Skip to content
/ lunet Public

Exploration: P2P Network access through the service worker

Notifications You must be signed in to change notification settings


Repository files navigation

This is a litte experiment that explores idea of progressive peer-to-peer web applications (PPWA) in mainstream browsers. Primary goal is to deliver seamless experience that can be transparently enhanced to truly P2P (as in no server intermediaries) through the native application providing access to the corresponding network.


This is proof of concept and an ongoing exploration. Things keep changing and you should not use it for anything other explorations / prototypes which will likely break here and there.

Current prototype provides access to the IPFS network, using in-browser JS IPFS node running in a shared worker. Prototype will also attempts to leverage ipfs-desktop application if one is installed and runing.

Local IPFS node with running daemon and gateway works just as well.

It works on Firefox and Chrome, probably on Edge (don't have access to test). In Safari only in-browser node is used due to deliberete choice by Apple to be incompatible with standards and block access to loopback address.

In Safari service worker is used instead of shared worker which are also difficult to debug there, which is to say technically it works on Safari but it's less tested and chances are it might be broken there from time to time.

Example PPWA

If you navigate to

You should a fork of application.

You could access same exact example by navigating to

That is because is set up with IPFS DNSLink corresponding to that exact IPFS address:

dig +noall +answer TXT 4502 IN    TXT     "dnslink=/ipfs/QmYjtd61SyXU4aVSKWBrtDiXjHtpJVFCbvR7RgJ57BPZro/"

How does this work ?

Actual application resources are published to IPFS network and can be addressed as /ipfs/QmYjtd61SyXU4aVSKWBrtDiXjHtpJVFCbvR7RgJ57BPZro/. As you could see from dig command output there is also a corresponding DNS record for

When is loaded it connects to the IPFS network through in-browser node in shared worker and / or ipfs-desktop.

It then resolve IPFS address recorded as DNSLink. And creates sandboxed iframe corresponding to it's origin

It takes CID QmYjtd61SyXU4aVSKWBrtDiXjHtpJVFCbvR7RgJ57BPZro and encodes it as base32 (to avoid case sesitivity) and uses that as subdomain to provide origin separation between apps. Specifically it loads following URL into iframe:

Note: serves same static content regardless of the subdomain.

Sanboxed iframe is setup with a service worker such that all requestes will be served from shared IPFS node and are relative to IPFS application IPFS address - /ipfs/QmYjtd61SyXU4aVSKWBrtDiXjHtpJVFCbvR7RgJ57BPZro/

Application can also issue POST request to write posted data into user library managed by

This is not fully implemented yet, but idea is that application will not know where produced data ends up, what the address for it or whether it's saved encrypted. Application will only be able to access data provided to it without revealing any of the details about it. By navigating to

Lunet will setup application sandox such that it can access data provided /ipfs/QmXg4doMsTcBXgZ3JQosowt12q9Z6xZgURZVkcwCDwRX42/ through GET requests fetch('/data') and save updates into user library via PATCH request all without knowing address of the data or a key used to encrypt it before (if ever) it's published to IPFS.

Various methods provided by web platfrom are used to prevent application from every talking to any servers as we want an ecosystem that does not monetize on smuggled data, but rather keeps user in full control of it.

Wait, what ? How ?

When application is first loaded lunet client will install service worker that will act as proxy to the IPFS network. Then it will fetch page corresponding to it's location from IPFS (by resolving path to a mounted path) and update document accordingly. All the linked resources will also be server by service worker and there for be loaded from IPFS network from the mounted path.

Below diagram illustrates a flow through which in this setup browser fetches each resource

request flow diagram

Protocol Diversity

This prototype uses IPFS, however there is no reason why same approach could not be used to support Dat, SSB or other P2P protocol of your choice. In fact why not embrace diversity ? Everything is intentionally designed such that multiple protocols could be used in synergy, would not it be nice to e.g. load application from IPFS and data it reads / writes from Dat:

How about application from Dat operating on data from SSB:

Can I trust you ?

How can I trust / not to compromise my privacy ? What if you tomorrow you deploy version that smuggles all my private data so you could sell it off to Cambridge Analytica ?

You can not, nor you should! You can embrace IndieWeb spirit in you and deploy lunet yourself! In fact in a future lunet will register protocol handlers so that instead of using we'll use ipfs:// which will redirect to your own (maybe even altered) lunet deployment.


Exploration: P2P Network access through the service worker






No packages published