The Secrets of a Running A BitTorrent Tracker

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Most site admins go about their business in secret, which makes it difficult for enthusiastic outsiders to make the leap from user to site owner, since they can't get the benefit of the accrued knowledge of others. Now that has changed with TorrentFries - a unique website demystifying the running of a tracker.

torrentfriesCurlyFries has been running a tracker for around two years. His site is called ‘TorrentFries’ and already you’re reading this saying “Who? I’ve never heard of this site?” and quite rightly so. Although CurlyFries is a real site admin (as are his pair of co-admins), for security reasons they’re using pseudonyms. CurlyFries describes himself as idealistic and unmotivated, OnionRings is a general Linux and security geek, while Ketchup is “the only one that isn’t too lazy busy to deal with the finances and research.”

TorrentFries is the codename for a medium-sized tracker that thousands are using right now, and the inspiration behind a brand new site which is a must-read for potential tracker owners of the future.

The TorrentFries blog is a unique insight into the inner-workings of running a tracker, via a retrospective look at the actual developments in the two year lifespan of a real-life site. “We need more trackers out there, and it’s up to you to make them,” says CurlyFries. “So, learn from my mistakes and the things I’ve accidentally done right and you’ll do just fine.”

The first post on TorrentFries sets the scene and provides some of the background, with further posts covering many aspects of running a BitTorrent tracker. From conception, to choosing the right software, staff management, contingency plans, finance, and techniques for getting traffic to the site. Further updates are promised at regular intervals.

TorrentFreak caught up with CurlyFries who told us: “I think it’s something that the torrent community has needed for a while.”

Indeed, the site truly is unique and a very interesting read, invaluable for anyone looking to expand their knowledge before taking the plunge into tracker ownership. TorrentFreak spoke with someone taking his first steps as a site admin and asked him what he thought of the site: “I’m pleased to see this blog. I’ve lurked on the TBDev site for a while but found it a bit intimidating and felt embarrassed of my noob-ness so I’m happy to get these tips.”

CurlyFries is promising an update every 5 days to the site, until he runs out of things to say.

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