« Part III of a 3-Part Tutorial »
We’re not going to wade too deeply here explaining all the different BitTorrent backends and available features. All three frontend packages that we featured in PART II include their own internal backend trackers. But if we had to pick just one of the bunch, we’d go with xBtit - BtiTeam has put all of their eggs in the basket for this one. Not only is it an “active” project from very motivated developers, but the list of features speak for itself. And if you have a couple extra bucks, xBtit Premium is also a very good all-in-one solution which is worth checking out, as well - for £20 you’ll get support, mods & hacks for your template. They’ll even offer VPS hosting for your BitTorrent site, if needed.
xBtit is not the only horse in town; here is a thorough release package consisting of many frontends and backends for BitTorrent, and below is a list of helpful links to BitTorrent files, templates, complete tracker packages, and other goodies.
“Backends” - Using Trackers and adding Torrents.
We break this down into three sections. For all practicalities, there are only 3 ways for a BitTorrent site admin (you) to get .torrent files onto your Bit site. You could:
— 1. Download your desired existing torrents from public BitTorrent sites, and host them on your site, as-is.
— 2. Make .torrents from your own files, and either upload it to a public Bit site, or use an open public tracker for hosting.
— 3. Create .torrents from your own files, and use your own tracker to host the torrents. (This requires a more expensive webhosting plan, as you’ll require a dedicated server for your domain).
(Someone, say, a registered user of your site, can also upload torrents to your website but it technically still falls into one of the above three categories.)
NOTE: We chose to use xBtit for our examples and screenshots, but the same principles can be applied to most frontends since they offer similar features (except in the case with FTS where we were unable to add public torrents).
By far the easiest method of hosting torrents. Some will say, “Yeah but that’s no fun! You’re just using other websites’ torrents!”. Well yes, but that’s what most of the big torrent sites are doing anyways! You could create a site that focuses on just one thing, such as eBooks, or games - you’ll be able to add only the torrents you want to display and share. And if you only use torrents from other sites (and don’t host any your own), you’ll be able to keep a small, inexpensive webhosting package since you’re not actually using your host’s server to manage the torrents or tracker. If you prefer (as most sites do) you’ll also be able to add your own torrents and host them amongst the ones you ‘borrowed’. Remember, it’s all about the sharing - who cares where they came from!
How it works:
1. First off, go and find some torrents from your favorite BitTorrent websites. You’ll want to save them to your hard drive (as *.torrent files). Remember where you saved them: you’ll need to browse to them later.
2. Launch your (xBtit) website (and sign in if you need to) and click on the UPLOAD tab at the top.
3. Now, in the UPLOAD tab, click on the “Browse…” button (see below) and find the *.torrent file that you wish to upload to your website. After browsing to your .torrent file, it will appear in the first text string (as shown below). You’ll need to enter in some information for the torrent so that it can be displayed on your site.
After the torrent has been uploaded, it will appear on your home page (index.php) and should begin to update the Seed and Leech stats (in the S & L columns). If you picked a popular torrent, the numbers will become quite high. Also note the (EXT) in brackets next to the name - this signifies that the torrent is external and not hosted by your tracker.
Ah, here we have a great workaround for adding your own torrents to your site, but without having to incur any of the costs of hosting your own torrents. You’ll be able to maintain a modest webhosting account for peanuts plus you’ll technically still be able to host your own content, without using your resource-hungry backend’s tracker.
How it works:
This is a tad more complicated than just downloading torrents from public BitTorrent sites. Here’s the skinny: You’ll need to be able to create your own torrents. For this, most BitTorrent clients work great (as does the program MakeTorrent), but we’ll focus on µtorrent since you’ll want to leave the .torrent seeding there anyways:
1. Run µtorrent, and select FILE > Create New Torrent… Now, browse to your file that you want to make a torrent out of, or you can add a whole directory if you’d like. In the “Trackers” window, you can enter any one of these open public trackers (but we recommend that you use a few of them in case one or two aren’t working at the time):
…And here’s a link to a list of even more public trackers you can use.
2. Be sure to add a comment (if you like) but more importantly, put a checkmark in the “Start Seeding” box. The torrent needs to be seeded somewhere before you can add it to your website (or nobody will be able to connect to it). Next, click “Create and save as…” and enter a name for the torrent file. See below:
3. Go back to your xBtit website, and select “Upload”. Browse to the *.torrent file that you just saved above, and it should appear on your site, available for downloading - notice there will be a ( 1 ) in the seed column - that’s you seeding it. Be sure to leave it running in µtorrent to ensure others on your site can access it.
NOTE: Here’s a different way of doing the whole thing. Repeat Steps 1 & 2 above (create the torrent) but this time upload it to a public BitTorrent website, such as Mininova. At mininova.org, click on UPLOAD > Upload a torrent and browse to your torrent file. They’ll assign a tracker(s) to your torrent, and you’ll be able to then add it to your site to share with your users. After uploading it, be sure to also add that torrent to your BitTorrent client (µtorrent) as well, and keep it there (seeding) to ensure it’s health, or it may end up being deleted (moderated) if nobody is seeding it.
THE CAVEAT: (Get a proper webhosting account for your domain).
There have been many occurrences of webhosting accounts being shut down because personal trackers are run on a “shared hosting” setup. You should not run your own PHP/MySQL tracker on a shared webserver. The CPU cycles it eats up (by the script itself or the database) usually causes the webhosting company to notice and suspend your account, or worse - they’ll cancel your account in which you’ll lose your website’s online data (forums, user databases, etc.). PHP trackers should optimally be run on their own servers. This also applies to shared database hosts. This is not dice-rolling - you will get found out by your hosting company.
NOTE: The above warning should not apply when adding existing torrents to your site that come from other public trackers such as thepiratebay, mininova, etc. - add as many of those torrents as you’d like (just be sure not to add your own tracker to the list of available ones in the torrent).
We emailed about 10 web hosting companies (5 in Canada and 5 in the U.S.) and asked them bluntly if they’ll allow a torrent hosting website - most (but not all) will support BitTorrent trackers, but only when run on a separate, dedicated server. Even most small, private BitTorrent websites are all run on dedicated servers, (they wisely don’t take any chances) which is why many of them are constantly begging for donations to keep it running - this is no scam - the basic minimum cost for full BitTorrent services is around $60 USD per month. THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS: If you’re serious about setting up a bonafide torrent site and wish for it to grow, go with a package that includes a dedicated server.
RECOMMENDATION: If you’re just starting out, we recommend you begin with a cheap webhosting account and add .torrents that already exist on the big guns. Likewise, you can always create your own torrents and host them through an open public tracker. After some site mastery, you can always upgrade your account and start adding your own torrents through your own tracker.
Getting the caveat out of the way, here’s how you do it:
How it works:
Ah, this is simple. Go to your xBtit site, and click the “Upload” tab. Your tracker’s info should be properly displayed there - this is the info that you specified during the setup of xBtit. If it says http://localhost:2710/announce, you’ll need to go into your Admin Panel and enter the proper path to your website (or subdomain) and substitute that in for “localhost”. For example, if our site http://filesharefreak.com was a BitTorrent tracker site, our announce path would be http://filesharefreak.com:2710/announce. However, we installed xBtit on a subdomain within our site called xbtit. So, our tracker’s path is http://xbtit.filesharefreak.com:2710/announce. See below:
Assuming that you now have the correct path to your tracker, use µtorrent to create a .torrent from your selected file(s) or directory. This time, enter your tracker’s URL into the Tracker’s path. Be sure to select Start Seeding and Private Torrent checkboxes. Select ‘Create and save as…” and save your *.torrent file. See below:
Again, go back to Uploads in your site and browse to the newly saved torrent file. Now, this torrent will only be visible (and accessible) to registered users of your site. Don’t forget to leave it running (seeding) in µtorrent.
NOTE: You aren’t restricted to just one method of hosting torrents on your site. Some of them can be your own torrents with your own tracker, and some can also be hosted on sites such as mininova, and some can just simply use the open public trackers instead of your own. Feel free to mix it up! Just be sure to seed the damn things in a BitTorrent client!
Looking to expose your Bit site?
If you do it well and supply the latest working torrents, you just may witness a surge in popularity as word spreads. You can also pimp your site in P2P/BitTorrent forums (p2pforums.com), torrent tracker sites such as btracs.com, torrentking.org or anywhere else that’ll get your site some badly-needed exposure.
— XBT Tracker - A BitTorrent tracker written in C++. It’s designed to offer high performance while consuming little resources (CPU and RAM). It’s a pure tracker, so it doesn’t offer a frontend. You can use any (PHP) frontend you want.
— xBtit - From the creator’s of BtiTracker, this is their newest version. Although xBtiT Premium version is not free, it boasts an impressive list of features with a slick frontend interface. Uses optional XBT Tracker as the backend/tracker. The freeware version is essentially the exact same thing but doesn’t come with support or future mods, hacks etc. Download it here.
— BNBT EasyTracker - A BitTorrent Tracker Installer for Windows, that comes preconfigured and includes an easy-to-use frontend.
— TorrentTrader - a feature-packed and highly customisable PHP/MySQL Based BitTorrent tracker. Featuring intergrated forums, and plenty of administration options. Download it from the sourceforge website.
— phpMyBitTorrent - Features include: hosting torrents from remote trackers, DHT, Compact Announce, alternate links (eD2K, Magnet), and more.
— www.bvlist.com - Has some nice trackers available for downloading - site requires registration.
(And other links can be found on the sourceforge.net website. TIP: Search for “torrent tracker”).
wow u blown my mind with all that info all i go to do is duild it
keep up the great work and keep it free
many many thnx
Excellent tutorial, I had my tracker up and running in no time!
Jason Stevens Says:
I have been looking for this information everywhere. Thanks!
Hey i have been trying to get this to work and i keep failing. I put Xbit on first but it would not let me past the 2nd step. Now i tryied FTP but i cant see my website any more. I am using godaddy if that helps.
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Kam Kratowicz Says:
thanks you for this information
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Hello i read your whole tutorial and set up my site but i am having a problem that whenever i upload a torrent file into my website it uploads but it is not showing anywhere not in homepage or not in search plz help me out
cheap yearly hosting Says:
Hey, found your site by accident doing a search on Bing but I’ll definitely be returning. As for your post… I must agree with a lot of what you’re saying here but wouldn’t it be just as easy to try something else? I mean why screw with your quality of life if you don’t have to?
Fredrick Brickle Says:
My brother and I seriously need to thank you, this was very good to read!
Torrent download make long time. so where faster torrent download site, i can download a movie an hour? plz mail me.
i hv done evrything as told in tutorial bt as soon as i run my subdomain a small window appears on my screen that says following instead initialising the setup process of frontend-
u have choosen to open
which is a: application/x-httpd-php5
what should firefox do with this file?
please help me ……plz anyone..
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If you add a torrent from another site, and once added it does not update the seed and leech stats, what have you done wrong? I look, but they torrent is dead not alive and the seed is o, and the leech is o. Yet i’ve chosen popular torrents?
hey all yeah this is a awesome tutorial . +10 vote for this , but yeah i have the same problem with my tracker , coz when i add a torrent from another site it does not update the seed and leech stats . any helps plz ? ? ? ? .