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BitTorrent DHT library
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The files dht.c and dht.h implement the variant of the Kademlia Distributed Hash Table (DHT) used in the Bittorrent network (``mainline'' variant). The file dht-example.c is a stand-alone program that participates in the DHT. Another example is a patch against Transmission, which you might or might not be able to find somewhere. The code is designed to work well in both event-driven and threaded code. The caller, which is either an event-loop or a dedicated thread, must periodically call the function dht_periodic. In addition, it must call dht_periodic whenever any data has arrived from the network. All functions return -1 in case of failure, in which case errno is set, or a positive value in case of success. Initialisation ************** * dht_init This must be called before using the library. You pass it a bound IPv4 datagram socket, a bound IPv6 datagram socket, and your node id, a 20-octet array that should be globally unique. If you're on a multi-homed host, you should bind the sockets to one of your addresses. Node ids must be well distributed, so you cannot just use your Bittorrent id; you should either generate a truly random value (using plenty of entropy), or at least take the SHA-1 of something. However, it is a good idea to keep the id stable, so you may want to store it in stable storage at client shutdown. * dht_uninit This may be called at the end of the session. If dofree is true, it frees all the memory allocated for the DHT. If dofree is false, this function currently does nothing. Bootstrapping ************* The DHT needs to be taught a small number of contacts to begin functioning. You can hard-wire a small number of stable nodes in your application, but this obviously fails to scale. You may save the list of known good nodes at shutdown, and restore it at restart. You may also grab nodes from torrent files (the nodes field), and you may exchange contacts with other Bittorrent peers using the PORT extension. * dht_ping This is the main bootstrapping primitive. You pass it an address at which you believe that a DHT node may be living, and a query will be sent. If a node replies, and if there is space in the routing table, it will be inserted. * dht_insert_node This is a softer bootstrapping method, which doesn't actually send a query -- it only stores the node in the routing table for later use. It is a good idea to use that when e.g. restoring your routing table from disk. Note that dht_insert_node requires that you supply a node id. If the id turns out to be wrong, the DHT will eventually recover; still, inserting massive amounts of incorrect information into your routing table is certainly not a good idea. An additionaly difficulty with dht_insert_node is that, for various reasons, a Kademlia routing table cannot absorb nodes faster than a certain rate. Dumping a large number of nodes into a table using dht_insert_node will probably cause most of these nodes to be discarded straight away. (The tolerable rate is difficult to estimate; it is probably on the order of one node every few seconds per node already in the table divided by 8, for some suitable value of 8.) Doing some work *************** * dht_periodic This function should be called by your main loop periodically, and also whenever data is available on the socket. The time after which dht_periodic should be called if no data is available is returned in the parameter tosleep. (You do not need to be particularly accurate; actually, it is a good idea to be late by a random value.) The parameter available indicates whether any data is available on the socket. If it is 0, dht_periodic will not try to read data; if it is 1, it will. Dht_periodic also takes a callback, which will be called whenever something interesting happens (see below). * dht_search This schedules a search for information about the info-hash specified in id. If port is not 0, it specifies the TCP port on which the current peer is listening; in that case, when the search is complete it will be announced to the network. The port is in host order, beware if you got it from a struct sockaddr_in. In either case, data is passed to the callback function as soon as it is available, possibly in multiple pieces. The callback function will additionally be called when the search is complete. Up to DHT_MAX_SEARCHES (1024) searches can be in progress at a given time; any more, and dht_search will return -1. If you specify a new search for the same info hash as a search still in progress, the previous search is combined with the new one -- you will only receive a completion indication once. Information queries ******************* * dht_nodes This returns the number of known good, dubious and cached nodes in our routing table. This can be used to decide whether it's reasonable to start a search; a search is likely to be successful as long as we have a few good nodes; however, in order to avoid overloading your bootstrap nodes, you may want to wait until good is at least 4 and good + doubtful is at least 30 or so. It also includes the number of nodes that recently send us an unsolicited request; this can be used to determine if the UDP port used for the DHT is firewalled. If you want to display a single figure to the user, you should display good + doubtful, which is the total number of nodes in your routing table. Some clients try to estimate the total number of nodes, but this doesn't make much sense -- since the result is exponential in the number of nodes in the routing table, small variations in the latter cause huge jumps in the former. * dht_get_nodes This retrieves the list of known good nodes, starting with the nodes in our own bucket. It is a good idea to save the list of known good nodes at shutdown, and ping them at startup. * dht_dump_tables * dht_debug These are debugging aids. Functions provided by you ************************* * The callback function The callback function is called with 5 arguments. Closure is simply the value that you passed to dht_periodic. Event is one of DHT_EVENT_VALUES or DHT_EVENT_VALUES6, which indicates that we have new values, or DHT_EVENT_SEARCH_DONE or DHT_EVENT_SEARCH_DONE6, which indicates that a search has completed. In either case, info_hash is set to the info-hash of the search. In the case of DHT_EVENT_VALUES, data is a list of nodes in ``compact'' format -- 6 or 18 bytes per node. Its length in bytes is in data_len. * dht_hash This should compute a reasonably strong cryptographic hash of the passed values. It should map cleanly to your favourite crypto toolkit's MD5 or SHA-1 function. * dht_random_bytes This should fill the supplied buffer with true random bytes. Final notes *********** * NAT Nothing works well across NATs, but Kademlia is somewhat less impacted than many other protocols. The implementation takes care to distinguish between unidirectional and bidirectional reachability, and NATed nodes will eventually fall out from other nodes' routing tables. While there is no periodic pinging in this implementation, maintaining a full routing table requires slightly more than one packet exchange per minute, even in a completely idle network; this should be sufficient to make most full cone NATs happy. * Missing functionality Some of the code has had very little testing. If it breaks, you get to keep both pieces. Juliusz Chroboczek <email@example.com>