I started to play around with it a while back, but just dropped it. Syncing with Geth was just not working for me. Eventually, I got onto Parity, a different Ethereum-compatible node written in Rust. It was able to sync, and pretty quickly (less than a week), and I’m poking around in there.
A few quick tips. First is the previous article about writing .desktop files to integrate these terminal apps with the Gnome desktop: Adding Desktop Application Icons for Terminal-based Programs in GNOME Linux and Ubuntu
It’s not strictly necessary to run a node and then sync the whole blockchain, but… I did it anyway.
Some Parity Ethereum Tips
You can run Parity as an alternative node/backend to Ethereum Wallet, the official client. You run it like this, so it presents a Geth-style API:
Then fire up the wallet:
It’s that simple. The one twist is that you can’t easily switch networks anymore. You need to choose the blockchain when you fire up parity. To get on the “dev” chain:
parity --chain dev
That fires up Parity on the dev chain, which automatically accepts all transactions instantly. That invocation doesn’t have Geth mode though. It uses browser-based client.
Once you’re on the dev chain, you can play around with the different dapps, play with tokens, look at the minimalist IDE, and read sample code in it.
I’ll be reading this thread at Reddit later.
I’m not even getting into the Mist browser and Dapps.