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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.com (low traffic)
- Twitter: @IPFSbot for some 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.
API 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.
- pm - Community Sprints and Project Management.
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.
- apps - Coordinating writing apps on top of ipfs.
- archives - Coordinating archival efforts with IPFS.
- in-web-browsers - Coordinating efforts to bring IPFS to Web Browsers.
- 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.
API Client Implementations
- http-api-spec - Apiary IPFS HTTP API description http://docs.ipfs.apiary.io
- java-ipfs-api - Implementation in Java.
- go-ipfs-api - Implementation in Go.
- python-ipfs-api - Implementation in Python.
- py-ipfs-api - A python client library for the IPFS API
- scala-ipfs-api - Implementation in Scala.
- swift-ipfs-api - Implementation in Swift.
- net-ipfs-api - Implementation in C#.
- ipfs-companion - The web browser extension
- ipfs-desktop - A menubar/tray desktop app
- ipfs-webui - The IPFS WebUI app
- pm-ipfs-gui - Coordinating development and maintenance of GUI apps
- i18n - The IPFS Translation Project: crowdsourcing translations of IPFS GUIs and websites
Apps on IPFS
- astralboot - Low level boot server that deploys directly out of IPFS (TFTP, PXE Boot).
- ipget - wget for IPFS: retrieve files over IPFS and save them locally.
- container-demos - Demos on how to boot docker images and VMs from IPFS.
- ipfs-geoip - Geoip over ipfs.
- npm on ipfs - npm on IPFS.
- blog - The IPFS Blog
- community forum
- distributions - Scripts to build the /install html page.
- infrastructure - Tools and systems for the community.
- newsletter - Prepare and store IPFS Newsletter roundups
- 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.
- ipfs-readme-standard - Standardize all IPFS Readme.md's and other markdown files.
- ipld-examples - Datastructure examples to use with IPLD, the new data format for IPFS.
- logo - The logo for IPFS.
- ipfs/lisbon - The IPFS meetup in Lisbon.
- ipfs/london - The IPFS meetup in London.
- More repos coming here. Check the community discussions for other meetups. (There's many now!)
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.
- go-datastore (fork) - key-value datastore interfaces
- golang-build (fork) - Continuous build and release infrastructure
- pinbot-irc (fork) - a bot for the ipfs irc channel that pins things (among other menial tasks)
Many more exist, but we will endeavor to find them and add them here.
- go-blocks - Deprecated, continued within go-ipfs
- go-commands - Deprecated, continued within go-ipfs
- go-ipfs-util - Common utilities used by go-ipfs and other related go packages.
- go-ipld - Implementation of the IPLD spec in Go.
- go-iprs - Go-ipfs records.
- go-libp2p - libp2p is a networking stack and library modularized out of The IPFS Project, and bundled separately for other tools to use.
- go-log - A logging library used by go-ipfs.
- js-ipfs - IPFS on the Browser.