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Community Solid Server - v0.9.0

Community Solid Server

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An open and modular implementation of the Solid specifications

  • Community Solid Server is open software to provide people with their own Solid Pod.

  • It will give developers an environment to create and test new Solid applications.

  • Its modular architecture allows trying out new ideas on the server side and thereby shape the future of Solid.

Current status

This server is in beta stage, which means you can start using it for developing and testing apps, with some limitations:

  • User account / pod creation is not yet supported fully, and you must rely on an external identity provider to log you in and authenticate your WebID. solid/node-solid-server or any other pod provider can serve this purpose, and all you need to do is pass in an external WebID when creating pods. More information on creating pods can be found under Interacting with the server.
  • The spec is still under active development, and as such some features (like trustedApps) are not yet implemented because they are likely to change. If your users rely on this functionality, migrating is not yet recommended.

Your feedback is most welcome as issues on this repository.

However, you can already boot up the server, play around with it, and check how it is made.

The 📗 API documentation and the 📐 architectural diagram can help you find your way. The organization and structure of the classes and components in the src folder is designed to align with this architectural diagram to the extent possible (i.e. the ldp folder should contain all the components from the ldp section of the diagram.

If you are interested in helping out with the development of this server, be sure to have a look at the 📓 developer notes and 🛠️ good first issues.

Running the server

Configuring the server

Community Solid Server (CSS) uses ComponentJS to manage all configuration for the server. There are a variety of configuration files for common use cases in the config folder.

Additional recipes for configuring and deploying the server can be found at solid/community-server-recipes.

Parameter Default Description
--port, -p 3000
--baseUrl. -b "http://localhost:$PORT/" Needs to be set to the base URL of the server for authnetication and authorization to function.
--config, -c "config/config-default.json" config-default.json stores all data in memory. If you would like to persist data to your filesystem, try config-file.json
--mainModulePath, -m Absolute path to the package root from which ComponentJS module resolution should start.
--loggingLevel, -l "info"
--rootFilePath, -f "./" Folder to start the server in when using a file-based config.
--sparqlEndpoint, -s Endpoint to call when using a SPARQL-based config.
--podConfigJson "./pod-config.json" JSON file to store pod configuration when using a dynamic config.
--idpTemplateFolder "templates/idp" Folder containing the templates used for IDP interactions.

Installing and running locally

$ npm ci
$ npm start [-- ARGS]

Interacting with the server

CSS is still under active development, and as such the easiest and fastest way to understand what functionality is supported is to read the integration tests. This section is only intended as a high level summary of what's supported.

The server supports low-level interaction via HTTP methods, such as GET, PUT, HEAD, ...

Below, we provide several examples on how to interact with the server using curl.

POST: Creating a new pod

Create a pod using an external WebID for authentication:

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: application/json" \
  -d '{"login": "timbl", "webId": "http://timbl.inrupt.net/profile/card#me"}' \

PUT: Creating resources for a given URL

Create a plain text file:

curl -X PUT -H "Content-Type: text/plain" \
  -d "abc" \

Create a turtle file:

curl -X PUT -H "Content-Type: text/turtle" \
  -d "<ex:s> <ex:p> <ex:o>." \

POST: Creating resources at a generated URL

Create a plain text file:

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: text/plain" \
  -d "abc" \

Create a turtle file:

curl -X POST -H "Content-Type: text/turtle" \
  -d "<ex:s> <ex:p> <ex:o>." \

The response's Location header will contain the URL of the created resource.

GET: Retrieving resources

Retrieve a plain text file:

curl -H "Accept: text/plain" \

Retrieve a turtle file:

curl -H "Accept: text/turtle" \

Retrieve a turtle file in a different serialization:

curl -H "Accept: application/ld+json" \

DELETE: Deleting resources

curl -X DELETE http://localhost:3000/myfile.txt

PATCH: Modifying resources

Currently, only patches over RDF resources are supported using SPARQL Update queries without WHERE clause.

curl -X PATCH -H "Content-Type: application/sparql-update" \
  -d "INSERT DATA { <ex:s2> <ex:p2> <ex:o2> }" \

HEAD: Retrieve resources headers

curl -I -H "Accept: text/plain" \

OPTIONS: Retrieve resources communication options

curl -X OPTIONS -i http://localhost:3000/myfile.txt

Run using Docker

A Docker image is available to run the containerised Solid Community Server against your filesystem.

Common usage:

  • Build the Docker image
    docker build --rm -f Dockerfile -t css:latest .
  • Run the image against your ~/Solid directory on http://localhost:3000
    docker run --rm -v ~/Solid:/data -p 3000:3000 -it css:latest
  • Use alternative versions of the built in config. The filestorage is just the default configuration, you can override with any of the configurations included with the server
    docker run --rm -p 3000:3000 -it css:latest -c config/config-default.json
    Or override it with your own config mapped to the right directory
    docker run --rm -v ~/solid-config:/config -p 3000:3000 -it css:latest -c /config/my-config.json

Using the identity provider

  1. Launch the Community Solid Server:

    git clone git@github.com:solid/community-server.git
    cd community-server
    npm ci
    npm start
  2. To use the identity provider, you need a compatible client application.

    You can use for example @inrupt/solid-client-authn-js:

    git clone https://github.com/inrupt/solid-client-authn-js
    cd solid-client-authn-js
    npm ci
    cd packages/node/example/demoClientApp/
    npm ci
    npm start

    Go to http://localhost:3001.

  3. Use the base URL of your running CSS instance to as Identity provider, for example http://localhost:3000, to fill the form. Click the login button.

  4. Follow the instructions to register/login/...

    A WebID hosted in your pod will be required to complete registration.

    In your running community server, you could create http://localhost:3000/profile/card with the following content:

    PREFIX : <#>
    PREFIX solid: <http://www.w3.org/ns/solid/terms#>
    :me solid:oidcIssuer <http://localhost:3000/> .

    When registering, follow the on screen instructions and add the OIDC issuer registration token to your WebID, which you can do for example by PATCHing http://localhost:3000/profile/card with:

    PREFIX : <#>
    PREFIX solid: <http://www.w3.org/ns/solid/terms#>
      :me solid:oidcIssuerRegistrationToken "IDP_TOKEN" .
  5. Once logged in, you are redirected to your client app, running for example on http://localhost:3001/.

  6. You're now authenticated and can fetch public and private resources.