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Want to hack on libp2p? Awesome! Here are instructions to get you started. They are not perfect yet. Please let us know what feels wrong or incomplete.

libp2p is an Open Source project and we welcome contributions of all sorts. There are many ways to help, from reporting issues, contributing code, and helping us improve our community.


Security Issues

The libp2p protocols and their 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 many people are already running multiformat code in their machines (such as with IPFS. 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, expose a remote execution exploit -- please send your report privately to Please DO NOT file a public issue.

If the issue is a protocol weakness or something not yet deployed, just discuss it openly.

Community Guidelines

We want to keep the libp2p community awesome, growing and collaborative. We need your help to keep it that way. To help with this we've come up with some general guidelines for the community as a whole:

  • Be nice: Be courteous, respectful and polite to fellow community members: no regional, racial, gender, or other abuse will be tolerated. We like nice people way better than mean ones!

  • Encourage diversity and participation: Make everyone in our community feel welcome, regardless of their background and the extent of their contributions, and do everything possible to encourage participation in our community.

  • Keep it legal: Basically, don't get anybody in trouble. Share only content that you own, do not share private or sensitive information, and don't break laws.

  • Stay on topic: Make sure that you are posting to the correct channel and avoid off-topic discussions. Remember when you update an issue or respond to an email you are potentially sending to a large number of people. Please consider this before you update. Also remember that nobody likes spam.

There is also a more extensive code of conduct which we follow, which can be found as part of the related IPFS organisation.

Reporting Issues

If you find bugs, mistakes, inconsistencies in the libp2p specs, code or documents, please let us know by filing an issue at the appropriate issue tracker. No issue is too small.

Protocol Design

When considering protocol design proposals, we are looking for:

  • A description of the problem this design proposal solves
  • Discussion of the tradeoffs involved
  • Review of other existing solutions
  • Links to relevant literature (RFCs, papers, etc)
  • Discussion of the proposed solution

Please note that protocol design is hard, and meticulous work. You may need to review existing literature and think through generalized use cases.

Implementation Design

When considering design proposals for implementations, we are looking for:

  • A description of the problem this design proposal solves
  • Discussion of the tradeoffs involved
  • Discussion of the proposed solution

Community Improvement

The libp2p community requires maintenance of various "public infrastructure" resources. These include documentation, GitHub repositories, CI build bots, and more. There is also helping new users with questions, spreading the word about libp2p, and so on. Soon, we will be planning and running conferences. Please get in touch if you would like to help out.


This community moves very fast, and documentation swiftly gets out of date. If you would like to add a translation, please open an issue and ask the project captain for a given repository before filing a pull request, so that we do not waste efforts.

If anyone has any issues understanding the English documentation, please let us know! If you would like to do so privately, please email @RichardLitt. We are very sensitive to language issues, and do not want to turn anyone away from hacking because of their language.

Helping in other ways

Protocol Labs occasionally is able to hire developers for part time or full time positions, to work on libp2p. If you are interested, check out the job listings. If you'd like to help in other ways, [email @jbenet directly]( to libp2p).