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About ChiFS

ChiFS ("Chives") is a system for distributed file sharing, search and discovery on top of the Tor anonymity network.

The goal of ChiFS is to provide an easy way for people to anonymously share any number of files with the rest of the world. ChiFS provides a decentralized search and discovery platform so that these shared files can be found quickly by anyone who is interested in them. The network is built to be resilient against unreliable peers and provides facilities to filter out spam and other unwanted content.

Project status

At this point, ChiFS is not much more than an assorted collection of notes, ideas and early alpha and beta-level implementations. Parts of it are already usable, but don't expect it to be a very smooth or bug-free experience.

Discussion happens on Matrix: There's also an IRC gateway at #chifs @ Freenode.

High-level architecture

ChiFS Overview

The ChiFS network consists of the following entities:

A Share is an application run by someone who has files that they want to share with the rest of the network. On a technical level, a Share is a Tor Onion service that offers the shared files and associated metadata over HTTP.

A Hub is a search engine for Shares: A Hub indexes all shared files and offers a convenient browse and search interface. Technically, a Hub is a Tor Onion service that provides an API and web interface over HTTP.

Hubs are in the special position that they can curate the files that are being indexed: This allows Hub operators to filter out spam, illegal and/or malicious content.

A Client is the software that people can use to interact with the Hub for file search and discovery and to actually download the files from the Shares. A regular web browser could be used as a client, but more specialized clients can provide a more convenient user interface and faster and more resilient downloads.

(If this architecture looks familiar, ChiFS is indeed heavily inspired by Direct Connect)