A C++11 Distributed Hash Table implementation
C++ Python C M4 CMake HTML Other
Latest commit cab0813 Feb 24, 2018



A lightweight C++11 Distributed Hash Table implementation originally based on https://github.com/jech/dht by Juliusz Chroboczek.

  • Light and fast C++11 Kademlia DHT library.
  • Distributed shared key->value data-store
  • Clean and powerful distributed map API with storage of arbitrary binary values of up to 56 KB.
  • Optional public key cryptography layer providing data signature and encryption (using GnuTLS).
  • IPv4 and IPv6 support.
  • Python binding.


See the wiki: https://github.com/savoirfairelinux/opendht/wiki

How-to build and install

Build instructions: https://github.com/savoirfairelinux/opendht/wiki/Build-the-library

How-to build a simple client app

g++ main.cpp -std=c++11 -lopendht -lgnutls


C++ example

The tools directory includes simple example programs :

  • dhtnode, a command line tool, mostly used for debuging, allowing to perform operations supported by the library (get, put etc.) with text values.
  • dhtchat, a very simple IM client working over the dht.

Example program launching a DHT node, connecting to the network and performing some basic operations:

#include <opendht.h>
#include <vector>

int main()
    dht::DhtRunner node;

    // Launch a dht node on a new thread, using a
    // generated RSA key pair, and listen on port 4222.
    node.run(4222, dht::crypto::generateIdentity(), true);

    // Join the network through any running node,
    // here using a known bootstrap node.
    node.bootstrap("bootstrap.ring.cx", "4222");

    // put some data on the dht
    std::vector<uint8_t> some_data(5, 10);
    node.put("unique_key", some_data);

    // put some data on the dht, signed with our generated private key
    node.putSigned("unique_key_42", some_data);

    // get data from the dht
    node.get("other_unique_key", [](const std::vector<std::shared_ptr<dht::Value>>& values) {
        // Callback called when values are found
        for (const auto& value : values)
            std::cout << "Found value: " << *value << std::endl;
        return true; // return false to stop the search

    // wait for dht threads to end
    return 0;

Python 3 example

import opendht as dht

node = dht.DhtRunner()

# Join the network through any running node,
# here using a known bootstrap node.
node.bootstrap("bootstrap.ring.cx", "4222")

# blocking call (provide callback arguments to make the call non-blocking)
node.put(dht.InfoHash.get("unique_key"), dht.Value(b'some binary data'))

results = node.get(dht.InfoHash.get("unique_key"))
for r in results:


  • msgpack-c 1.2+, used for data serialization.
  • GnuTLS 3.3+, used for cryptographic operations.
  • Nettle 2.4+, a GnuTLS dependency for crypto.
  • (optional) restbed used for the REST API. commit fb84213e170bc171fecd825a8e47ed9f881a12cd (https://github.com/AmarOk1412/restbed/tree/async_read_until)
  • (optional) jsoncpp 1.7.4-3+, used for the REST API.
  • Build tested with GCC 5.2+ (GNU/Linux, Android, Windows with MinGW), Clang/LLVM (Linux, macOS).
  • Build tested with Microsoft Visual Studio 2015


IRC: join us on Freenode at #opendht.


Copyright (C) 2014-2017 Savoir-faire Linux Inc.

OpenDHT is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 3 of the License, or (at your option) any later version.

This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of MERCHANTABILITY or FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. See the GNU General Public License for more details.

See COPYING or https://www.gnu.org/licenses/gpl-3.0.en.html for the full GPLv3 licence.

This project is independent from another project called OpenDHT (Sean Rhea. Ph.D. Thesis, 2005), now extinct.


We gratefully accept Bitcoin donations to support OpenDHT development at: bitcoin:3EykSd1An888efq4Bq3KaV3hJ3JQ4FPnwm.