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IPFS distributions

Source for building

Table of Contents


Clone the repo and use Docker via ./dockerized <cmd> wrapper.

If you don't want to run ./dockerized build, install the following dependencies via your favorite package manager:

  • go
  • npm (v7.13.0+ with nodejs v16.2.0+)
  • jq (v1.6+)
  • ipfs
  • awk

Managing golang and nodejs versions

There is a .tool-versions file for the asdf version manager, which the Docker build environment will also use.

Running in Docker

There is a ./dockerize script, you can run it without arguements and be in a shell with the correct software installed in an Ubuntu 20.04 in a directory thats mapped to the present working directory

Note that we use host networking so you must run an IPFS daemon locally as the build process assumes a fairly long-lived ipfs node has the CIDs (we give them to the collab cluster to pin)

You can also do ./dockerized <COMAND>, for instance:

./dockerized make clean
./dockerized ./ add-version go-ipfs v0.9.0
./dockerized make publish

Note that you can't use bash in the command, so

./dockerized make clean && ./ go-ipfs add-version v0.9.0
# Does not work


./dockerized "make clean && ./ go-ipfs add-version v0.9.0"
# Does not work


Add a new version or a new distribution with ./ then let CI run make publish to update DNSLink at

Adding a version


> ./ add-version <dist> <version>

This will add the version to dists/<dist>/versions, set it as the current version in dists/<dist>/current, and build it locally.


> ./ add-version fs-repo-99-to-100 v1.0.1

To produce a signed, official build for use in DNSLink at

  1. Run ./ add-version locally.
  2. Commit created changes to dists/<dist> and open a PR against ipfs/distributions.
  3. Wait for Github Action to finish PR build. It runs ./dockerized build, then signs macOS binaries and spits out updated root CID at the end.
  4. If everything looks good, merge PR and wait for CI running on master to update the DNSlink at

Adding a new (go) distribution


> ./ new-go-dist <dist> <git-repo> [sub_package]

And follow the prompts.

The optional sub_package argument is used to specify a module within a repo. The script looks to see if the subpackage is tagged separately from the repo by looking for sub_package/version tags. Example:

> ./ new-go-dist fs-repo-99-to-100 fs-repo-99-to-100
  • If the distribution should not show up on the website (e.g. go-ipfs migrations) add a no-site file into the dists/<repo> folder.
  • Manually create a repo-owner file
  • Reminder that for submodules the version numbers will look like fs-repo-x-to-y/v1.0.0


To produce a CID (<NEW_HASH>) that includes binaries for all versions defined in ./dists/, in the root of the repository, run:

> make publish
  • This will build any new binaries defined by dist and the website to the releases dir, add it to ipfs and patch it into the existing dag for the published /ipns/
  • Versions that are already present on the website will be reused, speeding up the build.
  • Updated CID (<NEW_HASH>) will be printed at the end. That's the new hash for We also append it to a file called versions in the repo root (not checked into git).

After the local build is done, make a quick inspection:

  1. Load the dists website in your browser to make sure everything looks right: http://localhost:8080/ipfs/<NEW_HASH>.
  2. Compare <NEW_HASH> with the current to make sure nothing is amiss: ipfs object diff /ipns/ /ipfs/<NEW_HASH>


  1. Commit your changes and make a PR. Specifically, the changes to dists/<dist>/versions and dists/<dist>/current.
  2. Wait for Github Action on your PR to build signed binaries. <NEW_SIGNED_HASH> will be different than one from local build.
  3. Make a PR with an edit on protocol/infra with <NEW_SIGNED_HASH> you got from the Github Action output and a link to the PR above.
    • TODO: this step may be automated in the future - see the discussion.

If you have permission, you can just merge the PR, update the DNS, and then immediately, close the issue on ipfs/infrastructure. Ping someone on IRC.


The goal is to generate a file hierarchy that looks like this:

File Description
releases/index.html listing of all bundles available
releases/<dist> all versions of <dist>
releases/<dist>/versions textual list of all versions of <dist>
releases/<dist>/<version> dist version
releases/<dist>/<version>/<dist>_<version>_<platform>.tar.gz archive for <platform>
releases/<dist>/<version>/<dist>_<version>_<platform>.tar.gz.cid text file with CID of the archive
releases/<dist>/<version>/<dist>_<version>_<platform>.tar.gz.sha512 text file with SHA-512 of the archive
releases/<dist>/<version>/dist.json json file describing all archives in this release.
releases/<dist>/<version>/build-info information about the build and build machine
releases/<dist>/<version>/build-log-* logs from the platforms that failed to build.
releases/<dist>/<version>/results list of platforms successfully built


  • <dist> is a distribution, meaning a program or library we release.
  • <version> is the version of the <dist>.
  • <platform> is a supported platform of <dist>@<version>

So for example, if we had <dist> go-ipfs and fs-repo-migrations, we might see a hierarchy like:

├── fs-repo-migrations
│   ├── v1.3.0
│   │   ├── build-info
│   │   ├── dist.json
│   │   ├── fs-repo-migrations_v1.3.0_darwin-386.tar.gz
│   │   ├── fs-repo-migrations_v1.3.0_darwin-amd64.tar.gz
│   │   ├── fs-repo-migrations_v1.3.0_freebsd-386.tar.gz
│   │   ├── fs-repo-migrations_v1.3.0_freebsd-amd64.tar.gz
│   │   ├── fs-repo-migrations_v1.3.0_freebsd-arm.tar.gz
│   │   ├── fs-repo-migrations_v1.3.0_linux-386.tar.gz
│   │   ├── fs-repo-migrations_v1.3.0_linux-amd64.tar.gz
│   │   ├── fs-repo-migrations_v1.3.0_linux-arm.tar.gz
│   │   ├──
│   │   ├──
│   │   └── results
│   └── versions
├── go-ipfs
│   ├── v0.4.9
│   │   ├── build-info
│   │   ├── build-log-freebsd-386
│   │   ├── build-log-freebsd-arm
│   │   ├── dist.json
│   │   ├── go-ipfs_v0.4.9_darwin-386.tar.gz
│   │   ├── go-ipfs_v0.4.9_darwin-amd64.tar.gz
│   │   ├── go-ipfs_v0.4.9_freebsd-amd64.tar.gz
│   │   ├── go-ipfs_v0.4.9_linux-386.tar.gz
│   │   ├── go-ipfs_v0.4.9_linux-amd64.tar.gz
│   │   ├── go-ipfs_v0.4.9_linux-arm.tar.gz
│   │   ├──
│   │   ├──
│   │   └── results
│   └── versions
└── index.html
85 directories, 943 files

We call this the distribution index, the listing of all distributions, their versions, and platform assets.

Notes on reproducible builds

Running ./dockerized make publish will produce binaries using the same runtime as CI. The main difference between local build and official CI one is signing step on platforms such as darwin (macOS).

Signatures are attached at the end of macOS binaries, which means *_darwin-*.tar.gz produced by CI will have additional bytes when compared with local build.


Issues and PRs welcome! Please check out the issues.

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