Collapsing DVD and CD torrents into one

Chris Snook csnook at
Fri Oct 17 21:45:56 UTC 2008

Jesse Keating wrote:
> Most torrent clients I've seen today allow you to pick and choose which
> files you wish to download.  As such, does it make sense to collapse the
> DVD and CD torrents into a single torrent and allow people to use the
> client to pick which they want?  Are there pros/cons to this?

We should Do The Right Thing By Default.  Thus, there needs to be a standalone 
torrent that has just the DVD ISO (and maybe the netinst ISO) for all those 
newcomers who don't know any better, so we don't scare them off with a 9 GB torrent.

In theory, we could have a "menu" torrent to let you download the x86_64 DVD, 
the PPC CDs, and the i686 Live image all in the same place, but this would give 
us a sparse and somewhat disjoint set of peers in a torrent that's much smaller 
than the main single-purpose torrents, defeating the purpose of using bittorrent.

Another problem is prioritization.  Right now, if I'm downloading three DVD ISOs 
and two liveCD images (not entirely unlikely) I can tell my torrent client that 
I really want the i686 liveCD first, and I will get it inside the hour, and I 
can play around for a bit while I'm waiting for the rest to complete.  If 
they're all in a single torrent, I'm stuck sitting on my thumbs for a day while 
it randomly pulls chunks that are mostly from other ISOs.

Since bittorrent doesn't have a concept of dependencies (no "metatorrents") 
there's no benefit to having multiple files in a torrent unless all of them are 
useless without the others.

-- Chris

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