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Beginner's Guide to Setting Up a Nostr Account

Beginner's Guide to Setting Up a Nostr Account

Dec 19, 2023

Beginner's Guide to Setting Up a Nostr Account

Nostr is a unique messaging protocol that offers a decentralized way to interact online. The most popular apps being built on Nostr at the moment are social media apps. However, Nostr's use case extends far beyond social apps. This guide will walk you through setting up a Nostr account using a web-based client called Iris and integrating it with a web extension called Alby. A great way to test out Nostr if you're a beginner.

Part 1: Creating Your Nostr Account on Iris

Step 1: Access Iris

  • Open your web browser.
  • Type in the URL for Iris (e.g.,
  • You'll be presented with a blank page with a field asking for your name.

Step 2: Register Your Name

  • Enter your desired username (e.g., "Max").
  • Click the "Go" button.

Step 3: Understand Key Pairs

  • The action of clicking "Go" generates a key pair consisting of a public key and a private key.
    • Public key: Serves as your unique identifier on Nostr and can be shared publicly.
    • Private key: Acts as your password and must be kept secret.

Part 2: Securing Your Private Key

Step 1: Back Up Your Private Key

  • Navigate to the settings section on Iris.
  • Copy your private key and paste it into a secure location, such as a password manager (e.g., Bitwarden).
  • Warning: Never share your private key or leave it exposed online.

Part 3: Setting Up Alby Web Extension

Step 1: Install Albi

  • Search for "Alby" using your preferred search engine.
  • Select "Get Alby" and add the browser extension to your web browser (e.g., Chrome).

Step 2: Register on Alby

  • Set up an account with an email address and a strong password.
  • Optionally, choose a lightning address if you're interested in Bitcoin transactions.

Step 3: Integrate Your Nostr Account with Alby

  • Pin the Alby extension for easy access.
  • Navigate to the settings within Alby and find the Nostr section.
  • Go to Accounts and select your account if present, or add a new one.
  • Paste your previously copied private key into the Alby extension.
  • Save your private key within Alby and ensure it's backed up in your password manager.

Part 4: Using Alby for Nostr Login

Step 1: Log Out and Log In Again

  • Log out of your Nostr account on Iris.
  • Upon returning to the login page, select the option to log in using the Nostr extension.
  • Alby will prompt you to connect. Confirm the connection to log in seamlessly.

Part 5: Exploring Nostr and Finding People

Step 1: Post Your First Message

  • Use Iris or another Nostr client to post a message (e.g., "Hi, this is my first post on Nostr pura vida").

Step 2: Follow People

  • Find users you know or are interested in and follow them.
  • Follow their followers to quickly build your network and populate your feed.

Part 6: Interacting on Nostr

  • Understand that each action requires cryptographic signing.
  • Alby can automate this process for a smoother experience.
  • Engage with others by posting, commenting, and using available features.

Additional Tips

  • Be patient: Nostr is an early-stage platform, and some functionalities may not be as polished as mainstream social media.
  • Explore: Take your time to understand the different aspects of Nostr and experiment with its features.
  • Stay secure: Always keep your private key private and backed up in multiple secure locations.
  • Keep learning: Check out more detailed tutorials if you want to dive deeper into Nostr's capabilities.


Congratulations! You've successfully created and secured your Nostr account. Enjoy the new social media experience and stay tuned for further developments in the Nostr ecosystem. Share your experience and feedback with the community, and explore the possibilities of this decentralized platform.


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