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Peer-to-Peer Databases for the Decentralized Web

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OrbitDB is a serverless, distributed, peer-to-peer database. OrbitDB uses IPFS as its data storage and IPFS Pubsub to automatically sync databases with peers. It's an eventually consistent database that uses CRDTs for conflict-free database merges making OrbitDB an excellent choice for decentralized apps (dApps), blockchain applications and offline-first web applications.

Test it live at Live demo 1, Live demo 2, or P2P TodoMVC app!

OrbitDB provides various types of databases for different data models and use cases:

  • log: an immutable (append-only) log with traversable history. Useful for "latest N" use cases or as a message queue.
  • feed: a mutable log with traversable history. Entries can be added and removed. Useful for "shopping cart" type of use cases, or for example as a feed of blog posts or "tweets".
  • keyvalue: a key-value database just like your favourite key-value database.
  • docs: a document database to which JSON documents can be stored and indexed by a specified key. Useful for building search indices or version controlling documents and data.
  • counter: Useful for counting events separate from log/feed data.

All databases are implemented on top of ipfs-log, an immutable, operation-based conflict-free replicated data structure (CRDT) for distributed systems. If none of the OrbitDB database types match your needs and/or you need case-specific functionality, you can easily implement and use a custom database store of your own.

Project status & support

  • Status: in active development
  • Compatible with js-ipfs versions <= 0.52 and go-ipfs versions <= 0.6.0

NOTE! OrbitDB is *alpha-stage** software. It means OrbitDB hasn't been security audited and programming APIs and data formats can still change. We encourage you to reach out to the maintainers if you plan to use OrbitDB in mission critical systems.*

This is the Javascript implementation and it works both in Browsers and Node.js with support for Linux, OS X, and Windows. LTS versions (even numbered versions 8, 10, etc) are supported.

To use with older versions of Node.js, we provide an ES5-compatible build through the npm package, located in

when installed through npm.

Table of Contents


Read the GETTING STARTED guide for a quick tutorial on how to use OrbitDB.

For a more in-depth tutorial and exploration of OrbitDB's architecture, please check out the OrbitDB Field Manual.

Database browser UI

OrbitDB databases can easily be managed using a web UI, see OrbitDB Control Center.

Install and run it locally:

git clone
cd orbit-db-control-center/
npm i && npm start

Module with IPFS Instance

If you're using

to develop browser or Node.js applications, use it as a module with the javascript instance of IPFS

Install dependencies:

npm install orbit-db ipfs
const IPFS = require('ipfs')
const OrbitDB = require('orbit-db')

// For js-ipfs >= 0.38

// Create IPFS instance const initIPFSInstance = async () => { return await IPFS.create({ repo: "./path-for-js-ipfs-repo" }); };

initIPFSInstance().then(async ipfs => { const orbitdb = await OrbitDB.createInstance(ipfs);

// Create / Open a database const db = await orbitdb.log("hello"); await db.load();

// Listen for updates from peers"replicated", address => { console.log(db.iterator({ limit: -1 }).collect()); });

// Add an entry const hash = await db.add("world"); console.log(hash);

// Query const result = db.iterator({ limit: -1 }).collect(); console.log(JSON.stringify(result, null, 2)); });

// For js-ipfs < 0.38

// Create IPFS instance const ipfsOptions = { EXPERIMENTAL: { pubsub: true } };

ipfs = new IPFS(ipfsOptions);

initIPFSInstance().then(ipfs => { ipfs.on("error", e => console.error(e)); ipfs.on("ready", async () => { const orbitdb = await OrbitDB.createInstance(ipfs);

// Create / Open a database
const db = await orbitdb.log("hello");
await db.load();

// Listen for updates from peers"replicated", address =&gt; {
  console.log(db.iterator({ limit: -1 }).collect());

// Add an entry
const hash = await db.add("world");

// Query
const result = db.iterator({ limit: -1 }).collect();
console.log(JSON.stringify(result, null, 2));

}); });

Module with IPFS Daemon

Alternatively, you can use ipfs-http-client to use

with a locally running IPFS daemon. Use this method if you're using
to develop backend or desktop applications, eg. with Electron.

Install dependencies:

npm install orbit-db ipfs-http-client
const IpfsClient = require('ipfs-http-client')
const OrbitDB = require('orbit-db')

const ipfs = IpfsClient('localhost', '5001')

const orbitdb = await OrbitDB.createInstance(ipfs) const db = await orbitdb.log('hello') // Do something with your db. // Of course, you may want to wrap these in an async function.


See for the full documentation.


Install dependencies

git clone
cd orbit-db
npm install

Some dependencies depend on native addon modules, so you'll also need to meet node-gyp's installation prerequisites. Therefore, Linux users may need to

make clean-dependencies && make deps
to redo the local package-lock.json with working native dependencies.

Browser example

npm run build
npm run examples:browser

Using Webpack:

npm run build
npm run examples:browser-webpack

Check the code in examples/browser/browser.html and try the live example.

Node.js example

npm run examples:node


See the code in examples/eventlog.js and run it with:

node examples/eventlog.js


We have a field manual which has much more detailed examples and a run-through of how to understand OrbitDB, at orbitdb/field-manual. There is also a workshop you can follow, which shows how to build an app, at orbit-db/web3-workshop.

More examples at examples.


OrbitDB uses the following modules:

OrbitDB Store Packages

To understand a little bit about the architecture, check out a visualization of the data flow at or a live demo:

Community-maintained Typescript typings are available here:


Run Tests

npm test


npm run build


node benchmarks/benchmark-add.js

See benchmarks/ for more benchmarks.


To enable OrbitDB's logging output, set a global ENV variable called

LOG=debug node 

Frequently Asked Questions

We have an FAQ! Go take a look at it. If a question isn't there, open an issue and suggest adding it. We can work on the best answer together.

Are there implementations in other languages?

Yes! Take a look at these implementations:

The best place to find out what is out there and what is being actively worked on is likely by asking in the Gitter. If you know of any other repos that ought to be included in this section, please open a PR and add them.


Take a look at our organization-wide Contributing Guide. You'll find most of your questions answered there. Some questions may be answered in the FAQ, as well.

As far as code goes, we would be happy to accept PRs! If you want to work on something, it'd be good to talk beforehand to make sure nobody else is working on it. You can reach us on Gitter, or in the issues section.

If you want to code but don't know where to start, check out the issues labelled "help wanted".

Please note that we have a Code of Conduct, and that all activity in the @orbitdb organization falls under it. Read it when you get the chance, as being part of this community means that you agree to abide by it. Thanks.


The development of OrbitDB has been sponsored by:

If you want to sponsor developers to work on OrbitDB, please reach out to @haadcode.


MIT © 2015-2019 Protocol Labs Inc., Haja Networks Oy

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