btdht: A python implementation of the Bittorrent distributed hash table

github_version pypi_version licence doc

The aim of btdht is to provide a powerful implementation of the Bittorrent mainline DHT easily extended to build application over the DHT. The author currently uses it to crawl the dht and has been able to retrieve more than 200.000 torrents files a day.

The implementation is fully compliant with the BEP5 and the kademlia paper [1] (with a predominance of the BEP5 over the paper) For example, this implementation uses a bucket-based approach for the routing table.


Build dependencies

  • A C compiler
  • cython
  • python header files


The recommended installation mode is to use a virtualenv.

To Install btdht using the last published release, run:

$ pip install btdht

Alternatively if you want to use the version of the git repository, you can clone it:

$ git clone
$ cd btdht
$ pip install -r requirements-dev.txt

Then, run make install to compile the sources and create a python package and install it with pip.

For installing or building on linux and unix systems, you will need a C compiler and the python headers (installing the packages build-essential and python-dev should be enough on debian like systems, you’ll probably gonna need make, gcc, python2-devel and redhat-rpm-config on centos like systems).

On windows systems, we provide pre-builded releases for python 2.7 and 3.5 so just running pip install btdht should be fine. If you want to build from the sources of the repository or, for another python version, you will also need a C compiler.

Usage examples

Search for the peers announcing the torrent 0403fb4728bd788fbcb67e87d6feb241ef38c75a (Ubuntu 16.10 Desktop (64-bit))

>>> import btdht
>>> import binascii
>>> dht = btdht.DHT()
>>> dht.start()  # now wait at least 15s for the dht to boostrap
init socket for 4c323257aa6c4c5c6ccae118db93ccce5bb05d92
>>> dht.get_peers(binascii.a2b_hex("0403fb4728bd788fbcb67e87d6feb241ef38c75a"))
    ('', 17744),
    ('', 3813),
    ('', 32428),
    ('', 61667),
    ('', 6881),
    ('', 38379),
    ('', 32529),
    ('', 10088),
    ('', 10619),
    ('', 33192),
    ('', 5514),
    ('', 14721),
    ('', 31466),
    ('', 32970),
    ('', 2881),
    ('', 6881),
    ('', 31002)

Subsequent calls to get_peers may return more peers.

You may also inherit btdht.DHT_BASE and overload some of the on_`msg`_(query|response) functions. See the doc for a full overview of the btdht API.

[1]Maymounkov, P., & Mazieres, D. (2002, March). Kademlia: A peer-to-peer information system based on the xor metric. In International Workshop on Peer-to-Peer Systems (pp. 53-65). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.