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An experimental Chord implement for decentralized, serverless applications on browsers

WARNING: This library is merely a prove of concept and does not consider much about performance or security. It has only been tested on small networks containing a few tens of nodes.



  • configurable connection numbers and dynamic finger length
  • decentralized signaling
  • simple distributed, redundant storage
  • simple multicasting
  • publish/subscribe messages to arbitrary channels

API (experimental)

var chord = new Chord(opts, [bootstrap])

Create a new Chord network. The opts may contain the following fields

  // options to pass to simple-peer
  peerOptions: { },
  // options to pass to ./lib/node.js
  nodeOptions: { },
  // options to pass to ./lib/hub.js
  hubOptions: { },

  // max hops forwarding data in the network
  forwardTTL: 128,

  stabilizeInterval: 500,

  // use your public key here to avoid conflicts with other networks
  subscribePrefix: '-subscribe-prefix-',

  // how long to wait before the two peers finish exchanging data
  signalPrepareTimeout: 5000,
  // how long we should wait before `connect` events fired from simple-peer
  signalTimeout: 60000,

  maxJoinRetry: 10,

  // how many states we should check to tell if the network is stable
  nodeStateCheckLength: 30000/500,

  // once the network gets stable,
  // it will try to keep the connection number between maxHubConnCount and minHubConnCount
  // by adjusting the finger size between minNodeFingerSize and maxNodeFingerSize
  maxHubConnCount: 10,
  minHubConnCount: 5,
  minNodeFingerSize: 20,
  maxNodeFingerSize: 30,

And the bootstrap may be another Chord instance or an object containing URL of the signaler server. chord.start will be called if bootstrap argument is given.

Id of this node. It's a plain hex string at present.

chord.on(event, listener)

chord.once(event, listener)

The Chord class inherits from Event class so you can attach event listeners to receive messages from network. Events starting with - are used internally. Alway add prefix with your custom events.



chord.start will be automatically called if bootstrap argument is given in the constructor.

chord.send(targets, event, data, [ttl])

chord.sendVia(proxyId, targets, event, data, [ttl])

targets may be a single peer id or an array of them. The events will be routed only once even for multiple targets. Specially, you can ask a third node (by proxyId) to forward events for you. That's the key part of how the decentralized signaling is implemented (see below). Alway add prefix with your custom events.


chord.put(key, value)

Fetch/save data in the dht network. Promises are returned.



Subscribe/Unsubscribe to a channel. The subscribers' ids are saved in the DHT network, so it may take some time before you start/stop receiving events from that channel. You should call chord.subscribe periodically or the network will forget your subscriptions.

chord.publish(channel, event, data)

Publish events to a channel. Alway add prefix with your custom events.

Decentralized Signaling (experimental)

The signaler.js script in the library runs in node.js and can be used as a bootstrap node for decentralized signaling. The bootstraps node will:

  • accept connections from new nodes via websocket
  • proxy signaling data between the new node and other nodes (via chord.sendVia) to help the new node joining the network
  • exchange URLs of other bootstrap nodes in a certain channel (via chord.subscribe and chord.publish)
  • periodically connect to other bootstrap nodes via websocket and check which one knows more nodes. The one knowing less nodes will try to rejoin to the opposite side.


See this example script or the simple-peer-chord-demo repo.


An experimental Chord implement for decentralized, serverless applications on browsers






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