py3createtorrent

Create torrents via command line!

py3createtorrent is a comprehensive shell/commandline utility for creating torrents (Linux & Windows).

Features

Some of the features:

  • you can create huge torrents for any amount of data
  • you can add a comment to the torrent file
  • you can create private torrents (disabled DHT, …)
  • you can create torrents with multiple trackers
  • you can create trackerless torrents
  • you can add webseeds to torrents
  • you can exclude specific files/folders
  • you can exclude files/folders based on regular expressions
  • you can specify custom piece sizes
  • you can specify custom creation dates

Motivation

There already is rTorrent, but unfortunately it does not support creating torrents. Thus, it is often a pain to seed torrents from your servers directly.

py3createtorrent is intended to fill this gap.

Requirements

py3createtorrent requires at least Python 3.5 and the bencode.py module.

Note

It may be possible to use the script with older Python versions. For Python 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 you need to install the backport of Python’s typing module: https://pypi.org/project/typing/. For Python 3.1 you need to additionally install the backport of Python’s argparse module: https://pypi.org/project/argparse/.

This has not been tested, though. Feedback is welcome.

Installation

Alternative: Manual installation

Alternatively, you can download py3createtorrent manually. Download the desired version from here: https://github.com/rsnitsch/py3createtorrent/releases

And then install the dependencies:

pip install bencode.py

Then you can execute py3createtorrent.py (it is in the src folder).

Alternatively, use pipenv:

pipenv install

Then you can execute py3createtorrent.py with pipenv as follows:

pipenv run src/py3createtorrent.py

Usage

Syntax:

usage: py3createtorrent.py [-h] [-p PIECE_LENGTH] [-P] [-c COMMENT] [-s SOURCE] [-f] [-v] [-q] [-o PATH] [-e PATH] [--exclude-pattern REGEXP] [--exclude-pattern-ci REGEXP] [-d TIMESTAMP] [-n NAME] [--md5] [--config CONFIG]
                           [-t TRACKER_URL] [--node HOST,PORT] [--webseed WEBSEED_URL]
                           path

py3createtorrent is a comprehensive command line utility for creating torrents.

positional arguments:
  path                  file or folder for which to create a torrent

optional arguments:
  -h, --help            show this help message and exit
  -p PIECE_LENGTH, --piece-length PIECE_LENGTH
                        piece size in KiB. 0 = automatic selection (default).
  -P, --private         create private torrent
  -c COMMENT, --comment COMMENT
                        include comment
  -s SOURCE, --source SOURCE
                        include source
  -f, --force           do not ask anything, just do it
  -v, --verbose         verbose mode
  -q, --quiet           be quiet, e.g. don't print summary
  -o PATH, --output PATH
                        custom output location (directory or complete path). default = current directory.
  -e PATH, --exclude PATH
                        exclude path (can be repeated)
  --exclude-pattern REGEXP
                        exclude paths matching the regular expression (can be repeated)
  --exclude-pattern-ci REGEXP
                        exclude paths matching the case-insensitive regular expression (can be repeated)
  -d TIMESTAMP, --date TIMESTAMP
                        set creation date (unix timestamp). -1 = now (default). -2 = disable.
  -n NAME, --name NAME  use this file (or directory) name instead of the real one
  --md5                 include MD5 hashes in torrent file
  --config CONFIG       use another config file instead of the default one from the home directory
  -t TRACKER_URL, --tracker TRACKER_URL
                        tracker to use for the torrent
  --node HOST,PORT      DHT bootstrap node to use for the torrent
  --webseed WEBSEED_URL
                        webseed URL for the torrent

Specifying trackers (-t, --tracker)

One or multiple tracker URLs can be specified using the -t or --tracker switch. Single tracker example:

py3createtorrent -t udp://tracker.opentrackr.org:1337/announce my_data_folder/

This is equivalent to the short form using the tracker abbreviation for opentrackr.org:

py3createtorrent -t opentrackr my_data_folder/

For multiple trackers, just use -t repeatedly. Multiple tracker example:

py3createtorrent -t udp://tracker.opentrackr.org:1337/announce -t udp://tracker.coppersurfer.tk:6969/announce -t udp://tracker.cyberia.is:6969/announce my_data_folder/

This is equivalent to the short form using the tracker abbreviations:

py3createtorrent -t opentrackr -t coppersurfer -t cyberia my_data_folder/

bestN: Automatically add the best trackers

You can use bestN to add the best N trackers from https://github.com/ngosang/trackerslist. This requires internet access, obviously.

For example:

py3createtorrent -t best5 my_data_folder/

Trackerless torrents

You can create a trackerless torrent by not specifying any tracker URLs at all (i.e. don’t use the -t switch at all).

Specifying DHT bootstrap nodes (--node)

One or multiple DHT bootstrap nodes can be specified using the --node switch. Each bootstrap node must be specified in the form host,port. Just like -t, the --node switch can be used repeatedly in order to specify multiple DHT bootstrap nodes.

Example:

py3createtorrent --node router.bittorrent.com,8991 --node second.node.com,1337 my_data_folder/

It is recommended to specify some DHT bootstrap nodes for trackerless torrents.

Piece size (-p)

This switch allows you to specify a custom piece size. The piece size should be chosen with care, because it affects the following properties:

  • size of the .torrent file
  • network overhead
  • cost of fixing corrupted pieces
  • time it takes until peers start sharing data

Note

Unless you know what you’re doing, please let py3createtorrent automatically determine the best piece size for you.

Background

In general, the files for which a .torrent is created are sliced up in pieces.

For each piece, a 20-byte checksum (based on SHA-1, the Secure Hash Algorithm 1) is calculated and stored inside the .torrent file - this, by the way, is the time-consuming part of torrent creation. Therefore, the piece size strongly correlates with the size of the created .torrent file: The larger the pieces, the smaller the number of pieces for which a checksum must be stored (and vice versa).

The piece size also affects the network overhead involved in the peer-2-peer communication for a torrent. The peers regularly exchange information records that specify the pieces that each peer has finished downloading so that they know where they can get certain pieces from. The greater the number of pieces, the larger these information records need to be and thus the greater the overhead will tend to be.

Moreover, corrupted pieces need to be redownloaded. Of course, large pieces are more expensive to redownload (both in terms of time and traffic).

Finally, the piece size also affects the time it takes until peers start to share data with each other (only pieces that have been downloaded completely can be shared with other peers). Therefore, if the piece size is large, it will take longer for any peer to finish downloading a piece and to be able to share this piece with other peers.

Private torrents (-P)

Private torrents force the BitTorrent clients to only use the specified trackers for discovering other peers. Advanced peer discovery methods like DHT or peer list exchange are effectively disabled.

Comment (-c)

The comment is a short text stored in the .torrent file and displayed by most BitTorrent clients in the torrent info.

By default py3createtorrent uses “created by py3createtorrent <version>” as comment (to change this behavior, consult the Configuration section).

Source (-s)

The source field is a non-standard metainfo field used by private trackers to reduce issues (such as misreported stats) caused by cross-seeding. For private trackers that forbid their torrent files from being uploaded elsewhere, it ensures that torrent files uploaded to the tracker from a different source are unique to the private tracker.

New in 0.9.7.

Force (-f)

Force makes py3createtorrent e.g. overwrite existing .torrent files without asking for your permission.

Verbose (-v)

Verbose mode makes py3createtorrent report about the individual steps it is undertaking while creating the .torrent file.

This is particularly useful for debugging purposes.

Quiet (-q)

py3createtorrent will try to stay completely silent on the commandline.

Output path (-o)

The output path is either the directory in which the .torrent file should be saved or the complete path to the destination .torrent file. In the former case, the name of the .torrent file is deduced from the input’s name (i.e. the input directory’s or file’s name), unless this name is explicitly overwritten (using the -n switch). (In the latter case, the name of the .torrent file is itself specified by the output path.)

By default, py3createtorrent uses the current working directory as the output directory.

Exclude path (-e)

This allows for the exclusion of specific files or directories.

The switch may be used repeatedly to exclude multiple files/directories.

On Windows, this is case-insensitive.

Exclude pattern (--exclude-pattern, --exclude-pattern-ci)

This allows for the exclusion of files or directories that match a certain pattern (regular expression).

The switches may be used repeatedly to specify multiple exclusion patterns.

New in version 0.9.5: The --exclude-pattern-ci variant (case-insensitive). On Windows, the --exclude-pattern has been made case-sensitive (previously it was case-insensitive on Windows and case-sensitive on UNIX etc.).

Creation date (-d)

This switch allows you to overwrite the creation date saved in the .torrent file. You can fake any creation date you like.

The creation date is specified as UNIX timestamp.

You can disable storing a creation date altogether by providing a timestamp of -2.

Name (-n)

This setting overwrites the file or directory name stored inside the .torrent file. Thus it affects the file or directory name that will be presented to downloaders as the real name of the data. You can use it to avoid renaming your input data.

Unless a destination .torrent file is explicitly specified (using the -o switch), this name will also be used to deduce the name of the resulting .torrent file.

Note

The name switch is an advanced feature that most users probably don’t need. Therefore, please refrain from using this feature, unless you really know what you’re doing.

For most intents and purposes, the -o switch is probably more suitable.

MD5 hashes (--md5)

As of py3createtorrent 0.9.5 the calculation of MD5 hashes must be explicitly requested, because it significantly slows down the torrent creation process (and makes the torrent file a little larger, although this is probably negligible).

New in 0.9.5.

Path to config (--config)

By default, py3createtorrent tries to load the config file .py3createtorrent.cfg from the user’s home directory. To use another config file, specify the path with --config. Use --verbose for troubleshooting this, if it does not work as expected.

New in 1.0.0.

Examples

Assume there is a folder “example” with the following contents:

example/
  subfolder/
    10_more_minutes_please.JPG
    image.rar
  anotherimage.jpg
  image.zip

Assume, we’re currently inside the parent directory.

Example 1 - from directory, no options, default behaviour

Command:

C:\Users\Robert\Desktop\Python\createtorrent>py3createtorrent example -t udp://tracker.opentrackr.org:1337/announce

Alternative, equivalent command using a tracker abbreviation for convenience:

C:\Users\Robert\Desktop\Python\createtorrent>py3createtorrent example -t opentrackr

Effect: Creates example.torrent inside the current directory.

In µTorrent it will look like this:

_images/example1.png

Note

Please note: If you do not specify a comment yourself using the -c / --comment option, py3createtorrent will advertise itself through the comment field, as you can see in the screenshot (Torrent Contents -> Comment: created with py3createtorrent v0.8).

To change this behavior, consult the Configuration section.

Example 2 - from directory, excluding subfolders

Command:

C:\Users\Robert\Desktop\Python\createtorrent>py3createtorrent -e example\subfolder example -t udp://tracker.opentrackr.org:1337/announce

Effect: Creates example.torrent inside the current directory. examplesubfolder has been excluded.

Tip

Of course you can exclude multiple subfolders, e.g.:

py3createtorrent -e exclusion1 -e exclusion2 yourfolder -t tracker-url

In µTorrent it will look like this:

_images/example2.png

Example 3 - from directory, excluding files

Command:

C:\Users\Robert\Desktop\Python\createtorrent>py3createtorrent -e example\anotherimage.jpg -e example\subfolder\10_more_minutes_please.JPG example -t udp://tracker.opentrackr.org:1337/announce

Alternative, equivalent command using regular expressions instead of specifying each jpg seperately (also using a tracker abbreviation to make it even shorter):

C:\Users\Robert\Desktop\Python\createtorrent>py3createtorrent --exclude-pattern "(jpg|JPG)$" example -t opentrackr

Effect: Creates example.torrent inside the current directory. exampleanotherimage.jpg and examplesubfolder10_more_minutes_please.JPG have been excluded.

In µTorrent it will look like this:

_images/example3.png

Creating torrents of single files

It’s almost the same as for creating directories, except, of course, you can’t use the exclude-option anymore.

Configuration

If present, the configuration file ‘.py3createtorrent.cfg’ will be loaded from the user’s home directory. The configuration file uses JSON format. Use --config to load the config from another location. Use --verbose for troubleshooting this, if it does not work as expected.

Warning

Before version 1.0, the configuration had to be changed by manually editing the py3createtorrent.py script file. If you’re still using version 0.x, please upgrade or switch to the old documentation of the 0.x branch.

Default

If the configuration file is not present, the following default values will be used:

{
  "best_trackers_url": "https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ngosang/trackerslist/master/trackers_best.txt",
  "tracker_abbreviations": {
    "opentrackr": "udp://tracker.opentrackr.org:1337/announce",
    "coppersurfer": "udp://tracker.coppersurfer.tk:6969/announce",
    "cyberia": "udp://tracker.cyberia.is:6969/announce"
  },
  "advertise": true
}

For details on the individual configuration parameters, please refer to the following sub-sections.

Best trackers URL

You can change the URL from which the best tracker URLs are loaded when using the bestN shortcut. The default URL is:

https://raw.githubusercontent.com/ngosang/trackerslist/master/trackers_best.txt

To change it, you can use a config file like this:

{
  "best_trackers_url": "https://ngosang.github.io/trackerslist/trackers_best_ip.txt"
}

Tracker abbreviations

Tracker abbrevations allow you to specify one or more tracker URLs with a single word, like ‘opentrackr’ in the default configuration. They add a lot of convenience, e.g. look at this neat & clear command:

C:\Users\Robert\Desktop\Python\createtorrent>py3createtorrent example -t opentrackr -t coppersurfer
Successfully created torrent:
  Name:             example
 (...)
  Primary tracker:  udp://tracker.opentrackr.org:1337/announce
  Backup trackers:
    udp://tracker.coppersurfer.tk:6969/announce

In this case, py3createtorrent recognizes the tracker abbreviations ‘opentrackr’ and ‘coppersurfer’ and automatically inserts the according tracker announce URLs.

Note

Single abbreviations may be replaced by multiple tracker announce URLs. This way you can also create sort of “tracker groups” for different kinds of torrents.

Example configuration:

{
    "tracker_abbreviations": {
        "mytrackergroup": [
            "udp://tracker.opentrackr.org:1337/announce",
            "udp://tracker.coppersurfer.tk:6969/announce"
        ],
        "opentrackr": "udp://tracker.opentrackr.org:1337/announce",
        "coppersurfer": "udp://tracker.coppersurfer.tk:6969/announce"
    }
}

Just specify lists of announce URLs instead of a single announce URL to define such groups.