[Live-demo] Downloading via BitTorrent?

Alex Mandel tech_dev at wildintellect.com
Thu Jul 5 17:54:05 PDT 2012

On 07/05/2012 05:15 PM, John Reuning wrote:
> Thanks all for the thoughts.  I'll try to answer several of the questions here.
> ibiblio's hosting environment has both a standard internet uplink, as
> well as an Internet2 link, and the Seed Bank servers (our BT server
> software) benefit from this.  I've seen single Internet2 BT peers hit
> 50 Mbps.  We did have a sourceforge mirror at one time, but it's been
> years since that was decommissioned.
> A couple of benefits come to mind for BT distribution:
> * Downloading 4 GB over a slow connection can take hours or days and
> be prone to disconnects.  sf.net mirrors help, but in general, BT
> clients tend to be more reliable than browsers on stop/restart.
> * Multiple clients active at the same location benefit from data
> sharing.  Students in a lab setting, for example, quickly start to
> transfer among themselves.
> Torrents wouldn't take the place of sf.net.  Most of the content on
> terasaur.org (our BT platform) is also available via http from various
> sources.  Even 5-10% downloads via BT shows viable interest.  ibiblio
> will take care of the seeding so you don't have to worry about keeping
> a BT client running somewhere.  Uploading via BT is coming soon.
> Also, one of the mid-term goals is download activity graphing similar
> to what's on sf.net.
>> Is ibiblio running the tracker on those torrents? if not which tracker
>> are you using? Download statistics are quite tricky with torrents since
>> not all clients connect to all seeds. Also do you have a capacity cap on
>> your torrents? I looked at doing something like that on my mirrors and
>> the osgeo mirrors as a way to ensure other applications on those
>> networks don't get saturated with just torrents.
> terasaur.org includes the entire BT stack -- web CMS, torrent file
> hosting, tracker, and seeding.  One of my core theories for torrent
> publishing is that general torrent hosting/tracker sites don't make
> sense for most projects.  So far, the BT environment is as stable as
> our web site hosting, and we're planning to cluster the tracker and
> seeds.  There's no cap on the torrents.
> I've been enabling the private flag on our torrents, which should (in
> theory) cut some of the P2P noise and increase the accuracy of
> completed download tracking.  I've only lightly instrumented the Seed
> Bank but intend to collect more data from there in the future.
> Thanks,
> -John

Don't get me wrong, I actually prefer torrents myself. I'm just not sure
it benefits a large enough portion of our audience. My experience has
been that those who know/understand torrents are not the same people is
places with extremely slow/flaky internet. The big push to try
sourceforge was to get local copies on the same continent as the end
users (South Africa, Australia) which does more to speed up their
downloads. A download manager can also solve the dropped download issue.

As for a class room setting, every lab I've ever taught in is locked
down enough to not have the torrent software, prevent install or block
the ports to get good speeds. So I always download 1 copy ahead of time
to give to everyone, setup virtual machines or burn iso/usb before the

I am willing to give it another try, and we can list it as an alternate
method similar to how ubuntu does. So go ahead and set it up and let us
know what links or page to include. It's also great if you're willing to
setup the tracker and seed since that won't take away time from the rest
of the developer team. It will be interesting to see the spatial
distribution of torrent/not torrent downloaders so if you can keep the
ip address logs for geoip anaylsis that would be great.


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