A C++11 Distributed Hash Table implementation
Clone or download



A lightweight C++11 Distributed Hash Table implementation.

OpenDHT provides an easy to use distributed in-memory data store. Every node in the network can read and write values to the store. Values are distributed over the network, with redundancy.

  • Lightweight and scalable, designed for large networks and small devices
  • High resilience to network disruption
  • Public key cryptography layer providing optional data signature and encryption (using GnuTLS)
  • IPv4 and IPv6 support
  • Clean and powerful C++11 map API
  • Python 3 bindings


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, Windows with MinGW), Clang/LLVM (GNU/Linux, Android, macOS, iOS).
  • Build tested with Microsoft Visual Studio 2015


IRC: join us on Freenode at #opendht.


Copyright (C) 2014-2018 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 license.


This project was originally based on https://github.com/jech/dht by Juliusz Chroboczek. It 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.