I know that IPFS supports directories additionally to just files. But I don’t quite understand how they work, and more importantly what they can do.
I’m hoping directories might be able to provide a workaround to needing IPNS for every aspect of a dynamic website, as is implied by file immutability. If files could be added to directories in which they may be referenced by a file name, this would make a lot of additional abilities possible.
First of all I wanted to know how you can add a file to a directory or remove it from one. Is there a command of the form “ipfs add my_file.jpg ipns_name.com/my_directory”?
If that’s possible: Can a file be referenced by its file name rather than its hash from a directory?
Lastly: Can directories be given specific rights protected by a key or password? For instance: Only the owner can delete files from the directory, but others can add new files or read existing files.
Directories are also immutable. Think of them as files that point to other files.
Unfortunately, we don’t have any built-in support for authentication or encryption. You can layer that on-top of IPFS but you’ll have to do that yourself.
If you’re looking for a way to work with files (mutably) in IPFS, take a look at the
ipfs files command. That gives you a local mutable filesystem stored in ipfs. You can get the current IPFS hash of any file in that filesystem by running
ipfs files stat --hash /path/to/my/file.
Now that is very helpful! I had no idea you can also reference files by a filename in IPFS, I thought the hash is all that is ever available. So if I update a file with the right arguments, can I still keep the file name… meaning the “ipfs files” command will return the hash of the updated file for a given name?
So if I update a file with the right arguments, can I still keep the file name… meaning the “ipfs files” command will return the hash of the updated file for a given name?
Yes. The easiest way is to simply overwrite the file but you can also, e.g., write to it with
ipfs files write .... Eventually, we’d like to provide a separate fuse daemon so you can mount this as a virtual filesystem but we don’t have one yet.
Very interesting! Virtual file system would be nice too… in this case the best use would be globally (so you can reference a changing file the same way everywhere).