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Using the Polkadot & Kusama Ledger Applications

Need support with your Ledger Wallet?

If you need help using Ledger you can contact the Polkadot Support Team.

Please Note

Because of required WebUSB support, Ledger wallets currently only work on Chromium-based browsers like Google Chrome.

The Polkadot Ledger application is compatible with the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X devices. Ledger devices are hardware wallets that keep your secret key secured on a physical device that does not expose it to your computer or the internet. The private keys will not be leaked even if you connect your nano via USB to your computer. Ledger devices are also hierarchical deterministic wallets (HD wallets), that is:

  • Deterministic means that only one seed phrase generates all the accounts for different blockchain networks.
  • Hierarchical means that the accounts are generated in a tree-like structure for different purposes.

Ledger devices can be equipped with applications that are blockchain-specific. Third parties usually develop such applications, enabling the user to transact securely on the blockchain network. The Polkadot Ledger application allows you to manage Polkadot's native token, DOT. It supports most of the transaction types of the network, including batch transactions from the Utility pallet.

Ledger apps may not support all the transactions

Check the Ledger Polkadot App specification for the list of transactions supported. Some transactions are supported only on a specific app version, and others are not supported by any version. For instance, the staking rebag extrinsic is supported on the XL version but not on the lite version. Also, joining a nomination pool is only possible with the XL version.

If you have trouble using Ledger or following the directions below, you can try searching for your issue on the Polkadot support pages.


For Ledger Nano S users only

The lite version of the Polkadot Ledger App that you can install by default in the Ledger Nano S has limited functionality. The Ledger Nano S is no longer produced and has limited memory that is just right to accommodate the XL version of the Polkadot Ledger App, which gives the user more functionalities.

If you do use a Nano S with the XL version you will not be able to:

  • Install any other Ledger application on your device
  • Add Polkadot accounts to the Ledger Live App.

But you will be able to add them to wallets and extensions that support Ledger devices.

Here is a list of what you will need before using Polkadot with Ledger:

  • A Ledger Nano X or Nano S plus (recommended for Polkadot Ledger App space requirements and functionalities).
  • The latest firmware of the Polkadot Ledger App installed (always check for updates in Ledger Live under the "Manager" tab, you will need to allow access with your nano).
  • Ledger Live is installed and up-to-date.
  • A Chromium-based web browser if you use a browser extension.

Using Ledger Liveโ€‹

See this support article to learn how to use Polkadot with ledger live.

Ledger Developer Releaseโ€‹


This section is for developers only. It is recommended to install the application from Ledger Live unless you know precisely what you're doing.

Why you might need the Developer Releaseโ€‹

Ledger apps for the Polkadot ecosystem are developed by Zondax. When new functionalities are added to the Ledger apps, they are made available on a developer release for testing purposes. After a successful audit and review, the apps would be available for download and installation using Ledger Live. As it takes some time for Ledger to audit and review the release, the app upgrade option may not be available on Ledger Live when the new runtime is deployed on the network. If this happens, users cannot use Ledger devices to sign transactions. Suppose you cannot wait a few days until the app passes the Ledger audit, you can install the developer release from the shell using the latest version published on the Zondax GitHub repository.

Install the Developer Releaseโ€‹


See this video tutorial to learn how to install the developer release of your ledger app.

Currently, the developer release can be installed only on the Nano S and S plus devices and can't be installed on the Nano X.

To install the developer version, make sure you have the latest pip version and follow the steps below:

  • Install ledgerblue running the command python3 -m pip install ledgerblue.
  • Download the developer release from the Zondax GitHub repository. The file will be named or something similar, depending on your ledger device.
  • Locate the downloaded shell script and make it executable in your shell by typing the command chmod +x
  • You can now use the ./ --help command to visualize the available options (see below)

Dev Ledger Help Menu

  • Attach your Ledger Nano (in this case Nano S Plus) to your computer, enter the PIN code, and run the command ./ load. Scroll with the right button until you see "Allow unsafe manager", left and right press to confirm. You will be asked to confirm the action of uninstalling the app and subsequently installing the newer version. After confirming both actions, the shell script will install the version on your device. You must insert the PIN code to use the device after the installation.
  • If you wish to revert the version to the stable release, go to Ledger Live. The app will automatically detect the developer release and give the option to install the previous stable release.

Polkadot-JS Guides

If you are an advanced user, see the Polkadot-JS guides about Ledger.