Peer-to-peer hypermedia protocol
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The IPFS project seeks to evolve the infrastructure of the Internet and the Web, with many things we've learned from successful systems, like Git, BitTorrent, Kademlia, 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/- Browsers and extensions can learn to use the
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
To learn more about how IPFS works, explore the following resources: - IPFS Docs: How IPFS Works - IPFS Specifications - IPFS-related papers: - IPFS - Content Addressed, Versioned, P2P File System (draft 3) - For academic papers on IPFS, visit the ipfs/papers repo. - For papers that you can read to understand IPFS and its underlying technologies, check out the "Further Reading" section of the IPFS Docs. - IPFS Videos & Media for a regularly-updated list of videos and media/news coverage, including these highlights: - IPFS: The Distributed, Permanent Web at Stanford Seminar (best overview of project) - IPFS: The Permanent Web at Sourcegraph (first public talk) - IPFS Alpha Demo - The Decentralized Web, IPFS and Filecoin - IPFS Hands-on Introduction at Ethereum SV Meetup - Distributed Apps with 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.
The go-ipfs implementation was released as an alpha distribution in February 2015 and since then has been making regular releases on the road to beta. Notably, js-ipfs is also well along the way in progress. Want to get started with the IPFS alpha? Try these resources:
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 [email protected] 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.
The IPFS project is big — with thousands of contributors in our community — and you're invited to join! Check out the Community section of the IPFS Docs for all the details on how to get involved, including the official IPFS forums, our IRC channels, social media, 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.
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.
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 GitHub org (for core implementations and other mission-critical work) and the IPFS Shipyard GitHub org, home to incubated projects by the IPFS community.
These are the current implementations of IPFS:
If you would you like to start your own language implementation of IPFS, check out the IPFS Implementation Guide, and 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.
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 IPFS HTTP Client Implementation Guide, and tell us so we can help.