Decentralized, context-aware pipeline for real-time data
Clone or download
Fetching latest commit…
Cannot retrieve the latest commit at this time.
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.


Build Status Project Status: Experiment

unicorn is a decentralized, context-aware pipeline for real-time data.

"unicorn" is our sweet little acronym for "Unified Communications Over Real-time Networks".


unicorn is being designed to have these key capabilities:

Messaging: It will let clients or groups of clients exchange streams of data. Some clients publish data and some clients subscribe to those data. In this aspect, unicorn is similar to a messaging system.

Streaming: It will be tuned for exchanging data in real-time. This includes storing, processing and transporting data streams as they are created. This will include any data type that can be serialized to binary, eventually, including audio/video streams as well.

Bridge: It will let clients exchange streams of data where the publishers and subscribers use different formats or speak different languages. In this aspect, unicorn works like a bridge. In the long run, unicorn can connect peers across different network transport protocols or communication services.

Context-aware: Even though unicorn is content agnostic at the core, it will provide APIs for adding context to data through adapters. These adapters can read, write, modify or take action on data streams. This also forms the basis of building a bridge across data formats.

Decentralized: It will be decentralized in the sense of a federated network with fault-tolerance, as in:

  • Individual unicorn instances logically behave as a centralized network where clients directly connect to them.
  • unicorn instances can be formed either as a single node or as a cluster of multiple nodes.
  • When an instance is formed of multiple nodes, unicorn can share data and responsibilities among the nodes to allow fault-tolerance. So, at an operational level, a multi-node instance will behave like a distributed network, but logically it will still behave like a centralized network where clients will connect to pre-defined gateways.
  • unicorn instances can connect to other unicorn instances and exchange data. Clients still connect to their specific unicorn instances, essentially forming a client-server-server-client topology. This creates a distributed network of eventually centralized networks, a.k.a, a federated network.

Pipeline: The federated nature of unicorn ends up creating data pipelines where data streams can flow in real-time between servers.

Resource efficiency: It should be highly resource efficient and should be able to pack in as much power in as less resource as possible.

Adaptable: It should run on an embedded device and still be able to scale across data centres. unicorn should adapt to the nature of the usage.

Ease of use: Nothing, absolutely nothing, will compromise on a simple API and ease of usage, whether it is about installation or configuration or deployment.

Feature set

This is the list of currently targeted broad feature set for unicorn:

  • Logger
    • Console
    • File logger
  • CLI: Command line arguments parsing
  • Configuration
  • Config parser
  • Config creator
  • Multi-mode config (single instance vs distributed)
  • Network layer
    • WebSockets & command parser
    • Internal communication (Asynchronous TCP)
  • Data transmission features
    • Channels (a.k.a Rooms/Topics)
    • Publishers
    • Subscribers
  • Adapters (Data access)
    • Modifiers (Write/Operate on data)
    • Readers (Readonly access for data streams)
  • DataStore (Data persistency)
    • Write to memory
    • Write to disk
  • Fault tolerance
    • Data replication across nodes
    • Data partitioning
  • Federation features
  • Service discovery
  • Ledger of known services
  • Pipelining: Connect to other unicorn instances

About this repository

This repository provides unicorn's core features as a Rust library (libunicorn) and as a binary.


unicorn and its components are written in the Rust programming language.

The project is still in its early days and contributions are very much welcome!

For build instructions, setup information and general contribution requirements, see



This is free and unencumbered software released into the public domain.

unicorn uses several other software. The entire list of those, along with the licenses they are used under, can be found in ATTRIBUTIONS.

unicorn is a project made possible by Muktakosh and contributors. No rights reserved.