First Steps

This aims to be a Step by Step Guide for New Users.


Download RetroShare from here.


Install RetroShare on your Computer

Create new Profile

Start RetroShare to create your Node.

create new node

Enter the values:

  • Name
    Name of your Account (GPG-ID) Visible to your friends, and friends of friends.
  • Password
    This password protects your private PGP key. It's wise to choose a long password for your GPG-ID, as this also encrypts your entire RetroShare directory.

Optional: (advanced options)
- Node Name (Location) Each user can have several Locations were RetroShare is running on different devices with the same GPG-ID.

  • Chat name
    Name of your first Identity (GXS-ID) Used when you write in chat lobbies, forums and channel comments. Can be setup later if you need one.

Move your mouse to create randomness for the Key creation.

Enter Profile Values

Sign your Certificate by entering your Password.
Sign your Certificate

First Start

When you start RetroShare the first time it's empty, because there is no content shared by friends. This will change soon with your first connected Friend.

First Start

Initial Settings

Click on the Options Options Button to change your Network Network Settings
Initial Settings

  • NAT Settings
    Keep your Network Mode at Public: DHT & Discovery
    This will enable DHT and Discovery to improve the connectivity. DHT is also recommended to use, because it provides Hole Punching and NAT-PMP technics to open a port in your firewall.
  • Network Mode
    If your Router is enabling UPnP, keep UPnP. UPnP enables RetroShare to open itself a port on your Router. Otherwise change it to Manually Forwarded Port and set a manual Port Forward to your NAT Firewall. For manual Port forward, you can choose your RetroShare port also.
  • Set your download and upload speeds to fit your Internet Connection. Keeping this setting below of your total speed is recommended.

For detailed Network Settings explanations click here


empty Avatar

You may want to change the Avatar of your Location and set a Status message.

Click on the avatar to change it.

Click on the message to change it.

avatar and status



RetroShare has already created a first signed Identity for your use in Chatrooms and Forums and Distant Chats and Mails.

You may want to create as many additional Identities as well if needed.


To change the Avatar of your Identity right click it. Or click on the Edit identity button. Edit Identity

Edit Identity

And change your avatar picture.

Edit Identity

First Friend


The fastest way is to exchange the Retroshare ID directly with your friends. Share your Retroshare ID with your friend and request the Retroshare ID from your Friend.


Click on the Invite Button.

Paste Friend's RetoShare ID and click on NEXT.
Accept Certificate

Have a look at the details and finish.
Make Friend

Connection in Progress, your Node tries to connect to your Friend. Connection in Progress
You can close this via OK.

After you added your Friend its shows in Friendslist your Friend as Profile ID XXXX Friendslist

Your Friend or you get a Friend Request notify, you need accept it with click on Accept Friend Request Button. Friendrequest

Click on Accept and finish it.


After accepted it can take up 10-15 minutes to get connected. Your friends Username will be shown. Friendconnected

It's important to accept each other vice versa. Your friend must add your Retroshare ID to his Network/Friendlist. And you need to add the Retroshare ID from your Friend to your Network/Friendlist

It's important that on both side DHT is working, first time it will take time to get connected with DHT. When DHT still not works, you need to try use old certificate Format.

First Chat

Your online Contacts(Friend Nodes) will be listed in the Network Tab. Friendlist

Double Clicking will start an instant Chat with your Friends. Instant Chat

First Chatroom

Subscribed Chatrooms from your online friends are shared to you, and you are free to subscribe and re-share them as well to your friends.

In the same manner Forums Forums, Channels Channels, Posted Posted and File Sharing File Sharing will become more and more available per direct Friend-2-Friend connections as your network grows.