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A universal Berkeley sockets implementation for both WebAssembly (based on WebRTC) and native platforms with bindings for C, Go and TinyGo.

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unisockets implements the Berkeley sockets API. On a native environment like Linux, it falls back to the native Berkeley sockets API; on WASM it uses WebRTC for fast peer-to-peer communication instead of the (non-available) native API. This allows you to "just recompile" an existing socket server/client (such as a web server etc.) and run it natively, in a WebAssembly runtime or in the browser, without the need for a WebSocket proxy like in emscripen or some other proxy mechanism. You've heard that right, this library allows you to bind in the browser!


UML Diagram

The system is made up of the following components:

  • Signaling: A WebRTC signaling server (with two implementations), client and protocol has been implemented to allow for nodes to discover each other and exchange candidates, but is not involved in any actual connections. When compiling natively, it is not required.
  • Transport: A minimal wrapper around the WebRTC API. When compiling to WASM, this component manages all actual data transfers and handles incoming/outgoing peer to peer connections. When compiling natively, it is not required.
  • Sockets: A set of WebAssembly imports that satisfy the basic API of the Berkeley sockets, such as socket, bind, listen, accept, connect, send, recv etc. When compiling natively, it falls back to the native implementation.

These components have no hard dependencies on one another, and can be used independendly.

Additionally, a universal C/C++ header for easy usage and Go/TinyGo bindings (see PkgGoDev) have been created.

Signaling Protocol

The signaling components use the following protocol:

Sequence Diagram

There are two implementations of the signaling server. The TypeScript version is maintained is this repo, the Java version can be found in junisockets.

Public signaling server instances:

Implementation URL
TypeScript wss://signaler.webnetes.dev
Java wss://jsignaler.webnetes.dev

Further Resources

Interested in an implementation of the Go net package based on this package, with TinyGo and WASM support? You might be interested in tinynet!

You want a Kubernetes-style system for WASM, running in the browser and in node? You might be interested in webnetes, which uses unisockets for it's networking layer.


Check out the universal C/C++ header for the C API docs or PkgGoDev for the Go/TinyGo API. Many examples on how to use it (C, TinyGo & Go clients & servers plus an example WebAssembly runner) can also be found in the cmd folder. Looking for advice on how to build and run natively or using WASM? Check out the Makefile!


unisockets (c) 2021 Felix Pojtinger and contributors

SPDX-License-Identifier: AGPL-3.0

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