Proposal: retire bittorrent

Paul Howarth paul at
Wed Jun 15 12:49:12 UTC 2011

On 06/15/2011 01:37 PM, Jon Ciesla wrote:
>> 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:
>> --
>> devel mailing list
>> devel at
> My only concern is that there be a command-line replacement available.  I
> currently fetch my ISOs with bittorrent-curses and screen.  Can someone
> with experience with any of them offer a recommendation?  Python, C and
> C++ clients especially.  I've searched, but there are many out there.

I personally use rtorrent.


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