What is IPFS
IPFS is a peer-to-peer or distributed file system that allow you to share files that will also be distributed to other computers, or nodes, throughout the networked file system. This makes it difficult to take down content stored on IPFS because even if one node is removed, the content will still be available from other nodes.
To use it, users need to download a client for Linux, Mac, or Windows. Once downloaded, users can then use the command line client to store and retrieve files from the distributed file system of it.
To store a file on IPFS, a user simply uses the ipfs add [filename] command. For example, to store a file called README.md, you would enter ipfs add README.md. The file will then be uploaded to IPFS and be given a SHA256 hash, which is used to identify the file on IPFS.
CloudFlare has introduced a new gateway that allows you to easily access content stored on IPFS, or the InterPlanetary File System, through a web browser and without having to install a client.
With this announcement, CloudFlare also explains how you can use their gateway to create static web sites that are served entirely over IPFS. This allows users to create web sites containing information that cannot be censored by governments, companies, or other organizations.
Using CloudFlare’s IPFS Gateway to access files stored in IPFS
With CloudFlare’s Gateway, it is very easy to access files stored in its using any web browser. To open a file stored on IPFS you would simply connect to the web address https://cloudflare-ipfs.com/ipfs/[hash] URL, where hash is the hash of the file stored on it.
For example, if we wanted to view the README.me file we stored earlier under the hash QmVh1g359Sb2YNmegSxSRp5paktWGVLQMwtgYBx1haqwjA,
It’s now simple to create websites stored
While the Gateway’s are not new, CloudFlare is trying to make it easy for users to create distributed web sites using IPFS by offering free SSL certificates and an easy to use method to connect a domain to it.
If you own a domain and want to connect it to content stored on it, you can configure CNAME and TXT DNS records that allow the gateway to serve content through it.
Before you get started, though, it is important to understand how store your content in such a way that it will not be removed over time.
Once your content is uploaded to the gateway, you can then create a CNAME and TXT record that connects your domain to your stored content by performing the steps below.
First, go to the DNS settings for your domain. When you’re there, add the following two records:
- CNAME from websiteto www.cloudflare-ipfs.com
- TXT record from your.websiteto dnslink=/ipfs/[your_hash_here]
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