Getting Started with Beaker

Welcome! Beaker is a peer-to-peer browser for Web hackers. It includes a bunch of tools:

In this guide, we're going to familiarize you with Beaker's ideas and tools, but if you want to jump straight into the action, start here:

Joining the Social Network

What is this peer-to-peer thing?

Beaker uses a peer-to-peer protocol called Hyperdrive. "Hyperdrives" are like websites. They store webpages, pictures, media, user data, and so on. Hyperdrives power a lot of Beaker's best features.

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"Hyperdrives" are folders you host from your computer. They contain web pages which you can browse and edit. You can create and share hyperdrives using Beaker. Learn more.

Peer-to-peer means that you host data directly from your device.

One fun attribute of peer-to-peer is "co-hosting." This is where you help keep a hyperdrive online by storing the data and contributing bandwidth to other users. It happens temporarily when you visit a hyperdrive, but you can turn it on permanently for sites you like.

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You can "host" other people's hyperdrives to help keep them online and contribute bandwidth. Learn more.

What should I learn next?

A lot of Beaker's experience is the social network of personal websites. If I were you, I'd see how to join the social network.

Joining the Social Network

If you want to start hacking on some websites, read up on creating new hyperdrives and using the editor. If you love the idea of remixing other people's work, you should learn about forking hyperdrives. If you're a fan of command lines, check out Beaker's Webterm.

The Beaker Developer Portal has a directory of useful resources for getting into code:

  • Templates. Pre-made hyperdrives you can copy.
  • Tutorials. More developer-focused guides to teach you about building on Beaker.

You can also find Beaker's new Web APIs here.

If you're interested in learning technical details, see the developer's Introduction to Hyperdrive.