Torrent Tracker


I am thinking of joining and setting up a small bit torrent tracker for a group of me and my friends - there would be nothing illegal/warez being transferred.

Would this be allowed??

Thanks :slight_smile:

You should read this wiki page to see why this probably isn’t going to be such a good idea.

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Would trackerless torrents work for you? Maybe with web seeding, which I think might be allowed…

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all it would be is a bit-torrent tracker running from the server through PHP but if it can’t/not allowed to be done then thats ok - its a shame it can’t be done because DH have good prices!!

and sorry i searched the forum but never looked on the wiki page :slight_smile:

[quote]trackerless torrents



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Ah, interesting. So is this one of those new lightweight BitTorrent peer trackers that is not a persistent process and is just php/mysql based and acts just like php running under apache?

This actually brings up the question of whether this is something that is allowed here at DreamHost. The ToS specifically forbids persistent processes and BitTorrent clients. The wiki page (based on an original contribution by Dhadmin) states that “BitTorrent-related processes are not allowed.”

The question is whether this new breed of BitTorrent tracker is allowed. I think this is an open question as it might play nicely.

I think this question is worthy of asking support through the the url below:

Paul, remember to stress that you’ll be running one of the new BT trackers that isn’t a persistent process and do also mention the part about only hosting legal files (as you did in your original post).

BTW, is there some reason you don’t want to consider trackerless torrents? I can guess why you don’t want to use a public tracker.

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I think you would probably want a VPS if you want to run a torrent tracker (as that is allowed to run persistent processes). Also I would suggest a C++ based tracker which doesn’t use apache/php as you will likely have a lot less issues.

So you’d recommend against the non-persistent trackers that run in apache as “web services”?

I’d appreciate any feedback or reference you could provide on this. The guys at work and I have been considering setting up the the non-persistent PHP one for a small private torrent network.

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Of course, the new DreamHost PS service allows persistent processes. Perhaps torrent trackers will now be allowed?

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The only reason DH has problem with trackers (which are tracking legal files of course) is that often the people connecting will send a request to the server anywhere between every 20 seconds to every couple minutes and if you have a lot of people connected it will cause some major issues for the server. I would highly suggest a C++ based one (such as BNBT) as those use way less resources have many less issues and would never cause problems for the apache daemon they are being hosted with. The php based ones are probably fine if you plan to never have more than a 100-200 peers but if you are ever going to have more than that I would definitely say go with one that is its own process/daemon on a different port which has nothing to do with apache.

So is the “way less resources” because the DreamHost apache configuration has to spawn a heavyweight process for every page that’s handled and establish a new database connection for every update? That is, if on my own server, I were to use mod_php with connection pooling I wouldn’t have this problem?

Is this just because of the resource utilization I mentioned earlier? Or is it just due to the sheer number of requests that are sent to the tracker?

BTW, since this is a private tracker, we were thinking that you’d only have 3-6 peers - just our workgroup at work.

PS. Thanks for this info. I appreciate the advice from someone with more experience at this!

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Well way less resources in simply in that the C/C++ based torrent trackers/clients I have seen use far less CPU usage/memory than traditional clients/trackers including the official ones which are python-based.

It would cause problems for the apache daemon usually just because the amount of requests/sec you will be getting which apache would have to process vs a dedicated tracker which would be direct and more efficient

If you are only going to have 3-6 peers then I think you will be fine with any tracker/setup as that is pretty minuscule. Even in most cases a traditional php based tracker is ok if you have maybe 200-300 peers (max) but if you ever have any more peers than that you can have some serious issues.

There is some FUD going around here. Peers don’t randomly reconnect every 20 seconds or every minute. A tracker can suggest a “minimum reannounce interval” to the client in its response; decent clients will honor this field and not send another request to the tracker for the time-period specified. Usual values in this field are 15-45 minutes, and clients are free to reannounce in larger intervals (but may risk being dropped from the tracking table, depending on the tracker congfiguration).

A tracker does not necessarily need a persistent process. A BitTorrent tracker is nothing else than a WebService served through HTTP; there are plenty of PHP, Perl, etc.-based trackers out there. Some of them are HIGHLY optimized for performance. If you run your own PHP with FastCGI (as described in countless threads on this forum and on the wiki), the performance hit of an individual announce is negligible – The total transaction (on a tracker with a reasonable number of peers) is no more than 1-2 kilobytes of data. php memcached-based tracker will probably outperform PHP+mySQL ones.
(whether DH would choose to classify custom PHP as a BitTorrent-related process, god only knows; it would be quite the double-standard, though).

The “original” Python-based BitTorrent tracker used to be slow and clunky. Since then, a lot of effort has been made to optimize it. A current version thereof will take advantage of either JIT PSYCO code compilation or linked in C-libraries for the “heavy” lifting. To give you an idea of how well that works : The official distribution tracker for the Chinese version of the World of Warcraft - The Burning Crusade expansion (a 4gb file) easily handled over 750k concurrent peers. Sure, using anakata’s hypercube + its tracker module would probably have used less system resources, but it’s wrong to characterize that code as slow or incapable or riddled with issues.

The original poster mentioned a tracker for him and his friends. I assume he does not have more than a couple dozen of these close friends. With those amounts, you do not get into the requests per second stage; Requests per minute or Requests per hour are probably a much more readable stat for that amount of peers. (just as a random data-point : tracker servicing 90k peers on ~4k torrents receives about 250-350 requests per second. This number would be somewhat lower with a smaller number of torrents).

I have seen PHP-based trackers servicing 20k concurrent peers without breaking a sweat. Admittedly, it was highly optimized code without any mySQL doodads – but it worked.

Ultimately though, ask support@ what they think. They can probably tell you what they will deem appropriate use.

Thanks for that info. It seems that there are some pretty strong misunderstanding.

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Sorry I have been on holiday and have missed the whole of this thread lol I am a noob to the whole php malarki etc it is a friend of mine who is actually going to create the tracker I was just merely wondering that was all. I read the posts again, would it be allowed or not?

Thanks chaps :slight_smile:

the last few post, told you or your friend to contact support and see what they would say.

None the less, wouldnt it be much much much easier just to run Azureus, and use it own torrent tracker?
one or two of the guys would use/create a no-ip url, and then everyone would just visit it, and the torrents would also be submitted to it.
I dont really see the need for all this trouble

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