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Dat-fox Helper

A bridge to the Dat network for use by browsers. Provides:

  • A HTTP proxy to load content from Dat (using dat-gateway)
  • Native messaging enabling compatible browser extensions to control this process, for example implementing the DatArchive API, or requesting certain Dats to be seeded locally.

This bridge is intended to run with the dat-fox prototype webextension for Firefox.


Installer (Linux and Mac only)

The helper can be automatically configured for use in Firefox with the script by running the following in a terminal:

curl -o- | bash

Manual install

To install manually, first download the latest binary release for your OS from here. You should create a folder for the binary as it will place dat files in the library folder relative to its location. Usual locations are:

  • Linux ~/.local/datfox/
  • Mac ~/Library/Application Support/datfox/
  • Windows C:\Users\{Your User}\AppData\Roaming\datfox\

On Mac and Linux you will also have to make the binary executable.

# Linux
chmod +x ~/.local/datfox/dat-fox-helper-linux
# Mac
chmod +x ~/.local/datfox/dat-fox-helper-macos

Now we need to make Firefox aware of the binary, using a Native Manifest. Create a JSON file with the following contents:

    "name": "dathelper",
    "description": "Dat helper daemon",
    "path": "/home/user/.local/datfox/dat-fox-helper-linux",
    "type": "stdio",
    "allowed_extensions": [

Update the "path" value to match the absolute path to the dat-fox-helper binary. Save this file to:

  • Linux: ~/.mozilla/native-messaging-hosts/dathelper.json
  • Mac: ~/Library/Application Support/Mozilla/NativeMessagingHosts/dathelper.json
  • Windows: The same directory as the binary. Take care to double the backslashes in the path to escape them.

Windows only: Add registry key

  1. Open the start menu and type regedit to open the registry editor.
  2. On the menu on the left, navigation to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Mozilla\NativeMessagingHosts.
  3. Right click on NativeMessagingHosts and choose New -> Key.
  4. Give the name as dathelper
  5. With dathelper selected, choose the (Default) entry on the right pane and set the value to be the path to your dathelper.json.

Verifying the install

The dat-fox extension will automatically verify if the binary can be automatically launched when it starts up.

Running from source

On Linux and Mac Firefox can also launch the helper from source. Check out this repository and install dependencies:

git clone
cd dat-fox-helper
npm install

Make sure the first line of datfox-helper.js points to your node binary. You can check this with which node in a terminal:


Now complete the steps from the previous section, but instead of using the binary, set the "path" to point to datfox-helper.js.