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Published: Feb 7, 2020 License: MIT Imports: 4 Imported by: 0


Sprawl Logo

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Sprawl is a peer-to-peer protocol and network for creating distributed marketplaces. It uses KademliaDHT for peer discovery, Libp2p for networking and LevelDB for storage. Sprawl can be combined with any settlement system and security model.

Support on Gitter!

Building with Sprawl

API operations

Sprawl uses protocol buffers for its messaging. The API is described in ./pb/sprawl.proto

service OrderHandler {
	rpc Create (CreateRequest) returns (CreateResponse);
	rpc Delete (OrderSpecificRequest) returns (GenericResponse);
	rpc Lock (OrderSpecificRequest) returns (GenericResponse);
	rpc Unlock (OrderSpecificRequest) returns (GenericResponse);
	rpc GetOrder (OrderSpecificRequest) returns (Order);
	rpc GetAllOrders (Empty) returns (OrderList);

service ChannelHandler {
	rpc Join (JoinRequest) returns (JoinResponse);
	rpc Leave (ChannelSpecificRequest) returns (GenericResponse);
	rpc GetChannel (ChannelSpecificRequest) returns (Channel);
	rpc GetAllChannels (Empty) returns (ChannelList);

Configuration options

By default, Sprawl runs on default config which is located under ./config/default/. You can override these configuration options during development by either creating a config file "config.toml" under root, like ./config.toml, or in production by using environment variables:

Variable Description Default
SPRAWL_DATABASE_PATH The folder that LevelDB will use to save its data "/var/lib/sprawl/data"
SPRAWL_P2P_DEBUG Pinger that pushes an order into "testChannel" every minute false
SPRAWL_P2P_ENABLENATPORTMAP Enable NAT port mapping on nodes that are behind a firewall. Not compatible with Docker. true
SPRAWL_P2P_EXTERNALIP A public IP to publish for other Sprawl nodes to connect to ""
SPRAWL_P2P_PORT libp2p listen port. Constructs a multiaddress together with EXTERNALIP "" (4001 recommended)
SPRAWL_P2P_USEIPFSPEERS Defines if Sprawl uses the default IPFS peers in addition to Sprawl network for peer discovery. true
SPRAWL_ERRORS_ENABLESTACKTRACE Enable stack trace on error messages false
SPRAWL_LOG_LEVEL The lowest level log that gets printed. Uppercase. "INFO"
SPRAWL_LOG_FORMAT The log format. One of "json"/"console" "console"

Running a node

This is the easiest way to run Sprawl. If you only need the default functionality of sending and receiving orders, without any additional fields or any of that sort, this is the recommended way, since you don't need to be informed of Sprawl's internals. It should just work. If it doesn't, create an issue or hit us up on Gitter! :D

go run main.go


# Build a development version which assumes that it's ran inside the repo with all config files
go build && ./sprawl
# You can also build a binary that doesn't assume any configuration files,
# but in this case you MUST use environment variables
go build -ldflags "-X main.configPath=" && ./sprawl


docker run -it eqlabs/sprawl -p 1337:1337 -p 4001:4001

This spawns a Sprawl node with the default configuration. (More information on configuration options at "More on configuring" including environment variables.)

The node then connects to the IPFS bootstrap peers, fetching their DHT routing tables, announcing itself as a part of the Sprawl network.

Different Sprawl nodes should connect to each other using the DHT on the network and open pubsub connections between the channels they're subscribed to. They will then synchronize between each other exchanging CREATE, DELETE, LOCK and UNLOCK operations on orders, persisting the state locally on LevelDB.

You can use your or any Sprawl node that's accessible to you with sprawl-cli. Documentation on the cli tool is kept separate from this repository. We'd be happy to see you develop your own tools using the gRPC/JSON API of Sprawl!

Using Sprawl as a library

You can also build your own applications on top of Sprawl using the packages directly in Go. Best way to get a grasp on how this could be done is to check out ./app/app.go since it's the default application definition which runs a Sprawl node.

Under ./interfaces you can find the interface definitions that need to be fulfilled. If you want to use just a few packages from or customize Sprawl, you can do it. For example, if you want to replace LevelDB with a different database, you need to program the methods defined in ./interfaces/Storage.go to fit your specific database, and plug it in the app.

We aim to continuously expand the ways you can make plugins on top of Sprawl.

Developing Sprawl


Minimum Go version 1.13

When developing with Windows, the following defaults won't hold:


Create the data directory for Sprawl
mkdir /var/lib/sprawl
chmod 755 /var/lib/sprawl

sudo if necessary.


Create an override config file
cp ./config/default/config.toml ./config.toml

The config.toml file is ignored in git and it will override every config under ./config, even under ./config/test. You need to at least override the database path, since the default directory doesn't exist in Windows.

More on configuring

The default configuration files reside under ./config. All the variables there are replaceable by creating a config.toml file in project root or defining environment variables with the prefix SPRAWL_, for example SPRAWL_DATABASE_PATH = /var/lib/sprawl/data

Generate service code based on the protobuf definition

You only need to do this if something has changed in ./pb/sprawl.proto.

make protoc


protoc --go_out=plugins=grpc:. --cobra_out=plugins=client:. pb/sprawl.proto && protoc -I=./pb --go_out=plugins=grpc:./pb ./pb/sprawl.proto

Run all tests

go test -p 1 ./...

Run all tests, see coverage

The following commands generate a code coverage report and open it up in your default web browser.

go test -coverprofile=coverage.out -p 1 ./...
go tool cover -html=coverage.out


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