In an attempt to fight off my sleep deprivation I'll write this post about a little something called
dat. I recently bought a vps for $3.50pm and figured I'd have a go at some things I've been wanting to do but never had a dedicated server for.
Hopefully this post acts as a guide to anyone else wanting to serve their site with
So, what is
dat? It's described as: "a new p2p hypermedia protocol". It's like http, but instead of being centralised it's a peer-to-peer distributed web. Nice. So basically if my server dies someone out there in the vast expanse of the internet will have a copy of my trashfire site and other people can grab it from them instead of my choking server.
dat site is located at: dat://caß.si (yes your really can use the eszett...), which is just the cutest looking domain I've seen...
I'm using Debian 9 so your installation process may vary slightly... First, some updates, install node package manager and install dat, easy as.
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade
sudo apt-get install nodejs
sudo npm install npm
sudo install -g dat
Test it works via
Serving files over dat
Create a new folder, add some content and share it.
#add some html stuff
And you should get:
$ dat share
Created new dat
You can think of the
dat://5a4575c632d1a573... as your address, paste that into Beaker Browser and you should see the content of your html file:
That's all well and good, but no-one can remember a 64 character address, this is where domains come in.
Setting up a domain name
I want to access my dat site via
dat://cass.si. This can easily be achieved by creating a
TXT record in your DNS. Note: this method does not work with http mirroring, you have to use a
.well-known file for that, more info...
Simply create a
TXT record and set the target to
datkey=<your_dat_address>, so for my site it looks like the following:
It might take a bit for the DNS to propogate but all things going to plan...
Making it permanent
Now then, since
dat is peer-to-peer there needs to be at least one person on the network at all times hosting the files, this is where
hypercore comes in.
hypercore is a program written by the people that made
dat for use in hosting multiple dats. To install it:
sudo npm install -g hypercored
Now we need to add our
dat address to it so it knows what to watch,
hypercored does this with use of a
echo 'dat://<your_dat_address' >> feeds
You can use your domain too, so I did:
echo 'dat://cass.si' >> feeds and it works fine.
Finally, start up
Watching ~/dat/feeds for a list of active feeds
Archiver key is 42471e32d36be3cb617ec1df382372532aac1d1ce683982962fb3594c5f9532a
Swarm listening on port 58184
Now it should watch your dats for any changes and update them accordingly. And there you have it.