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FrostWire for Desktop, a GPL bittorrent client, cloud downloader and media player.
Java Objective-C C++ C HTML Mathematica Other

tip for next commit

Hi there FrostWire hacker!

FrostWire is a file sharing client and media management tool that was made using lots of cool open source projects. It was born from the legendary LimeWire Gnutella client, but it's evolved a hell of a lot since then.

FrostWire no longer supports Gnutella,** it's a BitTorrent client, an Internet Radio client and Media Player.**

Unlike most BitTorrent clients out there, FrostWire focuses on searching files and tries hard to make it as easy and convenient as possible to users.

Old FrostWire users were used to the Gnutella experience (searching for single files), so FrostWire makes use of BitTorrent a little differently to make it simple for them.

FrostWire will connect to all the major BitTorrent indexes of the internet and pre-fetch torrents (via the libtorrent DHT or via HTTP if it can't find it on the DHT), it will then index locally all the available metadata that's indexed by the torrent file, as the user searches, the local index gets better and better to yield richer and instant results.

This makes FrostWire a very powerful client that will help you find the rarest of files on the bittorrent network, sometimes it will find files that even the best BitTorrent indexes won't yield in the search results.

The main software architecture (how things are organized) depends on the late LimeWire 4, but it has evolved through FrostWire 5, and now the source code layout has been simplified enourmously for FrostWire 6.

  • The BitTorrent power comes from the frostwire-jlibtorrent library.
  • Media playback comes from the MPlayer project
  • The good looks and skinning system comes from the Substance skinning project (which we've had to maintain on our repo to make it fit FrostWire needs)
  • HTTP interaction comes from the Apache Commons project
  • The search is built using the awesome H2 database and Lucene indexes.
  • JSON parsing comes from google-gson, and so on and so on.


If you're just looking for a FrostWire installer here are the latest official builds for Windows, MacOSX, Linux and Android

Build Requirements

Introductions aside, here's how you build this.


Make sure your CLASSPATH, JAVA_HOME, ANT_HOME and your PATH environment variables are set correctly.

Example on a Ubuntu system's .bashrc file:


In some cases, you may need to set the ANT_HOME environment variable to the location of your ant binary.

Most build problems are usually solved by having those environment variables set correctly. If you are a Windows or Mac user the process is fairly similar.

The frostwire-desktop project also depends on the frostwire-common and frostwire-jlibtorrent projects.

git clone
git clone
git clone

We recommend using IntelliJ Idea as your development environment.

Build Instructions

Be sure that you're in the project root, else then execute:

cd frostwire-desktop
gradle clean
gradle build

Then run the project with:


If you are using Windows, run the project with run.bat in the src folder.


"My environment variables are fine, my requirements are met, there's an error during the build."*

It's very hard that it happens but we might have pushed out a broken build.

If you do have any issues building, please yell on the comments of the offending commit log at so we can address the issue right away.

If the build is not broken, hit us up at the Developer Forum

Code Organization

Location Contains
src/com/frostwire/ Search, mp3 parsing, Json Engine, mplayer integration, bittorrent, .
src/com/limegroup/gnutella/gui/ Everything the user sees on screen is here.Like Java Swing? this is probably a great place to learn more about it. If you're going to be adding new UI elements make sure you put them inside com.frostwire.gui.\* (Most of the stuff on com.limewire.gui are legacy code from LimeWire) Good starting points to see how it all works are the * files. Being the McDaddy
resources/ This is where most graphical assets are stored.
lib/jars This is where we keep pre-compiled jars from projects we don't maintain.
lib/jars-src This is where we keep the sources of those third party projects. We do this because we hope one day we'll be accepted into debian or ubuntu and it's a requirement that your packages can be compiled without any binary dependency. This also helps us help those projects, sometimes we fix bugs that affect us and we send patches back to those projects. Also on eclipse it's awesome to be able to browse the source of those dependencies and to step-by-step debug to see what the hell those developers were thinking.
lib/messagebundles Where we keep the translation files.
lib/icons Where we keep the FrostWire launcher icons for the differentoperating systems.
splashes/ Where we keep all the splash screens for each major version of FrostWire. There are tools there to build the splash.jar and to build a collage of pictures with all the splashes for a release.

Coding Guidelines

5 Object Oriented Programming Principles learned during the last 15 years

  • Keep it simple. (KISS)
  • Do not repeat yourself. (DRY) Re-use your own code and our code. It'll be faster to code, and easier to maintain.
  • If you want to help, Issue tracker is a good place to take a look at.
  • Try to follow our coding style and formatting before submitting a patch.
  • All pull requests should come from a feature branch created on your git fork. We'll review your code and will only merge it to the master branch if it doesn't break the build. If you can include tests for your pull request you get extra bonus points ;)
  • When you submit a pull request try to explain what issue you're fixing in detail and how you're fixing in detail it so it's easier for us to read your patches. If it's too hard to explain what you're doing, you're probably making things more complex than they already are. Look and test your code well before submitting patches.
  • We prefer well named methods and code re-usability than a lot of comments. Code should be self-explanatory.

Contribution Guidelines

Every countribution merged to the master branch will automatically receive a tip of 1% of whatever funds are available on the tip4commit fund.

Tip for next commit: see here

If you want to contribute code, start by looking at the open issues on

If you want to fix a new issue that's not listed there, create the issue, see if we can discuss a solution.

Please follow the following procedure when creating features to avoid unnecessary rejections:

  • Fork the source.
  • Clone it locally
  • Create a branch with a descriptive name of the issue you are solving.
  • Make sure the name of your feature branch describes what you're trying to fix. If you don't know what to name it and there's an issue created for it, name your branch issue-233 (where 233 would be the number of the issue you're fixing).
  • Focus on your patch, do not waste time re-formatting code too much as it makes it hard to review the actual fix. Good patches will be rejected if there's too much code formatting noise, we are a very small team and we can't waste too much time reviewing if something got lost or added in the middle of hundreds of lines that got shifted.
  • Code, Commit, Push, Code, Commit, Push, until the feature is fully implemented.
  • If you can add tests to demonstrate the issue and the fix, even better.
  • Submit a pull request that's as descriptive as possible. Adding (issue #233) to the commit message or in PR comments automatically references them on the issue tracker.
  • We'll code review you, maybe ask you for some more changes, and after we've tested it we'll merge your changes.

If your branch has taken a while to be accepted for merging into master, it's very likely that the master branch will have moved forward while you work. In this case, make sure to sync your master.

git checkout master
git pull upstream master

and then rebase your branch to bring it up to speed so it can be merged properly (do not merge master into your branch):

git checkout my-branch
git rebase master

As you do this you may have to fix any possible conflicts, just follow the instruction git gives you if this is your first time.

Make sure to squash any cosmetic commits into the body of your work so that we don't pollude the history and you don't get more bitcoins than you should from the rest of the collaborators for things like fixing a typo you just introduced on your branch.

Repeat and rinse, if you send enough patches to demonstrate you have a good coding skills, we'll just give you commit access on the real repo and you will be part of the development team.


Frostwire Desktop is offered under the GNU General Public License. Available here.

Official FrostWire sites

Main Website | Frostwire Forum | Facebook | Twitter @frostwire | Tumblr

Git Repository at

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