Knowledge base | Ledger

How to securely initialize my Ledger Nano?

Warning: 
This initialization procedure is only suitable for Nano and HW.1.
Nano S and Blue already integrate a secure initialization procedure on their own screen. 

This process doesn't work on a Mac unless you know what you are doing. We highly recommend using a Linux or Windows machine.

For maximum security, you may want to initialize your Ledger Nano or HW.1 using a live OS on a USB stick. This will ensure the computer will not be connected to the internet during and after the initialization process (this is called an airgap or air-gapped machine).

We have prepared an ISO file which you can either boot in a virtual machine or write on a USB stick. It is very compact so you only need a size of 256 MB (or more).

Writing the ISO on a USB stick is easy and only requires a few steps. We recommend the use of UNetbootin (free and open source software).

Warning: This ISO doesn't support secure boot

Below is the step-by-step process:

  1. (Optional) Format your USB drive in FAT32
  2. Download the ISO file: https://www.ledgerwallet.com/files/ledger-secure-starter.iso (to verify the signature of the file, please refer to the end of this tutorial)
  3. Download UNetbootin. It is available for Linux, Mac and Windows: http://unetbootin.sourceforge.net/
  4. Run UNetbootin and check "DiskImage" (see the screenshot below)

  5. Click the "..." button and browse to the ISO file you downloaded previously.
  6. Make sure your USB stick is detected and shown in "Drive"
  7. Click OK and wait for the process to complete.

When done, plug the USB stick into the computer you want to use and power it on:

  • Most PCs will automatically boot on the USB drive
  • On a Mac, press and hold the Option key on your keyboard until a menu appears. Then select "Windows" to boot on the USB device
  • On PCs that don't automatically boot on USB devices, you will need to change the boot sequence in your BIOS / UEFI.
    Entering the BIOS is done by pressing a key while the machine is starting. Most of the time, this key is F2 or DEL.
    Please refer to your computer or motherboard's manual, or contact us at support@ledgerwallet.com if you need assistance.
 
After booting, the application starts automatically:

 

When prompted, type 1 and press "Enter" to create a new wallet.

 

You then have to choose a 4-digit PIN code. The characters don't appear on the screen while you're typing, which is completely normal as this is the way the Linux command line interface handles password security. 

Validate by pressing Enter.

The next screen will ask you to repeat your password, just enter it once again and press Enter.

 

After confirming your password, the program will generate a Bitcoin wallet and give you a 24 words backup. Write down those your 24 words (obviously not the ones on the screenshot, and don't forget to double check what you wrote on paper!) then type "Yes" and press Enter when ready.

 

During the final step, the application will attempt to put the generated Bitcoin wallet's seed on your Ledger Wallet. You can now plug your Ledger Wallet in your computer.

 

Here is a Ledger Wallet being seeded:

After completing this step, you can turn off the computer, remove the Ledger Wallet and the Ledger Starter USB dongle. Your Ledger Wallet has been safely seeded is ready to be used!

Signature of the .iso file

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNATURE-----
Version: GnuPG v1.4.11 (GNU/Linux)

iQEcBAABAgAGBQJV2kYpAAoJEGg9eTjfVRXOIzgH/RtCeKx1UHgQFlRDJ0i3hRI3
ohcTOE60jPLiXs2V0F0tkMXqSvtxL4FzosFP/Rz/79csu8TCXIqJ1W29UBfV9hU2
XrKXvSpSXvO50wYOM3P6lkSCRcAy6utHQGmTaDUnR+BZHpkimJI7fWmv4MWy6CbK
W1efYozDnFXDswQuu4wPZhW4sVtLApCy1hLQ6SIlmmwdNc8FbIY0yOnFar8umsDn
HnSv67VhHEeA/G0a67Kg+zXZfnWs64EYvQGstkUjANDOTH60M+KDs6xhPmbqspr2
rHuTDK4WeiBDI1OY+mJ30+h07M27Mokv4tE+XliBnZNf/zo2ukU4DyJaEmprrWg=
=ZPzE
-----END PGP SIGNATURE-----

 

To verify the signature, our public key is available here: https://keybase.io/nicolab/key.asc