In 2002, Bram Cohen announced a free, open source project aimed at people who needed a super-cheap way to share large files online. He called it BitTorrent and today, 7 years on, it is used for distributing everything from movies to TV shows, from software to music.
Among the early adopters of the BitTorrent protocol were several Linux projects, saving thousands of dollars in bandwidth costs. In 2005, Linuxtracker started to aggregate these Linux distributions, and it has been growing steadily over the years, racking up more than 130,000 unique visitors each month.
The site’s server currently tracks more than 40,000 peers and in the past 12 months it coordinated the distribution of 180 terabytes worth of Linux software. TorrentFreak caught up with Mark Angeli, the founder of the site, and we asked him what motivated him to create Linuxtracker.
“I was getting into the BitTorrent ‘movement’ downloading the shows I missed at night while at work. At this time I was also trying out new Linux distributions on a fairly regular basis and while I had decent download speeds, I wanted to find a better way to download and share Linux,” Mark told us.
“Some of the bigger distributions were beginning to use BitTorrent as a means of distribution, but the smaller ones were having a hard time. I wanted to make it easy for them, so I put up a site and a tracker,” he added.
The first Linux torrent Mark uploaded was for Slax 4.2.0. but it was only the beginning. Soon dozen of torrents followed, and with it their community of Linux enthusiasts started to expand. Mark told us that they have some exciting plans for the future, but these remain between him and the other admins of the site for now. One thing he did reveal is that they are looking to add a “lighter” version of the site for those on smaller devices like netbooks and smartphones.
One of the great advantages of the Linuxtracker community is that the seed/leech ratios are extremely good, even though the site doesn’t require users to register. The site is currently celebrating the month of February with some giveaways from their sponsors, so for all the Linux fans who haven’t discovered the site already, it’s well worth checking out.