ipfs-cluster-follow Jan 14, 2020

The ipfs-cluster-follow command line application is a  user-friendly way of running follower peers to join collaborative IPFS  Clusters. You can obtain more information about collaborative clusters  in the respective section.

ipfs-cluster-follow runs an optimized cluster peer for  use with collaborative cluster. It focuses on simplicity and security  for users running follower peers, removing most of the configuration  hassles that running a peer has.


ipfs-cluster-follow normally uses configurations distributed through the local IPFS gateway as templates.

In this case, the service.json file for each configured cluster contains a single source key pointing to a URL, which is read when starting the peer.

This file can be replaced by a custom service.json file. Alternatively, every configuration value can be overriden with environment variables as explained in the configuration reference. The IPFS_GATEWAY environmental variable can be used to set the gateway location if it’s not the default (

If you need to expose the HTTP API on a TCP port rather than the default unix socket, set CLUSTER_RESTAPI_HTTPLISTENMULTIADDRESS accordingly.

Using ipfs-cluster-ctl with ipfs-cluster-follow

ipfs-cluster-follow exposes an API endpoint using, by default, a unix socket, rather than listening on a local TCP port.

If you wish to talk to the peer using ipfs-cluster-ctl, you can run:

ipfs-cluster-ctl --host /unix//<home_path>/.ipfs-cluster-follow/<clusterName>/api-socket ...


Usage information can be obtained by running:

$ ipfs-cluster-follow --help

Finding collaborative clusters to join

Visit collab.ipfscluster.io for a list of collaborative clusters that you can join and more instructions.

$ ipfs-cluster-ctl --host /ip4/<ip>/ipfs/<peerID> ...


$ pfs-cluster-ctl --host /dnsaddr/mydomain.com ... (setting a _dnsaddr TXT dnsaddr=peer_multiaddress field in your dns).

If the libp2p peer you’re contacting is using a cluster secret (a private networks key), you will also need to provide --secret <32 byte-hex-encoded key> to the command.

We recommend that you alias the ipfs-cluster-ctl command in your shell to something shorter and with the right global options.


To download ipfs-cluster-follow check the downloads page.

Vaibhav Saini

Co-Founder TowardsBlockchain, Dappkit, SimpleAsWater | YC SUS 19 | IITD | Blockchain | AI | Speaker | Writer

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