I have a video file I've created. I'd like to share it to the kind/size of audience that makes me think bittorrent would be a great distribution mechanism. A sort of semi-private "those who have the link have access" model would work well for me.

So I've got this one file on disk. I'd like to create the torrent and start seeding it, share just the short magnet link, and then let the swarm start based on that. Adding open/public trackers is OK if that makes the process faster/better/etc.

I'd greatly prefer this to be linux and/or open source software based. One-time set up on e.g. Windows or with closed source software might be OK, but I'd prefer to avoid it if at all possible.

(I took one brief shot at this by using mktorrent and then passing that through a python script based on a stack overflow question. My local client said it was seeding, and I used my own remote torrent client to test, but it never started downloading.)


To create a Bittorrent magnet link, use rhash :

rhash --magnet --bt-private --btih --bt-announce http://tracker.example.com:6969/announce yourfile.mkv

The --bt-private option is like the ctorrent's '-p' ("private") option which disables the use of DHT, PEX or other trackerless peer-exchange methods by other clients when sharing this torrent - if you use your own tracker, the swarm will be circumscribed there.

Then copy yourfile.mkv to rtorrent's 'incoming' directory (typically ~/bittorrent/incoming) and start seeding using the magnet link handler found here. Using a rtorrent setup dedicated to seeding, you might also consider making ~/bittorrent/incoming a symlink to your file repository - I'm thinking about that for sharing a whole collection (but that will require a bit more scripting to avoid recalculating all hashes each time the shares are updated).

This recipe is untested... I had a similar question and took this opportunity to research answers - tell us if it works !

  • If I do this, I can get the seed/peer connected. But the peer thinks the seed has 99.1% complete, and never starts downloading. If I put the .torrent on both sides, the peer sees 100% and they start transmitting immediately. – arantius Aug 6 '13 at 0:01
  • Strange... I'll have to reproduce the experiment on my side. Not right now though - I'm preempted by other projects, but I'll come back here because I want to fulfill this need too ! – Jean-Marc Liotier Aug 6 '13 at 8:31
  • My short term workaround has been mktorrent, using that torrent file on my seed, and an equivalent magnet (manually constructed from the torrent's infohash) to give to peers. – arantius Aug 7 '13 at 13:47

It could be the port that is blocked. check your port forward options in your router.

if that's not it, maybe try with uTorrent?

How to create a torrent and share with others?

  • Thanks for the idea; I forgot to mention: both clients were tested working for other (public) torrents (which I did not create). – arantius Aug 5 '13 at 15:11

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.