Replaced by Homebase! See https://github.com/beakerbrowser/homebase.
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DatHTTPD has been replaced by Homebase! Same basic design, but more features and an easier-to-pronounce name.

A Web server for Dat and HTTPS.

Dat sites are hosted at public keys, which are the equivalent of IP addresses in the P2P network. The pubkeys are ugly, though! Wouldn't it be nice if your dats could have nice DNS shortnames, and also rehost over HTTPS for people still on legacy browsers?

dathttpd is for you!

  • Serve sites over Dat at dat://{subdomain}.{yourdomain.com}.
  • Rehost those sites over https://{subdomain}.{yourdomain.com}.
  • Get TLS certs automatically with Let's Encrypt.
  • (Optionally) Auto-redirect from https -> dat.
  • Metrics dashboard

Getting started

Start hosting your website with Dat

You can use the Dat CLI or the Beaker Browser.

After uploading your site to a Dat archive, identify the archive's URL. You'll need this for your dathttpd config.

Update your DNS records

Create an A record that points to your server's IP address.

Firewall rules

Make sure your server is accessible by port 80 (http), 443 (https), and 3282 (dat).


On your server, create a config file at ~/.dathttpd.yml that follows this structure:

  email: '[email protected]'
  agreeTos: true
    url: dat://1f968afe867f06b0d344c11efc23591c7f8c5fb3b4ac938d6000f330f6ee2a03/
    url: dat://ff34725120b2f3c5bd5028e4f61d14a45a22af48a7b12126d5d588becde88a93/

Then run

# install build dependencies
sudo apt-get install libtool m4 automake libcap2-bin build-essential

# install dathttpd (https://docs.npmjs.com/getting-started/fixing-npm-permissions)
npm install -g dathttpd

# give node perms to use ports 80 and 443
sudo setcap cap_net_bind_service=+ep `readlink -f \`which node\``

# start dathttpd

To daemonify the server in Debian-based systems, stop the dathttpd process and then run:

# install a helper tool
npm install -g add-to-systemd

# create a systemd entry for dathttpd
sudo add-to-systemd dathttpd --user $(whoami) $(which dathttpd)

# start the dathttpd service
sudo systemctl start dathttpd


Here's an example ~/.dathttpd.yml:

  http: 80
  https: 443
  metric: 8089
directory: ~/.dathttpd
  email: '[email protected]'
  agreeTos: true
    url: dat://1f968afe867f06b0d344c11efc23591c7f8c5fb3b4ac938d6000f330f6ee2a03/
    datOnly: false
    url: dat://ff34725120b2f3c5bd5028e4f61d14a45a22af48a7b12126d5d588becde88a93/
    datOnly: true
    proxy: http://localhost:8080
    redirect: https://my-site.com


The port to serve the HTTP sites. Defaults to 80. (Optional)

HTTP automatically redirects to HTTPS.


The port to serve the HTTPS sites. Defaults to 443. (Optional)


The port to serve the prometheus metrics. Defaults to 8089. (Optional)


The directory where dathttpd will store your Dat archive's files. Defaults to ~/.dathttpd. (Optional)


Settings for LetsEncrypt. If false or unset, HTTPS will be disabled.


The email to send Lets Encrypt? notices to. (Required)


Do you agree to the terms of service of Lets Encrypt? (Required, must be true)


A listing of the sites to host. Each site is labeled (keyed) by the hostname you want the site to serve at.

Sites can either host dat archives or proxy to a URL. To make a dat-site, set the url attribute. To make a proxy, set the proxy attribute.

You'll need to configure the DNS entry for the hostname to point to the server. For instance, if using site.myhostname.com, you'll need a DNS entry pointing site.myhostname.com to the server.


The Dat URL of the site to host.


The HTTP URL of the site to proxy.


The HTTP URL of the site to redirect traffic to.


If true, rather than serve the assets over HTTPS, dathttpd will serve a redirect to the dat:// location. Defaults to false. (Optional)


If true, serve the HSTS header. You can specify how long the strict-transport rule lasts as the value. (parsed using the ms module). If true is given, will default to 7 days. Defaults to false. (Optional)

Command Line Flags

  • --config <path> use the config file at the given path instead of the default ~/.dathttpd.yml. Overrides the value of the DATHTTPD_CONFIG env var.

Env Vars

  • DATHTTPD_CONFIG=cfg_file_path specify an alternative path to the config than ~/.dathttpd.yml
  • NODE_ENV=debug|staging|production set to debug or staging to use the lets-encrypt testing servers.

Metrics Dashboard

DatHTTPD has built-in support for Prometheus, which can be visualized by Grafana.


DatHTTPD exposes its metrics at port 8089. Prometheus periodically scrapes the metrics, and stores them in a database. Grafana provides a nice dashboard. It's a little daunting at first, but setup should be relatively painless.

Follow these steps:

  1. Install Prometheus on your server.
  2. Install Grafana on your server.
  3. Update the prometheus.yml config.
  4. Start prometheus and grafana.
  5. Login to grafana.
  6. Add prometheus as a data source to grafana. (It should be running at localhost:9090.)
  7. Import this grafana dashboard.

Your prometheus.yml config should include have the scrape_configs set like this:

  - job_name: 'prometheus'
      - targets: ['localhost:9090']
  - job_name: 'dathttpd'
      - targets: ['localhost:8089']

Report any issues you have along the way!

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