Working with IPFS in JS
js-ipfs-apiis a smaller library that controls an IPFS node that is already running via its HTTP API.
js-ipfsactually uses this library internally if it detects that another node is already running on your computer. You can also interact with the HTTP API directly using
fetch()in a browser or a module like
requestin Node.js, but using this library can be much more convenient.
Both libraries have the same interface for using all the major IPFS commands.
Whenever reasonable, we recommend the second method (interacting with a separate IPFS node via the HTTP API). Keeping the IPFS node in a separate process (even if it’s one your program spawns) isolates you from any stability problems with the node. If a user already has IPFS installed, this also means you can take advantage of a single, common installation on their computer. It’s also less code to load in a browser. If you need to spawn a separate IPFS process, you might want to take a look at
js-ipfsd-ctl, which uses the same interface to spawn a
go-ipfs node, a
js-ipfs node, or an in-process
IPFS in Web Browsers
js-ipfs-api libraries work in browsers, but each has some special considerations noted in their READMEs.
We are also building a browser extension named IPFS Companion. If a visitor to your site has it installed, it will make a global
js-ipfs-api, but comes with much better security controls and lets you use IPFS without loading any special libraries.