Step 1: Download the Prebuilt IPFS Package

Visit the IPFS installation page at and download the prebuilt ipfs binaries for your operating system.

Why does the installation page talk about “Go IPFS”? There are multiple implementations of the IPFS protocol. The core IPFS team maintain implementations in Golang and Javascript. Those are commonly referred to as go-ipfs and js-ipfs. The official binaries are built from the Go implementation.

Step 2: Unzip the Prebuilt Package

The binaries for Mac OSX and Linux are in a gzipped tar format (.tar.gz). The binaries for Windows are in a zip file. Use the appropriate tool to unzip the file. There are some hints on under the heading Installing from a Prebuilt Package

This will create a directory called go-ipfs.

The file named ipfs is your executable ipfs binary.

Step 3: Install the IPFS Binary on your executable path

To install the binary, all you need to do is put the ipfs binary file somewhere on your executable PATH.

Note about permissions: Whichever approach you use to install the binary, make sure you have the necessary permissions. On Mac OSX or Linux, you probably want to use sudo, which is already installed on most systems.

If you’re on Mac OSX or Linux, you can use the provided install script by running.

Read the output from running this. If it complains about being unable to write the file, you need to deal with permissions (see the note above about permissions)

Step 4: Display the IPFS version

When you’re troubleshooting, it’s important to know which version of ipfs you’re using. To find out the current version, run

Step 5:Initialize the Repository

Use the ipfs init command to initialize the repository. This will generate a local ipfs repository for the current user account on your machine. It also generates a cryptographic keypair that allows your ipfs node to cryptographically sign the content and messages that you create.

Note:If you have already initialized ipfs on your machine, you will get an error message like:

This is ok. It means you’ve already done this step. You can safely proceed to Step 6.

Step 6: Use IPFS to explore the post-install documentation

If you installed a different version of ipfs, you may have gotten a slightly different path to use here. Either path will work for this tutorial. The path you got from the ipfs init command will give you documentation that’s accurate for the version of ipfs you’re using.

When you ran ipfs init, it provided a hint for how you can get started. It said:(refer step 5)


This ipfs cat command tells ipfs to read the content matching the path you provided. If the content isn’t available locally, ipfs will attempt to find it on the peer-to-peer network.

Run the ipfs cat command with the path you got from the init message:

You should see something like this:

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