SwellRT main project. Server, JavaScript and Java clients
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SwellRT Build Status Gitter

SwellRT is an open source backend-as-a-service. It provides prebuilt features to speed up development of collaborative Web applications:

  • Realtime storage (eventual consistency)
  • Extensible text collaborative editor
  • User management and authentication
  • Server federation with Matrix
  • Events and Bots (in development)

The main feature of SwellRT is realtime storage based in objects. They can be shared among participants that can mutate them in realtime. All changes are persisted and propagated transparently. Object's state is eventually consistent.

Check out API basics:


	id: '<object-id>'

}).then(object => {

 	// Anyone can open the object


Set and get a property:

	name: 'Alice',
	city: 'New York'


Listen for updates (local or remote):

object.node('person').addListener( event => {
	console.log('Property Updated ');


Client libraries for Web and Java/Android (experimental) are provided.

Documentation and examples

API documentation can be found here

Basic examples can be found here. Try them running a SwellRT server and visiting http://localhost:9898

Running a SwellRT Server

You can build the server yourself or use our pre-built Docker image.

Building SwellRT from source code


Clone the project

git clone git@github.com:SwellRT/swellrt.git
cd swellrt


./gradlew compileJava devWeb

If you get a "User limit of inotify watches reached" error, please increase this limit following stesp here

Start the server

./gradlew run

Visit http://localhost:9898 to check server installation and try some demos.

Standalone installation (Jar)

To create a standalone installation of SwellRT, use the createDistBinTar or createDistBinJar tasks:

./gradlew createDistBinJar

The generated file is placed at distributions/ folder. Extracts the file and use the run-server.sh or run-server.bat scripts to start the server.

Edit configuration in config/wave.conf based on config/reference.conf.


Get docker image of SwellRT (latest version by default). Check out all available SwellRT versions at Docker Hub:

$ docker pull p2pvalue/swellrt

Run docker container in deattached mode (-d).

$ docker run \ 
-e MONGODB_HOST=<host> \
-e MONGODB_PORT=<port> \
-e MONGODB_DB=<db name> \
-p 9898:9898 \
-h swellrt \
--name swellrt \
-d p2pvalue/swellrt

This commands also binds default SwellRT server port 9898, to port 9898 in the host machine (-p 9898:9898). Sets hostname to "swellrt" (-h). And configures SwellRT to use a MongoDB server instance with the provided parameters.

See following section to configure a MongoDB instance.

Persistent folders

For productive installations of SwellRT, config and data folders should be outside the container. For example, to put all log files in host's folder /var/log/swellrt, run docker with -v parameter:

$ docker run -v /usr/local/swellrt/log:/var/log/swellrt  -p 9898:9898 -h swellrt -d p2pvalue/swellrt

These are all the folders you can map outside the container:

Folder (Docker cointainer) Description
/usr/local/swellrt/config Server config files
/usr/local/swellrt/log Server log files
/usr/local/swellrt/sessions Persistent HTTP Sessions
/usr/local/swellrt/avatars Users avatar images
/usr/local/swellrt/attachments User files

Server config

Server configuration can be adjusted by editing files in the config/ folder. Default settings can be found in the repo.

If you map the config/ folder in your host machine, you must copy those files to it.

Post installation

Visit "http://localhost:9898" and "http://localhost:9898/chat" to check server installation and try some demos.


This section explains how to install and configure a MongoDB server with SwellRT.

Get latest MongoDB Docker image

$ docker pull mongo

Run mongo container

$ docker run -p 27017:27017 --name mongo -d mongo

Run SwellRT (it assumes Docker containers are using default bridge network)

$ docker run \
-e MONGODB_PORT=27017 \
-e MONGODB_DB=swellrt \
-p 9898:9898 \
-h swellrt \
--name swellrt \
-d p2pvalue/swellrt

The database swellrt is created automatically if it doesn't exist.


SwellRT servers can be federated using Matrix protocol. A set up guide and technical documentation can be found here.

Contact and Support

Visit our Gitter Channel or email to swellrt@gmail.com.

Java/Android client

An experimental Java library is in package org.swellrt.beta.client.platform.java Check out chat demo app in *org.swellrt.beta.client.platform.java.ChatDemo".


Read our contributing guide to learn more about our development process, how to propose bugfixes and improvements, and how to build and test your changes to SwellRT.


The SwellRT project is a fork of Apache Wave. Initial work of SwellRT has been funded by the EU research project P2Pvalue and supported by GRASIA research group of the Universidad Complutense of Madrid.

Cryptographic Software Notice

This distribution includes cryptographic software. The country in which you currently reside may have restrictions on the import, possession, use, and/or re-export to another country, of encryption software. BEFORE using any encryption software, please check your country's laws, regulations and policies concerning the import, possession, or use, and re-export of encryption software, to see if this is permitted. See http://www.wassenaar.org/ for more information.

The U.S. Government Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), has classified this software as Export Commodity Control Number (ECCN) 5D002.C.1, which includes information security software using or performing cryptographic functions with asymmetric algorithms. The form and manner of this Apache Software Foundation distribution makes it eligible for export under the License Exception ENC Technology Software Unrestricted (TSU) exception (see the BIS Export Administration Regulations, Section 740.13) for both object code and source code.

The following provides more details on the included cryptographic software:

Wave requires the BouncyCastle Java cryptography APIs: http://www.bouncycastle.org/java.html