[bittorrent] data exchange

Adrian Ulrich torrent at blinkenlights.ch
Tue Mar 31 01:49:38 EDT 2009


> are there any resources specifically about the on-wire protocol?


has everything you need to know

> the client sets up tcp connections with the (some of the) peers it retrieves
> from tracker and starts with a handshake, then it continues with "an
> alternating stream of length prefixes and messages". the files are sent in
> the 'piece' messages?

Yes: The peer will send out some 'interested' messages to peers that have interesting (un-downloaded)
pieces. After receiving an unchoce message from some of them it will send 'request' messages
and should receive 'piece' messages.

Wireshark/Ethereal understands the BitTorrent protocol so you can use it to peek into
'live' bittorrent traffic. This might help you to understand the protocol and how it's used.


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