Proposal: retire bittorrent

Paul Howarth paul at
Wed Jun 15 12:12:56 UTC 2011

I propose to retire bittorrent (the original python client) for the 
reasons outlined below. If anyone's interested in taking it over 
instead, please apply on the package database and I'll transfer 
ownership. Think carefully before you act though!

Dead Upstream:
Well, not actually dead but upstream has gone closed-source as of 
version 6 so it's effectively dead.

Old Version:
Upstream's last open-source release (code dump really) was 5.3 
(, which was little more than a GPL 
re-licensing of 5.2.2 and a dump of upstream VCS content. Fedora has 
been stuck with 4.4.0 though with its PyGTK GUI because the "new" GUI in 
version 5 was a rewrite with wxGTK but it didn't work with wxGTK > 2.6 
( and so was unusable in Fedora.

I believe Mandriva "solved" this problem by having transmission obsolete 
bittorrent-gui and just shipping the console version.

Open Bugs:
========== (bittorrent doesn't die gracefully) (bittorrent is not utf-8 aware) (translations not working since python 
2.4) (LSB-ize initscripts) (bittorrent stops seeding files, even 
when "seed indefinitely" is checked) (traceback due to argument parsing error) (crash due to not running via provided 
initscript) (RFE upgrade to 5.x)

Some of these are probably quite easily fixed by someone that knows 
their python and is willing to dive into the code but they would have to 
be prepared to the de-facto new upstream maintainer if they wanted to 
take it on.

Doesn't Obey Protocol:
The bittorrent client is actually blocked on at least one major site due 
to violating the protocol and hammering the tracker with announcements:

More information about the devel mailing list