Stellar Module Management - Install your Node.js modules using IPFS
Node.js Interactive, the first Node.js conference organized by the Linux Foundation, happened on Dec 8-9 of 2015. There were hundreds of participants, and dozens of really amazing talks divided in 3 specific tracks: backend, frontend and IoT.
You can learn about that project in this blog post, check out the talk slides or wait for the video recording of the talk. I will update this blog post when that happens.
registry-mirror enables distributed discovery of npm modules by fetching and caching the latest state of npm through IPNS, the InterPlanetary Naming System. With this state, a node in the network is capable of querying IPFS network for an npm module’s cryptographic hash, fetching it from any peer that has it available.
registry-mirror is open source, MIT licensed and available at github.com/diasdavid/registry-mirror.
In order to get started, you must first be sure that you are running IPFS 0.4.0. IPFS 0.4.0 is not yet released, but you can already use it by compiling from source or downloading the pre-built binary.
Compiling from source
You can find a tutorial on how to compile and install IPFS from source at https://github.com/ipfs/go-ipfs#build-from-source. Just make sure to change to the
dev0.4.0 branch, as 0.4.0 isn’t released yet.
Please make sure you have go 1.5.2 or above installed.
Downloading pre-built Binary
Download the pre-built binary for your OS and Arch at gobuilder.
Installing and running registry-mirror
Once you have IPFS 0.4.0 available, install registry-mirror by running the following command (you should have Node.js 4 and npm 2 or above available):
$ npm i registry-mirror -g # ...
Then start your IPFS daemon, run:
$ ipfs daemon Initializing daemon... Swarm listening on /ip4/127.0.0.1/tcp/4001 Swarm listening on /ip4/172.19.248.69/tcp/4001 Swarm listening on /ip6/::1/tcp/4001 API server listening on /ip4/127.0.0.1/tcp/5001 Gateway (readonly) server listening on /ip4/127.0.0.1/tcp/8080 Daemon is ready
After, run registry-mirror daemon with the
$ registry-mirror daemon --ipfs --port=9595 IPFS mode ON registry-mirror [info] output dir: /npm-registry/ registry-mirror [info] listening:127.0.0.1:9595 registry-mirror [info] Updated /npm-registry to: /ipfs/QmSjG9fadu4mPdtRsQYtXhwwCBouFEPiYHtVf8f4iH6vwj
Now, to install a module using IPFS, you only need to set this local registry when running an
npm install. This can be done through config or a command line argument:
$ npm i bignumber --registry=http://localhost:9595 npm http request GET http://localhost:9595/bignumber npm http 200 http://localhost:9595/bignumber npm http fetch GET http://localhost:9595/bignumber/-/bignumber-1.1.0.tgz npm http fetch 200 http://localhost:9595/bignumber/-/bignumber-1.1.0.tgz /Users/david/Documents/code/ipfs/ip-npm/node-interactive └── firstname.lastname@example.org
registry-mirror itself is quite a simple application, as most of the heavy lifting is done by IPFS. IPFS’s distributed nature affords a set of really nice features as a transport layer that
registry-mirror leverages to create its service.
Find where the module lives without having to hit the backbone
registry-mirror, a registry becomes a curated list of hashes. While the modules live in the network, as soon as
registry-mirror caches this list locally (which it gets from the IPFS network), it has a list of the hashes of the modules that a user might need in the future. With this list, a user doesn’t have to know of the whereabouts of a module until it needs to request it from the network.
This list is fetched and kept up to date through IPNS. This ensures secure distribution, as IPNS records and validated with the publisher’s priate key.
Just like git,
registry-mirror is able to work offline and/or in a disconnected scenario. As long as the module you are looking for exists in the network you are currently in, IPFS would be able to find it through its Peer and Content Routing (e.g. with a DHT).
Enable several registries to coexist
Once the notion of a registry becomes a curated list of modules available, enabling more than one registry to exist becomes simpler. This scenario can be especially interesting for private networks such as the ones within companies and organizations that don’t want their modules to be publicly known and available.
Run only what you were looking for
Just like git, IPFS verifies the content received using cryptographic hashing, making sure it is exactly what was requested – you can always be sure that what you are running is what you asked for.
By leveraging local and network caches efficiently, downloading your dependencies can be much faster as it avoids going to npm’s servers or CDN all the time. This can be crucial in high latency networks or more remote areas.