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Browser-to-browser networking built on WebTorrent. Web service bug-out bag. Messageboard demo. Bugout demo.

  • Easily send messages directly between browsers.
  • Write servers that run in a browser tab.
  • Host backend services without a VPS, domain or SSL cert.
  • Easy to deploy & "self-hosted" servers by leaving a browser tab open.
  • Client-server over WebRTC instead of HTTPS.

The old way:

The new way:

Bugout is a humble attempt to re-decentralize the web a little.

This is a functional prototype. It's pre-alpha quality software. It will allow people to connect directly to your browser from outside your network. Be careful.

Demos | Install | Use | API documentation | Server boilerplate | Deploy headless



Using npm:

npm i bugout

Script tag:

<script src=""></script>


:install-deps false
:npm-deps {"bugout" "chr15m/bugout"}
:foreign-libs [{:file "node_modules/bugout/docs/bugout.min.js"
		:provides ["cljsjs.bugout"]
		:global-exports {cljsjs.bugout Bugout}}]

(:require [cljsjs.bugout :as Bugout])


var Bugout = require("bugout");

To create a Bugout server that runs in a browser tab:

var b = new Bugout();

// get the server address (public key hash) to share with clients
// this is what clients will use to connect back to this server

// register an API call the remote user can make
b.register("ping", function(address, args, callback) {
  // modify the passed arguments and reply
  args.hello = "Hello from " + b.address();

// save this server's session key seed to re-use
localStorage["bugout-server-seed"] = b.seed;

// passing this back in to Bugout() means the
// server-public-key stays the same between reloads
// for example:
// b = new Bugout({seed: localStorage["bugout-server-seed"]});

To start a client connection specify the server's public key to connect to (b.address() from the server):

var b = new Bugout("server-public-key");

// wait until we see the server
// (can take a minute to tunnel through firewalls etc.)
b.on("server", function(address) {
  // once we can see the server
  // make an API call on it
  b.rpc("ping", {"hello": "world"}, function(result) {
    // {"hello": "world", "pong": true}
    // also check result.error

// save this client instance's session key seed to re-use
localStorage["bugout-seed"] = JSON.stringify(b.seed);

Both clients and servers can interact with other connected clients:

// receive all out-of-band messages from the server
// or from any other another connected client
b.on("message", function(address, message) {
  console.log("message from", address, "is", message);

// broadcast an unecrypted message to all connected clients
b.send({"hello": "all!"});

// send an encrypted message to a specific client
b.send(clientaddress, "Hello!");

// whenever we see a new client in this swarm
b.on("seen", function(address) {
  // e.g. send a message to the client we've seen with this address

// you can also close a bugout channel to stop receiving messages etc.

Note that you can connect to a generic peer-to-peer swarm without a server by simply using a non-public-key identifier which can be any string as long as it's the same for every client connecting:

var b = new Bugout("some shared swarm identifier");


The quick-start boilerplate server in a single HTML file will quickly get you up and running with your own Bugout server.


See the API documentation for options.

Turn on debug logging

localStorage.debug = "bugout";


Bugout servers can deployed and run inside of browser tabs on long running PCs but you can also deploy them "headless" more like traditional servers. There are a couple of ways of doing that as follows:

Headless browser server

Bugout launcher is a nodejs based helper script to launch and run your Bugout servers from the command line using a headless browser instance.


Check out the nodejs demo for an example of running a Bugout service under Node. Note that the wrtc library is not that stable at the time of writing and running Bugout in headless Chrome or Firefox seems to work better. Bugout servers running inside nodejs obviously won't have access to browser facilities like localStorage.

Stay updated

Subscribe at for updates and new releases.

The FAMGA virus

Infected with the FAMGA virus everybody's eating brains. Time to grab yr bugout box & hit the forest.


Back end web app services over WebRTC.







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