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Enhanced CTorrent is a modified version of CTorrent, maintained at http://www.rahul.net/dholmes/ctorrent/.

The original CTorrent (http://ctorrent.sourceforge.net) has not been updated for a while and is now officially discontinued. This new version is the result of an effort to fix some problems in the existing code and to add new features. It is also meant to keep the original goals of being a lightweight implementation of a BitTorrent client. It is a good command line client for the slug, low on memory and cpu requirements.

The Enhanced CTorrent package for Unslung is built from the patched sources for version dnh3.3.2, available at http://www.rahul.net/dholmes/ctorrent/. The new and enhanced options are described at the change log.


If you want to install it, just update the list of packages available for ipkg and then install it:

ipkg update
ipkg install enhanced-ctorrent

The executable file is called enhanced-ctorrent, in order to prevent a conflict with the original ctorrent package.


Highlights of the enhanced client include:

  • Support for large files (>2GB) and large torrents (>255 files)
  • Strategic selection of pieces to request for download
  • Continuous queueing of download requests, tuned based on latency and throughput for each peer
  • Improved download performance, including parallel requests in initial and endgame modes
  • Improved bandwidth regulation
  • Improved compatibility with other peers
  • Performance optimization and bug fixes
  • An interface for monitoring and managing multiple clients

Release Notes

According to the change log, for version dnh3.1 and above it is important to set the upload bandwidth limit. Quoting straight from the author:

You should always specify an upload bandwidth limit. With the most recent changes in the program, this "option" is not just a limit to stay under, but an advisement to the client as well. Enhanced CTorrent now tunes its upload performance based on the limit. Without a limit, the client has no idea how much bandwidth your line can support and so cannot perform this tuning. It is now possible to achieve better upload rates with a limit than without. Due to the tit-for-tat nature of bittorrent, this can also indirectly increase your download performance.

Version dnh3.1 uses an improved version of the CTCS protocol, so it is recommended that you use CTCS version 1.4 or above.


There are new command line options and some runtime commands that can be used while the program is running. Please check the User's Guide for complete instructions.

General Options:

-h/-H           Show this message
-x              Decode metainfo (torrent) file only, don't download
-c              Check pieces only, don't download
-v              Verbose output (for debugging)

Download Options:

-e int          Exit while seed <int> hours later (default 72 hours)
-E num          Exit after seeding to <num> ratio (UL:DL)
-i ip           Listen for connections on specific IP address (default all/any)
-p port         Listen port (default 2706 -> 2106)
-s filename     Download ("save as") to a different file or directory
-C cache_size   Cache size, unit MB (default 16MB)
-f              Force saved bitfield or seed mode (skip initial hash check)
-b filename     Specify bitfield save file (default is torrent+".bf")
-M max_peers    Max peers count (default 100)
-m min_peers    Min peers count (default 1)
-z slice_size   Download slice/block size, unit KB (default 16, max 128)
-n file_list    Specify file number(s) to download
-D rate         Max bandwidth down (unit KB/s)
-U rate         Max bandwidth up (unit KB/s)
-P peer_id      Set Peer ID prefix (default "-CD0302-")
-A user_agent   Set User-Agent header (default "Enhanced-CTorrent/dnh3.2")
-S host:port    Use CTCS server at host:port
-a              Preallocate files on disk
-T              Convert foreign filenames to printable text
-X command      Run command upon download completion ("user exit")
-d              Daemon mode (fork to background)

Make metainfo (torrent) file options:

-t              Create a new torrent file
-u url          Tracker's url
-l piece_len    Piece length (default 262144)
-s filename     Specify metainfo file name

Status line

The status line that is output by the client is different form the original CTorrent. This is the format of the new status line, according to the documentation:

       / 0/33/110 [672/672/672] 0MB,1130MB | 0,20K/s | 0,0K E:0,31 P:4/10
       - - -- ---  --- --- ---  --- ------   - --      - -    - --   ----
       A B  C  D    E   F   G    H     I     J  K      L M    N  O     P

A: Ticker; this character changes to indicate that the client is running.
B: Number of seeders (complete peers) to which you are connected.
C: Number of leechers (incomplete peers) to which you are connected.
D: Total number of peers in the swarm, as last reported by the tracker.
E: Number of pieces of the torrent that you have completed.
F: Total number of pieces in the torrent.
G: Number of pieces currently available from you and your connected peers.
H: Total amount of data you have downloaded.
I: Total amount of data you have uploaded.
J: Your current total download rate (20 second average).
K: Your current total upload rate (20 second average).
L: Amount of data downloaded since the last status line update.
M: Amount of data uploaded since the last status line update.
N: Number of tracker connection errors.
O: Number of successful tracker connections.
P: Completion ratio of current file (when -n is used)

Additional information such as tracker connection status may be displayed at the end of the status line when appropriate.

CTorrent Control Server

CTorrent Control Server (CTCS) is an interface for monitoring and managing Enhanced CTorrent clients, also developed by Daniel Holmes. It can manage allocation of bandwidth, provide status information, and allow changes to the running configuration of each client. Communication with CTorrent is via a TCP connection, and the user interface is a web browser.

There is an Optware package available for CTCS. If you want to know more about it, please check its wiki page.

If you want to keep your torrent downloads running in the background, you can use the -d option on the command line, i.e:

enhanced-ctorrent -S localhost:2780 -d [other options]] Some.torrent

Known issues

These are the known issues, as of June 21, 2006:

  • Enhanced CTorrent has only been tested on the NSLU2, although it builds correctly on some other platforms. Testers are welcomed.
  • Enhanced CTorrent is not available for the DS101, due to the fact that it depends on libstdc++, which is currently marked as broken for that platform. It is also not available for the following platforms, due to build problems still being worked on: DS101J, WL500G.

For Configuration see:

ConfigureEnhanced-ctorrentWithUnslung (http://www.nslu2-linux.org/wiki/HowTo/ConfigureEnhanced-ctorrentWithUnslung)

SRS 10/30/2008

Dynamic bandwidth eventually slows download(s)& uploads --> Work-Around:

SRS 07/19/2009

UnSLung 6.10 Enhanced-CTorrent dnh3.3.2 ctcs 1.4.1

With one or more torrents downloading from high speed seeders running CTCS set all torrents Shared-DL and Minimum-DL Maximum-DL set to 0 [ 0 to disable/remove a limit ] and global bandwidth set plenty high enough to accommodate.

What happens is that after an indeterminate period of time ( typically 30 minutes to several hours) one ( or more ) torrent(s) will slow to 8kB/s or less. IF now disable Shared-DL on all and set Current.Limit-DL to 0s the download speeds are OK.

If set to Shared-DL on any of the slowed/stalled torrent the 8kB/s limit returns. Backed to disabled Shared-DL download speed OK again.

This has been confirmed over a period of several months on 2 separate NSLU2s at different locations/IP providers and different trackers.

With Shared-DL on and setting the Minimum-DL to anything greater than 8kB/s always results in an 8kB/s or less speed with any of the slowed torrents.

With Shared-DL off and setting the Current.Limit-DL to anything greater than 8kB/s always results in an 8kB/s speed or less with any of the slowed torrents.

The UpLoad dynamic management encounters nearly identical problems. ** FIX is the same as for DL; Disable Shared-UL on all and set Current.Limit-UL to 0s the upload speeds are OK.

With Shared-UL on and setting the Minimum-UL to anything greater than 4kB/s always results in an 4kB/s or less speed with any of the slowed torrents.

With Shared-UL off and setting the Current.Limit-UL to anything greater than 4kB/s always results in an 4kB/s speed or less with any of the slowed torrents.

Also note that with both Shared-DL AND Shared-UL ALL set to off that the download speed may then become limited to that of the uploads total speeds. This may be because most BitTorrent peers use a variant of Tit for two Tats which is called optimistic unchoking in BitTorrent terminology. BitTorrent peers have a limited number of upload slots to allocate to other peers. Cooperation is achieved when upload bandwidth is exchanged for download bandwidth. Consequently, when a peer's upload bandwidth is saturated, it will use a Tit for Tat strategy. Optimistic unchoking corresponds very strongly to always cooperating...

Because of this you may not want to Disable Shared-UL on all until downloads are complete.


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