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I have some files that I have the legal right to distribute (I made them), and I want to give people the option to get them via bittorrent.

Following instructions I've read, I've used the program Transmission to create a .torrent file, and when I was prompted to provide trackers, I used this list.

So now I have a .torrent file and the seed files sitting on my local computer. But I want to serve the seed files from my web server. Do I just upload everything to a directory on my web server?

Also, no instructions I've seen make it clear how I let file sharing sites know my files exist. Once I upload the seed files and my .torrent file to my server, what then?

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What you really want is web seeding. You add a plain URL to your torrent (doesn’t change the info hash) and torrent clients will fall back to downloading from there if no other (or not enough) parts are available.

So now that you have the torrent file ready, you’ll need to upload your file(s) to a publicly accessible HTTP location. Be aware: The URL can be extracted from the torrent file easily, so you should probably configure a bandwidth limit for your web seed files, otherwise people will just download them directly.

I recommend editing the torrent file with BEncode Editor. Add a key named url-list of type “List” directly on the ROOT item. On this key, add any number of URLs with type “Binary as String”.

There are also Seedbox services. Never used them, though.

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You have to install and run a torrent client on your server.

I suggest running rtorrent instide tmux. Your server will then act as a seeder. You can upload the torrent contents either manually using rsync, for instance, or you can just start the torrent client and let it leech the files from your computer.

I suggest linking the .torrent file somewhere on your webserver.

You said you've added trackers to your torrent file. You have to upload the .torrent file to tracker websites. For instance nyaa.se has a button called "Upload", and there you simply upload the .torrent file, etc.

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  • Thank you for responding. I am a bit confused. If I seed a .torrent file from my home machine, it's only active so long as my local client, in my case Transmission, is open? So, if that's true, then you're saying that similarly, I need a client on my server? That sounds a little complicated. Are there online services where I might be able to find people who would seed on my behalf? – Questioner Feb 23 '15 at 7:38
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    @Questioner No, it pretty much works only this way. After all, BitTorrent is peer-to-peer. It's designed not to be served centrally. Having your server act as a torrent client is pretty common practice, though. – polemon Feb 23 '15 at 7:40
  • You don't always need to upload the entire .torrent file; some trackers (publicbt, openbt, etc.) are designed to accept any infohash. – user1686 Feb 23 '15 at 8:15
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    @Questioner: It's only active as long as at least one client is open. Whether it's yours or someone else's is irrelevant. If the torrent is popular, other people will keep seeding it; if not, you'll have to. – user1686 Feb 23 '15 at 8:17
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The server keep tracking of all clients. In order for your torrent to be downloadable, you need at least one client to seed it. Note that the primary client seeder can be physically on the same server with the tracker.

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  • There is actually no "primary" seeder. All seeders are equal. I believe you mean "initial" seeder? – polemon Feb 23 '15 at 7:54
  • Yes, the initial one is the primary one, the original source. – Overmind Feb 23 '15 at 9:36

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