PeerTube

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PeerTube
A triangle pointing to the right that resembles a "play video" icon and consists of three smaller triangles of the same shape
Screenshot of a PeerTube test instance run by the Blender Foundation.
Screenshot of a PeerTube test instance run by the Blender Foundation.
Developer(s)Framasoft, et. al
Initial release11 October 2018;
13 months ago
 (2018-10-11)
Stable release
1.3.0 / 3 June 2019;
5 months ago
 (2019-06-03)
Preview release
v1.3.0-rc.2 / 22 May 2019;
5 months ago
 (2019-05-22)
Repositorygithub.com/Chocobozzz/PeerTube
Written inTypeScript, HTML, CSS, SQL
Operating systemUnix-like
PlatformWeb
Size2.49 MB (tar.xz), 30.70 MB (zip)
Available inCatalan, German, English, Spanish, Esperanto, Basque, French, Italian, Occitan, Polish, Portuguese, Slovenian, Czech, Russian and Chinese[1]
LicenseAGPL v3.0+[2]
Websitejoinpeertube.org

PeerTube is a free, decentralized, federated video platform powered by ActivityPub and WebTorrent, that uses peer-to-peer technology to reduce load on individual servers when viewing videos.

Started in 2015 by a programmer known as Chocobozzz, development of PeerTube is now supported by the French non-profit Framasoft.[3] The aim is to provide an alternative to centralized platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion.

Operation[edit]

Each PeerTube instance provides a website to browse and watch videos, and is by default independent from others in terms of appearance, features and rules.

Several instances, with common rules (e.g. allowing for similar content, requiring registration) can form federation, where they share their videos, even though each video is stored only by the instance that published it. Federations are independent from each other.[4][5]

Videos are distributed on a peer-to-peer basis. Users connected to the platform act as relay points that send pieces of video to other users.[6]

Origins and history[edit]

PeerTube was created by a web developer known as Chocobozzz as a peer-to-peer alternative to YouTube, utilizing the WebTorrent protocol to share videos.[7] He was contacted in 2017 by Framasoft, which had a campaign called Contributopia,[8] the goal of which is to create alternatives to centralized platforms. In order to support him and his work, notably on improving the design and usability, Framasoft hired the developer.

In 2018, Framasoft launched a crowdfunding on KissKissBankBank [fr] which raised €53,100—more than double the initial goal of €20,000.[9][3]

A first beta of PeerTube was released in March 2018[10] and the first stable version in October 2018. In June 2018, only a few months after the first beta, 113 instances[11] are publicly available on the web that together host more than 10,000 videos.[12][13]

In June 2018, as a result of its videos disappearing amid changes regarding the monetization of YouTube channels, the Blender Foundation began experimenting with hosting a PeerTube instance to distribute ad-free copies of the foundation's videos.[14]

Technology[edit]

Video introducing PeerTube

PeerTube uses WebTorrent technology. Each server hosts a torrent tracker and each web browser viewing a video also shares it. This allows to share the load between the server itself and the clients as well as the bandwidth used through P2P technology.

The system works via a federation of instances run by independent entities. Each PeerTube server can host any number of videos by itself, and can additionally federate with other servers to let users watch their videos in the same user interface. This federation permits to collectively host a large number of videos in a unified platform, without having to build an infrastructure comparable to that of the web giants. Each server is operated by and stays under the sole administration of a distinct entity.

PeerTube uses the ActivityPub protocol in order to allow decentralization and compatibility with other fediverse services, which can prevent a vendor lock-in and makes it more resilient against censorship.[14][15]

The software relies on the PostgreSQL DBMS and is integrated in popular video platforms like Reddit[16] and Kodi.[17]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "FramaTube". framatube.org.
  2. ^ "Federated (ActivityPub) video streaming platform using P2P (BitTorrent) directly in the web browser with WebTorrent and Angular.: Chocobozzz/PeerTube". June 30, 2019 – via GitHub.
  3. ^ a b Framasoft, Association (2018-10-15). "PeerTube 1.0: the free/libre and federated video platform". Framablog. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  4. ^ Noisette, Thierry (2018-07-23). "PeerTube : l'hébergement libre de vidéos est sur les rails". ZDNet France (in French). Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  5. ^ Lion, Bastien (2018-07-09). "PeerTube, le « YouTube décentralisé », réussit son financement participatif". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  6. ^ Verge, Pauline (2018-03-30). "PeerTube, une tentative d'alternative française et décentralisée à YouTube". Le Figaro. Retrieved 2019-06-25.
  7. ^ "PeerTube, une tentative d'alternative française et décentralisée à YouTube". FIGARO. March 30, 2018.
  8. ^ Framasoft, Association (October 9, 2017). "Contributopia : dégoogliser ne suffit pas". Framablog.
  9. ^ KissKissBankBank. "PeerTube, a free and federated video platform". KissKissBankBank. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  10. ^ "PeerTube : le « YouTube décentralisé » passe en bêta publique". www.nextinpact.com. March 27, 2018.
  11. ^ "Après YouTube… PeerTube ? Déjà des centaines d'instances !". www.linformaticien.com.
  12. ^ "PeerTube instances". instances.joinpeertube.org. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  13. ^ "PeerTube(LIVE)". peertube.live. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  14. ^ a b Foundation, Blender. "YouTube Blocks Blender Videos Worldwide". blender.org.
  15. ^ "PeerTube: A 'Censorship' Resistent(sic) YouTube Alternative". TorrentFreak. 2018-06-23. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  16. ^ "Add peertube by aliceinwire · Pull Request #5065 · honestbleeps/Reddit-Enhancement-Suite". GitHub. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
  17. ^ "Cyrille Bollu / plugin.video.peertube". GitLab. Retrieved 2019-05-23.