Using Other People's Trackers
Yes, that's right, you can jump onto other people's trackers instead of relying on one of your own! You can share your documents without having either a web server or a tracker. Suppose I want to use the postgresql.org tracker: all I need to do is download one of their latest postgresql torrents and read the first couple of lines to identify the tracker URL:
$ wget http://bt.postgresql.org/postgresql-8.0.1.zip.torrent $ cat bt.postgresql.org:6969 | less
In this case, the URL turns out to be http//bt.postgresql.org:6969/announce.
I can reannounce the tracker of my existing torrent by using
the torrent utility
Here's the general format:
btreannounce url torrent [ torrent ... ]
I can choose this tracker for my torrent with:
$ btreannounce http://bt.postgresql.org:6969/announce \ pg_live.1.3.3-SRAA.iso.torrent
The postgresql.org tracker will now manage all subsequent connections to the pg_live ISO. You can review the tracker's statistics by using your browser and going to http://bt.postrgresql.org:6969. (Some sites list only the md5 checksum without naming the file, but you can compare it with the checksum generated by your own tracker).
It's good etiquette to request permission for using other people's trackers.
You can prevent other people from using your tracker--as postgresql.org
does, by the way--by telling
bttrack to track only those
torrents of which it has copies in a user-defined directory. For example, if I
place a copy of the pg_live torrent file in a directory where
bttrack can see it, it will limit the tracker to file sharing for
just pg_live. That's the purpose of the
$ bttrack --port 8099 --show_names 1 --allowed_dir ~/mytorrents \ --dfile downloadinfo.txt
Another advantage of using this particular invocation is the detailed report that the tracker supplies.
- tracker version: 3.4.2
- server time: 2005-03-29 14:36 UTC
|info hash||torrent name||size||complete||down-
- Info hash: SHA1 hash of the "info" section of the meta info (*.torrent)
- Complete: number of connected clients with the complete file (total: unique IPs/total connections)
- Downloading: number of connected clients still downloading (total: unique IPs/total connections)
- Downloaded: reported complete downloads (total: current/all)
- Transferred: torrent size * total downloaded (does not include partial transfers)
I always seem to be ending articles when I say this, but ... I've only just
scratched the surface of what you can do. I guess you'll just have to play
with it to learn more. I recommend reading the man pages for
Robert Bernier is the PostgreSQL business intelligence analyst for SRA America, a subsidiary of Software Research America (SRA).
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