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Re: Apt-Torrent project

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Arnaud Kyheng wrote:
| Hello,
| I love the Debian project, and I have worked on a new development for
| it: Apt-Torrent :)

Thank you for your contribution.  However, I looked at doing something
similar to this a little while ago and found that bittorrent is not
very well suited for doing package downloads.  Of the ~15k binary
packages in Debian about 87% are under 1 meg in size and 98% are under
10 megs.  The bit-torrent protocol works best on files significantly
larger than this.  Also, the protocol is not as efficient as it could be
for the server hosting the .torrent file, which means it scales quite
poorly when there are lots of requests for small files, as would be the
case for Debian packages.

However, I do feel that having a p2p backend to apt is a very
interesting and feasible distribution method.  There is a lot of
structure in the way Debian lays out its archive, from the Package files
to the .deb's themselves, which can be exploited to make this very
efficient.  There has also been a myriad of research papers exploring
overlay networks and application level multicast which could be adopted
to form a package network that would provide advantages over our current
mirror infrastructure.  (I've actually done a little work on exploring
this, but haven't gotten very far due to time constraints.)

- -Mike
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