linkup
Set up WebRTC connections between peers using nothing but an id
Last updated 4 years ago by josdejong .
MIT · Repository · Bugs · Original npm · Tarball · package.json
$ cnpm install linkup 
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linkup

Set up WebRTC connections between peers using nothing but an id.

Features:

  • Simple way to set up peer-to-peer connections using WebRTC by giving peers an id.
  • Provides a broker server for you, so you don't need to set up a server. You can run your own broker server too if you want.
  • Open system. Like with the internet, each peer can connect to each other peer, and it's up to the peer to accept or deny connections. This is unlike most messaging platforms where you get an application key and peers can only talk to other peers within the same application (closed system).
  • Works in browsers and node.js.

Requirements

WebRTC relies on STUN and TURN servers for setting up connections between peers (via the ICE protocol). A STUN server is used to get an external network address, this is cheap and there are many STUN servers freely available. TURN servers are used to relay traffic if direct (peer to peer) connection fails. Since a TURN server passes all data the peers via the server, it requires a lot of bandwidth. Therefore TURN servers are not free.

By default, linkup is configured to use the free STUN/TURN service from Viagénie, which is great for development and will get you going without having to set something up. For production use you will have to use (and pay for) your own STUN/TURN server or service.

Install

Install the library via npm:

$ npm install linkup

Use

Browser

Here a simple example on how to use the library in the browser. More examples are available in the examples folder.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <!-- load the linkup client library -->
  <script src="dist/linkup.js"></script>

  <script>
    // create a peer with some id
    var peer = linkup.createPeer('peer1');

    // listen for messages from other peers
    peer.on('message', function (envelope) {
      console.log('Received message from', envelope.from, ':', envelope.message);
    });

    // we want to know when something goes wrong
    peer.on('error', function (err) {
      console.error(err);
    });

    // send a message to a peer
    peer.send('peer2', 'hi peer2!')
        .catch(function (err) {
          console.error(err);
        });
  </script>
</head>
</html>

node.js

Before the library can be used in node.js the wrtc library has to be installed:

$ npm install wrtc

Then, linkup can be loaded like:

var linkup = require('linkup');

// create a peer with some id
var peer = linkup.createPeer('peer1');

// listen for messages from other peers
peer.on('message', function (envelope) {
  console.log('Received message from', envelope.from, ':', envelope.message);
});

// we want to know when something goes wrong
peer.on('error', function (err) {
  console.error(err);
});

// send a message to a peer
peer.send('peer2', 'hi peer2!')
    .catch(function (err) {
      console.error(err);
    });

Documentation

Similar libraries

Develop

First install the dependencies once:

$ npm install

To build & run the broker server in development mode with debugging:

$ npm start

Then open the following url in your browser:

http://localhost:5000

Note that the server must be restarted by hand on changes in the code.

The following environment variables can be provided:

Name Description
PORT Port number for the server.
REDISCLOUD_URL Optional redis database url, used for pub/sub messaging between multiple broker servers in a cluster.

Example usage:

$ PORT=5001 npm start

Build

The build script generates a bundled file for both peer libraries and for running the broker server.

$ npm install
$ npm run build

To run the generated the generated code for the broker server:

$ node dist/broker/server

Deploy

To deploy to heroku, first set a git remote to your heroku application:

$ heroku git:remote -a my-heroku-app

Then force Heroku to install all devDependencies, as it has to built the server application on startup:

$ heroku config:set NPM_CONFIG_PRODUCTION=false

In order to make the broker server scalable, multiple broker servers can be be set up in a cluster. The servers communicate via pub/sub messaging powered by Redis. This is optional.

To add a (free) Redis database to the Heroku setup:

$ heroku addons:create rediscloud

To deploy:

$ npm run deploy

Publish

To publish a new version of linkup on npm:

  • Update the version number in package.json.
  • Update the CHANGELOG.md
  • run npm run build
  • run npm publish
  • Create a git tag for the new version: git tag v1.2.3; git push --tags

Roadmap

  • Support for Android and iOS.
  • Support for letting peers authenticate each other for example with a Google or Facebook id.
  • Support authentication against the broker server, allowing to set up a private broker server.

License

MIT

Current Tags

  • 0.4.1                                ...           latest (4 years ago)

7 Versions

  • 0.4.1                                ...           4 years ago
  • 0.4.0                                ...           4 years ago
  • 0.3.0                                ...           4 years ago
  • 0.2.0                                ...           4 years ago
  • 0.1.0                                ...           4 years ago
  • 0.0.2                                ...           4 years ago
  • 0.0.1                                ...           4 years ago
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