ipfs

Peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol

ipfs/ipfs https://ipfs.io
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updateLast update 2020-12-23

IPFS powers the Distributed Web

A peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol to make the web faster, safer, and more open.

TL;DR

Full contents

Quick summary

The IPFS project seeks to evolve the infrastructure of the Internet and the Web, with many things we've learned from successful systems, like Bitcoin, and many, many more. This is the sort of thing that would have come out of ARPA/DARPA, IETF, or Bell Labs in another age. IPFS is a free, open-source project with thousands of contributors.

IPFS (the InterPlanetary File System) is a hypermedia distribution protocol addressed by content and identities. It enables the creation of completely distributed applications, and in doing so aims to make the web faster, safer, and more open.

IPFS is a distributed file system that seeks to connect all computing devices with the same system of files. In some ways, this is similar to the original aims of the Web, but IPFS is actually more similar to a single BitTorrent swarm exchanging Git objects. You can read more about its origins in the paper IPFS - Content Addressed, Versioned, P2P File System.

IPFS is becoming a new major subsystem of the internet. If built right, it could complement or replace HTTP. It could complement or replace even more. Let's go point-by-point into how.

IPFS is a protocol:

  • Defines a content-addressed file system
  • Coordinates content delivery
  • Combines Kademlia + BitTorrent + Git

IPFS is a file system:

  • Has directories and files
  • Is a mountable filesystem (via FUSE)

IPFS is a web:

  • Can be used to view documents like the conventional web
  • Files are accessible via HTTP at https://ipfs.io/<path>
  • Browsers and extensions can learn to use the ipfs:// URL or dweb:/ipfs/ URI schemes directly
  • Hash-addressed content guarantees authenticity

IPFS is modular:

  • Connection layer over any network protocol
  • Routing layer
  • Uses a routing layer DHT (Kademlia/Coral)
  • Uses a path-based naming service
  • Uses a BitTorrent-inspired block exchange

IPFS uses crypto:

  • Cryptographic-hash content addressing
  • Block-level deduplication
  • File integrity plus versioning
  • File-system-level encryption plus signing support

IPFS is p2p:

  • Worldwide peer-to-peer file transfers
  • Completely decentralized architecture
  • No central point of failure

IPFS is a CDN:

  • Add a file to the file system locally, and it's now available to the world
  • Caching-friendly (content-hash naming)
  • BitTorrent-based bandwidth distribution

IPFS has a name service:

  • IPNS, an SFS-inspired name system
  • Global namespace based on PKI
  • It serves to build trust chains
  • It's compatible with other NSes
  • Can map DNS, .onion, .bit, etc to IPNS

Learn how IPFS works

To learn more about how IPFS works, explore the following resources:

Current state of IPFS

IPFS is a work in progress! It is an ambitious plan to make the internet more free, open, secure, and high-performance. It builds on the good ideas of numerous battle-tested distributed systems.

Today, there is one main, reference IPFS protocol implementation (in Python).

Try it out

The js-ipfs is also well along the way in progress. Want to get started with the IPFS alpha? Try these resources:

A word on security

The IPFS protocol and its implementations are still in heavy development. This means that there may be problems in our protocols, or there may be mistakes in our implementations. And — though IPFS is not production-ready yet — many people are already running nodes on their machines, so we take security vulnerabilities very seriously. If you discover a security issue, please bring it to our attention right away!

If you find a vulnerability that may affect live deployments — for example, by exposing a remote execution exploit — please send your report privately to security@ipfs.io. Please do not file a public issue.

If the issue is a protocol weakness that cannot be immediately exploited, or something not yet deployed, just discuss it openly.

Get involved

The IPFS project is big — with thousands of contributors in our community — and you're invited to join! Check out the meetups and ProtoSchool workshops, and more.

If you're interested in how the project is organized at a higher level, visit the IPFS Team & Project Management repo.

There's also a weekly IPFS newsletter (regularly-updated blog.

Help and documentation

If you're looking for help learning about or building with IPFS, start with these resources:

If you've found a bug or want to make a feature request regarding a specific component of IPFS, please open an issue in the appropriate repo so that it can be triaged and responded to as quickly as possible.

Links and resources

The IPFS project is big (and expanding every day!), so we've excerpted some frequently-used links and other resources below. However, we encourage you to explore both the main IPFS Shipyard GitHub org, home to incubated projects by the IPFS community.

Protocol implementations

These are the current implementations of IPFS:

Language Project Completeness
Go https://github.com/ipfs/go-ipfs reference
JavaScript https://github.com/ipfs/js-ipfs alpha
Rust https://github.com/rs-ipfs/rust-ipfs alpha
Python https://github.com/ipfs-shipyard/py-ipfs starting (inactive)
C https://github.com/Agorise/c-ipfs starting (inactive)

If you would you like to start your own language implementation of IPFS, check out the Specifications. The specs are still evolving, but the core formats are stable and can be built on. Make sure to post an issue if you would like to start an effort, as many people have expressed interest in contributing to new implementations.

HTTP client libraries

The following HTTP client libraries are either complete or under development. All welcome contributions! If you would like to create a new library, please see the tell us so we can help.

Language Client library Status
Go https://github.com/ipfs/go-ipfs-api Active
Java https://github.com/ipfs-shipyard/java-ipfs-http-client Active
JavaScript https://github.com/ipfs/js-ipfs/tree/master/packages/ipfs-http-client Active
Python https://github.com/ipfs-shipyard/py-ipfs-http-client Active
Scala https://github.com/ipfs-shipyard/scala-ipfs-api Inactive
Clojure https://github.com/keorn/clj-ipfs-http-client Active
Clojurescript https://github.com/district0x/cljs-ipfs-http-client Active
Haskell https://github.com/davidar/hs-ipfs-api Inactive
Swift https://github.com/ipfs-shipyard/swift-ipfs-http-client Active
CommonLisp https://github.com/WeMeetAgain/cl-ipfs-api Inactive
Rust https://github.com/ferristseng/rust-ipfs-api Active
https://github.com/gkbrk/rust-ipfs-api Inactive
https://github.com/rmnoff/rust-ipfs-api Inactive
https://github.com/rschulman/rust-ipfs-api Inactive
Ruby https://github.com/Fryie/ipfs-ruby Inactive
https://github.com/tbenett/ruby-ipfs-http-client Active
Mac Automator https://github.com/NeoTeo/ipfs-osx-service Inactive
Pharo https://github.com/khinsen/ipfs-pharo Active
PHP https://github.com/cloutier/php-ipfs-api Inactive
https://github.com/digitalkaoz/php-ipfs-api Inactive
C# https://github.com/jeremy-ellis-tech/net-ipfs-http-client Inactive
https://github.com/richardschneider/net-ipfs-http-client Active
C++ https://github.com/vasild/cpp-ipfs-api Active
Erlang https://github.com/hendry19901990/erlang-ipfs-http-client Inactive

GUIs and helper apps

  • ipfs-companion - The IPFS web browser extension.
  • ipfs-webui - The IPFS WebUI app.
  • ipfs-desktop - A menubar/tray desktop app.
  • ipfs-gui - Coordinating development, user experience, and maintenance of IPFS GUIs.
  • i18n - The IPFS Translation Project: crowdsourcing translations of IPFS GUIs and websites.

Apps and data sets on IPFS

  • Awesome IPFS - an ever-growing list of apps, data sets, and other inspirational resources built on IPFS.

Specs and papers

Installation and update tools

Additional resources

  • https://dist.ipfs.io.
  • infra - Tools for maintaining infrastructure for the IPFS community.
  • testground - Tools for testing distributed software at scale.
  • ipfs-cluster - Provides data orchestration across a swarm of IPFS daemons by allocating, replicating, and tracking a global pinset distributed among multiple peers.
  • ipfs-shipyard - A wide range of incubated projects by and for the IPFS community.
  • http://ipfs.io.

License

MIT.