Thursday, December 17, 2009

'Super' Seeder's Stupid Settings

The  last µTorrent support post I made was quite popular. over 600 hits in one day (the usual is 20-30/day). However, life goes on and so another day, another stupid support problem, but unlike last time, this guy thinks he's smart and knows what he's doing. Like last time, it's the µTorrenet support channel, and this happened December 16th (yesterday)

[20:35.05] * Delusion ([email protected]) has joined #utorrent
[20:40.27] <Delusion> I'm fighting with the maintainer of the newer versions of the hphosts file. and most big torrent sites are listed.  I've gone through the list for the sites that I use (including a bunch of blocks), but I can't get utorrent 1.8.4 to connect to the update server.  I get "Unable to contact utorrent update server".  Browsing to works fine, and
[20:40.34] <Delusion> I'm assuming the in-client update uses that.
[20:40.37] <Delusion> Am I missing anything?
[20:41.01] <Delusion> (obviously I've commented out all the hosts file entries that hit
[20:43.32] <Delusion> I'm currently hosting about 2700 torrents, with XP, and I've had no problems in the past.  The tcpip half-open is re-set to 100K, so it's not that, either.
[20:43.58] <MC> 100000 half open
[20:44.01] <MC> lolwut
[20:44.05] <Delusion> It's overkill, I know.
[20:44.16] <Delusion> I got sick of setting a reasonable number and then finding out it wasn't so reasonable.
[20:44.29] <MC> dude u might single handedly destroy the entire internet with that shit
[20:44.34] <Delusion> 100 became 500 became 1000 became 2000 became "I don't want to fuck with it".
[20:44.35] <Delusion> :)
[20:44.47] <Delusion> I host a lot of content.
[20:45.17] <Delusion> huh
[20:45.19] <Delusion> Now it worked.
[20:45.27] <Delusion> After an hour and a half of fussing with it.
[20:45.40] <Delusion> It seems all I had to do is join this channel and poof.
[20:45.42] <Delusion> Excellent magic!
[20:47.10] <Delusion> It takes about 20 minutes for the client to restart with this much content hosted.  I'll stick around until I'm sure it worked since IRC cargo cult magic worked before.
[20:54.20] <Delusion> OK, so it's only 8 minutes.  It feels like 20 sometimes.
[20:54.38] <Delusion> Thanks for ... being there?  Ciao!
[20:54.48] * Delusion ([email protected]) Quit (Quit: )

Hard to know where to begin really. 2700 torrents, a half-open limit set to 100,000 and 'no problems' - Riiiight. I think MC was the only one capable of actually typing during this, the rest of us were too busy laughing.

Quite a few of the old myths came up here. First of all, the half-open connections one. There are only very very rare instances when this has to be modified (with Vista SP2 and Windows7, there isn't a limit anyway), and in those instances, you don't need to do more than 50, even on a 100Mbit connection. Second is the myth about having more torrents is better. 2700 torrents uses up a lot of bandwidth just in announces, bandwidth better used elsewhere. It's maybe 3MB just in tracker announces each time (assuming only one tracker per torrent, multiple trackers, like the 4 on every piratebay torrent multiply that accordingly). Then there is the huge number of total peer connections 2700 torrents would need. Each one of these suchs up more bandwidth (it's why private tracker users, often running 150-200 active torrents, find public torrents so slow.)

What many people don't realize is that utorrent itself has a way of handling lots of inactive torrents. In the advanced preferences, there's an option called queue.dont_count_slow_ul that is set to 'true' by default. This option means that inactive torrents (ones with an extremely slow, or zero upload) don't count towards the queue limits. When your queue limits are reached with active torrents, the rest go back to queued status. That means your bandwidth can be used for active torrents, and not in 'hoping' on inactive ones, maximising your upload.

Of course, Delusion can't really be blamed. I've read more than a few torrent guides at various private trackers, and they all give ridiculous settings. After all, it's not like you need to know what you're talking about, in order to run one, and that's another reason why so many fail.

1 comment:

  1. It's annoying how you assume everyone hosting "too many" torrents is wrong.  Private torrent tracker users regularly seed thousands of torrents in their clients with the understanding that only a small minority are going to be active seeds at any given time.  I assure you that modifying half-open connections in XP was necessary and got old really fast.

    All of your wrong conclusions seem to be based on the idea that every torrent is active; on torrent sites which hold a lot of legacy content, it's not uncommon for active to inactive torrents to be about 1:1,000.  Private trackers are not like the Pirate Bay, where hit and run is the norm.  Many private trackers exist and thrive based on the fact that even if you're looking for niche content (Hungarian film, a CD of which only 50 copies exist, old Intellivision ROMS), you can find it there long-term regardless of whether it's very popular.

    And of course the problem reported (inability to connect to the update server, which was clearly working before) has absolutely nothing to do with the supposed problem you're harping on (your opinion that this is an incredibly poor way to use bandwidth - who are you to judge someone else's bandwidth priorities?).  So who's the idiot?