Just had this idea pop up in my mind. Instead of relying on volunteers mirroring package repositories all around the world, why not utilise BitTorrent protocol to move at the very least some some load unto the users and thus increase download speeds as well as decrease latency?

  • gnuhaut@lemmy.ml
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    7 days ago

    Because HTTP is simpler, faster, easier, more reliable.

    The motivation for a a lot of p2p is to make it harder to shut down, but there is no danger of that for Linux distros. The other would be to save money, but Debian/Arch/etc. get more than enough bandwidth/server donations, so they’re not paying for that anyway.

  • arxdat@lemmy.ml
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    7 days ago

    Metallica ruined it. They made it seem as though torrenting was evil because their content was being downloaded. Poor babies.

    • ElderWendigo@sh.itjust.works
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      7 days ago

      Lars ruined Napster. BitTorrent came around some time later after Limewire, Soulseek, and DirectConnect. Lars might have had something to say about Bit Torrent, but by that point no one was listening.

      Besides, back then, we really were using BitTorrent mostly for Linux ISOs. At the time it was more reliable than http. It really sucked having to download an entire ISO again because it failed the checksum. BitTorrent alleviated that.

  • ಠ_ಠ@infosec.pub
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    6 days ago

    Some distros do this already.

    Alternative downloads

    There are several other ways to get Ubuntu including torrents, which can potentially mean a quicker download, our network installer for older systems and special configurations and links to our regional mirrors for our older (and newer) releases.

    BitTorrent is a peer-to-peer download network that sometimes enables higher download speeds and more reliable downloads of large files. You need a BitTorrent client on your computer to enable this download method.

    https://ubuntu.com/download/alternative-downloads

  • recarsion@discuss.tchncs.de
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    6 days ago

    To add to everything else mentioned, many places (schools, workplaces) don’t allow any usage of BitTorrent, even legal. A guy at my uni got yelled at for torrenting a Linux iso. Not to mention depending on where you live your ISP might be interested in that activity unless you’re using a vpn.

  • atzanteol@sh.itjust.works
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    8 days ago

    BitTorrent would likely increase latency, not lower it. The bit torrent protocol is very inefficient for small files and large numbers of files (https://wiki.debian.org/DebTorrent - see “Problems”).

    But I think your question is more “why not use p2p to download files” for which I think the answer is likely “because they don’t need to.” It would add complication and overhead to maintain. An FTP/HTTP server is pretty simple to setup / maintain and the tools already exist to maintain them. You can use round-robin DNS to gain some redundancy and a bit of load spread without much effort either.

    • Omega_Jimes@lemmy.ca
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      7 days ago

      Bittorrent is nice for getting isos, but it would pul my hair out if I tried to download patches with it.

  • delirious_owl@discuss.online
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    8 days ago

    What are you talking about? All that torrent traffic that my ISP sees is definitely Linux ISOs.

    Just doing my part

  • Rogue@feddit.uk
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    8 days ago

    I suspect if this was enabled by default there would be uproar from people annoyed the distro was stealing their bandwidth, and if it were opt-in then very few people would do it.

    Windows Update uses peer to peer to distribute updates. It’s one of the first things I always disabled.

  • GravitySpoiled@lemmy.ml
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    8 days ago

    One reason is privacy and hence security. If you share a package, you also share the information that your system contains the oudtated package “xy” which has a backdoor and can be accessed by a hacker.

    I’m not sure if that is a valid argument with atomic image distros since you share the whole image. And the tracker could just disable the old image as soon as the new image arrives.

      • Lemmchen@feddit.de
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        7 days ago

        But as a third party you can not know which clients are using this outdated http mirror. On BitTorrent you can see every participating peers and some of them are probably enduser machines (depending on the actual implementation of OP’s suggestion).

    • lemmyvore@feddit.nl
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      8 days ago

      OP is taking about packages and updates using peer to peer, not just the install media. AFAIK no distro does that.

  • sorrybookbroke@sh.itjust.works
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    8 days ago

    That’s actually a really interesting idea. Windows even does something, or at a point did something, similar with system updates.

    Peer to peer packages would have some privacy, and potential security issues of course but I like the thought

    • delirious_owl@discuss.online
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      8 days ago

      Good lord, and windows doesn’t have a way to verify their ISOs are authentic. Do they sign this p2p payload in any way? Seems like a great opportunity to spread a worm

  • makeasnek@lemmy.ml
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    7 days ago

    There is an apt variant that can do this, but nobody uses it. BitTorrent isn’t great for lots of small files overhead wise.

    IPFS is better for this than torrents. The question is always “how much should the client seed before they stop seeding and how longs should they attempt to seed before they give up”. I agree something like this should exist, I have no problem quickly re-donating any bandwidth I use.

  • Sims@lemmy.ml
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    7 days ago

    Over time I’ve seen several groups tinker with p2p protocols for packages. Latest using gnunet/ipfs for Guix packages. But I’ve never seen a working/integrated system. Weird…

  • boredsquirrel@slrpnk.net
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    8 days ago

    Reminds me of the Talk about distributing firmware.

    Bittorrent is poorly pretty suspicious which may be used as an argument. But I dont see the reason really.