IPFS is the Distributed Web
A peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol to make the web faster, safer, and more open.
Table of Contents
- How IPFS Works
- More About IPFS
- Project and Community
- Project Links
IPFS (the InterPlanetary File System) is a new hypermedia distribution protocol, addressed by content and identities. IPFS enables the creation of completely distributed applications. It aims to make the web faster, safer, and more open.
IPFS is a distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files. In some ways, this is similar to the original aims of the Web, but IPFS is actually more similar to a single bittorrent swarm exchanging git objects. You can read more about its origins in the paper IPFS - Content Addressed, Versioned, P2P File System.
IPFS is becoming a new major subsystem of the internet. If built right, it could complement or replace HTTP. It could complement or replace even more. It sounds crazy. It is crazy.
Want to see more? Check out Juan Benet's talk at Sourcegraph - IPFS: The Permanent Web.
IPFS is a protocol:
- defines a content-addressed file system
- coordinates content delivery
- combines Kademlia + BitTorrent + Git
IPFS is a filesystem:
- has directories and files
- mountable filesystem (via FUSE)
IPFS is a web:
- can be used to view documents like the web
- files accessible via HTTP at
- browsers or extensions can learn to use the
dweb:/ipfs/URI schemes directly
- hash-addressed content guarantees authenticity
IPFS is modular:
- connection layer over any network protocol
- routing layer
- uses a routing layer DHT (kademlia/coral)
- uses a path-based naming service
- uses bittorrent-inspired block exchange
IPFS uses crypto:
- cryptographic-hash content addressing
- block-level deduplication
- file integrity + versioning
- filesystem-level encryption + signing support
IPFS is p2p:
- worldwide peer-to-peer file transfers
- completely decentralized architecture
- no central point of failure
IPFS is a cdn:
- add a file to the filesystem locally, and it's now available to the world
- caching-friendly (content-hash naming)
- bittorrent-based bandwidth distribution
IPFS has a name service:
- IPNS, an SFS inspired name system
- global namespace based on PKI
- serves to build trust chains
- compatible with other NSes
- can map DNS, .onion, .bit, etc to IPNS
How IPFS Works
- IPFS - Content Addressed, Versioned, P2P File System (draft 3)
- Specifications (work in progress)
- see also: https://github.com/ipfs/papers
This is a short selection of introductory talks. In time we will collect more here.
- 2014-07-21 - IPFS: The Permanent Web at Sourcegraph (first public talk)
- 2015-02-20 - IPFS Alpha Demo
- 2015-06-03 - IPFS Hands on Introduction at Ethereum SV Meetup
- 2015-10-22 - IPFS: The Distributed, Permanent Web at Stanford Seminar (best overview of project)
- 2016-09-14 - Distributed Apps with IPFS
- 2016-10-22 - The Decentralized Web, IPFS and Filecoin
See full list at IPFS Media
More About IPFS
The IPFS project seeks to evolve the infrastructure of the Internet and the Web, with many things we've learned from successful systems, like Git, BitTorrent, Kademlia, Bitcoin, and many, many more. This is the sort of thing that would have come out of ARPA/DARPA/IETF/BellLabs in another age. IPFS is a Free Open Source project, with hundreds of contributors.
Current State of IPFS
IPFS is a work in progress!
Please note that IPFS is a work in progress. It is an ambitious plan to make the internet more free, open, secure, and high performance. It builds on the good ideas of numerous battle-tested distributed systems.
In February of 2015, the go-ipfs implementation was released as an "Alpha Distribution". Since then, go-ipfs has been making regular releases on the road towards Beta. Both js-ipfs and py-ipfs are in progress.
For an in-depth tutorial, see a Hands on Introduction.
Security Issues and Disclosures
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 email@example.com. Please DO NOT file a public issue.
If the issue is a protocol weakness that cannot be immediately exploited or something not yet deployed, just discuss it openly.
Project and Community
The IPFS Project is now very large, with hundreds of contributors in our community. You are invited to join it! Here are some links to our communication channels:
- IPFS Community Forums for Discussion and Support
- Sprints and Project Management
- Contributing Guidelines
You can also find our community on:
- IRC: #ipfs on chat.freenode.net for live help and some dev discussions (Logs)
- Google Group: firstname.lastname@example.org (low traffic)
- Twitter: @IPFSbot for news.
The IPFS Project is big -- there are many subprojects and related efforts. We will document the core ones here, though you should look around. The space is exploding and lots of new projects are springing up all the time.
For a community-curated lists of awesome projects using IPFS, check out awesome-ipfs!
If you would you like to start your own language implementation of IPFS, check out the IPFS Implementation Guide, and the Specifications. The specs are still evolving, but the core formats are stable and can be built on. Make sure to post an issue if you would like to start an effort, as many people have expressed interest in contributing to new implementations.
HTTP Client Libraries
This aims to be a directory of all the various repos in the IPFS Github Organization, and other closely related things.
We have a status board that checks all IPFS repositories for CI, Readmes, test coverage, and so on, here: http://project-repos.ipfs.io/
- ipfs - Master repo, intro, and news.
- discourse - Community discussions and support forum.
- tm - IPFS Team Planning and Management of the Project
The best place to seek help is on the IPFS community forum or on IRC (freenode) in the
- papers - Academic papers on IPFS.
- specs - Specifications on the IPFS protocol.
- notes - Various relevant notes and discussions (that do not fit elsewhere).
- reading-list - Papers to read to understand IPFS.
- archives - Coordinating archival efforts with IPFS.
- archive-format - A DAG Archive format.
- research-bitswap - Repo to discuss Bitswap research
- bitswap-ml - Bitswap and Machine Learning.
- research-crdt - Repo to discuss crdt research
- research-pubsub - Repo to discuss pubsub research
- blockchain-data - Using IPFS for storing data for Blockchain apps.
- POST - A datastructure for human communication.
- go-ipfs - Implementation in Go.
- py-ipfs - Implementation in Python.
- ipfs-companion - The web browser extension
- ipfs-desktop - A menubar/tray desktop app
- ipfs-webui - The IPFS WebUI app
- i18n - The IPFS Translation Project: crowdsourcing translations of IPFS GUIs and websites
- pm-ipfs-gui - Coordinating development and maintenance of GUI apps
Apps on IPFS
You can find an ever growing list at Awesome IPFS
- blog - The IPFS Blog
- community forum
- distributions - Scripts to build the /install html page.
- newsletter - Prepare and store IPFS Newsletter roundups
- infrastructure - Tools and systems for the community.
- ops-requests - Requests about infrastructure operations
- project-repos CI status and other health metrics
- website - The source to the IPFS community website at http://ipfs.io.
- refs - Tools for publishing lists of IPFS ref heads.
- refs-denylists-dmca - DMCA takedown notices for the IPFS Public Gateway.
- refs-solarnet-storage - Inventory of content archived on Solarnet storage hosts.
Other Community Resources
- examples - Examples on how to use go-ipfs.
- awesome-ipfs - Useful resources for using IPFS and building things on top of it.
- logo - The logo for IPFS.
There are plethora of IPFS Meetups all over the world now. Find yours at the Community Repo
We encourage and support IPFS Meetups, please let us know if you would like to start one. Feel free to organize yourself through the Community discussions and to advertise events in the main repository.
- install-go-ipfs - Install go-ipfs shell script.
- install-js-ipfs - Install js-ipfs through npm or a script tag.
- ipfs-update - An updater tool for IPFS.
- fs-repo-migrations - These are migrations for IPFS fs-repo versions.
- npm-go-ipfs - Install go-ipfs from npm.
- connections-globe - An interactive globe to view all your IPFS peers.
- dataviz - IPFS data visualizations.
- dir-index-html - Directory listing html.
- dnslink-deploy - Automatically set DNS records on Digital Ocean.
- file-browser - Generic IPFS file browser UI
- fs-stress-test - Stress testing IPFS filesystem capabilities.
- ipfs-hubot - Hubot for IPFS uses.
- ipfs-blob-store - A place to buy blobs.
- Find an ever growing list on Awesome IPFS