Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Bittorrent: Trackerless Torrents Via Azureus

My first experiment with creating a trackerless torrent with Azureus has failed. It was the simplest of things that had me stumped, why wouldn't it work? My fault, it was my magnet link...

Although documentation1 stated that Azureus can export a magnet link, I could NOT find any information on how or where to do this. I knew that a hash was needed for the magnet link but where did I need to go to find it? I took a guess and created my own link with the torrent hash itself. This was incorrect. And, as you will quickly see, the real solution to this is utterly and painfully simple:
  1. Download & install the latest Azureus client & JRE if needed.
  2. Make sure you have port 6881 unblocked (or the Distributed DB and Distributed Tracker won't work--distributed tracking will fail)
  3. Open Azureus & Create a torrent
    1. Click File --> New Torrent (or Ctrl+N)
    2. Select Decentralized (Azureus clients only)
    3. Drag & Drop the File or Folder you wish to share into this window (as indicated in the blue text at the bottom of the wizard image)
    4. Click Next
    5. Manually enter your path for the File or Folder you wish to share if you did not Drag & Drop them in the wizard previously (for whatever reason)
    6. Click Next

    7. Enter the path and filename for the torrent file (or leave the default if it works for you)
    8. Leave Auto selected
    9. Place a check in Open the torrent for seeding when done
    10. Do not check Host the torrent on the built-in tracker (or your trackless setup will be ignored in favor of the built in tracker--defeating the whole purpose of the trackerless system2)
    11. Click Next

    12. The trackerless torrent wizard will complete the setup and you can Close the dialog window when finished.
  4. Go to the Azureus --> My Torrents tab
  5. Right-Click on your newly created torrent which you should see listed
  6. Select Copy Magnet URI to Clipboard from the menu that opens
  7. Post this magnet link on your website or blog to let the world know your torrent is ready to roll...

See. Utterly simple. My apologies to those who tried to download the SuSE 9.2 LiveCD Audio Workstation ISO with the magnet link I had posted previously. If you care to try again, here is the correct magnet link:


  1. Open Azureus
  2. Copy the magnet link above
  3. Click File --> Open --> Location (or press Ctrl+L)
  4. You should see the copied magnet link already entered in the dialog that opens, if not, paste it in
  5. Click OK
If UDP on port 6881 is open the download process should begin.


1From the changelog, which is indicative of the documentation (or lack thereof) provided elsewhere. Other documentation indicated that a hash would be included in the link. I thought (incorrectly) that it was the torrent hash...

What's new in
1.1.1 Magnet Links
For torrents that are tracked decentrally, Azureus can export a "Magnet Link". This is of the form "magnet:?xt=urn:btih:..." and can be used to download the torrent from the distributed database via the "open->url" menu item.

2Trackerless torrent doesn't necessarily mean anonymous. From what I have read, anonymous is possible but I have no need or interest in these options at this time. Trackerless means a) you can post a magnet link instead of a torrent file to your site; b) you do not need a dedicated tracker running; c) if your box drops out of the torrent but others are seeding, the torrent stays alive--in perpetuity as long as there is someone seeding out there.

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