Orbit Db

Peer-to-Peer Databases for the Decentralized Web
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Matrix npm version node

OrbitDB is a serverless, distributed, peer-to-peer database. OrbitDB uses IPFS as its data storage and Libp2p Pubsub to automatically sync databases with peers. It's an eventually consistent database that uses Merkle-CRDTs for conflict-free database writes and merges making OrbitDB an excellent choice for p2p and decentralized apps, blockchain applications and local-first web applications.

Test it live at Live demo 1, Live demo 2, or P2P TodoMVC app!

OrbitDB provides various types of databases for different data models and use cases:

  • log: an immutable (append-only) log with traversable history. Useful for "latest N" use cases or as a message queue.
  • feed: a mutable log with traversable history. Entries can be added and removed. Useful for "shopping cart" type of use cases, or for example as a feed of blog posts or "tweets".
  • keyvalue: a key-value database just like your favourite key-value database.
  • docs: a document database to which JSON documents can be stored and indexed by a specified key. Useful for building search indices or version controlling documents and data.
  • counter: Useful for counting events separate from log/feed data.

All databases are implemented on top of ipfs-log, an immutable, cryptographically verifiable, operation-based conflict-free replicated data structure (CRDT) for distributed systems. ipfs-log is formalized in the paper Merkle-CRDTs. You can also easily extend OrbitDB by implementing and using a custom data model benefitting from the same properties as the default data models provided by the underlying Merkle-CRDTs.

Project status & support

  • Status: in active development
  • Compatible with js-ipfs versions >= 0.66.0 and go-ipfs versions >= 0.17.0

NOTE! OrbitDB is alpha-stage software. It means OrbitDB hasn't been security audited and programming APIs and data formats can still change. We encourage you to reach out to the maintainers if you plan to use OrbitDB in mission critical systems.

This is the Javascript implementation and it works both in Browsers and Node.js with support for Linux, OS X, and Windows. Node version 16 is supported.

A Go implementation is developed and maintained by the Berty project at berty/go-orbit-db.

Table of Contents


Read the GETTING STARTED guide for a quick tutorial on how to use OrbitDB.

For a more in-depth tutorial and exploration of OrbitDB's architecture, please check out the OrbitDB Field Manual.

Module with IPFS Instance

If you're using orbit-db to develop browser or Node.js applications, use it as a module with the javascript instance of IPFS

Install dependencies:

npm install orbit-db ipfs
import IPFS from 'ipfs'
import OrbitDB from 'orbit-db'

;(async function () {
  const ipfs = await IPFS.create()
  const orbitdb = await OrbitDB.createInstance(ipfs)

  // Create / Open a database
  const db = await orbitdb.log("hello")
  await db.load()

  // Listen for updates from peers
  db.events.on("replicated", address => {
    console.log(db.iterator({ limit: -1 }).collect())

  // Add an entry
  const hash = await db.add("world")

  // Query
  const result = db.iterator({ limit: -1 }).collect()
  console.log(JSON.stringify(result, null, 2))

Module with IPFS Daemon

Alternatively, you can use ipfs-http-client to use orbit-db with a locally running IPFS daemon. Use this method if you're using orbitd-db to develop backend or desktop applications, eg. with Electron.

Install dependencies:

npm install orbit-db ipfs-http-client
import { create } from 'ipfs-http-client'
import OrbitDB from 'orbit-db'

const ipfs = create(new URL('http://localhost:5001'))

const orbitdb = await OrbitDB.createInstance(ipfs)
const db = await orbitdb.log('hello')
// Do something with your db.
// Of course, you may want to wrap these in an async function.


See API.md for the full documentation.

Database browser UI

OrbitDB databases can easily be managed using a web UI, see OrbitDB Control Center.

Install and run it locally:

git clone https://github.com/orbitdb/orbit-db-control-center.git
cd orbit-db-control-center/
npm i && npm start


Install dependencies

git clone https://github.com/orbitdb/orbit-db.git
cd orbit-db
npm install

Some dependencies depend on native addon modules, so you'll also need to meet node-gyp's installation prerequisites. Therefore, Linux users may need to

make clean-dependencies && make deps

to redo the local package-lock.json with working native dependencies.

Browser example

npm install # if not yet installed
make build
npm run examples:browser # if browser isn't opening, open examples/browser/browser.html in your browser

Using Webpack:

npm install # if not yet installed
make build
npm run examples:browser-webpack # if browser isn't opening, open examples/browser/browser-webpack-example/index.html in your browser

Check the code in examples/browser/browser.html and try the live example.

Node.js example

npm run examples:node


See the code in examples/eventlog.js and run it with:

node examples/eventlog.js


We have a field manual which has much more detailed examples and a run-through of how to understand OrbitDB, at orbitdb/field-manual. There is also a workshop you can follow, which shows how to build an app, at orbit-db/web3-workshop.

More examples at examples.


OrbitDB uses the following modules:

OrbitDB Store Packages

Community-maintained Typescript typings are available here: orbitdb/orbit-db-types


Run Tests

npm test


npm run build


node benchmarks/benchmark-add.js

See benchmarks/ for more benchmarks.


To enable OrbitDB's logging output, set a global ENV variable called LOG to debug,warn or error:

LOG=debug node <file>

Frequently Asked Questions

We have an FAQ! Go take a look at it. If a question isn't there, open an issue and suggest adding it. We can work on the best answer together.

Are there implementations in other languages?

Yes! Take a look at these implementations:

The best place to find out what is out there and what is being actively worked on is likely by asking in the Matrix. If you know of any other repos that ought to be included in this section, please open a PR and add them.


Take a look at our organization-wide Contributing Guide. You'll find most of your questions answered there. Some questions may be answered in the FAQ, as well.

If you want to code but don't know where to start, check out the issues labelled "help wanted".


The development of OrbitDB has been sponsored by:

If you want to sponsor developers to work on OrbitDB, please reach out to @haadcode.


MIT 2015-2023 Protocol Labs Inc., Haja Networks Oy, OrbitDB Community

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