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WARNING: This project has been renamed to ssb-server. Install using ssb-server instead.


13.2.2 • Public • Published


Scuttlebot is an open source peer-to-peer log store used as a database, identity provider, and messaging system. It has:

  • Global replication
  • File-synchronization
  • End-to-end encryption

Scuttlebot behaves just like a Kappa Architecture DB. In the background, it syncs with known peers. Peers do not have to be trusted, and can share logs and files on behalf of other peers, as each log is an unforgeable append-only message feed. This means Scuttlebots comprise a global gossip-protocol mesh without any host dependencies.

Join us in #scuttlebutt on freenode.

build status


to get a known working shrinkwrapped version, install scuttlebot-release. It is recommended to only use this repo for development.

npm install -g scuttlebot-release

scuttlebot-release uses an npm-shrinkwrap.json file, so that it's possible to install it globally with known dependencies. You can also use this to install old versions, with dependencies that worked at that time.


There are already several applications built on scuttlebot, one of the best ways to learn about secure-scuttlebutt is to poke around in these applications.

  • patchwork is a discussion platform that we use to anything and everything concerning ssb and decentralization.
  • patchbay is another take on patchwork - it's compatible, less polished, but more modular. The main goal of patchbay is to be very easy to add features to.
  • git-ssb is git (& github!) on top of secure-scuttlebutt. Although we still keep our repos on github, primary development is via git-ssb.

it is recommended to get started with patchwork, and then look into git-ssb and patchbay.

Example Usage

# In bash: 
# Start the server with extra log detail 
# Leave this running in its own terminal/window 
sbot server --logging.level=info
# publish a message 
sbot publish --type post --text "My First Post!"
# stream all messages in all feeds, ordered by publish time 
sbot feed
# stream all messages in all feeds, ordered by receive time 
sbot log
# stream all messages by one feed, ordered by sequence number 
sbot hist --id $FEED_ID
// In javascript:
var pull = require('pull-stream')
var ssbClient = require('ssb-client')
// create a scuttlebot client using default settings
// (server at localhost:8080, using key found at ~/.ssb/secret)
ssbClient(function (err, sbot) {
  if (err) throw err
  // publish a message
  sbot.publish({ type: 'post', text: 'My First Post!' }, function (err, msg) {
    // msg.key           == hash(msg.value)
    //  == your id
    // msg.value.content == { type: 'post', text: 'My First Post!' }
    // ...
  // stream all messages in all feeds, ordered by publish time
    pull.collect(function (err, msgs) {
      // msgs[0].key == hash(msgs[0].value)
      // msgs[0].value...
  // stream all messages in all feeds, ordered by receive time
    pull.collect(function (err, msgs) {
      // msgs[0].key == hash(msgs[0].value)
      // msgs[0].value...
  // stream all messages by one feed, ordered by sequence number
    sbot.createHistoryStream({ id: < feedId > }),
    pull.collect(function (err, msgs) {
      // msgs[0].key == hash(msgs[0].value)
      // msgs[0].value...


Scuttlebot's message-based data structure makes it ideal for mail and forum applications (see Patchwork). However, it is sufficiently general to be used to build:

  • Office tools (calendars, document-sharing, tasklists)
  • Wikis
  • Package managers

Because Scuttlebot doesn't depend on hosts, its users can synchronize over WiFi or any other connective medium, making it great for Sneakernets.

Scuttlebot is eventually-consistent with peers, and requires exterior coordination to create strictly-ordered transactions. Therefore, by itself, it would probably make a poor choice for implementing a crypto-currency. (We get asked that a lot.)

Getting Started

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Further Reading






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