Hyperdrive is a secure, real time distributed file system

npm install hyperdrive

Build Status


Hyperdrive aims to implement the same API as Node.js' core fs module.

var hyperdrive = require('hyperdrive')
var archive = hyperdrive('./my-first-hyperdrive') // content will be stored in this folder

archive.writeFile('/hello.txt', 'world', function (err) {
  if (err) throw err
  archive.readdir('/', function (err, list) {
    if (err) throw err
    console.log(list) // prints ['hello.txt']
    archive.readFile('/hello.txt', 'utf-8', function (err, data) {
      if (err) throw err
      console.log(data) // prints 'world'

A big difference is that you can replicate the file system to other computers! All you need is a stream.

var net = require('net')

// ... on one machine

var server = net.createServer(function (socket) {


// ... on another

var clonedArchive = hyperdrive('./my-cloned-hyperdrive', origKey)
var socket = net.connect(10000)


It also comes with build in versioning and real time replication. See more below.


var archive = hyperdrive(storage, [key], [options])

Create a new hyperdrive.

The storage parameter defines how the contents of the archive will be stored. It can be one of the following, depending on how much control you require over how the archive is stored.

  • If you pass in a string, the archive content will be stored in a folder at the given path.
  • You can also pass in a function. This function will be called with the name of each of the required files for the archive, and needs to return a random-access-storage instance.
  • If you require complete control, you can also pass in an object containing a metadata and a content field. Both of these need to be functions, and are called with the following arguments:

    • name: the name of the file to be stored
    • opts
      • key: the feed key of the underlying Hypercore instance
      • discoveryKey: the discovery key of the underlying Hypercore instance
    • archive: the current Hyperdrive instance

    The functions need to return a a random-access-storage instance.

Options include:

  sparse: true, // only download data on content feed when it is specifically requested
  sparseMetadata: true // only download data on metadata feed when requested
  metadataStorageCacheSize: 65536 // how many entries to use in the metadata hypercore's LRU cache
  contentStorageCacheSize: 65536 // how many entries to use in the content hypercore's LRU cache
  treeCacheSize: 65536 // how many entries to use in the append-tree's LRU cache

Note that a cloned hyperdrive archive can be "sparse". Usually (by setting sparse: true) this means that the content is not downloaded until you ask for it, but the entire metadata feed is still downloaded. If you want a very sparse archive, where even the metadata feed is not downloaded until you request it, then you should also set sparseMetadata: true.

var stream = archive.replicate([options])

Replicate this archive. Options include

  live: false, // keep replicating
  download: true, // download data from peers?
  upload: true // upload data to peers?


Get the current version of the archive (incrementing number).


The public key identifying the archive.


A key derived from the public key that can be used to discovery other peers sharing this archive.


A boolean indicating whether the archive is writable.


Emitted when the archive is fully ready and all properties has been populated.

archive.on('error', err)

Emitted when a critical error during load happened.

var oldDrive = archive.checkout(version)

Checkout a readonly copy of the archive at an old version.

archive.download([path], [callback])

Download all files in path of current version. If no path is specified this will download all files.

You can use this with .checkout(version) to download a specific version of the archive.


var stream = archive.history([options])

Get a stream of all changes and their versions from this archive.

var stream = archive.createReadStream(name, [options])

Read a file out as a stream. Similar to fs.createReadStream.

Options include:

  start: optionalByteOffset, // similar to fs
  end: optionalInclusiveByteEndOffset, // similar to fs
  length: optionalByteLength

archive.readFile(name, [options], callback)

Read an entire file into memory. Similar to fs.readFile.

Options can either be an object or a string

Options include:

  encoding: string
  cached: true|false // default: false,

or a string can be passed as options to simply set the encoding - similar to fs.

If cached is set to true, this function returns results only if they have already been downloaded.

var stream = archive.createDiffStream(version, [options])

Diff this archive this another version. version can both be a version number of a checkout instance of the archive. The data objects looks like this

  type: 'put' | 'del',
  name: '/some/path/name.txt',
  value: {
    // the stat object

var stream = archive.createWriteStream(name, [options])

Write a file as a stream. Similar to fs.createWriteStream. If options.cached is set to true, this function returns results only if they have already been downloaded.

archive.writeFile(name, buffer, [options], [callback])

Write a file from a single buffer. Similar to fs.writeFile.

archive.unlink(name, [callback])

Unlinks (deletes) a file. Similar to fs.unlink.

archive.mkdir(name, [options], [callback])

Explictly create an directory. Similar to fs.mkdir

archive.rmdir(name, [callback])

Delete an empty directory. Similar to fs.rmdir.

archive.readdir(name, [options], [callback])

Lists a directory. Similar to fs.readdir.

Options include:

    cached: true|false, // default: false

If cached is set to true, this function returns results from the local version of the archive’s append-tree. Default behavior is to fetch the latest remote version of the archive before returning list of directories.

archive.stat(name, callback)

Stat an entry. Similar to fs.stat. Sample output:

Stat {
  dev: 0,
  nlink: 1,
  rdev: 0,
  blksize: 0,
  ino: 0,
  mode: 16877,
  uid: 0,
  gid: 0,
  size: 0,
  offset: 0,
  blocks: 0,
  atime: 2017-04-10T18:59:00.147Z,
  mtime: 2017-04-10T18:59:00.147Z,
  ctime: 2017-04-10T18:59:00.147Z,
  linkname: undefined }

The output object includes methods similar to fs.stat:

var stat = archive.stat('/hello.txt')

archive.lstat(name, callback)

Stat an entry but do not follow symlinks. Similar to fs.lstat.

archive.access(name, callback)

Similar to fs.access.

archive.open(name, flags, [mode], callback)

Open a file and get a file descriptor back. Similar to fs.open.

Note that currently only read mode is supported in this API.

archive.read(fd, buf, offset, len, position, callback)

Read from a file descriptor into a buffer. Similar to fs.read.

archive.close(fd, [callback])

Close a file. Similar to fs.close.


Closes all open resources used by the archive. The archive should no longer be used after calling this.