As of v6.3 BEAM adds IPFS support and IPFS can be accessed via API. Refer version 6.3 API docs for details on supported IPFS calls.

  • in Desktop UI client IPFS is enabled by default. IPFS node is started when user launches any DApp granting full IPFS support to DApps. After IPFS node is started it continues to run until desktop client is closed.
  • in wallet-api IPFS support is disabled by default, --enable_ipfs=true option should be specified to start IPFS node granting full IPFS support
  • in Mobile clients & WASM client limited IPFS support is enabled. No local IPFS node is started, write-only methods like ipfs_add/ipfs_pin would fail. Read-only methods like ipfs_get are enabled via HTTP calls to BEAM managed IPFS nodes.


BEAM IPFS repository is located in the [wallet data folder]/ipfs-repo until --ipfs_repo=[path] option is specified for API CLI or [ipfsnode] ipfs_repo=[path] in Desktop settings.ini file. When there is no initialized IPFS repository in the given path it would be automatically initialized with the default 'server' IPFS profile for API CLI and with the default (client) profile for Desktop Client except the following custom BEAM settings:

  • Swarm.ConnMgr.LowWater - is set to 100. Can be changed using --ipfs_low_water option in API CLI and using [ipfsnode] ipfs_low_water= in Desktop client 'settings.ini' file.
  • Swarm.ConnMgr.HighWater - 200 / --ipfs_high_water, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_high_water=
  • Swarm.ConnMgr.GracePeriod - 20s / --ipfs_grace_period, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_grace_period= as uint32 seconds
  • Bootstrap - default BEAM bootstrap node(s) / --ipfs_bootstrap (space separated multiaddr list), settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_bootstrap=
  • Addresses.Swarm - custom 10100 listening port / --ipfs_swarm_port, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_swarm_port=
  • Addresses.API - custom /ip4/ listening address for API / empty (API disabled) on Desktop / --ipfs_api_addr, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_api_addr=
  • Addresses.Gateway - custom /ip4/ listening address in API / empty (Gateway disabled) on Desktop / --ipfs_gateway_addr, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_gateway_addr=
  • Swarm.EnableAutoRelay - false in API / true on Desktop / --ipfs_auto_relay, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_auto_relay=
  • Swarm.EnableRelayHop - false / --ipfs_relay_hop, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_relay_hop=
  • Swarm.Transports.Network.Relay - forced to true everywhere. Not adjustable at the moment.
  • AutoNAT.ServiceMode - enabled / --ipfs_autonat, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_autonat= as bool
  • AutoNAT.Throttle.GlobalLimit - 30 / --ipfs_autonat_limit, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_autonat_limit=
  • AutoNAT.Throttle.PeerLimit - 3 / --ipfs_autonat_peer_limit, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_autonat_peer_limit=
  • Datastore.StorageMax - 20GB in API CLI / 2GB in Desktop client / --ipfs_storage_max, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_storage_max=
  • Routing.Type - dhtserver in API CLI / dht in Desktop client / --ipfs_routing_type, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_routing_type=
  • swarm.key file is created to ensure connection to the BEAM private IPFS network / --ipfs_swarm_key, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_swarm_key= as string
  • IPFS periodic GC is disabled in API CLI / launched in Desktop Client / --ipfs_run_gc, settings.ini -> [ipfsnode] ipfs_run_gc= as bool
  • sockets-based activation for "io.ipfs.api" and "io.ipfs.gateway" is disabled at the moment and is not planned in the future. Contact us if you need this feature.
  • WebUI is not supported and disabled, will be supported in the future
  • fuse mounts for "/ipfs" and "/ipfs" are not supported and disabled, will be supported in the future
  • remote pinning for MFS roots is not supported and disabled, will be supported in the future

There are no changes in default IPFS repo layout, all default config and data files are and you are able to manage the IPFS repo via default IPFS cli tool paired with the IPFS_PATH environment variable. Ensure that BEAM client that uses the repo is not launched when accessing it using IPFS cli. In case of Desktop client's IPFS repo ipfs_node_api_port/Addresses.API setting should be specified before running daemon or it would crash. go-ipfs is unable to launch without API support.

ipfs-repo/config.lock file

This section describes BEAM extension to IPFS repo & config handling.

On every start BEAM would force and overwrite the aforementioned BEAM custom settings in the ipfs-repo/config file. If you want to cancel this behavior, edit the ipfs-repo/config file manually or via cli and preserve your custom changes ipfs-repo/config.lock file should be created.

If ipfs-repo/config.lock is present BEAM would not make any changes to the ipfs-repo/config file. All BEAM ways to change IPFS settings are immediately blocked and ignored including --ipfs-xxx CLI options, any IPFS options set in wallet_api.cfg file, any IPFS options set via desktop UI and any IPFS options set in desktop UI settings.ini file.

Useful stuff

Access BEAM IPFS node using standard IPFS cli tool

  1. Start wallet api
  2. Install go-ipfs
  3. Create beam-ipfs bash script (do not forget to change your paths)
export IPFS_PATH=/home/ubuntu/beam-api/ipfs-repo/
# uncomment the following line if you're using private IPFS network
# export LIBP2P_FORCE_PNET=1
/home/ubuntu/go-ipfs-node/ipfs "$@"

In desktop client IPFS node API is disabled by default. ipfs_node_api_port should be set in settings.ini or Addresses.API in ipfs-repo/config to access IPFS node API.

  1. Make it executable
chmod  +x ./beam_ipfs
  1. Execute usual ipfs commands via the script
./beam-ipfs swarm peers

SystemD IPFS unit file

Example below if given for a standard go-ipfs binary. You can also use the same settings for running wallet API

Description=GO IPFS Node

# uncomment if private IPFS network
# Environment="LIBP2P_FORCE_PNET=1"
ExecStart=/home/ubuntu/go-ipfs-node/ipfs daemon