node package manager

peer-npm

peer-npm

an npm-compatible registry backed by peer-to-peer networks

NOTE: Very unstable and mad science-y. Use at your own discretion.

WHY would someone want something like this?

  • I want an easy way to use/publish/install packages when I'm offline
  • I want to be able to install/share packages /w my friends over LAN
  • I want my packages to be available & resistant to censorship & network failure
  • I want a fail-safe in case npm Inc ever goes away or is seized by the government
  • I want a package manager whose backend is 100% permissively open source

Usage

To be used just like vanilla npm, but with a subset of commands: install, remove, and publish.

USAGE:
 
  peer-npm i, install [-S] [-D]
 
    Works like `npm install`. Accepts a peer-npm package name to install from
    the swarm.
 
  peer-npm publish
 
    Works like `npm publish`. Publish the current package to the swarm.
    Generates a new keypair if one is not already present.
 

Getting started

Install

With npm installed, run

$ npm install --global peer-npm

Join the swarm

In another window run

$ peer-npm daemon

so that you can download packages from others and share the ones you publish.

Publish a module to the swarm

Let's grab a package from github and try to publish it:

$ cd /tmp
 
$ git clone https://github.com/noffle/resync-srt
 
$ cd resync-srt
 
$ npm install
 
$ peer-npm publish
+ resync-srt_hyperdrive_c5abee5fd496620499c3d203f15c95d24a51d16ec05dea4a8ab2c88368c296b9
Published 3.1.0

resync-srt is now in the swarm! The name of the package is made of three parts, concatenated by underscores: the package name, the peer network its shared on, and the public key of the publisher.

Install a swarm dependency

Let's make a new package that depends on resync-srt:

$ cd /tmp
$ mkdir foobar
$ cd foobar
 
$ npm init
 
# you'll want to use the package name generated from the last step
$ peer-npm install --save resync-srt_hyperdrive_c5abee5fd496620499c3d203f15c95d24a51d16ec05dea4a8ab2c88368c296b9

If you look in your package.json you'll see a new section called swarmDependencies. This lets peer-npm know what packages you depend on in the swarm, but in a way that keeps vanilla npm working.

In fact, you can have a package in both swarmDependencies and regular dependencies. Using peer-npm won't break your package for non-peer-npm users.

How does it work?

peer-npm pretends to be an npm registry, but running on your local machine. When you run peer-npm daemon it runs this registry (and also does the peering logic).

peer-npm install is mostly a wrapper for something like npm install --registry=http://localhost:9000.

When you publish or try to install a package, peer-npm looks at its name to decide whether it is a package from the central npm registry, or from the swarm.

npm packages have a name like field-trip, whereas swarm packages have a name like field-trip_hyperdrive_79cf7ecc9baf627642099542b3714bbef. The part after the name is the public key of the author. This makes packages resiliant against impersonation or malicious peers.

peer-npm can work with different peer networks; right now there is only a hyperdrive driver, which is the default.

When you run peer-npm install it will find other peers with the packages you want and download them, recursively down the dependency tree. Similarly, when you run peer-npm publish, the new package's key is shared amongst other peer-npm peers for future discovery.

IRC

Come hang out in #peer-npm on Freenode to help test and develop!

License

ISC