In the following guide, we will cover all the necessary steps to set up an IPFS node, enable a local HTTP gateway, add it to Media Network and then serve its content to end-users through it.

Installing IPFS node

Installing IPFS through the command-line is handy if you plan on building applications and services on top of an IPFS node. This method is also useful if you're setting up a node without a user interface, usually the case with remote servers or virtual machines. Using IPFS through the command-line allows you to do everything that IPFS Desktop can do, but at a more granular level since you can specify which commands to run.

System requirements

IPFS requires 512MiB of memory and can run an IPFS node on a Raspberry Pi. However, how much disk space your IPFS installation takes up depends on how much data you're sharing. A base installation takes up about 12MB of disk space, and the default maximum disk storage is set to 10GB.

Official distributions

The IPFS team manages the dist.ipfs.io website to help users quickly find the latest version of every IPFS package. As soon as a new release of an IPFS package comes out, it is automatically shown on dist.ipfs.io, so you can be sure you're getting the latest software. These steps detail how to download and install Go-IPFS 0.10.0 from dist.ipfs.io using the command-line.

Install system tools

apt update; \
apt install -y tmux curl nano
  1. Download the Linux binary
wget https://dist.ipfs.io/go-ipfs/v0.10.0/go-ipfs_v0.10.0_linux-amd64.tar.gz
  1. Unzip the file
tar -xvzf go-ipfs_v0.10.0_linux-amd64.tar.gz
  1. Move into the go-ipfs folder and run the install script
cd go-ipfs
sudo bash install.sh
  1. Check that IPFS installed
ipfs --version

Initialize the repository

ipfs stores all its settings and internal data in a directory called the repository. Before using IPFS for the first time, you’ll need to initialize the repository with the ipfs init command:

If you are running on a server in a data center, you should initialize IPFS with the server profile. Doing so will prevent IPFS from creating a lot of data center-internal traffic trying to discover local nodes:

ipfs init --profile server

If you're running it on your personal computer you can initalize it with:

ipfs init
> initializing ipfs node at /Users/medianetwork/.ipfs
> generating 2048-bit RSA keypair...done
> peer identity: Qmcpo2iLBikrdf1d6QU6vXuNb6P7hwrbNPW9kLAH8eG67z
> to get started, enter:
> ipfs cat /ipfs/QmYwAPJzv5CZsnA625s3Xf2nemtYgPpHdWEz79ojWnPbdG/readme

The hash after peer identity: is your node’s ID and will be different from the one shown in the above output. Other nodes on the network use it to find and connect to you. You can run ipfs id at any time to get it again if you need it.

Now, try running the command suggested to you in the output of ipfs init. The one that looks like ipfs cat /ipfs/<HASH>/readme.

You should see something like this:

Hello and Welcome to IPFS!
β–ˆβ–ˆβ•—β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ•— β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ•—β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ•—
β–ˆβ–ˆβ•‘β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ•”β•β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ•— β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ•—
β–ˆβ–ˆβ•‘β–ˆβ–ˆβ•”β•β•β•β• β–ˆβ–ˆβ•”β•β•β• β•šβ•β•β•β•β–ˆβ–ˆβ•‘
β–ˆβ–ˆβ•‘β–ˆβ–ˆβ•‘ β–ˆβ–ˆβ•‘ β–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ–ˆβ•‘
β•šβ•β•β•šβ•β• β•šβ•β• β•šβ•β•β•β•β•β•β•
If you see this, you have successfully installed
IPFS and are now interfacing with the ipfs merkledag!
| Warning: |
| This is alpha software. use at your own discretion! |
| Much is missing or lacking polish. There are bugs. |
| Not yet secure. Read the security notes for more. |
Check out some of the other files in this directory:
./quick-start <-- usage examples
./readme <-- this file

Take your node online

Once you're ready to join your node to the public network, run the ipfs daemon in another terminal and wait for all three lines below to appear to know that your node is ready:

ipfs daemon
Initializing daemon...
go-ipfs version: 0.10.0
Repo version: 11
System version: amd64/linux
Golang version: go1.15.8
Swarm listening on /ip4/
Swarm listening on /ip4/
Swarm listening on /ip4/
Swarm listening on /ip4/
Swarm listening on /ip4/
Swarm listening on /ip4/
Swarm listening on /ip4/
Swarm listening on /ip4/
Swarm listening on /ip6/::1/tcp/4001
Swarm listening on /ip6/::1/udp/4001/quic
Swarm listening on /p2p-circuit
Swarm announcing /ip4/
Swarm announcing /ip4/
Swarm announcing /ip4/
Swarm announcing /ip4/
Swarm announcing /ip6/::1/tcp/4001
Swarm announcing /ip6/::1/udp/4001/quic
API server listening on /ip4/
Gateway (writable) server listening on /ip4/
Daemon is ready

Make a note of the TCP ports you receive. If they are different, use yours in the commands below.

Now, switch back to your original terminal. If you’re connected to the network, you should be able to see the IPFS addresses of your peers when you run:

ipfs swarm peers
> /ip4/
> /ip4/
> /ip4/
> /ip4/