SU rc-service electrs restart