[Soc-coordination] Final report of DebTorrent: Bittorrent Proxy for Debian Archive

Cameron Dale camrdale at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 21:15:11 UTC 2007

Hi, here's a short summary of my work for Debian in the Google SoC
(mentored by Anthony Towns).

This project started out trying to significantly decrease the
bandwidth required to host a mirror of a Debian repository. DebTorrent
is a peer-to-peer application that downloads repository files (.deb
packages) from other peers in the system, instead of the repository.
To accomplish this, DebTorrent uses a modified version of the
BitTorrent protocol, which has been altered to meet the demands of
software repositories which contain far more files, often of much
smaller size, and updated more frequently than the protocol is usually
used for.

Along the way, DebTorrent development required:
 - modifications to the BitTorrent protocol to meet the above goals
 - integration with APT to start downloads of packages
 - a new protocol for APT communication to increase the speed
 - a backup HTTP downloader to ease early adoption and small torrents

At the end of the project the software is working, and available in
the Debian archive (testing and unstable) for easy installation.
According to the tracker, over 150 users regularly use DebTorrent,
contributing upwards of 250 peers to almost 100 separate torrents.

More information: http://debtorrent.alioth.debian.org


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