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Official BitTorrent Developer Releases Trackerless Client

Postby SlyckTom » Thu May 19, 2005 12:06 am

Earlier this month, Azureus introduced a new beta client with DHT (Distributed Hash Table) layer support. Many touted this as a "trackerless" BitTorrent network. Two weeks later, the creator of BitTorrent, Bram Cohen, released the latest official version of his client, fresh with "trackerless" support.

However, it should be realized this does not necessarily mean the BitTorrent network is becoming "trackerless." The word "trackerless" is used for simplicity’s sake. The BitTorrent protocol has not been altered to accomidate this layer.

What has been altered is the addition of the DHT layer that works on top of the BitTorrent network. The DHT layer employs a network of clients that work together to create virtual indexs. This virtual index then becomes the "trackerless" component. In reality, there are still trackers, however the responsibilities of a single web-based tracker has been instead distributed to various clients.

DHT layer support does not necessarily mean traditional trackers are becoming extinct. "Trackerless" clients are still in their infancy, and web-based indexing sites will most likely remain the standard for some time to come.

Below is the <a href=http://www.bittorrent.com/trackerless.html target=_blank>press release</a> from BitTorrent.com:

BitTorrent Goes Trackerless: Publishing with BitTorrent gets easier!

As part of our ongoing efforts to make publishing files on the Web painless and disruptively cheap, BitTorrent has released a 'trackerless' version of BitTorrent in a new release.

Suppose you bought a television station, you could broadcast your progamming to everyone in a 50 mile radius. Now suppose the population of your town tripled. How much more does it cost you to broadcast to 3 times as many people? Nothing. The same is not true of the Web. If you own a website and you publish your latest video on it, as popularity increases, so does your bandwidth bill! Sometimes by a lot! However, thanks to BitTorrent the website owner gets almost near-broadcast economics on the web by harnessing the unused upstream bandwidth of his/her users.

In prior versions of BitTorrent, publishing was a 3 step process. You would:

1. Create a ".torrent" file -- a summary of your file which you can put on your blog or website
2. Create a "tracker" for that file on your webserver so that your downloaders can find each other
3. Create a "seed" copy of your download so that your first downloader has a place to download from

Many of you have blogs and websites, but dont have the resources to set up a tracker. In the new version, we've created an optional 'trackerless' method of publication. Anyone with a website and an Internet connection can host a BitTorrent download!

While it is called trackerless, in practice it makes every client a lightweight tracker. A clever protocol, based on a Kademlia distributed hash table or "DHT", allows clients to efficiently store and retrieve contact information for peers in a torrent.

When generating a torrent, you can choose to utilize the trackerless system or a traditional dedicated tracker. A dedicated tracker allows you to collect statistics about downloads and gives you a measure of control over the reliability of downloads. The trackerless system makes no guarantees to reliability but requires no resources of the publisher. The trackerless system is not consulted when downloading a traditionally tracked torrent.
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Postby Psycho Ced » Thu May 19, 2005 12:14 am

Nice update. THanx for the heads up SlyckT 8)
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Postby SlyckTom » Thu May 19, 2005 12:16 am

ugg....two articles near mid-night..must get sleep for tomorrow!

np PC!
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Postby poullos » Thu May 19, 2005 12:21 am

Nice article Tom.
Thanks. Go get some sleep. I'm awake now :D
¯\(º_o)/¯
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Postby Psycho Ced » Thu May 19, 2005 12:39 am

SlyckTom wrote:ugg....two articles near mid-night..must get sleep for tomorrow!
np PC!

LOL yes but one was about starwars :twisted:
Get some sleep!
/Me have 9:30 class
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Postby Allied » Thu May 19, 2005 12:58 am

I 'm kinda confused. Is it like azureus where you can track the torrent for anyone using the same client? Or has something different been done.
I'll have to give it a try.
Tommorow.
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Postby opita » Thu May 19, 2005 1:35 am

SO if its like azureus then does it mix with azureus.
Question:
Official client dht("trackerless") can find azureus dht or no???
Please tell me they can find each other, if not this new feature is worthless for me cuz i use azureus.
Anyone have an answer???
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Postby resueman » Thu May 19, 2005 1:40 am

no opinion
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Possible Correction

Postby LeeWare » Thu May 19, 2005 1:55 am

When you say "The world "trackerless" is used for simplicity’s sake."

I assume you intended "The word "trackerless" is used for simplicity’s sake."


:wink:
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Postby UJM » Thu May 19, 2005 2:38 am

Installed it and crashed within 5 mins with this message " TCP stack flaking out", checking the TCP stack fix box didn't work either, I hade to reduce the number of max connections to 55 in order to get it to working on my set-up, then it was OK. ... probably something to do with DHT.
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Postby Assyrian » Thu May 19, 2005 3:25 am

thanks, but ill wait for bittornado do release there version.
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Postby gregorio » Thu May 19, 2005 3:50 am

opita wrote:SO if its like azureus then does it mix with azureus.

No, it doesn't. The two are completely incompatible.
Let's see who scraps his implementation or if they are going to see it through to the end, the hard way. In the first corner we have Azureus, which was there first and has the more complex DHT and the larger userbase and in the other corner we have Bram Cohen with something that uses bencoding and is probably very easy to implement. Wow, this is going to be so much fun to watch!
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Postby Gausselimination » Thu May 19, 2005 3:56 am

dont forget about bitcomets share peer info.

it would be nice if the writers could agree on one way to do this instead of everyone doing his own thing. it would greatly improve the bt network if they did.
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Postby bkman » Thu May 19, 2005 5:55 am

I think that Bram Should have supported or helped improve the Azureus solution rather than developing his own, but he is too stubborn.
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Postby Assyrian » Thu May 19, 2005 6:11 am

ummm he created BT. azureus team shouldve helped him improve, and so should of the rest of BT wannabes out there.
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Postby bkman » Thu May 19, 2005 9:47 am

Assyrian wrote:ummm he created BT. azureus team shouldve helped him improve, and so should of the rest of BT wannabes out there.


Things have changed since BT was first released; now Azureus has the features, and the userbase. The latter especially makes the most difference to the effectiveness of a decentralized tracker supplement.
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Postby MKrmec » Thu May 19, 2005 10:41 am

For the last time BitComet SUX! Try BitSpirit, bitcomets experienced father.

And this is a real shame that the DHTs are not compatible. This is going to mean war. I think the Azureus team will try to do something so it will be compatible with the Bram Cohen version because clearly Bram won't.
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Postby SlyckTom » Thu May 19, 2005 10:43 am

How do we know the two DHT layers are not compatible?
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Postby LxBeast » Thu May 19, 2005 10:46 am

SlyckTom wrote:How do we know the two DHT layers are not compatible?


Exactly. Even if they can't connect to each other, surely modifications could be made to allow the 2 to communicate.
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Postby Allied » Thu May 19, 2005 12:02 pm

If you all check the Azureus adds DHT layer article thread, you'll see that I asked this question along time ago.
http://www.slyck.com/forums/viewtopic.p ... 121#150121
I don't believe Bram would do anything to help Azureus. He's always been against filesharing.
I hope Azureus will make the necessary modifications. The newest version of Azureus has been causeing alot of "help me with azureus" threads around forums. Azureus could abandon their DHT layer and copy Bram's.
I'll be waiting for the BitTornado mod.
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Postby opita » Thu May 19, 2005 12:14 pm

Thanks for the responce gregorio.
I guess you got some insider info since slycktom didn't even know (that is if your saying the truth).
Love it when ppl try to complicate things, LeeWare i ment nothing by saying the word trackerless, just trying to find the words to ask if the clients are compatible with each other, thats all.
I really doubt Azureus will be dropping DHT that's their best feature to date IMHO.
Can anyone corroborate on what gregorio said so we can be certain that they aren't compatible with each other.
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Postby gregorio » Thu May 19, 2005 12:46 pm

SlyckTom wrote:How do we know the two DHT layers are not compatible?

Aside from the message architecture, you could easily make them compatible. The question is, how much crap the Azureus ppl are willing to take. With their marketshare, they can comfortably live with having their own, private DHT,
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Postby zab » Thu May 19, 2005 12:52 pm

I'm hoping someone actually did RTFS because DHT warz is the last thing we need.
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Postby Allied » Thu May 19, 2005 2:05 pm

I've installed it.
I don't see any way to take an existing torrent and apply the DHT layer. The only place I see DHT is in its make torrent app.

I don't think there's any room for web based trackers in its DHT network.
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Postby SlyckTom » Thu May 19, 2005 2:16 pm

Sounds good....I just received an answer from Bram...

Nope, totally different implementations. Ours has actually been in development a lot longer than theirs.

We suspect that there are some serious problems with azureus's DHT, and are currently investigating.

Also, mainline doesn't look up in the DHT if there's a normal tracker given. We think that being able to collect statistics is important functionality, and view using the DHT when there's a perfectly good ordinary tracker as breaking that.
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