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multi-writer hypercore

Multifeed lets you:

  1. manage many hypercores, stored together
  2. replicate a local set of hypercores with a remote set of hypercores (union-syle)

It solves the problem of hypercore only allowing one writer by making it easy to manage and sync a set of hypercores -- by a variety of authors -- across peers.

Replication works by extending the regular hypercore exchange mechanism to include a meta-exchange, where peers share information about the feeds they have locally, and choose which of the remote feeds they'd like to download in exchange. Right now, the replication mechanism defaults to sharing all local feeds and downloading all remote feeds.


var multifeed = require('multifeed')
var ram = require('random-access-memory')

var multi = multifeed('./db', { valueEncoding: 'json' })

// a multifeed starts off empty
console.log(multi.feeds().length)             // => 0

// create as many writeable feeds as you want; returns hypercores
multi.writer('local', function (err, w) {
  console.log(w.key, w.writeable, w.readable)   // => Buffer <0x..> true true
  console.log(multi.feeds().length)             // => 1

  // write data to any writeable feed, just like with hypercore
  w.append('foo', function () {
    var m2 = multifeed(ram, { valueEncoding: 'json' })
    m2.writer('local', function (err, w2) {
      w2.append('bar', function () {
        replicate(multi, m2, function () {
          console.log(m2.feeds().length)        // => 2
          m2.feeds()[1].get(0, function (_, data) {
            console.log(data)                   // => foo
          multi.feeds()[1].get(0, function (_, data) {
            console.log(data)                   // => bar

function replicate (a, b, cb) {
  var r = a.replicate()
    .once('end', cb)
    .once('error', cb)


var multifeed = require('multifeed')

var multi = multifeed(storage[, opts])

Create a multifeed.

storage is a random-access-storage function, or a string. If a string is given, random-access-file is used with that string as the filename.

Included opts are passed into new hypercores created, and are the same as hypercore's.

Valid opts include:

  • opts.encryptionKey (string): optional encryption key to use during replication. If not provided, a default insecure key will be used.
  • opts.hypercore: constructor of a hypercore implementation. hypercore@8.x.x is used from npm if not provided.

multi.writer([name], [options], cb)

If no name is given, a new local writeable feed is created and returned via cb.

If name is given and was created in the past on this local machine, it is returned. Otherwise it is created. These names are purely local & are not synced over the network. This is useful for managing multiple local feeds, e.g.

var main = multi.writer('main')        // created if doesn't exist
var content = multi.writer('content')  // created if doesn't exist

main === multi.writer('main')          // => true

options is an optional object which may contain:

  • options.keypair - an object with a custom keypair for the new writer. This should have properties keypair.publicKey and keypair.secretKey, both of which should be buffers.

var feeds = multi.feeds()

An array of all hypercores in the multifeed. Check a feed's key to find the one you want, or check its writable / readable properties.

Only populated once multi.ready(fn) is fired.

var feed = multi.feed(key)

Fetch a feed by its key key (a Buffer or hex string).

var stream = multi.replicate(isInitiator, [opts])

Create an encrypted duplex stream for replication.

Ensure that isInitiator to true to one side, and false on the other. This is necessary for setting up the encryption mechanism.

isInitiator may also be a hypercore-protocol instance.

Works just like hypercore, except all local hypercores are exchanged between replication endpoints.

stream.on('remote-feeds', function () { ... })

Emitted when a new batch (1 or more) of remote feeds have begun to replicate with this multifeed instance.

This is useful for knowing when multi.feeds() contains the full set of feeds from the remote side.

multi.on('feed', function (feed, name) { ... })

Emitted whenever a new feed is added, whether locally or remotely.


Close all file resources being held by the multifeed instance. cb is called once this is complete.


true if close() was run successfully, falsey otherwise.


The duplex stream returned by .replicate() can emit, in addition to regular stream errors, two fatal errors specific to multifeed:


    • err.code = 'ERR_VERSION_MISMATCH'
    • err.usVersion = 'X.Y.Z' (semver)
    • err.themVersion = 'A.B.C' (semver)

    • err.code = 'ERR_CLIENT_MISMATCH'
    • err.usClient = 'MULTIFEED'
    • err.themClient = '???'


With npm installed, run

$ npm install multifeed

See Also