I see the following documentation on: https://docs.solana.com/cli/transfer-tokens#send-tokens

solana transfer --from <KEYPAIR> <RECIPIENT_ACCOUNT_ADDRESS> <AMOUNT> --fee-payer <KEYPAIR>

But can someone give me a real life example of how this output should be with real addresses and keypairs?

I'm a bit confused with KEYPAIR, is this a file or the private key? Can I just pass in a base58 private key? What if I only have the 24 word seed of a wallet? Can I pass in the seed into it?

1 Answer 1


The KEYPAIR is a file containing a Solana keypair, it'll be a JSON file containing an array of 64 bytes (numbers 0-255).

You generate it using solana-keygen new. That'll create it at ~/.config/solana/id.json

Here's a complete example, transferring from a keypair I've created at temp.json to the public key 3GWzdwDqphjz5zi4s8fpeNi5YXKqFSgcMq86BRnS3dnS:

$ solana transfer --from ~/.config/solana/temp.json 3GWzdwDqphjz5zi4s8fpeNi5YXKqFSgcMq86BRnS3dnS 0.1 --allow-unfunded-recipient --fee-payer ~/.config/solana/temp.json

Signature: 5UDry1YScxWRtcjCHxnyGcRxS2DxHxhFnmnHYMr77TVrJWieHZmCy25pvpMfH39xLBQbnjMsXqDJZKfaptQWv7VS

$ solana balance 3GWzdwDqphjz5zi4s8fpeNi5YXKqFSgcMq86BRnS3dnS
0.1 SOL
  • but what if i only have the base58 private key string? How do I send with that? Also what do you do with the signature? Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 13:46
  • You can write a small script that takes the private key and outputs the keypair file, see my answer here: solana.stackexchange.com/a/1044/289. Then you can use whichever file you output that to where I have ~/.config/solana/temp.json (as KEYPAIR). The signature just identifies the transaction and lets you view it in future, you can see my one for this answer on explorer here: explorer.solana.com/tx/…
    – Callum M
    Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 14:02
  • is there a way to just skip the creation of the keypair .json file and just use the base58 string instead? I have all the private keys stored in a database, and that means every time I make a transaction this script will be creating a .json file to just make a send transaction? Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 14:06
  • Not that I'm aware of if you want to use the CLI, but take that with a grain of salt because I'm not an expert there. In your case though I'd just write a NodeJS script because there you can create a Keypair object in @solana/web3.js directly from the base58 key and then use that to sign transactions. Plus if you're reading from a DB that's probably going to make much more sense in a NodeJS script than something in the CLI too. See the TS code example here: solanacookbook.com/references/…
    – Callum M
    Commented Aug 9, 2022 at 14:08

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