If you want to examine a cold wallet in an offline Tails session, you’ll need to reference the Bitcoin binaries in your persistent volume. You’ll also need to move the required wallet into the Bitcoin data directory - which won’t exist until you run bitcoin-qt for the first time in the session.
This gets tedious, so I wrote this script to connect everything up.
As of v0.15.0, the Bitcoin Core client does not allow symlinked wallets. As such, the above script no longer works.
You would need to adjust the script so that it copies your specified cold wallet into the default Bitcoin data directory: (~/.bitcoin/cold-wallet.dat). Rather than rewrite the isolated script, I wrote a set of airgap utilities for Bitcoin/Litecoin core that includes loading a cold wallet into an offline session. The scripts are optimised for an offline Tails session and you can access the package here. The package allows you to:
Dump private keys into a symmetrically GPG encrypted file - for super paranoid paper backups
Load a fresh copy of Bitcoin/Litecoin core (useful for generating new cold wallets)
Load a specified cold wallet into an instance of Bitcoin/Litecoin Core