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ipfs implementation in go.

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Ipfs is a global, versioned, peer-to-peer filesystem. It combines good ideas from Git, BitTorrent, Kademlia, SFS, and the Web. It is like a single bittorrent swarm, exchanging git objects. IPFS provides an interface as simple as the HTTP web, but with permanence built in. You can also mount the world at /ipfs.

For more info see:

Please put all issues regarding IPFS design in the ipfs repo issues. Please put all issues regarding go IPFS implementation in this repo.


Install Go 1.4+. Then simply:

go get -u


  • git is required in order for go get to fetch all dependencies.
  • Package managers often contain out-of-date golang packages. Compilation from source is recommended.
  • If you are interested in development, please install the development dependencies as well.
  • WARNING: older versions of OSX FUSE (for Mac OS X) can cause kernel panics when mounting! We strongly recommend you use the latest version of OSX FUSE. (See ipfs#177)
  • For more details on setting up FUSE (so that you can mount the filesystem), see the docs folder
  • Shell command completion is available in misc/completion/ipfs-completion.bash. Read docs/ to learn how to install it.


    ipfs - global p2p merkle-dag filesystem

    ipfs [<flags>] <command> [<arg>] ...

    Basic commands:
        init          Initialize ipfs local configuration
        add <path>    Add an object to ipfs
        cat <ref>     Show ipfs object data
        ls <ref>      List links from an object
    Tool commands:
        config        Manage configuration
        update        Download and apply go-ipfs updates
        version       Show ipfs version information
        commands      List all available commands
        id            Show info about ipfs peers
    Advanced Commands:
        daemon        Start a long-running daemon process
        mount         Mount an ipfs read-only mountpoint
        serve         Serve an interface to ipfs
        diag          Print diagnostics
    Plumbing commands:
        block         Interact with raw blocks in the datastore
        object        Interact with raw dag nodes
    Use 'ipfs <command> --help' to learn more about each command.

Getting Started

To start using ipfs, you must first initialize ipfs's config files on your system, this is done with ipfs init. See ipfs init --help for information on the optional arguments it takes. After initialization is complete, you can use ipfs mount, ipfs add and any of the other commands to explore!

Some things to try

Basic proof of 'ipfs working' locally:

echo "hello world" > hello
ipfs add hello
# This should output a hash string that looks something like:
# QmT78zSuBmuS4z925WZfrqQ1qHaJ56DQaTfyMUF7F8ff5o
ipfs cat <that hash>

Docker usage

An ipfs docker image is hosted at To make files visible inside the container you need to mount a host directory with the -v option to docker. Choose a directory that you want to use to import/export files from ipfs. You should also choose a directory to store ipfs files that will persist when you restart the container.

export ipfs_staging=</absolute/path/to/somewhere/>
export ipfs_data=</absolute/path/to/somewhere_else/>

Start a container running ipfs and expose ports 4001, 5001 and 8080:

docker run -d --name ipfs_host -v $ipfs_staging:/export -v $ipfs_data:/data/ipfs -p 8080:8080 -p 4001:4001 -p 5001:5001 jbenet/go-ipfs:latest

Watch the ipfs log:

docker logs -f ipfs_host

Wait for ipfs to start. ipfs is running when you see:

Gateway (readonly) server 
listening on /ip4/

(you can now stop watching the log)

Run ipfs commands:

docker exec ipfs_host ipfs <args...>

For example: connect to peers

docker exec ipfs_host ipfs swarm peers

Add files:

cp -r <something> $ipfs_staging
docker exec ipfs_host ipfs add -r /export/<something>

Stop the running container:

docker stop ipfs_host

Docker usage with VirtualBox/boot2docker (OSX and Windows)

Since docker is running in the boot2docker VM, you need to forward relevant ports from the VM to your host for ipfs act normally. This is accomplished with the following command:

boot2docker ssh -L 5001:localhost:5001 -L 4001:localhost:4001 -L 8080:localhost:8080 -fN


If you have previously installed ipfs before and you are running into problems getting a newer version to work, try deleting (or backing up somewhere else) your ipfs config directory (~/.ipfs by default) and rerunning ipfs init. This will reinitialize the config file to its defaults and clear out the local datastore of any bad entries.

For any other problems, check the issues list and if you dont see your problem there, either come talk to us on irc (freenode #ipfs) or file an issue of your own!


go-ipfs is MIT licensed open source software. We welcome contributions big and small! Take a look at the community contributing notes. Please make sure to check the issues. Search the closed ones before reporting things, and help us with the open ones.


  • see the dev pseudo-roadmap
  • please adhere to the protocol described in the main ipfs repo and paper.
  • please make branches + pull-request, even if working on the main repository
  • ask questions or talk about things in Issues or #ipfs on freenode.
  • ensure you are able to contribute (no legal issues please-- we'll probably setup a CLA)
  • run go fmt before pushing any code
  • run golint and go vet too -- some things (like protobuf files) are expected to fail.
  • if you'd like to work on ipfs part-time (20+ hrs/wk) or full-time (40+ hrs/wk), contact @jbenet
  • have fun!


An IPFS alpha version has been released in February 2015. Things left to be done are all marked as Issues

Development Dependencies

If you make changes to the protocol buffers, you will need to install the protoc compiler.




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