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File sharing Bit Torrent client ported to RISC OS

Published: 29th Mar 2007, 20:19:37 | Permalink | Printable

we_are_so_happy.iso.torrent [Updated]

Hey guys, it's Kate from Lost!A BitTorrent client has been successfully ported to RISC OS by Theo Markettos using the GCCSDK. The peer-to-peer file sharing program can fetch and upload large files from the Internet, from Linux distribution CDs to videos of films and TV shows - allowing users to download and enjoy episodes of their favourite shows, such as Lost, pictured.

To use the BitTorrent network, users must first search for and download a .torrent file which the client will use to fetch a particular file from other BT users. The file is gradually downloaded in bits from other clients until it is complete. At the same time, you will be expected to share files with other BT users.

Theo's RISC OS port of the enhanced ctorrent client runs from the command line, and can download files as well as share them with other bit torrent users. For example, to download a GNU/Linux Ubuntu ISO, run in a taskwindow:

*wget http://releases.ubuntu.com/6.10/ ubuntu-6.10-desktop-i386.iso.torrent
*ctorrent ubuntu-6.10-desktop-i386.iso.torrent


Theo told us: "You can successfully fetch a file from a torrent, and letting other people leech it works too. Somebody is doing so right now. I haven't tested creating torrent files, as I'm not sure I have anything I want to upload to the world."

He ported the software, written in C++, after RISC OS Open staffers discussed using peer-to-peer file sharing networks to spread the load of distributing the RISC OS 5 source code.

Theo said: "I decided to port ctorrent partly because lots of Linux distributions and similar projects are supplying files by torrent these days, and it's only polite to download by a method that costs them less bandwidth.

"But it's also as a result of a discussion on the RISC OS Open forums a month or two ago where I suggested peer-to-peer as a means of distributing big source tarballs like the RISC OS sources."

A binary build for punters to run is expected to be made available via the GCCSDK Autobuilder shortly. GCCSDK users can read Theo's post below to port the software by hand using the Autobuilder.

Update at 15:11 on 30/03/07
A webpage with a download link and more information is now online here.

Links


Theo's initial GCCSDK mailing list post 'Upstream' enhanced ctorrent website

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Discussion

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This is great news. Although it is not a vital program that RISC OS was lacking it is a great way to transfer big files if you dont have bandwidth limits or those still on dialup connections.

"allowing users to download and enjoy episodes of their favourite shows, such as Lost"

Would be good if could actually watch them though ;)

 is a RISC OS UserMikeCarter on 29/3/07 8:50PM
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correction "if you have bandwith limits"

 is a RISC OS UserMikeCarter on 29/3/07 8:51PM
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Most ISPs only throttle downstream bandwidth consumption, and don't take any account of upstream consumption - thus using BitTorrent to download a file is only very slightly more costly to your quota than just using HTTP, and also means people like ROOL don't get stung with enormous bandwidth bills - so this is good news.

I'm interested to see how well it functions with RISC OS's very low maximum number of open sockets. I've downloaded things in the past that have had three times the number of connections open than RISC OS has sockets total.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 29/3/07 10:31PM
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Once the official autobuilder version is ready I'll link to it from here: [link] where I can put other documentation and others can contribute.

ctorrent provides a -M max_peers option to control the maximum number of peers, so keeping within the socket limit should be possible. I haven't tried any very popular torrents as those tend to be large files and I'm a bit tight on disc space on my RPC. But BitTorrent is definitely a good way to stress test a network... it's the only application that's ever saturated my upstream and downstream bandwidth.

 is a RISC OS Usercaliston2 on 29/3/07 11:35PM
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Good news. The picture (Evangeline Lilly, mmmmmm, btw) reminds me that since Lost was stolen by <spit>Sky</spit>, I've had to get a colleague at work to put them on to DVD for me (which unfortunately means being nice to him despite any cacky code). But this means I might be able to download them instead, and whilst I wont be able to play them under RISC OS, it should be possible to port some software to transcode them so they can be burnt on to DVD-RW, finally getting some real use out of the Iyonix's DVD writer. I expect transcoding would be very substantially less than realtime, but the Iyonix is quiet enough to leave running overnight, and it will be quicker than waiting 2 episodes for each DVD to be filled.

 is a RISC OS Userdruck on 30/3/07 9:19AM
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Bear in mind that RISC OS can't handle files greater than 2GB, so grabbing whole DVDs might not work. I don't know if anyone's come along with a commonly-accepted splitting workaround for this (I don't know quite what CDVDBurn does). Fixing the OS is probably a better plan.

 is a RISC OS Usercaliston2 on 30/3/07 10:19AM
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are there going to be enough people wanting the risc os source to make p2p distribution worthwhile? leeching of a couple of guy's 256k upload adsl is going to be a bit painful compared to a nice 100mbit pipe from an ftp server.

bittorrent is seen as being automagically much faster than web/ftp by too many people, p2p is only as useful as the popularity of the files and the upload speed of the seeders.

 is a RISC OS Usersimo on 30/3/07 12:54PM
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Until the UPP servers are updated, I've linked in a temporary download to the page above so you can grab it now.

simo: Good question. My understanding is the faster servers will be more heavily used. If ROOL also provide a server (seed), it's not going to be any worse than everyone downloading from them directly (well, a bit of overhead). It has the potential to be significantly better for ROOL, especially at big release times (when lots are downloading at once). However if people can be convinced to run BT servers all the time, particularly those on 'unlimited' bandwidth packages, then that'd reduce the load on ROOL. You might end up getting 80% from ROOL (because they're so much faster), but it's still a 20% saving on their bandwidth bill. And there's nothing stopping people with colo boxes running BitTorrent there too :)

 is a RISC OS Usercaliston2 on 30/3/07 1:42PM
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it works!

 is a RISC OS Userjess on 30/3/07 5:20PM
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BT client is illegal in the Netherlands as you are UPloading something, downloading however is fully legal. Therefore I really prefer to use the newsgroups besides that it's much eaier here to use these compared to BT.

 is a RISC OS Usernico on 30/3/07 7:58PM
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CDVDBurn's support for >2GB files is rather simple, transforming a file into a directory with n 2GB parts whenever necessary, and back if no longer necessary. To use it comfortably, there is only an Ada lib available at the moment ;-)

Judging by my experiences, fixing the OS is indeed a much much better plan.

 is a RISC OS Userhubersn on 30/3/07 9:38PM
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nico: And since when is it illegal to upload something on the internet? I don't know about the Netherland's law, but in Germany the music and film industries try to implement that thought into the public's mind, when it is simply not true. Any content you create your self, wich was free to begin with, or wich you have permission to distribute from the copyright holder, you can legally upload as much as you like.

 is a RISC OS UserJGZimmerle on 31/3/07 2:13AM
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nico: Can you point me in the right direction with regards to that law? I'm Dutch and I've never heard of or seen such a law, so please forgive any scepticism on my part. However, if the content being shared or uploaded is copyright protected, and there's no approval by the IP holder, it certainly is illegal. The main distinction here being that the act of uploading itself is certainly a legal practice.

JGZimmerle: The same thing is being done in the Netherlands, however most people I know either don't care much about copyright infringement or don't pay much attention to it, although there is an increasing awareness about organisations such as BREIN [ [link] ] applying pressure to ISP's to report illegal sharing of copyrighted content.

 is a RISC OS UserhEgelia on 31/3/07 12:45PM
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In reply to Nico:

Nope, it's not illegal to share free content by BitTorrents. Copyrighted material downloads are not illegal either, uploading of this kind of content however is a different matter. So, you can use Torrents with copyrighted stuff as long as you don't seed or share: leechers are not nice but not criminal ;P That's the dutch law ATM

 is a RISC OS Usernervus on 31/3/07 8:16PM
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Given all content is copyrighted already, I suspect the real law is somewhat more complex and precise.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 31/3/07 8:35PM
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Uploading copyrighted material is illegal in the netherlands, so is downloading copyrighted software. It is however 'legal' to download audio/video for 'personal use' So if you want to download 300 (copyrighted) DVD's from a usenetserver there is no law against it in the netherlands.

 is a RISC OS UserEasyKees on 31/3/07 8:51PM
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EasyKees: So what you're saying is that it's entirely illegal to upload anything at all, even if you are the author or you have permission from the author?

Or do you actually mean that the state will not prosecute you for obtaining copyrighted material that you should have paid for using some less than legitimate means, but the state will prosecute you if you upload it? If so, the situation is identical in the UK - even if FACT say otherwise. It is a civil mater if you obtain "illegal copies" and the copyright holder must sue you. The government only gets involved if you're redistributing copies.

This is completely different from it being illegal to upload copyrighted material, which would make all sorts of perfectly legitimate things illegal, like uploading your own web site to your web space.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 31/3/07 9:25PM
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rjek No, you cannot upload 'copywrite' material without permission of the author. Uploading is seen as 'distributing' under Dutch law, downloading is not.

So uploading the last series of Friends is illegal. But downloading the last series of Friends, should you find it on the net somewhere is not (although I would be inclined to make it a crime :).

 is a RISC OS Userblahsnr on 1/4/07 9:55AM
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blahsnr: "No, you cannot upload 'copywrite' material without permission of the author." I think that's what I just said, except with much less detail. Infringing copyright by obtaining copies is a civil matter - the copyright owner has to sue you. Distributing copyrighted material without permission is what copyright owners like to call "piracy", and the state will prosecute you.

 is a RISC OS Userrjek on 1/4/07 11:50AM
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Very happy to see a working bittorrent client arriving at the RISC OS scene. I almost can't wait to try this at home!

Next wish: a controlling Risc OS-application...

Keep up the good work!

Hans de Jong

 is a RISC OS UserDJHans on 2/4/07 12:47PM
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And ctorrent works like a treat on my Omega. The internetrouter can't handle too many connections at the same time, though.

 is a RISC OS UserDJHans on 3/4/07 8:56AM
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