I have uploaded a new version of DebTorrent to experimental and to my personal repository. This new version implements the unique piece numbers, which has been planned for quite some time now. Well, it's finally here.

To summarize, unique piece numbers keep torrent's alive longer, by assigning files unique piece numbers that never get reused in that torrent. New files get new piece numbers added to the end, but peers in the old torrent can still share most of the old files with peers in the new torrent (in fact, it's the same torrent, but old and new peers have different ideas about what it contains).

The creation of torrents from Packages files has also changed, as now 2 torrents are created, one for whatever arch the Packages file was for, and one for the Architecture:all files. Since the Arch:all files are the same for all architectures, this also allows for more sharing of common files between peers on different architectures. This change required a change in the cache directories, which is described in more detail in the NEWS file, but is handled almost automatically. The only thing to do is the make sure to do an apt-get update after upgrading so that the torrents can be restarted.

There was also some changes in the statistics reporting. In the client, the uploaded and downloaded statistics will now persist over restarts so that you can see how much you've done over a longer period. The tracker status page also got an update, and now shows the total uploaded and downloaded bytes for each torrent, as well as some more descriptive names for some of the torrents.

Due to the large changes in this release, I opted for uploading to experimental (and my repository) for now, so that it can be tested a bit. Please do test it, and let me know of any bugs, problems or concerns that you may have.

Here is the changelog:

  • Add support for unique piece numbers
    • increases duration of oft-updated torrents so that more peers can participate
    • currently supported only by debian testing and unstable
    • see http://wiki.debian.org/DebTorrent/UniquePieces for more info
  • Switch to using 2 torrents per Packages file: one for architecture- specific files, and one for architecture-independent files
    • also added a new script splitcachefor_all to ease the upgrade
  • Use python-debian for all reading of RFC 822 type files
    • also requires python-apt
  • Add torrent names to the tracker display
  • Make the download/upload statistics persist over restarts
  • Report more and better statistics on the tracker's info page