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webtorrent

v1.8.24

Published

Streaming torrent client

Downloads

92,052

Readme

WebTorrent is a streaming torrent client for node.js and the browser. YEP, THAT'S RIGHT. THE BROWSER. It's written completely in JavaScript – the language of the web – so the same code works in both runtimes.

In node.js, this module is a simple torrent client, using TCP and UDP to talk to other torrent clients.

In the browser, WebTorrent uses WebRTC (data channels) for peer-to-peer transport. It can be used without browser plugins, extensions, or installations. It's Just JavaScript™. Note: WebTorrent does not support UDP/TCP peers in browser.

Simply include the webtorrent.min.js script on your page to start fetching files over WebRTC using the BitTorrent protocol, or require('webtorrent') with browserify. See demo apps and code examples below.

jsdelivr download count

To make BitTorrent work over WebRTC (which is the only P2P transport that works on the web) we made some protocol changes. Therefore, a browser-based WebTorrent client or "web peer" can only connect to other clients that support WebTorrent/WebRTC.

To seed files to web peers, use a client that supports WebTorrent, e.g. WebTorrent Desktop, a desktop client with a familiar UI that can connect to web peers, webtorrent-hybrid, a command line program, or Instant.io, a website. Established torrent clients like Vuze have already added WebTorrent support so they can connect to both normal and web peers. We hope other clients will follow.

Network

Features

  • Torrent client for node.js & the browser (same npm package!)
  • Insanely fast
  • Download multiple torrents simultaneously, efficiently
  • Pure Javascript (no native dependencies)
  • Exposes files as streams
    • Fetches pieces from the network on-demand so seeking is supported (even before torrent is finished)
    • Seamlessly switches between sequential and rarest-first piece selection strategy
  • Supports advanced torrent client features
  • Comprehensive test suite (runs completely offline, so it's reliable and fast)
  • Check all the supported BEPs here

Browser/WebRTC environment features

  • WebRTC data channels for lightweight peer-to-peer communication with no plugins
  • No silos. WebTorrent is a P2P network for the entire web. WebTorrent clients running on one domain can connect to clients on any other domain.
  • Stream video torrents into a <video> tag (webm (vp8, vp9) or mp4 (h.264))
  • Supports Chrome, Firefox, Opera and Safari.

Install

To install WebTorrent for use in node or the browser with require('webtorrent'), run:

npm install webtorrent

To install a webtorrent command line program, run:

npm install webtorrent-cli -g

To install a WebTorrent desktop application for Mac, Windows, or Linux, see WebTorrent Desktop.

Ways to help

Who is using WebTorrent today?

Lots of folks!

WebTorrent API Documentation

Read the full API Documentation.

Usage

WebTorrent is the first BitTorrent client that works in the browser, using open web standards (no plugins, just HTML5 and WebRTC)! It's easy to get started!

In the browser

Downloading a file is simple:
const WebTorrent = require('webtorrent')

const client = new WebTorrent()
const magnetURI = '...'

client.add(magnetURI, function (torrent) {
  // Got torrent metadata!
  console.log('Client is downloading:', torrent.infoHash)

  torrent.files.forEach(function (file) {
    // Display the file by appending it to the DOM. Supports video, audio, images, and
    // more. Specify a container element (CSS selector or reference to DOM node).
    file.appendTo('body')
  })
})
Seeding a file is simple, too:
const dragDrop = require('drag-drop')
const WebTorrent = require('webtorrent')

const client = new WebTorrent()

// When user drops files on the browser, create a new torrent and start seeding it!
dragDrop('body', function (files) {
  client.seed(files, function (torrent) {
    console.log('Client is seeding:', torrent.infoHash)
  })
})

There are more examples in docs/get-started.md.

Browserify

WebTorrent works great with browserify, an npm package that lets you use node-style require() to organize your browser code and load modules installed by npm (as seen in the previous examples).

Webpack

WebTorrent also works with webpack, another module bundler. However, webpack requires the following extra configuration:

{
  target: 'web',
  node: {
    fs: 'empty'
  }
}

Or, you can just use the pre-built version via require('webtorrent/webtorrent.min.js') and skip the webpack configuration.

Script tag

WebTorrent is also available as a standalone script (webtorrent.min.js) which exposes WebTorrent on the window object, so it can be used with just a script tag:

<script src="webtorrent.min.js"></script>

The WebTorrent script is also hosted on fast, reliable CDN infrastructure (Cloudflare and MaxCDN) for easy inclusion on your site:

<script src="https://cdn.jsdelivr.net/npm/[email protected]/webtorrent.min.js"></script>
Chrome App

If you want to use WebTorrent in a Chrome App, you can include the following script:

<script src="webtorrent.chromeapp.js"></script>

Be sure to enable the chrome.sockets.udp and chrome.sockets.tcp permissions!

In Node.js

WebTorrent also works in node.js, using the same npm package! It's mad science!

NOTE: To connect to "web peers" (browsers) in addition to normal BitTorrent peers, use webtorrent-hybrid which includes WebRTC support for node.

As a command line app

WebTorrent is also available as a command line app. Here's how to use it:

$ npm install webtorrent-cli -g
$ webtorrent --help

To download a torrent:

$ webtorrent magnet_uri

To stream a torrent to a device like AirPlay or Chromecast, just pass a flag:

$ webtorrent magnet_uri --airplay

There are many supported streaming options:

--airplay               Apple TV
--chromecast            Chromecast
--mplayer               MPlayer
--mpv                   MPV
--omx [jack]            omx [default: hdmi]
--vlc                   VLC
--xbmc                  XBMC
--stdout                standard out [implies --quiet]

In addition to magnet uris, WebTorrent supports many ways to specify a torrent.

Talks about WebTorrent

Modules

Most of the active development is happening inside of small npm packages which are used by WebTorrent.

The Node Way™

"When applications are done well, they are just the really application-specific, brackish residue that can't be so easily abstracted away. All the nice, reusable components sublimate away onto github and npm where everybody can collaborate to advance the commons." — substack from "how I write modules"

node.js is shiny

Modules

These are the main modules that make up WebTorrent:

| module | tests | version | description | |---|---|---|---| | webtorrent | | | torrent client (this module) | bittorrent-dht | | | distributed hash table client | bittorrent-peerid | | | identify client name/version | bittorrent-protocol | | | bittorrent protocol stream | bittorrent-tracker | | | bittorrent tracker server/client | bittorrent-lsd | | | bittorrent local service discovery | create-torrent | | | create .torrent files | magnet-uri | | | parse magnet uris | parse-torrent | | | parse torrent identifiers | render-media | | | intelligently render media files | torrent-discovery | | | find peers via dht, tracker, and lsd | ut_metadata | | | metadata for magnet uris (protocol extension) | ut_pex | | | peer discovery (protocol extension)

Enable debug logs

In node, enable debug logs by setting the DEBUG environment variable to the name of the module you want to debug (e.g. bittorrent-protocol, or * to print all logs).

DEBUG=* webtorrent

In the browser, enable debug logs by running this in the developer console:

localStorage.debug = '*'

Disable by running this:

localStorage.removeItem('debug')

License

MIT. Copyright (c) Feross Aboukhadijeh and WebTorrent, LLC.