A (loosely written) Guide to Hosting an IPFS Node on AWS

A (loosely written) Guide to Hosting an IPFS Node on AWS

We’ve launched an ipfs node over at ipfs.runfission.com! Try it out by

Big thanks to our friends over at textile for an excellent tutorial series on setting up an ipfs peer.

We’re planning on writing up our own more polished tutorial series as well. But for now, here’s a walkthrough of everything we did to get the node up and running. All feedback/comments/questions are very much appreciated! If you decide to give this a run-through, let us know how it goes so that we can patch up any confusing parts/mistakes in documentation.

This guide includes 3 parts:

  • Setup IPFS Node
  • Setup s3 as a datastore
  • Setup TLS + (Secure) Websockets

So without furth ado…

Setup IPFS Node

Setup EC2

  • Launch instance
  • We used Ubuntu 18.04 64-bit (x86)
  • t2.large (t2.micro for free tier)
  • add security group
    • call it something like ipfs-node
    • you can open to all traffic now
    • later you’ll want a more restrictive firewall
      • All SSH traffic on port 22
      • All HTTP/HTTPS traffic on ports 80/443 respectively
      • All TCP traffic on port 8080 (gateway)
      • All TCP traffic on ports 4001 - 4003 (ipfs connection ports)
  • create new key pair
    • name ours: aws-ipfs-node
    • cd ~/Downloads
    • make file readonly for current user: sudo chmod 400 aws-ipfs-node.pem
    • move to ssh keys folder: mv aws-ipfs-node.pem ~/.ssh

ssh to instance

  • ssh -i ~/.ssh/aws-ipfs-node.pem ubuntu@$PUBLIC_DNS
  • in our case: ssh -i ~/.ssh/aws-ipfs-node.pem ubuntu@ec2-3-215-160-238.compute-1.amazonaws.com

install ipfs:

  • download ipfs: wget https://dist.ipfs.io/go-ipfs/v0.4.22/go-ipfs_v0.4.22_linux-amd64.tar.gz (or latest version)
  • uncompress: tar xvfz go-ipfs_v0.4.22_linux-amd64.tar.gz
  • move binary to $PATH: sudo mv go-ipfs/ipfs /usr/local/bin
  • cleanup: rm go-ipfs_v0.4.22_linux-amd64.tar.gz
  • cleanup: rm -rf go-ipfs


ipfs version should print ipfs version 0.4.22 (or whichever version you downloaded)

initialize repo

  • edit user profile for setting env variables: sudo vim ~/.profile (or whatever text editor you use)
  • add export IPFS_PATH=/data/ipfs (or wherever you want your ipfs repo setup)
  • source ~/.profile
  • sudo mkdir -p $IPFS_PATH
  • allow current user access to ipfs data sudo chown ubuntu:ubuntu $IPFS_PATH
  • init ipfs repo with server configuration: ipfs init -p server
  • change config:
    • set max storage with ipfs config Datastore.StorageMax XXGB (if hooking up to s3, bump this up quite a bit)
    • enable gateway: ipfs config Addresses.Gateway /ip4/
    • alternately, these can be changed by editing /data/ipfs/config directly

run daemon

  • create systemctl service
  • create file /lib/systemd/system/ipfs.service with contents:
    Description=ipfs daemon
    ExecStart=/usr/local/bin/ipfs daemon --enable-gc
  • restart systemctl daemon so it finds new service: sudo systemctl daemon-reload
  • tell systemctl that ipfs should be started on startup: sudo systemctl enable ipfs
  • start ipfs: sudo systemctl start ipfs
  • check status: sudo systemctl status ipfs
  • should see something like
    ● ipfs.service - ipfs daemon
       Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/ipfs.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
       Active: active (running) since Wed 2019-08-28 20:38:04 UTC; 4s ago
     Main PID: 30133 (ipfs)
        Tasks: 9 (limit: 4915)
       CGroup: /system.slice/ipfs.service
               └─30133 /usr/local/bin/ipfs daemon --enable-gc
    ipfs[30133]: Swarm listening on /ip4/
    ipfs[30133]: Swarm listening on /ip4/
    ipfs[30133]: Swarm listening on /ip6/::1/tcp/4001
    ipfs[30133]: Swarm listening on /p2p-circuit
    ipfs[30133]: Swarm announcing /ip4/
    ipfs[30133]: Swarm announcing /ip6/::1/tcp/4001
    ipfs[30133]: API server listening on /ip4/
    ipfs[30133]: WebUI:
    ipfs[30133]: Gateway (readonly) server listening on /ip4/
    ipfs[30133]: Daemon is ready


Load $PUBLIC_DNS:8080/ipfs/QmS4ustL54uo8FzR9455qaxZwuMiUhyvMcX9Ba8nUH4uVv in your browser and you should see the docs directory

in our case: http://ec2-3-215-160-238.compute-1.amazonaws.com:8080/ipfs/QmS4ustL54uo8FzR9455qaxZwuMiUhyvMcX9Ba8nUH4uVv

Setup s3 as datastore

Note: Do this before adding data to your IPFS node. this will corrupt any already added data

create s3 bucket

  • we’ll call ours ipfs-node
  • make sure it’s in the same region as your ec2 instance
  • leave public access blocked (only our node should be accessing these objects)
  • get access keys for node
    • go to My Security Credentials in aws
    • Users in sidebar
    • Add user
    • we’ll call ours ipfs-node
    • access type: programmatic access
    • for now: s3 full access, can tailor more later
    • make note of access key and secret access key (note: do this now since you can’t access the secret key again)

build tools

  • install go
  • install build tools
    • sudo apt update
    • sudo apt install make
    • sudo apt install build-essential
  • set env variables
    • edit ~/.profile: vim ~/.profile
    • add export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/go/bin at bottom
    • add export GOPATH=/home/ubuntu/go at bottom
    • source ~/.profile

build and install s3 plugin

  • git clone https://github.com/ipfs/go-ds-s3.git
  • cd go-ds-s3
  • build plugin: make build
    • if not building against most recent version of IPFS, set env variable IPFS_VERSION=v.X.Y.Z
    • output is go-ds-s3.so
  • install plugin: make install
    • moves go-ds-s3.so to /data/ipfs/plugins

config ipfs to use plugin

  • edit config: vim /data/ipfs/config
  • there should be 2 entries under Datastore.Spec.mounts
  • replace the first with
        "child": {
          "type": "s3ds",
          "region": "us-east-1",
          "bucket": "$bucketname",
          "accessKey": "",
          "secretKey": ""
        "mountpoint": "/blocks",
        "prefix": "s3.datastore",
        "type": "measure"
  • make sure that region, and bucket are set to the region and bucket name of your s3 bucket
  • use the accessKey and secretKey you generated earlier here
  • edit datastore_spec to match the new data store
  • vim /ipfs/data/datastore_spec
  • change to:
  • again make sure that region and bucket match your actual s3 bucket
  • restart ipfs: sudo systemctl restart ipfs
  • make sure there are no errors systemctl status ipfs


upload a file to ipfs then check s3 to make sure it added ipfs dag object(s) there


  • download some image wget https://fission.codes/assets/images/fission-1200x400.png
  • add to ipfs ipfs add fission-1200x400.png
  • go check s3 and make sure it has ipfs objects

Setup TLS + (Secure) Websockets

install nginx

  • sudo apt update
  • sudo apt install nginx
  • check status: systemctl status nginx
  • should see something like
● nginx.service - A high performance web server and a reverse proxy server
   Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/nginx.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
   Active: active (running) since Wed 2019-08-28 21:23:08 UTC; 32s ago
     Docs: man:nginx(8)
  Process: 31246 ExecStart=/usr/sbin/nginx -g daemon on; master_process on; (code=exited, status=0/SUCCES
  Process: 31234 ExecStartPre=/usr/sbin/nginx -t -q -g daemon on; master_process on; (code=exited, status
 Main PID: 31248 (nginx)
    Tasks: 3 (limit: 4915)
   CGroup: /system.slice/nginx.service
           ├─31248 nginx: master process /usr/sbin/nginx -g daemon on; master_process on;
           ├─31251 nginx: worker process
           └─31252 nginx: worker process


Load $PUBLIC_DNS in your browser and you should see the nginx homepage

setup a domain + TLS

  • point a domain name to your instance’s public dns
    • ipfs.runfission.com in our case
  • add certs + keys to nginx
  • easy mode:
    • some tools exist to help with this. See certbot for instance. Can generate certs + automatically create nginx config
  • manually:
    • import key + cert to instance
      • /etc/ssl/ipfs.runfission.com.key
      • /etc/ssl/ipfs.runfission.com.pem
    • edit nginx config at /etc/nginx/sites-available/default
    • start with 2 servers
    • first is a simple server to redirect http traffic to https
      server {
        if ($host = ipfs.runfission.com) {
          return 301 https://$host$request_uri;
        listen 80;
        listen [::]:80;
        server_name ipfs.runfission.com;
        return 404;
    • redirect https traffic on 443 to the ipfs gateway at 8080
      server {
        server_name ipfs.runfission.com;
        listen [::]:443 ssl ipv6only=on;
        listen 443 ssl;
        ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/ipfs.runfission.com.pem;
        ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/ipfs.runfission.com.key;
        location / {
          proxy_set_header Host $host;
          proxy_cache_bypass $http_upgrade;


Load https://$DOMAIN_NAME/ipfs/QmS4ustL54uo8FzR9455qaxZwuMiUhyvMcX9Ba8nUH4uVv and you should see the ipfs docs served over https!

add secure websockets

  • tell ipfs to listen on ws port
    • edit /data/ipfs/config
    • add "/ip4/" to Address.Swarm
    • recommended: allow relay hop by setting Swarm.EnableRelayHop to true
    • restart ipfs sudo systemctl restart ipfs
  • setup a secure proxy with nginx
    • edit nginx config at /etc/nging/sites-available/default
    • add:
      server {
        server_name ipfs.runfission.com;
        listen [::]:4003 ssl ipv6only=on;
        listen 4003 ssl;
        ssl_certificate /etc/ssl/ipfs.runfission.com.pem;
        ssl_certificate_key /etc/ssl/ipfs.runfission.com.key;
        location / {
          proxy_http_version 1.1;
          proxy_set_header Upgrade $http_upgrade;
          proxy_set_header Connection "upgrade";
    • restart nginx sudo systemctl restart nginx


  • go to websocket.org and test your connection with wss://$DOMAIN_NAME:4003

The Real Test:

start a js-ipfs node (using our awesome get-ipfs package) and connect to /dns4/$DOMAIN_NAME/tcp/4003/wss/ipfs/$PEER_ID by either doing ipfs.swarm.connect or adding the multiaddr to the node bootstrap list

wait a second (for the connection), print the peer list and make sure that your hosted node is included:

setTimeout(async ()=> {
  const peers = (await ipfs.swarm.peers()).map(p => p.peer._idB58String);
}, 1000)


After im am changing the conf file for s3 intigration and restarting the ipfs deamon it is failing please help

Sorry @vivekr42 – this is likely stale info, originally from September 2019. There are much better tutorials now.

@boris i really appriciate the reply can you please help me with dome guide in which I can attach my deamon with s3 bucket