Urbit Bridge Tutorial

In several articles here on Urbit Guide we commented that Urbit allows the total ownership and administration of your identity and your personal computer (your ship).

In practice, there is a tool that facilitates this administration: Bridge.

Bridge helps you do things with your ship, like getting it started or moving it to a new place. Just think of Bridge as a magical helper.

Bridge is a user-friendly client designed for interaction with Azimuth (the system responsible for managing Urbit identities), and it is the recommended method for managing your Urbit identity. It streamlines the process of generating the necessary keyfile to boot your ship.

What is a keyfile?

A keyfile is a computer file that is used to enhance the security of important information. It contains a unique code that is used in combination with a password to provide an extra layer of protection against unauthorized access.

Think of it as a digital key that unlocks a secret box containing your private information. Without the keyfile and password, no one can access the box, ensuring that your sensitive data remains safe from prying eyes. It’s an additional measure of security that can be used for sensitive files or documents that you don’t want others to access without your permission.

The keyfile is used as an alternative to a password, providing an additional layer of security since it is typically more difficult to guess or brute-force attack than a password.

What can be done on Bridge?

Here are some crucial functions of Bridge:

  • Claim an invite: If you have received a planet invite code or link, you can claim your planet using Bridge.
  • Spawn Planets/Stars: Create a child from a galaxy or a star.
  • Accept sponsorship request: Approve a sponsorship request for a galaxy or star.
  • Transfer: Send your Urbit identity to another Ethereum address or a new Master Ticket.
  • Accept incoming transfer: To receive an Urbit identity from someone else, use this action.
  • Cancel outgoing transfer: Revoke a transfer initiated by you before the recipient accepts it.
  • Generate Arvo keyfile: Produce the keyfile required to boot a ship with your Urbit identity.
  • Change spawn proxy: Assign your spawn proxy to a new Ethereum address or set it to L2.
  • Change management proxy: Assign your transfer proxy to a new Ethereum address.
  • Set network keys: Configure new authentication and encryption keys for your Arvo ship, which will alter your Arvo keyfile.
  • Transfer to L2: Move a Urbit identity from Ethereum layer 1 to Ethereum layer 2 (read this article, paying attention to the ‘naive rollups’ section).

How to get started on Bridge

To access most of Bridge’s functions, you need to “log in” using an identity’s ownership address. The platform can be found at bridge.urbit.org.

After accessing this URL in your browser, enter your identity credentials in the appropriate fields.

*If you were invited to claim an Urbit ID, it is very likely that you received an email that would direct you to the Bridge, and you can simply follow the hyperlink in that email.

The first thing you will see is a disclaimer. After reading, check the acceptance box and click the Continue button.

disclaimer bridge

You will then see some login options.

login bridge

One notable option is the Urbit Master Ticket.

master ticket

The “Master Ticket” is the cryptographic seed from which your other Urbit ID keys are derived. Think of it as a password. It is used to derive the Ethereum wallet that contains your ownership keys, your Urbit OS key (used to initialize your Urbit), and other keys associated with your identity. If you are operating a planet, you can use your Master Ticket to authenticate with the Bridge.

In the WalletConnect option, there are two options: QR Code reading or wallet selection via Desktop.

walletconnect  qrcode
WalletConnect QRCode
walletconnect desktop
WalletConnect Desktop

In the Recovery Phrase option, you log in with your recovery phrase.

recovery phrase

You can watch this video to follow the other steps:

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