Real-time collaboration w/ zero installs using the Native File System API

November 11, 2019

The Native File System API allows the browser to access files on your local filesystem in a secure and controlled manner. This opens up new possibilities, allowing web applications to interact with your files beyond the traditional upload/download cycle. This is for instance useful if you need to read/write files multiple times, and especially if multiple files are being accessed; no zip needed.

This experiment implements a simple collaboration application, which allows you to invite remote users to collaboratively edit files on your local filesystem, all without installing anything.

  1. Browse to

  2. Open a folder with the files you want to collaborate on (usually a project folder)

  3. Click “Share” to obtain a sharing link

  4. Give the link to your peers

  5. Optional: If you’re working on an application, make sure it’s running and share that link too; especially useful when live-reload is enabled.

  6. You’ll see the others open and edit files, as well as their cursors.

At the moment, editing is limited to text files, and there are no advanced security mechanisms; you might not want to share your most precious secrets.

Help us improve the web platform!

Do you find the application useful, did you run into bugs or want some additional features?

Most of all we want to hear what you think about the Native File System API - it is still an evolving standard only available through an origin trial . Do you think it could be useful in your applications? What would you use it for?

Let us know!


This project is experimental and you probably should not use it in production application. Vaadin does not give any warranty, support or guarantees of applicability, usefulness, availability, security, functionality, performance etc.