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Snag the Red Hat 9 ISOs, via Cash or BitTorrent

jamie posted more than 11 years ago | from the p2p-doesn't-mean-pay-to-play dept.

Red Hat Software 655

Red Hat Linux 9 is out, and as of today the ISOs are officially available to Red Hat Network subscribers ($60/yr). Or, as of right now, you can grab the same ISOs using BitTorrent. For those unfamiliar with this free/Free P2P download protocol, an introduction follows, written by ololiuhqui. Update: 03/31 23:45 GMT by J : After roughly four hours, BitTorrent has transferred over 500 full copies of all 3 ISOs, and a total of over 1.5 TB, at 170 Mbytes/sec. Thanks to the more than 3000 people who helped each other download the data, and especially to the more than 200 who got full copies and still have their clients open, to keep serving data to everyone else :)

Tectonic Rumblings

Every so often a new tool comes along that causes a shift from Bronze to Iron, that divides history into "before" and "after." The peer-to-peer world has certainly seen its share. Those who used 486s to encode and play MP3s remember it wasn't just abysmal modem speeds that kept people from casual trading, but the tiresome process of finding users and content; Napster freed us from that bondage, letting the computer do the heavy lifting and freeing people to do what they do best.

When the weaknesses began to show in Napster's overly centralized model, Gnutella stepped in with a distributed, decentralized network. Audiogalaxy gave us astounding variety (even the most obscure music could always be found sooner or later) and a rich sense of community that is still sorely missed. WinMX offered the ability to connect to multiple Napster-compatible networks; with the advent of multi-source downloading, Morpheus and similar programs allowed us to rise above the limitations of slow upstream (until it's hard now to find any P2P applications that don't use it); and EDonkey added the nice touch of being able to share files before they were done downloading.

So what's the next stage of P2P evolution?

Enter BitTorrent -- a "swarming, scatter and gather" file transfer protocol developed by Bram Cohen that's taking the net by storm. Even without a friendly, unified interface, BT's ability to scale in the face of overwhelming demand while minimizing the free rider problem ("leeching") has attracted a flood of new users. But as with any tool, understanding how and why it works will always make using it easier and more fun.

All technical references are taken from the BT server tutorial and the official documentation.

Let's Start with the Basics

BitTorrent is not a 'website' or a 'network', and strictly speaking is not even a program -- it's a protocol with a number of functional implementations.

Instead of jumping right into downloading, first we'll discuss how files are served. Most new BT users are familiar with going to a website and clicking on links to .torrent files, but this just provides a friendlier interface and isn't actually necessary. All you really need to serve is a public Internet machine. The "tracker" will "keep track" of who is connected and who has which pieces of the file(s) in question. Like any public Internet service, a static IP address and/or valid hostname will make it easier for people to connect to your tracker.

To start serving, you choose a file or directory to serve and run a program which generates a .torrent file. This contains a 'hash,' which serves as a checksum to ensure the file is the same on all systems, as well as the address of a tracker. A typical .torrent file is quite small, typically 5-50k in size.

The second step is to load the .torrent file into a BT client. The client asks you where to save the file, you point it at the existing and complete copy, it verifies that the file hash matches, says the download is done and sits there uploading when necessary until you cancel it.

Here's an animated graphic (.mng, currently viewable only in Mozilla) of a torrent transfer.

Getting Started

The official BT client is available for Win32, Mac OS X, as an unstable Debian package, and as Python source code.

Getting started is quite simple; the Windows installer asks no questions and provides no options, and the only behind-the-scenes addition is that Internet Explorer now launches BT when you click on links to .torrent files. (Mozilla users will need to edit Preferences, Navigator, Helper Applications and add the mime type "application/x-bittorrent", to be launched by the btdownloadprefetched executable.) You can also download .torrent files and load them locally without going through a website.

Once the .torrent has been invoked, the client will prompt you for a location to save the file to. The client then creates a file of the appropriate size containing all zeros, and connects to the tracker to get a starting list of some random subset of available peers (other users connected to the 'swarm'). BT then starts connecting to peers and downloading random chunks of the file, and begin uploading to other peers as soon as you have enough for it to bother.

Every time your client verifies another piece of the download, it tells the tracker it has a good copy of that piece. By directly utilizing each user's outgoing bandwidth, downloads can be generally be completed very quickly while minimizing the load on the original server, in effect turning the dreaded "Slashdot Effect" against itself -- the more who want to download, the more there are to upload. Sooner or later (usually sooner), the download is done, and the client continues to upload pieces to other users.

What's In It For Me?

Now your first instinct at this point might be to close the program, but you really ought to leave it open as long as possible afterward, to help seed the file into the network. But this is really a social and cultural issue which can't necessarily be addressed through technical measures; BT can enforce fairness during the transfer with its algorithms, but no software can force the user to keep the client open. Many tracker owners keep a close eye on such things, and will generally ban repeat offenders. In any event, "giving back" your bandwidth has never been easier, even for users behind firewalls or NAT (although as always, being able to avoid or go through these will make the transfers more efficient).

Alternative Clients and Other Tools

That said, there are perfectly valid reasons to want some control over the amount of bandwidth a P2P application uses, and an experimental, unofficial client (Win32, Python source) has been created to provide a friendly interface for this. BT will automatically adjust your download speed appropriately if you set a slower upload speed, but it's still an invaluable tool for some cable and DSL users whose downloads will choke and abort if they use too much upstream, or for anyone with limited upstream who wants to reserve some of it for other uses.

Currently, both the official and experimental GUI clients use a separate window for each transfer. BT++ (Win32, Python source) has made an initial attempt at combining all transfers into one window, as well as offering some other enhancements, but users report mixed results, with some saying "it works for me" and others that it's buggy to the point of unusable; still, it's one to keep an eye on. (Caveat: BT++ provides an option to automatically stop uploading when the download is completed. I believe this deliberately encourages people to do so even if there is no real need to do so, and would advise anyone using BT++ to refrain from using this option; it's unnecessary, detrimental to the BT networks, and may lead to your IP being banned as described above.)

TorrentSpy (Win32) is another useful tool that shows various statistics about your transfers, including which files of a multi-file torrent are complete. It's not meant to replace a downloading client, but to complement it.

I should add that the speed and time-to-completion numbers may not be wholly accurate, and will typically fluctuate wildly to some extent during a transfer. (After all, do you believe Windows when it tells you how long it will take to copy a file?) The "percentage completed" at least is accurate, and you may be able to get more accurate information using TorrentSpy. A new version of BT has just been released (3.2) and its reported changes include "more even and consistent download rates".

A Few Miscellaneous Points

It's quite possible to generate .torrents for files you want to serve and then advertise them on someone else's tracker. Since anyone can run a tracker, BT is more like IRC, Usenet or Direct Connect than something like Kazaa. Like Freenet, it works best if the content is highly in demand; it's also more effective on recently released stuff. One highly recommeded website is Bstark. It doesn't provide .torrents for anyone to download, but functions as a "metatracker", that is, a tracker that keeps track of trackers. If you're a statistics geek, the graphs are a lot of fun, and even for the average user it's a simple way to check what files are most in demand and most in need of someone to serve them. This is even more effective when you combine it with an alternate means of communication such as IRC or email, making it easy for users to check supply and meet demand. The .torrent file can also be distributed by any means, be it a website, IRC channel, email attachments or perhaps carrier pigeon.


With the 'entertainment industry' finally focusing their attention on IRC, the cantankerous and difficult granddaddy of Internet file sharing, BitTorrent has found a niche and filled it admirably. The author understandably wishes to focus upon using BT in a legal manner. As with any new invention, "the street finds its own use for technology," and BitTorrent will undoubtedly continue to be rapidly adopted for both licit and illicit use.

Given the decentralized nature of BT networks and the rapid development of new tools, it's only a matter of time before someone writes a GUI wrapper for an IRC client, web browser and all-in-one BitTorrent interface. After all, Napster did it, as do most other mainstream P2P apps like Kazaa. Like Direct Connect with its 'hubs,' there will always be multiple BT servers available, and a unified interface would not only make it easier for users to find and download content, but free them to focus on forming the social and cultural networks that are also needed. A website typically uses far too much CPU and bandwidth to handle popular traffic, but a BT tracker uses minimal bandwidth by itself. Perhaps the next-generation clients will try to automatically locate trackers, or help the user find and serve older content as well as new releases.

The late great Audiogalaxy had many strengths, but one of its most fundamental was the sense of community it encouraged. BitTorrent wisely fills a narrow set of technical requirements, leaving a great deal to human need and will. The ad hoc arrangements and customs that have so far sprouted as expressions of the will to fill these needs are often chaotic and messy -- but that's human action for you.

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Frostis Pistius (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632590)

Choke on it Timothy!

Much better than all of us rushing the FTP servers (5, Interesting)

man1ed (659888) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632591)

I remember when 8.0 came out, it was days before I could find a mirror that didn't already have too many users connected. I think it is a great idea to use p2p to to distribute it.

Re:Much better than all of us rushing the FTP serv (-1, Troll)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632667)

I remember when Windows XP came out. I went to the store and bought a CD. Popped the CD in my drive and, while it installed itself, I went and fell asleep in the sun. Yeah, I waited in line for 5 minutes.

You, by contrast, you spend days and days to connect to an rickety ass FTP server so you can download an infected copy of an operating system with 1/8 the features of mine and a host of shit, half finished applications that don't do anything that anyone actually wants to do with a computer.

Re:Much better than all of us rushing the FTP serv (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632697)

yeah, he also got it for free, and btw, fuck you, in the ass, YOU MOTHERFUCKING SON OF A BITCH

Re:Much better than all of us rushing the FTP serv (-1, Troll)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632749)

That only matters if you are a broke fucker.

My time is more valuable than yours I suppose. Spending $200 and 5 minutes to install a working operating system that doesn't require constant editing of text files to function is a good deal for me. I have girls to fuck and drinks to pound. I don't have time to wrench my own software.

YES! (4, Insightful)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632592)

The best way to help Open Source Companies (a la RedHat) survive is to circumvent their income strategies!
Tell RedHat to screw off! Circumvent the subscription policy with P2P!

Is that a bullethole in your foot?

Re:YES! (0, Redundant)

FortKnox (169099) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632612)

Whoops. This wasn't supposed to be submitted. Was joking with the guy in the next cube, and meant to hit 'preview'. Please mod down and ignore (although I'm SURE I'll get at least 15 replies that state how wrong I am).

I thought you were right on... (4, Interesting)

Wee (17189) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632666)

And I thought you were being sarcastic. I'm sure other people will see your post as saracastic as well. But you have a good point. Red Hat is clearly doing the pay-for-prerelease thing to make some green. If people can get it for free, then they likely will. That isn't a good thing for Red Hat.

I personally ponied up my 60 bucks, but then again I also go out and buy boxed copies.


Re:YES! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632633)

Except that you aren't, and I completely agree with you.

It may sound trollish, but its the truth.

Re:YES! - MOD UP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632644)

Wow, I couldn't have put it better myself.

Mods, put the parent up where it belongs!

Re:YES! (2, Insightful)

elmegil (12001) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632663)

Not only that, but do it with a package that works "best" on Windows, under Internet Exploder! (don't EVEN ask me about trying to get it to work with phoenix or mozilla or any other reasonable browser).

Re:YES! (5, Insightful)

bramcohen (567675) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632773)

Redistribution isn't 'circumvention'. The GPL specifically requires that it be allowed.

Strange that people seem to be so religious about all the details of the GPL, except when it might hurt RedHat, in which case it's okay for them to sell it like proprietary software.

Some of us use free software because its free. (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632813)


Re:YES! (5, Informative)

labratuk (204918) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632814)

Their income strategies are to pay huge amounts for the bandwidth of thousands of people downloading their .isos?

Re:YES! (1)

ralphus (577885) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632816)

I have a paying redhat account. I'm using bit torrent right now to download the isos now because I'm getting only 8.7KB/s from over http. It doesn't have to be a circumvention mechanism or used in an illicit manner.

Red Hat financial problems (5, Funny)

ablcmx (105873) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632594)

Red Hat must be in serious trouble if they couldn't afford the .0 to append to the 9!

BitTorrent not working well (4, Interesting)

Drunken Coward (574991) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632595)

Estimated time left: 75 hours 25 minutes 35 seconds

Current download rate: 3 kB/s
Current upload rate: 35 kB/s

Seems to be some sort of bottleneck :(

Is it available at any FTP mirrors yet?

Re:BitTorrent not working well (4, Interesting)

nstrom (152310) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632611)

BitTorrent takes a little bit of time to get up to speed, please wait a few minutes, and your download speed should go up.

Re:BitTorrent not working well (2, Informative)

karen_sjet (235874) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632684)

Neither is Red Hat Network. I've been downloading ISO 1 for about three hours (I'm on a university connection, so download speed isn't an issue) and curl estimates another four hours for the download to complete. At this rate I will have all three ISOs in 21 hours. I guess that's still before the non-RHN-subscribers...

Re:BitTorrent not working well (1)

mrfiddlehead (129279) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632686)

I'm currently getting 9kB/s from, and frankly, if enough people are willing to go try this BitTorrent concept my download time might actually finish before the week is up (and the real shit hits the fan at redhat.)

Working better now? (5, Interesting)

jamie (78724) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632722)

Current download rate: 3 kB/s
Current upload rate: 35 kB/s

Is it running any faster now, after 15 minutes or so? My download rates shortly after the Slashdot story went live were around 5-7 K/s. Since then it's been steadily increasing -- presumably as more and more Slashdot readers download, install and run BitTorrent, providing more clients for me to connect to. I'm now up to 25-30 K/s, which is roughly the same as my upload speed.

Re:BitTorrent not working well (1)

technos (73414) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632799)

As of a moment ago, there were two seed copies of the ISOs and 487 people sucking them down..

Geez.. Talk about a lot of bandwidth!

Re:BitTorrent not working well (1)

amodal_citizen (662881) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632820)

I'm getting about 400kB/s down and 300kB/s up...

Re:BitTorrent not working well (1)

j3110 (193209) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632836)

24K/s down (bandwidth up to 300K/s available)
9K/s up (up to 16K/s available)

It fluctuates though... but appearantly my computer is having a hard time finding anyone to send it to :)

Make sure you have port 6881 forwarded to you (if this is your only download, it will only use that port).

If you don't people can't even connect to you to trade parts of the file with you, so you are going to get about half the connections that you could.

Also, huge torrents take a while to get off the ground.

And don't close it when it's done... leave it open for a few hours so everyone can get it from you for a while.

Mandrake 9 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632596)

Knoppix is good! This makes little sense whatsoever!

what has the world come to? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632597)

pirating linux isos....

First Post? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632602)


And now, a few words from Stephen Hawking (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632623)

Trash Talk
Harm me with harmony.
Doomsday, drop a load on 'em.

Verse 1
Entropy, how can I explain it? I'll take it frame by frame it,
to have you all jumping, shouting saying it.
Let's just say that it's a measure of disorder,
in a system that is closed, like with a border.
It's sorta, like a, well a measurement of randomness,
proposed in 1850 by a German, but wait I digress.
"What the fuck is entropy?", I here the people still exclaiming,
it seems I gotta start the explaining.

You ever drop an egg and on the floor you see it break?
You go and get a mop so you can clean up your mistake.
But did you ever stop to ponder why we know it's true,
if you drop a broken egg you will not get an egg that's new.

That's entropy or E-N-T-R-O to the P to the Y,
the reason why the sun will one day all burn out and die.
Order from disorder is a scientific rarity,
allow me to explain it with a little bit more clarity.
Did I say rarity? I meant impossibility,
at least in a closed system there will always be more entropy.
That's entropy and I hope that you're all down with it,
if you are here's your membership.

You down with entropy?
Yeah, you know me! (x3)
Who's down with entropy?
Every last homey!

Verse 2
Defining entropy as disorder's not complete,
'cause disorder as a definition doesn't cover heat.
So my first definition I would now like to withdraw,
and offer one that fits thermodynamics second law.
First we need to understand that entropy is energy,
energy that can't be used to state it more specifically.
In a closed system entropy always goes up,
that's the second law, now you know what's up.

You can't win, you can't break even, you can't leave the game,
'cause entropy will take it all 'though it seems a shame.
The second law, as we now know, is quite clear to state,
that entropy must increase and not dissipate.

Creationists always try to use the second law,
to disprove evolution, but their theory has a flaw.
The second law is quite precise about where it applies,
only in a closed system must the entropy count rise.
The earth's not a closed system' it's powered by the sun,
so fuck the damn creationists, Doomsday get my gun!
That, in a nutshell, is what entropy's about,
you're now down with a discount.


Trash Talk
Hit it!
Doomsday, kick it in!

New /. headline (5, Funny)

Limburgher (523006) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632625)

"Slashdot provides free BitTorrent stress test/load analysis"

Re:New /. headline (4, Informative)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632824)

Yup! And so far, it seems the weak link in the whole shebang is the DNS...

If you're having problems getting BitTorrent to work, especially "bad data from tracker", use: []

How about some ethics ? (5, Insightful)

InodoroPereyra (514794) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632634)

Red Hat, a company supporting lots of developing in the GNU/Linux community, releases their newest version as a privileged one-week-early download for their customers through their network. In the meantime, Slashdot publishes this inflamatory plug for bit torrent, as a workaround to kind-of-boycott Red Hat's policy.

Correct me if I've got the facts wrong. But it sounds to me like a week long wait is not really long, and that this announcement in Slashdot is not really ethical ...

Re:How about some ethics ? (1, Insightful)

Steven Blanchley (655585) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632683)

Out of curiosity, about how much of Red Hat's income is from the subscription thing in the first place?

While I am not familiar with this particular situation, I would expect that most of their money comes from selling their software in boxes. You can't download those nice big manuals with BitTorrent or FTP.

And by the way, if a week-long wait is not so long, then why would this decrease the value of the subscriptions?

Re:How about some ethics ? (-1, Troll)

l33t j03 (222209) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632695)

What about the part where the fuck little boys? Does that strike you as ethical?

I ask because they have been fucking little boys a hell of a lot longer than they have been circumventing the distribution system of a for-profit company that gives away their product and is built around the philosophy that no one should be able to own anything. The former strikes me as a more pressing issue.

Re:How about some ethics ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632696)

But it sounds to me like a week long wait is not really long

For people used to look source code directly, one week is a long time.

Re:How about some ethics ? (5, Interesting)

bramcohen (567675) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632708)

Maybe RedHat should release their stuff under a 'turns into GPL after a week' license if they don't want their software redistributed quickly.

Charging money for a week is no different than charging money indefinitely. BitTorrent is a great tool which RedHat can use to get their bandwidth costs under control so they can focus on their core business, whatever that may be.

Re:How about some ethics ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632752)

You can't take GPLed software and release it under a non-free license. And no, saying it'll be "GPL after a week" doesn't make it OK.

Re:How about some ethics ? (5, Insightful)

alaric187 (633477) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632718)

No, you've got the facts right. It's just that most people here want free as in beer and not free as in speech. I swear if Microsoft was free most of the people here would be switching to it right now. This open source thing is just a red herring for "I want free stuff because I deserve it."

Thanks in advance to mods for extra tasty troll points.
Also, notice I said most not all, I know there are lots of people that believe in open source.

Re:How about some ethics ? (2, Insightful)

EricFenderson (64220) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632726)

Correct me if I've got the facts wrong. But it sounds to me like a week long wait is not really long, and that this announcement in Slashdot is not really ethical ...

::shrugs:: Welcome to the way the GPL works. RedHat knows this plenty well. This freedom is a good thing.

Re:How about some ethics ? (2, Funny)

teamhasnoi (554944) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632732)

Perhaps this was a carfully crafted ploy to overload servers, and encourage users to *purchase* RH9.

Wait, this is Slashdot. ITS A FREAKIN' FREE FOR ALL! W00T!

Now would be a good time to go after Slackware, or Mandrake... ;)

Re:How about some ethics ? (1, Flamebait)

cygnus (17101) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632738)

Red Hat, a company supporting lots of developing in the GNU/Linux community, releases their newest version as a privileged one-week-early download for their customers through their network.
so, in other words, they are basing part of their profit model on expecting users not to exercise the freedoms that the GPL gives them, even though without the GPL, Redhat wouldn't have a product in the first place? forgive me if i don't give a crap.

Re:How about some ethics ? (4, Insightful)

warpSpeed (67927) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632756)

Correct me if I've got the facts wrong. But it sounds to me like a week long wait is not really long, and that this announcement in Slashdot is not really ethical ...

Once you have the bits they are yours to do with as you please.

I'll bet that RedHat is offering the pre-access to the bits for the subscribers so that they can actually get the bits before thier servers are /.ed from the unwashed masses.

And I would bet that RedHat is happy to off-load the downloading to something like BT. It just makes thier bandwidth usage go down, and most likley the people sharing the bits were not going to buy support anyway.

Re:How about some ethics ? (2, Insightful)

nooch (538215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632761)

Maybe you can tell us why it is not ethical to offer an alternate method to acquire the ISOs, which are free (week or not), early. It's not like this places any burden on RedHat. It takes the load off their servers, allowing people who would have hit RedHat, or their mirrors, for the ISOs in a week to get it earlier. This also allows for more people to test it in the early phase of release. Sounds like a win-win situation to me.

Don't bother to say that the people who paid the $60, or whatever fee, paid for the right to get it early. That is just silly. They paid for the service they are getting from RedHat, as well as the ability to D/L the ISO from RedHat.

Personally, RedHat can say 'bye' to me. I am going back to Gentoo. We don't need no stinkin' surveys.


Re:How about some ethics ? (1)

PerlGuru (115222) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632778)

I'm not a Red Hat subscriber and I don't work for Red Hat so I'm not certain but seems to me the point of the subscription might not necessarily be to get it a week early, perhaps the point is to get it at a somewhat good rate when it is first available. In other words by charging for the privlidge to download it from them they are decreasing the number of people who download it right away. Somewhat like the Slashdot subscription system and being able to get to sites before they are slashdotted.

bittorrent install (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632640)

so how do you install bittorrent in a few simple steps on RH 7.3, which having to download / install tons of extra packages?

Nice to see well written pieces on /. (4, Insightful)

agrounds (227704) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632642)

This is a welcome to change to the usual copy/paste from the linked articles we usually get. This is so decent it's alomst as useful as the time that guy posted the step-by-step on Gentoo that was so good I went home and installed on the spare PC. Bravo!

Otherwise I'm glad to see the P2P community keeping pace (or should I say, one step ahead of) with the best in file serving. I'm not sure that RedHat would be pleased about it, but it was bound to happen that the ISOs would be released back to the community in record time regardless of paid subscriptions. In the end, I think they'll find it difficult to release anything without the inevitable leaks. This seems to hold true for Microsoft as well, as they contend with leak after leak of their beta and developer images. Information wants to be free!!

Re:Nice to see well written pieces on /. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632737)

What do you mean "back to the community"? As if Redhat is holding the ISOs hostage, trying to make a few bucks off of them before someone foils their evil plan.

Come on Adam, Don't be so cheap.

Direct Connect (4, Informative)

dethkultur (617989) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632643)

When will this crowd catch on to Direct Connect [] ? Talk about non-leeching - in some hubs you have to share a minimum of 60 GB+ just to join. Yes that means those hubs average over 60GB/user. Nothing else even comes close.

Re:Direct Connect (3, Interesting)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632721)

BT doesn't work that way. It starts uploading pieces of the file you've already downloaded, shortly after you start downloading. It's not a matter of what you're sharing, because you're only sharing the file being transferred. And everyone downloading is a contributor.

Re:Direct Connect (0)

Ataru (50540) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632745)

Yeah but hardly anyone actually shares that amount.. They are all running hacked clients that report their favourite made-up figure.

Re:Direct Connect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632798)

Maybe because direct connect sucks? The people with the files in demand quickly have filled queues, and nothing goes anywhere. One person uploading one file to one person. All the other p2p apps have moved on to multiple source downloading.

What the? (5, Insightful)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632647)

Can somebody explain to me why the news of RH9 being released was coupled with such a huge plug for BitTorrent? That was weird...


Re:What the? (0, Flamebait)

nstrom (152310) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632660)

Because so far, Red Hat has not (and does not plan to, for a week) put RH9 on its public FTP servers, only on its special "pay" servers for "subscribers".

Re:What the? (0)

Ataru (50540) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632762)

Hehe, and is anyone mirroring the subscription version of /. ??? Imagine the uproar!

Holy Shit! (1)

rhadamanthus (200665) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632780)

You mean, if you pay money to RedHat and support the company (and Linux in general), you get more stuff-and sooner? Holy crap! Whoda-Thunk it! People like you are irritating. Some people pay good money for the ability to get it sooner with less load on the FTP servers. You don't, so quit bitching.


Re:What the? (2, Insightful)

hendridm (302246) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632690)

Cuz nerds like me have been checking the RHN site since 12:01am looking to see if the ISO files were posted, and when they were, we can't get through. I found the post useful.

Re:What the? (2, Insightful)

Quixadhal (45024) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632807)

Perhaps in the vain hope that people might use an intelligent protocol to download it from hundreds of scattered sites, rather than having everyone congest the RH site when it goes live there?

404 (1)

dpatters (193949) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632650)

Not Found
The requested URL /redhat9.torrent was not found on this server.

Re:404 (1)

bramcohen (567675) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632673)

That was a very temporary technical glitch, apologies for the inconvenience.

Don't forget to forward 6881 (3, Informative)

Flak (55755) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632651)

Your download time will shrink greatly.

Re:Don't forget to forward 6881 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632733)


Bandwidth saturation? (5, Informative)

Mistah Blue (519779) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632652)

It would seem to me that RedHat didn't fully think out the bandwidth hit they would take. I've got a colleague (who is an RHN subscriber too) that just had all his downloads (discs 1-3) timeout. I gave up trying to start downloads this morning. I personally think, Akamai would have been a better solution.

Subscriber costs (4, Insightful)

rf0 (159958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632658)

RedHat is a business. Business want to make money. The community support this. So therefore we get rid of their revenue streams by getting what will be free in a week now and stopping potential subscribers?


Re:Subscriber costs (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632710)

This is Slashdot. Companies shouldn't be allowed to profit. Information wants to be free. Nobody reading this story ever intended to spend a single cent on this (or any) software. Good for Slashdot for sabotaging another reasonable and worthwhile revenue stream for an open source company.

A string of 9s.. (1)

BenjaminHall (201202) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632674)

Strange how all the distro's hit version 9 around the same time :)

Re:A string of 9s.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632839)

Oh STFU. That one has been beat to death already...

Bittorrent and Television (1)

DarkRabbit (27941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632676)

I've been using bittorrent to download mpegs of television shows that haven't been produced to VHS or DVD; Invader Zim, Kids In The Hall ... in the month or so that I've been using it, the biggest problem has clearly been people whom have dropped off after downloading the content.

How could one prevent this from happening? I can only see banning by IP as the only way.

Re:Bittorrent and Television (1)

Frenchy_2001 (659163) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632796)

To me, Bittorrent looks like a dedicated server of Edonkey. You share/download one file at a time on a given "tracker" (server). For people used to P2P, it looks like a scam or unefficient, but you forget the biggest sell point of bittorrent:

ease of use.

Any user can DL and install that program under windows and get it to work. Sure, they may close the window right after the download finished, but you still enjoyed their bandwidth during the transfer. It is a HUGE step from an http DL.

Bittorrent makes sense for a server point of view. Using it, you can cut your bandwidth cost, especially when it hurts the most: at release time. After that, if the number of DL is low anyway, it wont impact you much if your server is the only one sending.

BitTorrent IS WORKING WELL!! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632688)

Right now it's 12:50 P.M. MST and I've been downloading RH9 with BitTorrent now for about 22 minutes (three ISO files) on my Comcast cable connection. My download speeds vary between 100 KB/s and 200 KB/s, and the estimated time to go is 2 hours and 40 minutes. Hows that for performance?

How much did Jamie get paid to post this? (1, Funny)

twfry (266215) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632699)

Were slashdot subscribers not presented with this spam? Or were they forced to read this advertisement as well?

Yeah bit torrent, yeah ISO out...blah blah blah (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632702)

So ok. You can get it with Bit Torrent, you can get it off of the FTP if you are a member. But what the heck is it? All I've seen about Red Hat 9 is that it's out. What are the new features? Anything cool/not-cool. I just recently got 8.0 and was expecting the usual RH path of 8.1 and 8.2 before the next version. Anyone using 9 currently?

i used BT once... (1)

y0bhgu0d (168149) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632707)

and will never do so again. in the course of downloading a single 140mb file, win2k-sp3 dumped physical memory 4 times. when i closed BT, the problem went away.

Re:i used BT once... (3, Informative)

nstrom (152310) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632760)

This is a known issue, not in BitTorrent, but in various USB DSL modem drivers and network card drivers. Linksys and Netgear have some known buggy drivers. Refer to the question titled "BitTorrent makes my machine blue screen! What should I do?" in the BitTorrent FAQ [] , and see restart.html [] for a page which also mentions this problem as it applies to WinMX, another P2P client.

yes, Win2k + BitTorrent = bluescreen (1)

Edgewize (262271) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632788)

On all of my VIA chipset athlons, whenever I try the BitTorrent client I am guaranteed a hard crash or a bluescreen within ten minutes. The error messages are different, but always imply a hardware error. Yet burn-in tests and local LAN filetransfers can run for days without any problem.

Flaw in Win2K SP3's net stack? Probably. It shouldn't even be possible for a user application to cause a bluescreen. I don't blame BitTorrent directly but I do wish that someone would hunt down the cause and find a workaround. Until then, I'll get my releases days later from Kazaa Lite, just like everyone else...

Re:yes, Win2k + BitTorrent = bluescreen (1)

Edgewize (262271) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632817)

Just saw the other comment on possibly buggy network drivers... I don't think that this is the cause, since my no-name network cards are from different brands and different chipsets, but I suppose it's possible.

It's still very strange that Kazaa, Gnucleus, and other P2P apps don't exhibit this behavior. What is BitTorrent doing so differently?

bloody hell (1)

RobertTaylor (444958) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632709)

Oddly enough most software is out there on P2P networks, just some people are prepared not to be anally skinflintish/hypocritical - ie. slashdot saying pirate a copy of RH linux.

Either cmdertaco's mate coded this new system and wants new users, or slashdot has just fallen a few more points in credibility...

And do we really *need* it? (4, Interesting)

Lysol (11150) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632716)

Why all the effort? There have already been a couple of reviews out on 9 and it looks like it's nothing more than a little gloss over what can be had with 8. And frankly, 8 is ok, but I'm feeling my relationship is over with RedHat.

I have been slowly, over the past year or so, warming up more and more to Gentoo. Today, in fact, I'm re-installing one of my home servers with Gentoo 1.4 because I just want it the way I want it. Gentoo is shaping up to be a great distro and if you love the days of getting your hands dirty in the depth of things, then you should give it a whirl. Altho it may not be worth it to everyone, there is something to be said about a blazingly fast distro that's tailored to your machine.

Plus, portage smokes rpm - in fact, the BSD ports was one thing I really missed with Linux. Now, it's the best of both worlds.

Re:And do we really *need* it? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632797)

Altho it may not be worth it to everyone, there is something to be said about a blazingly fast distro that's tailored to your machine.

If tailored to your machine means you're fighting bugs nobody else has, that's Gentoo.

For real quality, try Slackware or Debian. Gentoo is an experiment, not a production OS.

tooooo funny (1)

argoff (142580) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632720)

lest see,
first they were pissed off about copy machines,
then the internet,
then centralized p2p like napster,
then decentralized p2p,
now this - they surely must be peeing in their pants by now. When are just going to get it over with and decalre copyrights are dead.

Re:tooooo funny-Me! Me! Me! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632809)

"When are just going to get it over with and decalre copyrights are dead."

As soon as you acknowledge that your core philosophy is "I want everything to be free, regardless of the consequences to others, or myself". Deal?

How ingeneous... (5, Funny)

NOT-2-QUICK (114909) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632723)

Now, instead of the slashdotting the RedHat FTP sites and mirrors, the BitTorrent web site (the site distributing the client) will get the onslaught of RedHatters in search of the latest version...

Alls well from my perspective, though -- I have already installed the BitTorrent client and have the new ISO's! As such, go nuts... :-)


A problem though (1)

Bubba2146 (525060) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632729)

The protocol is nice and I use it quite a bit, but it suffers from the fact that you need to find the .torrent files before you can use it. This to me is a point of failure that should be avoided. Why isn't it possible for a client/tracker to share the torrent files themselves as part of the overall transaction? While people may want to hide what torrents they have, this could go a long way to eliminate the problem.

Pretty cool! (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632730)

Ok, I just installed the client and started the download. I'm running on a Speakeasy DSL connection.

Current status:

Estimated time left: 116 hour 30 min 37 sec
Download rate: 0 kB/s
Upload rate: 13 kB/s

It's like slogging through distributed mud!

Great article (1)

CvD (94050) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632740)

Hey, great article, ololiuhqui. Now I have a question: how exactly would you pronounce 'ololiuhqui'? :-)

Re:Great article (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632835)


(until i learned that i was always saying "oliloquy" :)

Any reviews yet? (1)

ornil (33732) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632750)

Can anyone point me to some (p)reviews or at least lists of new features, etc?

MS sucks, but at least get educated (1)

nsample (261457) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632759)

(.mng, currently viewable only in Mozilla)

Get real. It's certainly viewable (animations and all) in MS' IE. I know IS is not free (as in speech), but FUD (or ignorance) about it hurts just as much as anything else.

Make sure not to close the Bittorrent client... (5, Informative)

RealityThreek (534082) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632767)

when the download is complete!

Bittorent works by making everyone who downloads part of the "distribution network." By leaving the client open you are making the download go faster for everyone. I suppose this is kind of a utilitatian concept, but hey.. Slashdot readers are supposed to be idealistic, right? I'll leave mine open, and hopefully you will too.

If your mirror is loaded with leechers... (1)

decarelbitter (559973) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632768)

try using a IPv6 mirror, as not many people yet use IPv6 most IPv6 mirrors have some free slots.

Animation works fine in Konqueror. (4, Informative)

terkozer (521819) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632771)

quote: "Here's an animated graphic (.mng, currently viewable only in Mozilla) of a torrent transfer."

Just to point out, the .mng works just find under Konqueror 3.1.0.

For more information on MNG, and a list of supported browsers, follow this link []

Thumbs Up to BitTorrent (1)

goober (120298) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632772)

I've been using BitTorrent lately to download lossless recordings [] of Phish concerts. Each concert is usually about 1GB in size and the transfer rates have been superb. It will start off slowly, but pick up steam once you download parts of the fileset that others have already downloaded. A few hours later and I can burn 3 CDs worth of live music. Excelsior!

Mysteriously enough I'll live... (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632774)

...until my Uni mirror will have it and send it to me at 10Mbit (what's in the wall). If I was more desperate than that, I'd pay :)


Hopefully, it is faster... (4, Insightful)

cenonce (597067) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632777)

I am a Red Hat subscriber and I am pushing a measly 14 kb/sec to download three 600+ MB ISOs. I'm on ISO #1 with 9 hours to go!

So what exactly is the advantage of getting the distro a week ahead of everyone else when the servers for "subscriber use" are so overloaded it will take me a week to download it!?!

Re:Hopefully, it is faster... (1)

bigmouth_strikes (224629) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632833)

So what exactly is the advantage of getting the distro a week ahead of everyone else when the servers for "subscriber use" are so overloaded it will take me a week to download it!?!

Because in a week when everyone else will try to get it it will take 2 weeks to download ?

And this is different from EDonkey How? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632786)

E-Donkey creates a unique hash for every file, which provides the ability to make ED2K links from webpages. E-Donkey also divides everything into Parts(9Meg I think) and when you start downloading a file you also start sharing the parts you have with other people and they in turn do you a favor and share their parts back with you. The queue file is contained on each persons computer so you can't hack it, and it awards people who share more parts with a higher queue ranking, thus promoting sharing and not leeching. You have to share to download. BitTorrent really doesn't sound a whole lot different from E-donkey to me.

A bad coincidence - RH9 and Sendmail (1)

mattsouthworth (24953) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632793)

_This_ explains why RHN has been so crappy today. The sendmail update is available through RHN up2date today, and the servers have been slammed, it's been cutting off my connection. It seems likely that it's from the RH9 load. Crap!

Questions (1)

frodo from middle ea (602941) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632819)

Is it worth upgrading ?
What's significantly diff. from RH 8.0.
I have a Linux distro that works with most of my H/W including firewire, usb, printer etc.

Sould I upgrade, apart from KDE 3.1, Gnome 2,2 and X 4.2 whats new. ? I already have KDE 3.1, I dont use gnome , whats diff in X 4.2 and 4.3 that can be useful. I have heard 4.3 allows to change resoultion on the fly, but i dont care for that.
so is it worth the efforts.

You people discust me! (-1, Troll)

anonymous coword (615639) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632821)

It's very hard to make money in the open source world as it is. Open source companies are trying to make money by offering benifets by getting you to pay (IE get it early). And then you fucking warez it on the front page of SLASHDOT! No wonder every company want's to shove drm down your throats. The only reason why Redhat isn't sueing the crap out of you slashdorks is the gpl removes legal privelidges from companies.

ridiculous (5, Interesting)

the_phenom (559547) | more than 11 years ago | (#5632822)

I find it ridiculous that the loudest linux/open source zealots in here refuse to pay to support it. Open source programmers deserve to be paid too. Put your money where your mouth is. And yes, for the record, I've paid for every version of RH since 6.x, and I even paid for Debian once. :) Let the flames begin.

Mixed Feelings (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632825)

On the one hand, BitTorrent is an excellent way of reducing bandwidth for Open Source companies... if they release their files only on bittorrent, then they can get the distro out to more people & save money on bandwidth at the same time. In that regard, I think all Linux distro companies should adopt it.

On the other hand, this is a massive leak for RedHat... if BitTorrent can always be relied upon to get the ISOs the day they're released to subscribers, then there is no incentive to become a RedHat subscriber... and thus RedHat loses money.

In the future, it would be nice if BitTorrent users could wait until after the distro is released to the public before mirroring it... Yeah, then companies like RedHat still get their 1 week advance for subscribers, AND they get to not have their servers flooded on public release day.

*sigh*... I better go buy a RH9 boxed set, I feel all dirty now.

ETA 12 days (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#5632840)

I'm a subscriber to RHN.I don't particularly care about $60 a year, and quite happily paid it a few months ago. For the privilege of being a subscriber I now have access to a server that is providing me an ISO at the estimated rate of one every 48 hours, and thus can anticipate downloading the 6 ISO set in 12 days.

That'll give me a huge advantage over the non-subscribers who have to wait a week before they can access fast mirrors. Err...
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