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The contents of this repo have been merged into ipfs/js-ipfs.

Please open issues or submit PRs there.

IPFS http client lib logo

The JavaScript HTTP client library for IPFS implementations.

A client library for the IPFS HTTP API, implemented in JavaScript. This client library implements the interface-ipfs-core enabling applications to change between an embedded js-ipfs node and any remote IPFS node without having to change the code. In addition, this client library implements a set of utility functions.

Lead Maintainer

Alan Shaw.

Table of Contents


This module uses node.js, and can be installed through npm:

npm install --save ipfs-http-client

We support both the Current and Active LTS versions of Node.js. Please see for what these currently are.

Running the daemon with the right port

To interact with the API, you need to have a local daemon running. It needs to be open on the right port. 5001 is the default, and is used in the examples below, but it can be set to whatever you need.

# Show the ipfs config API port to check it is correct
> ipfs config Addresses.API
# Set it if it does not match the above output
> ipfs config Addresses.API /ip4/
# Restart the daemon after changing the config

# Run the daemon
> ipfs daemon

Importing the module and usage

const ipfsClient = require('ipfs-http-client')

// connect to ipfs daemon API server
const ipfs = ipfsClient('http://localhost:5001') // (the default in Node.js)

// or connect with multiaddr
const ipfs = ipfsClient('/ip4/')

// or using options
const ipfs = ipfsClient({ host: 'localhost', port: '5001', protocol: 'http' })

// or specifying a specific API path
const ipfs = ipfsClient({ host: '', port: '80', apiPath: '/ipfs/api/v0' })

Importing a sub-module and usage

const bitswap = require('ipfs-http-client/src/bitswap')('/ip4/')

const list = await bitswap.wantlist(key)
// ...

In a web browser

through Browserify

Same as in Node.js, you just have to browserify the code before serving it. See the browserify repo for how to do that.

See the example in the examples folder to get a boilerplate.

through webpack

See the example in the examples folder to get an idea on how to use js-ipfs-http-client with webpack.

from CDN

Instead of a local installation (and browserification) you may request a remote copy of IPFS API from unpkg CDN.

To always request the latest version, use the following:

<script src=""></script>

Note: remove the .min from the URL to get the human-readable (not minified) version.

For maximum security you may also decide to:

  • reference a specific version of IPFS API (to prevent unexpected breaking changes when a newer latest version is published)
  • generate a SRI hash of that version and use it to ensure integrity
  • set the CORS settings attribute to make anonymous requests to CDN


<script src=""

CDN-based IPFS API provides the IpfsHttpClient constructor as a method of the global window object. Example:

const ipfs = window.IpfsHttpClient({ host: 'localhost', port: 5001 })

If you omit the host and port, the client will parse, and use this information. This also works, and can be useful if you want to write apps that can be run from multiple different gateways:

const ipfs = window.IpfsHttpClient()


In a web browser IPFS HTTP client (either browserified or CDN-based) might encounter an error saying that the origin is not allowed. This would be a CORS ("Cross Origin Resource Sharing") failure: IPFS servers are designed to reject requests from unknown domains by default. You can whitelist the domain that you are calling from by changing your ipfs config like this:

$ ipfs config --json API.HTTPHeaders.Access-Control-Allow-Origin  '[""]'
$ ipfs config --json API.HTTPHeaders.Access-Control-Allow-Methods '["PUT", "POST", "GET"]'

Custom Headers

If you wish to send custom headers with each request made by this library, for example, the Authorization header. You can use the config to do so:

const ipfs = ipfsClient({
  host: 'localhost',
  port: 5001,
  protocol: 'http',
  headers: {
    authorization: 'Bearer ' + TOKEN

Global Timeouts

To set a global timeout for all requests pass a value for the timeout option:

// Timeout after 10 seconds
const ipfs = ipfsClient({ timeout: 10000 })
// Timeout after 2 minutes
const ipfs = ipfsClient({ timeout: '2m' })
// see for valid string values



IPFS Core API Compatible

js-ipfs-http-client follows the spec defined by interface-ipfs-core, which concerns the interface to expect from IPFS implementations. This interface is a currently active endeavor. You can use it today to consult the methods available.




Node Management

Additional Options

All core API methods take additional options specific to the HTTP API:

  • headers - An object or Headers instance that can be used to set custom HTTP headers. Note that this option can also be configured globally via the constructor options.
  • signal - An AbortSignal that can be used to abort the request on demand.
  • timeout - A number or string specifying a timeout for the request. If the timeout is reached before data is received a TimeoutError is thrown. If a number is specified it is interpreted as milliseconds, if a string is passed, it is intepreted according to parse-duration. Note that this option can also be configured globally via the constructor options.
  • searchParams - An object or URLSearchParams instance that can be used to add additional query parameters to the query string sent with each request.

Instance Utils

  • ipfs.getEndpointConfig()

Call this on your client instance to return an object containing the host, port, protocol and api-path.

Static Types and Utils

Aside from the default export, ipfs-http-client exports various types and utilities that are included in the bundle:

These can be accessed like this, for example:

const { CID } = require('ipfs-http-client')
// ...or from an es-module:
import { CID } from 'ipfs-http-client'
Glob source

A utility to allow files on the file system to be easily added to IPFS.

globSource(path, [options])
  • path: A path to a single file or directory to glob from
  • options: Optional options
  • options.recursive: If path is a directory, use option { recursive: true } to add the directory and all its sub-directories.
  • options.ignore: To exclude file globs from the directory, use option { ignore: ['ignore/this/folder/**', 'and/this/file'] }.
  • options.hidden: Hidden/dot files (files or folders starting with a ., for example, .git/) are not included by default. To add them, use the option { hidden: true }.

Returns an async iterable that yields { path, content } objects suitable for passing to ipfs.add.

const IpfsHttpClient = require('ipfs-http-client')
const { globSource } = IpfsHttpClient
const ipfs = IpfsHttpClient()

for await (const file of ipfs.add(globSource('./docs', { recursive: true }))) {
  path: 'docs/assets/anchor.js',
  cid: CID('QmVHxRocoWgUChLEvfEyDuuD6qJ4PhdDL2dTLcpUy3dSC2'),
  size: 15347
  path: 'docs/assets/bass-addons.css',
  cid: CID('QmPiLWKd6yseMWDTgHegb8T7wVS7zWGYgyvfj7dGNt2viQ'),
  size: 232
URL source

A utility to allow content from the internet to be easily added to IPFS.

  • url: A string URL or URL instance to send HTTP GET request to

Returns an async iterable that yields { path, content } objects suitable for passing to ipfs.add.

const IpfsHttpClient = require('ipfs-http-client')
const { urlSource } = IpfsHttpClient
const ipfs = IpfsHttpClient()

for await (const file of ipfs.add(urlSource(''))) {
  path: 'ipfs-logo.svg',
  cid: CID('QmTqZhR6f7jzdhLgPArDPnsbZpvvgxzCZycXK7ywkLxSyU'),
  size: 3243



We run tests by executing npm test in a terminal window. This will run both Node.js and Browser tests, both in Chrome and PhantomJS. To ensure that the module conforms with the interface-ipfs-core spec, we run the batch of tests provided by the interface module, which can be found here.


The js-ipfs-http-client is a work in progress. As such, there's a few things you can do right now to help out:

  • Check out the existing issues!
  • Perform code reviews. More eyes will help a) speed the project along b) ensure quality and c) reduce possible future bugs.
  • Add tests. There can never be enough tests. Note that interface tests exist inside interface-ipfs-core.
  • Contribute to the FAQ repository with any questions you have about IPFS or any of the relevant technology. A good example would be asking, 'What is a merkledag tree?'. If you don't know a term, odds are, someone else doesn't either. Eventually, we should have a good understanding of where we need to improve communications and teaching together to make IPFS and IPNS better.

Want to hack on IPFS?

Historical context

This module started as a direct mapping from the go-ipfs cli to a JavaScript implementation, although this was useful and familiar to a lot of developers that were coming to IPFS for the first time, it also created some confusion on how to operate the core of IPFS and have access to the full capacity of the protocol. After much consideration, we decided to create interface-ipfs-core with the goal of standardizing the interface of a core implementation of IPFS, and keep the utility functions the IPFS community learned to use and love, such as reading files from disk and storing them directly to IPFS.



FOSSA Status