dhtcrawler is a DHT crawler written in erlang. It can join a DHT network and crawl many P2P torrents. The program save all torrent info into database and provide an http interface to search a torrent by a keyword
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dhtcrawler is a DHT crawler written in erlang. It can join a DHT network and crawl many P2P torrents. The program save all torrent info into database and provide an http interface to search a torrent by a keyword.


dhtcrawler2 is an extended version to dhtcrawler. It has improved a lot on crawling speed, and much more stable.

This git branch maintain pre-compiled erlang files to start dhtcrawler2 directly. So you don't need to compile it yourself, just download it and run it to collect torrents and search a torrent by a keyword.

Enjoy it!


  • install Erlang R16B or newer

  • download mongodb and start mongodb first

      mongod --dbpath your-database-path --setParameter textSearchEnabled=true
  • start crawler, on Windows, just click win_start_crawler.bat

  • start hash_reader, on Windows, just click win_start_hash.bat

  • start httpd, on Windows, just click win_start_http.bat

  • wait several minutes and checkout localhost:8000

You can also compile the source code and run it manually. The source code is in src branch of this repo.

Also you can check more technique information at my blog site (Chinese) codemacro.com

Source code

dhtcrawler is totally open source, and can be used in any purpose, but you should keep my name on, copyright by me please. You can checkout dhtcrawler2 source code in this git repo src branch.


Most config value is in priv/dhtcrawler.config, when you first run dhtcrawler, this file will be generated automatically. And the other config values are passed by arguments to erlang functions. In most case you don't need to change these config values, except these network addresses.

Mongodb Replica set

It's not related about dhtcrawler, but only Mongodb, try figure it yourself.

Another http front-end

Yes of course you can write another http front-end UI based on the torrent database, if you're interested in it I can help you about the database format.


Yes, dhtcrawler2 support sphinx search. There's a tool named sphinx-builder load torrents from database and create sphinx index. crawler-http can also search text by sphinx.

dhtcrawler2 use mongodb text search by default, to use sphinx, follow these steps below:

  • Download sphinx, the version tested is a fork version named coreseek which support Chinese characters. coreseek4.1
  • unzip the binary archive and add bin directory to PATH environment variable, so that dhtcrawler can invoke indexer tool
  • config etc/csft.conf file
    • add a delta index, i.e:

        source delta:xml
            type = xmlpipe2
            xmlpipe_command = cat g:/downloads/coreseek-4.1-win32/var/test/delta.xml
        index delta:xml
            source = delta
            path = g:/downloads/coreseek-4.1-win32/var/data/delta
    • change the other directories, better to use absolute path

  • run win_init_sphinx_index.bat to generate a default sphinx-builder config file, and terminate win_init_sphinx_index.bat
  • config priv/sphinx_builder.config, specify main and delta sphinx index source file name, main and delta index name and sphinx config file, these file names must match these configs you write in etc/csft.conf
  • run win_init_sphinx_index.bat again to initialize sphinx index file, terminate win_init_sphinx_index.bat and if it initialize sphinx index successfully, never run it again
  • run sphinx searchd server
  • run win_start_sphinx_builder to start sphinx-builder, it will read torrents from your torrent database and build the index into sphinx
  • change priv/hash_reader.config search_method to sphinx, so that hash_reader will not build mongodb text search index any more
  • change priv/httpd.config search_method to sphinx, so that crawler-http will search keyword by sphinx

Lots of details! And you'd better to know sphinx well.