[bittorrent] BT proxy

David P. Mott dpmott at sep.com
Tue Apr 12 10:58:17 EDT 2005

So, since there hasn't been a lot of traffic through my mailbox lately, I 
thought I'd post a new topic of discussion and get some feedback on my 
current line of thinking.

Some people have brought up the need for a BT proxy, but all attempts at 
discussion on that topic were more or less ignored on the yahoo forum. 
The quote that comes to mind is that "a BT proxy is an unfirewalled BT 
client" -- which shows that the author either didn't grasp the real need 
for a true proxy, or didn't care.

So, I've been thinking of using off-the-shelf technology to put together a 
BT proxy.  Here's how I think it would work:

1.  You'd have an HTTP proxy running.  You could use something like James
     Marshall's cgi-proxy script for such a thing, or write/modify an
     Apache plug-in.  I say 'modify' because...
2.  The HTTP proxy would intercept requests for .torrent files.  Here's
     part of the magic.  Whenever a .torrent file is requested, two things
     2a. You, the requestor, get a modified .torrent file that lists a
         different tracker.
     2b. The HTTP proxy kicks off a BT client download, and associates both
         the original and new tracker with it.  This can be done in
         Azureus, for instance (at least through the GUI), and while I
         haven't checked, I'm hoping it can be done via the XML remote
         control interface as well.
3.  Your BT client, behind the proxy, would talk to a tracker that is
     potentially isolated from the rest of the world.  Everyone behind the
     firewall can talk to that tracker, and even view the torrents that it
     is currently hosting (Azureus does this as well).  The nice thing is,
     if people get the torrent from different places, it'll still result in
     them getting pointed to the internal tracker so long as they went
     through the HTTP proxy.

1.  Azureus XML interface allows the addition of new torrents
2.  Azureus XML interface allows modification of the tracker lists
3.  Modification of tracker lists can be used to merge BT swarms,
     as opposed to just specifying an alternate tracker.
4.  Azureus XML interface allows the sharing and hosting of a torrent

So far, I think that most or all of the technology is there and only a 
little glue-code is required to bring it together.  The only problem that 
I can't figure out is this -- I don't know of a way to configure the 
Azureus client (that is connected to both trackers, real and internal) to 
preferentially serve the internal clients.  So, while the Azureus client 
might have all of the data, it may choose to serve external peers and snub 
internal peers.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?


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