Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Start your own Bittorrent tracker with Atrack


Admittedly, starting your own Bittorrent tracker might not be the right career move. But if your ideas are as philanthropic as those of Pirate Bay and other handful of Bittorent tracker owners, and if you are strong enough to stand and fight against all legal misfortunes that might befall you, you might like Atrack.


Atrack is an ntrack/Bittorrent tracker implementation written in Python and designed to run on Google App Engine. Google App Engine, as you might be aware, is a cloud-based platform from Google offering development and hosting of web applications written in Python and Java.

Atrack’s main goals according to the developers are:

  • As small codebase as possible.
  • As fast as possible.
  • As low bandwidth usage as possible.
  • As low memory usage as possible.

For this it relies heavily (and almost completely) on memcached, no data is stored anywhere, and it lets memcached do most of the lifecycle management.

Atrack also aims to respect your privacy: other than what is needed for the most basic tracking (hashes/keys and ip/ports) atrack gathers no information whatsoever. Beyond that no aggregate statistics are kept of anything (at least once the testing/debugging phase is over), and nothing is stored permanently anywhere, not even hashes and ip/ports, they are kept in memory until they are expired by memcached and never written to disk or any other kind of permanent storage.

To create your own Bittorent tracker, just download the archive and unzip the files into your Google Apps Engine account. Once your tracker is installed and live it’s ready to start tracking torrents. Now all you have to do is create any torrent,  add the tracker URL, and send it to your friends. Just be aware that the Google App Engine imposes certain free limits on your account – limits on bandwidth, CPU time, HTTP requests, API calls etc. Fees are charged once your usage exceed the free quota.

You can create Bittorrent tracker without crossing paths with the RIAA or MPAA if your tracker deals with free stuffs and public domain materials. It should be fun to share stuff with friends this way.

An experiments tracker based on Atrack is already available

https://bittrk.appspot.com/announce (for encrypted SSL access)


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