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USENET-inspired, uncensorable, decentralized internet discussion system running on IPFS & OrbitDB


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                        INTERACTIVE ASYNC / FULL DUPLEX

                              Dial Up To 19.2 Kbps

    _  _ _ __ ____                  __   _      __                   ___  ____
   /  / / // / __/_ _____  ___ ____/ /  (_)__ _/ / _    _____ ___ __( _ )/ / /
  _\ _\_\_\\_\ \/ // / _ \/ -_) __/ _ \/ / _ \/ _ \ |/|/ / _ \/ // / _  /_  _/
 /  / / // /___/\_,_/ .__/\__/_/ /_//_/_/\_, /_//_/__,__/\_,_/\_, /\___/ /_/
                   /_/                  /___/                /___/


   The V.H.S. (Very High Speed) Superhighway84 platform is more than just the
  fastest decentralized, uncensorable, USENET-inspired communications platform 
         available. It is also the first one to be based on the latest 
                        IPFS technology available today!

    Superhighway84 offers the most spectacular features under the Spectrum.
                             100% Error Protection
                         Data and Character Compression
                         Alternate Bell Compatible Mode
                         Long Haul Satellite Operation
                              Network Diagnostics
                                 Fallback Mode
                                   And More!

                    The Superhighway84 modern, uncensorable, 
                   decentralized internet discussion system.
                       It should cost a lot more than $0.


Superhighway84 is an open source, terminal-based, IPFS-powered, USENET-inspired, uncensorable, decentralized peer-to-peer internet discussion system with retro aesthetics.

More info here.



Download the kubo 0.16 release and unpack it:

$ tar -xzf ./kubo_*.tar.gz

If you haven't used IPFS so far, initialize the IPFS repository using the following command:

$ ./kubo/ipfs init

If you had used IPFS an already have an IPFS repository in place, either (re)move it from ~/.ipfs or make sure to export IPFS_PATH before running the ipfs init command, e.g.:

$ export IPFS_PATH=~/.ipfs-sh84
$ ./go-ipfs/ipfs init

From Release

Download the latest release and unpack it:

$ tar -xzf ./superhighway84_*.tar.gz
$ ./superhighway84

If you initialized the IPFS repo under in a custom location, you need to prefix IPFS_PATH:

$ IPFS_PATH=~/.ipfs-sh84 ./superhighway84

The binary superhighway84 can be moved wherever you please.

From Source

Clone this repository

  • from GitHub
    $ git clone
  • from Radicle
    $ rad clone rad:z4JkpNjyUemfCeU85iqssNEukoBn1

Then cd into the cloned directory and run:

$ go build .

The binary will be available at ./superhighway84 and can be moved wherever you please.


First, check ulimit -n and verify that it's at a reasonable amount. IPFS requires it to be large enough (>= 2048) in order to work properly over time.

Second, if your hardware shouldn't be a beefy computer but instead one of those flimsy MacBooks, older hardware, a Raspberry or a low-memory VPS it is advisable to set the previously created IPFS repository to the lowpower profile.

$ ipfs config profile apply lowpower

This should help with CPU usage, file descriptors and the amount of network connections. While during the startup period you might still see peers peaking between 1k and 3k, connections should ultimately settle somewhere between 100 and 300 peers.

Afterwards you can simply launch the binary:

$ superhighway84

A setup wizard will help you with initial configuration. Please make sure to have at least HOME and EDITOR exported in your environment.

In case you're intending to run the official IPFS daemon and Superhighway84 in parallel, be sure to adjust the ports in their respective IPFS repos (e.g. ~/.ipfs and ~/.ipfs-sh84) so that they won't utilize the same port numbers. The ports 4001, 5001 and 8080 are relevant and should be adjusted to something other for every new repo/IPFS node that will run in parallel, e.g.:

  "Addresses": {
    "Swarm": [
    "Announce": [],
    "NoAnnounce": [],
    "API": "/ip4/",
    "Gateway": "/ip4/"

NOTE: When running Superhighway84 for the first time it might seem like it's "hanging" at the command prompt. Usually it isn't hanging but rather searching for peer it can connect to in order to synchronize the database. Depending on how many people are online, this process might take some time, please be patient.


If you're having trouble connecting to the IPFS network that might be due to your network setup. Please try the IPFS AutoRelay feature in such a case:

$ ipfs config --json Swarm.RelayClient.Enabled true

More information on this can be found here:


Superhighway84 will guide you through the basic configuration on its first run. The configuration is stored at the path that you specified in the setup wizard. After it was successfully created, it can be adjusted manually and will take effect on the next launch of Superhighway84.

Configuration options that might be of interest:

ArticlesListView =
  The view to be used for the articles lit. Possible values:
  0 - threaded view, latest thread at the top
  1 - list view, latest article at the top

  From =
    The identifier that is being shown when posting an article, e.g. your name,
    username or email that you'd like to display

  Organization =
    An optional organization that you'd like to display affiliation with

  The shortcuts for navigating Superhighway84, can be reset to its defaults by
  simply removing the whole [Shortcuts] block and launching Superhighway84

  The structure is as following:

  `<key code> = "event"`

  The key codes can be looked up under the following link:

  For simple ASCII characters use their ASCII code, e.g. `114` for the character 


The default keyboard shortcuts are:

     C-r: Refresh
     C-h: Focus groups list
C-l, C-k: Focus articles list
     C-j: Focus preview pane
     C-q: Quit
       k: Move up in list
       j: Move down in list
       h: Move left in list
       l: Move right in list
       g: Move to the beginning of list/text
       G: Move to the end of list/text
      CR: Select item in list
       n: Publish new article
       r: Reply to selected article

However, you are free to customize these within your configuration file, under the section Shortcuts.

Submit Article

When submitting a new article or a reply to an article, the $EDITOR is launched in which a document with a specific structure will be visible. This structure consists of the HEADER, a SEPARATOR and the BODY and looks like this:

Subject: This is the subject of the article
Newsgroup: test.sandbox
= = = = = =
This is the multiline
body of the article

The HEADER contains all headers that are required for an article to be submitted. These are:

  • Subject:
    The subject of the article that will be shown in the articles list. The subject must only contain of printable ASCII characters.

  • Newsgroup:
    The newsgroup under which the article will be submitted, this can either be an existing group or a new group. Please try to follow the convention when creating new groups. The newsgroup must only contain of printable ASCII characters.

The SEPARATOR contains of 6 equal signs and 5 spaces, alternating each other, followed by a new line.

The BODY can contain of multiline text.

Known Limitations

  • The OrbitDB that Superhighway84 uses is a public database, meaning everyone can alter its data. Since its using a standard docstore, PUT and DELETE events can alter existing data. This issue will be solved in the future by customizing the store to ignore these types of events.

  • Superhighway84 is bound to the version of IPFS that Berty decides to support for go-orbit-db. go-orbit-db updates, on the other hand, seem to introduce breaking changes from time to time, which are hard to debug as someone without in-depth knowledge nor documentation. Since Superhighway84 is pretty much a one-man-show it would be quite challenging to fork go-orbit-db in order to keep it up to date with IPFS and make its interface more stable. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be an alternative to Berty's go-orbit-db as of right now, so Superhighway84 is basically stuck with it. If you happen to know your way around IPFS and maybe even go-orbit-db, and would like to support this project, please get in touch!

  • If you have a newer IPFS version installed than the one used by Superhighway84, please make sure to not upgrade the IPFS_REPO that Superhighway84 is using. Otherwise you will get an error when starting Superhighway84 that will tell you that there is an IPFS repository mismatch:

    > panic: Your programs version (11) is lower than your repos (12).

    If this should be the case, please follow the instructions provided here:

    #42 (comment)

  • If you encounter the following issue your IPFS repo version might be older than what Superhighway84 is using:

    > panic: ipfs repo needs migration

    In this case you might want to follow the IPFS migration guide here:

    Alternatively use the same IPFS version as used by Superhighway84 to initialize a dedicated Superhighway84 repository. Please refer to the INSTALLATION part for how to do so.


  • Superhighway84 name, code and graphics by mrusme
  • Logo backdrop by Swift