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Matrix IRC Discord GoDoc standard-readme compliant CircleCI

What is IPFS?

IPFS is a global, versioned, peer-to-peer filesystem. It combines good ideas from previous systems such 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:

Before opening an issue, consider using one of the following locations to ensure you are opening your thread in the right place:

Table of Contents

Security Issues

The IPFS protocol and its implementations are still in heavy development. This means that there may be problems in our protocols, or there may be mistakes in our implementations. And -- though IPFS is not production-ready yet -- many people are already running nodes in their machines. So we take security vulnerabilities very seriously. If you discover a security issue, please bring it to our attention right away!

If you find a vulnerability that may affect live deployments -- for example, by exposing a remote execution exploit -- please send your report privately to Please DO NOT file a public issue. The GPG key for is 4B9665FB 92636D17 7C7A86D3 50AAE8A9 59B13AF3.

If the issue is a protocol weakness that cannot be immediately exploited or something not yet deployed, just discuss it openly.


The canonical download instructions for IPFS are over at: It is highly suggested you follow those instructions if you are not interested in working on IPFS development.

System Requirements

IPFS can run on most Linux, macOS, and Windows systems. We recommend running it on a machine with at least 2 GB of RAM and 2 CPU cores (go-ipfs is highly parallel). On systems with less memory, it may not be completely stable.

If your system is resource constrained, we recommend:

  1. Installing OpenSSL and rebuilding go-ipfs manually with make build GOTAGS=openssl. See the download and compile section for more information on compiling go-ipfs.
  2. Initializing your daemon with ipfs init --profile=lowpower

Install prebuilt packages

We host prebuilt binaries over at our distributions page.

From there:

  • Click the blue "Download go-ipfs" on the right side of the page.
  • Open/extract the archive.
  • Move ipfs to your path ( can do it for you).

You can also download go-ipfs from this project's GitHub releases page if you are unable to access

From Linux package managers

Arch Linux

In Arch Linux go-ipfs is available as go-ipfs package.

$ sudo pacman -S go-ipfs

Development version of go-ipfs is also on AUR under go-ipfs-git. You can install it using your favourite AUR Helper or manually from AUR.


For Linux and MacOSX you can use the purely functional package manager Nix:

$ nix-env -i ipfs

You can also install the Package by using it's attribute name, which is also ipfs.


GNU's functional package manager, Guix, also provides a go-ipfs package:

$ guix package -i go-ipfs


In solus, go-ipfs is available in the main repository as go-ipfs.

$ sudo eopkg install go-ipfs

You can also install it trough the Solus software center.


With snap, in any of the supported Linux distributions:

$ sudo snap install ipfs

From Windows package managers


The package ipfs currently points to go-ipfs and is being maintained.

PS> choco install ipfs


Scoop provides go-ipfs in its 'extras' bucket.

PS> scoop bucket add extras
PS> scoop install go-ipfs

Build from Source

go-ipfs's build system requires Go 1.13 and some standard POSIX build tools:

  • GNU make
  • Git
  • GCC (or some other go compatible C Compiler) (optional)

To build without GCC, build with CGO_ENABLED=0 (e.g., make build CGO_ENABLED=0).

Install Go

The build process for ipfs requires Go 1.12 or higher. If you don't have it: Download Go 1.12+.

You'll need to add Go's bin directories to your $PATH environment variable e.g., by adding these lines to your /etc/profile (for a system-wide installation) or $HOME/.profile:

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin
export PATH=$PATH:$GOPATH/bin

(If you run into trouble, see the Go install instructions).

Download and Compile IPFS

$ git clone

$ cd go-ipfs
$ make install

Alternatively, you can run make build to build the go-ipfs binary (storing it in cmd/ipfs/ipfs) without installing it.

NOTE: If you get an error along the lines of "fatal error: stdlib.h: No such file or directory", you're missing a C compiler. Either re-run make with CGO_ENABLED=0 or install GCC.

Cross Compiling

Compiling for a different platform is as simple as running:

make build GOOS=myTargetOS GOARCH=myTargetArchitecture

To build go-ipfs with OpenSSL support, append GOTAGS=openssl to your make invocation. Building with OpenSSL should significantly reduce the background CPU usage on nodes that frequently make or receive new connections.

Note: OpenSSL requires CGO support and, by default, CGO is disabled when cross compiling. To cross compile with OpenSSL support, you must:

  1. Install a compiler toolchain for the target platform.
  2. Set the CGO_ENABLED=1 environment variable.


  • Separate instructions are available for building on Windows.
  • git is required in order for go get to fetch all dependencies.
  • Package managers often contain out-of-date golang packages. Ensure that go version reports at least 1.10. See above for how to install go.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • See the init examples for how to connect IPFS to systemd or whatever init system your distro uses.

Updating go-ipfs

Using ipfs-update

IPFS has an updating tool that can be accessed through ipfs update. The tool is not installed alongside IPFS in order to keep that logic independent of the main codebase. To install ipfs update, download it here.

Downloading IPFS builds using IPFS

List the available versions of go-ipfs:

$ ipfs cat /ipns/

Then, to view available builds for a version from the previous command ($VERSION):

$ ipfs ls /ipns/$VERSION

To download a given build of a version:

$ ipfs get /ipns/$VERSION/go-ipfs_$VERSION_darwin-386.tar.gz # darwin 32-bit build
$ ipfs get /ipns/$VERSION/go-ipfs_$VERSION_darwin-amd64.tar.gz # darwin 64-bit build
$ ipfs get /ipns/$VERSION/go-ipfs_$VERSION_freebsd-amd64.tar.gz # freebsd 64-bit build
$ ipfs get /ipns/$VERSION/go-ipfs_$VERSION_linux-386.tar.gz # linux 32-bit build
$ ipfs get /ipns/$VERSION/go-ipfs_$VERSION_linux-amd64.tar.gz # linux 64-bit build
$ ipfs get /ipns/$VERSION/go-ipfs_$VERSION_linux-arm.tar.gz # linux arm build
$ ipfs get /ipns/$VERSION/go-ipfs_$ # windows 64-bit build

Getting Started

See also:

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>


  ipfs - Global p2p merkle-dag filesystem.

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

    init          Initialize ipfs local configuration
    add <path>    Add a file to ipfs
    cat <ref>     Show ipfs object data
    get <ref>     Download ipfs objects
    ls <ref>      List links from an object
    refs <ref>    List hashes of links from an object

    block         Interact with raw blocks in the datastore
    object        Interact with raw dag nodes
    files         Interact with objects as if they were a unix filesystem

    daemon        Start a long-running daemon process
    mount         Mount an ipfs read-only mountpoint
    resolve       Resolve any type of name
    name          Publish or resolve IPNS names
    dns           Resolve DNS links
    pin           Pin objects to local storage
    repo          Manipulate an IPFS repository

    id            Show info about ipfs peers
    bootstrap     Add or remove bootstrap peers
    swarm         Manage connections to the p2p network
    dht           Query the DHT for values or peers
    ping          Measure the latency of a connection
    diag          Print diagnostics

    config        Manage configuration
    version       Show ipfs version information
    update        Download and apply go-ipfs updates
    commands      List all available commands

  Use 'ipfs <command> --help' to learn more about each command.

  ipfs uses a repository in the local file system. By default, the repo is located
  at ~/.ipfs. To change the repo location, set the $IPFS_PATH environment variable:

    export IPFS_PATH=/path/to/ipfsrepo

Running IPFS inside Docker

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 4001:4001 -p -p ipfs/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

When starting a container running ipfs for the first time with an empty data directory, it will call ipfs init to initialize configuration files and generate a new keypair. At this time, you can choose which profile to apply using the IPFS_PROFILE environment variable:

docker run -d --name ipfs_host -e IPFS_PROFILE=server -v $ipfs_staging:/export -v $ipfs_data:/data/ipfs -p 4001:4001 -p -p ipfs/go-ipfs:latest

It is possible to initialize the container with a swarm key file (/data/ipfs/swarm.key) using the variables IPFS_SWARM_KEY and IPFS_SWARM_KEY_FILE. The IPFS_SWARM_KEY creates swarm.key with the contents of the variable itself, whilst IPFS_SWARM_KEY_FILE copies the key from a path stored in the variable. The IPFS_SWARM_KEY_FILE overwrites the key generated by IPFS_SWARM_KEY.

docker run -d --name ipfs_host -e IPFS_SWARM_KEY=<your swarm key> -v $ipfs_staging:/export -v $ipfs_data:/data/ipfs -p 4001:4001 -p -p ipfs/go-ipfs:latest

The swarm key initialization can also be done using docker secrets (requires docker swarm or docker-compose):

cat your_swarm.key | docker secret create swarm_key_secret -
docker run -d --name ipfs_host --secret swarm_key_secret -e IPFS_SWARM_KEY_FILE=/run/secrets/swarm_key_secret -v $ipfs_staging:/export -v $ipfs_data:/data/ipfs -p 4001:4001 -p -p ipfs/go-ipfs:latest


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.

Please direct general questions and help requests to our forum or our IRC channel (freenode #ipfs).

If you believe you've found a bug, check the issues list and, if you don't see your problem there, either come talk to us on IRC (freenode #ipfs) or file an issue of your own!


This table is generated using the module package-table with package-table --data=package-list.json.

Listing of the main packages used in the IPFS ecosystem. There are also three specifications worth linking here:

Name CI/Travis Coverage Description
go-libp2p Travis CI codecov p2p networking library
go-libp2p-pubsub Travis CI codecov pubsub built on libp2p
go-libp2p-kad-dht Travis CI codecov dht-backed router
go-libp2p-pubsub-router Travis CI codecov pubsub-backed router
go-cid Travis CI codecov CID implementation
go-multiaddr Travis CI codecov multiaddr implementation
go-multihash Travis CI codecov multihash implementation
go-multibase Travis CI codecov mulitbase implementation
go-unixfs Travis CI codecov the core 'filesystem' logic
go-mfs Travis CI codecov a mutable filesystem editor for unixfs
go-ipfs-posinfo Travis CI codecov helper datatypes for the filestore
go-ipfs-chunker Travis CI codecov file chunkers
go-ipfs-exchange-interface Travis CI codecov exchange service interface
go-ipfs-exchange-offline Travis CI codecov (dummy) offline implementation of the exchange service
go-bitswap Travis CI codecov bitswap protocol implementation
go-blockservice Travis CI codecov service that plugs a blockstore and an exchange together
go-datastore Travis CI codecov datastore interfaces, adapters, and basic implementations
go-ipfs-ds-help Travis CI codecov datastore utility functions
go-ds-flatfs Travis CI codecov a filesystem-based datastore
go-ds-measure Travis CI codecov a metric-collecting database adapter
go-ds-leveldb Travis CI codecov a leveldb based datastore
go-ds-badger Travis CI codecov a badgerdb based datastore
go-ipns Travis CI codecov IPNS datastructures and validation logic
go-ipfs-config Travis CI codecov go-ipfs config file definitions
go-fs-lock Travis CI codecov lockfile management functions
fs-repo-migrations Travis CI codecov repo migrations
go-block-format Travis CI codecov block interfaces and implementations
go-ipfs-blockstore Travis CI codecov blockstore interfaces and implementations
go-ipld-format Travis CI codecov IPLD interfaces
go-ipld-cbor Travis CI codecov IPLD-CBOR implementation
go-ipld-git Travis CI codecov IPLD-Git implementation
go-merkledag Travis CI codecov IPLD-Merkledag implementation (and then some)
go-ipfs-cmds Travis CI codecov CLI & HTTP commands library
go-ipfs-files Travis CI codecov CLI & HTTP commands library
go-ipfs-api Travis CI codecov an old, stable shell for the IPFS HTTP API
go-ipfs-http-client Travis CI codecov a new, unstable shell for the IPFS HTTP API
interface-go-ipfs-core Travis CI codecov core go-ipfs API interface definitions
Metrics & Logging
go-metrics-interface Travis CI codecov metrics collection interfaces
go-metrics-prometheus Travis CI codecov prometheus-backed metrics collector
go-log Travis CI codecov logging framework
go-ipfs-routing Travis CI codecov routing (content, peer, value) helpers
go-ipfs-util Travis CI codecov the kitchen sink
go-ipfs-addr Travis CI codecov utility functions for parsing IPFS multiaddrs

For brevity, we've omitted most go-libp2p, go-ipld, and go-multiformats packages. These package tables can be found in their respective project's READMEs:


Some places to get you started on the codebase:

Map of go-ipfs Subsystems

WIP: This is a high-level architecture diagram of the various sub-systems of go-ipfs. To be updated with how they interact. Anyone who has suggestions is welcome to comment here on how we can improve this!

CLI, HTTP-API, Architecture Diagram


Description: Dotted means "likely going away". The "Legacy" parts are thin wrappers around some commands to translate between the new system and the old system. The grayed-out parts on the "daemon" diagram are there to show that the code is all the same, it's just that we turn some pieces on and some pieces off depending on whether we're running on the client or the server.


make test

Development Dependencies

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

Developer Notes

Find more documentation for developers on docs


We ❤️ all our contributors; this project wouldn’t be what it is without you! If you want to help out, please see

This repository falls under the IPFS Code of Conduct.

You can contact us on the freenode #ipfs-dev channel or attend one of our weekly calls.



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