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Developer(s)The Tribler Team at Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam
Initial release28 February 2006; 18 years ago (2006-02-28)[1]
Stable release
7.14.0[2] Edit this on Wikidata / 24 April 2024; 26 days ago (24 April 2024)
Written inPython
Operating systemMicrosoft Windows, OS X, Linux, Android
PlatformARM, IA-32, MIPS, PowerPC, x86-64
Size110.58 MiB
Available inEnglish
TypeBitTorrent client

Tribler is an open source decentralized BitTorrent client which allows anonymous peer-to-peer by default. Tribler is based on the BitTorrent protocol and uses an overlay network for content searching.[4] Due to this overlay network, Tribler does not require an external website or indexing service to discover content.[5] The user interface of Tribler is very basic and focused on ease of use instead of diversity of features.[6] Tribler is available for Linux, Windows, and OS X.[7]

Tribler has run trials for a video streamer known as SwarmPlayer.[8]


The name Tribler stems from the word tribe[citation needed], referring to the usage of social networks in this P2P client. The first version of Tribler was an enhancement of ABC aka Yet Another BitTorrent Client.

In 2009, the development team behind Tribler stated that their efforts for the coming years were focused on the integration of Tribler with television hardware.[citation needed]

In 2014, with the release of version 6.3.1, a custom built-in onion routing network was introduced as part of Tribler.[9] Users can load any clearnet torrent, and by leaving the box for anonymity ticked, the files will be routed through other Tribler.[10] Because the custom onion network does not use Tor exit nodes, it is enhanced to make every Tribler user to function as a relay.[11]


Tribler adds keyword search ability to the BitTorrent file download protocol using a gossip protocol, somewhat similar to the eXeem network which was shut down in 2005. The software includes the ability to recommend content. After a dozen downloads the Tribler software can roughly estimate the download taste of the user and recommends content.[12] This feature is based on collaborative filtering, also featured on websites such as and Another feature of Tribler is a limited form of social networking and donation of upload capacity. Tribler borrows bandwidth capacity from connected nodes regarded as helpful to boost the download speed of files.[13]


The SwarmPlayer is a Python-based BitTorrent Internet TV viewer. It allows one to watch BitTorrent-hosted peer-to-peer digital media distribution of video on demand and plays live Tribler streaming media. It is based on the same core as the Tribler TV application.

The core software is free and open source software based on the Tribler platform, licensed under the LGPL 2.1.


Tribler was created by university researchers at the Delft University of Technology, who are trying to improve peer-to-peer technology.[14] Tribler is designed to enhance BitTorrent by removing the need for central elements such as the websites for finding content, as well as being anonymous.

The European Union's P2P-Next project to develop an Internet television distribution standard builds on Tribler technology.[15]


After a news article on TorrentFreak in February 2012 mentioned Tribler's decentralization and the fact that its index is impossible to take down, the website became hugely popular, causing it to be reduced to just the download page to satisfy demand.[16] A warning about Tribler security appeared on the tor-dev mailing list on Dec. 20, 2014[17][self-published source?] and was addressed shortly thereafter via GitHub.[18][non-primary source needed]. Daniel Aleksandersen has pointed out in 2021 some privacy concerns due to the project's goals and priorities.[19] He considers these issues are still not addressed in 2023.[20]

See also[edit]

  • Comparison of BitTorrent clients
  • GNUnet an active project for peer-to-peer filesharing. In opposition of Tribler, GNUnet uses a mesh network topology (over TCP, UDP, HTTP, HTTPS, WLAN or Bluetooth) and provides chat and VPN features.
  • Hyphanet an active project sharing same goal of privacy-friendly peer-to-peer filesharing. Hyphanet has also been designed for censorship-resistant communications.


  1. ^ Van der Sar, Ernesto (2006-02-28). "Tribler: Social BitTorrent Beta version Leaked". near Amsterdam: Retrieved 2024-01-14.
  2. ^ "Release 7.14.0". Retrieved 24 April 2024.
  3. ^ tribler/LICENSE at devel · Tribler/tribler, GitHub, archived from the original on 2020-12-22, retrieved 2019-09-04
  4. ^ "The Bittorrent Overlay Swarm". Archived from the original on 2008-07-05. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  5. ^ whatIsTribler/2 Archived 2013-07-28 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Milestone Tribler V5.0 | Archived 2011-07-28 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Download Tribler". Archived from the original on 2012-02-11. Retrieved 2012-02-10.
  8. ^ "Tribler". Archived from the original on 2021-06-17. Retrieved 2019-12-21.
  9. ^ "Researchers Make Bittorrent Anonymous and Impossible to Shut Down". Torrentfreak. 18 December 2014. Archived from the original on 18 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014.
  10. ^ "Tribler - Anonymity" Archived 2015-08-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. ^ ""Our custom onion network is enhanced to allow everyone to function as a relay."". Archived from the original on 2015-08-22. Retrieved 2015-08-21.
  12. ^ "Decentralized Recommendation". Archived from the original on 2008-12-02. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  13. ^ "Cooperative Download". Archived from the original on 2008-12-10. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  14. ^ J. A. Pouwelse; P. Garbacki; J. Wang; A. Bakker; J. Yang; A. Iosup; D.H.J. Epema; M. Reinders; M.R. van Steen; H. J. Sips (30 January 2007). "Tribler: a social-based peer-to-peer system" (PDF). Concurrency and Computation: Practice and Experience. 20 (2). Wiley InterScience, Department of Computer Science: Delft University of Technology; Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands: 127–138. doi:10.1002/cpe.1189. S2CID 757169. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  15. ^ "Europe funds internet TV standard". BBC News. February 25, 2008. Archived from the original on 2021-05-07. Retrieved May 26, 2010.
  16. ^ "Tribler Makes BitTorrent Impossible to Shut Down". TorrentFreak. 2012-02-08. Archived from the original on 2012-02-09. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
  17. ^ Yawning Angel (20 Dec 2014). "N reasons why the spooks love Tribler (Number N' will surprise you)". tor-dev mailing list. Archived from the original on 30 April 2015. Retrieved 15 Jun 2015.
  18. ^ synctext (22 Dec 2014). "Addressing the various security improvements #1066". Github. Archived from the original on 30 January 2018. Retrieved 15 Jun 2015.
  19. ^ Daniel Aleksandersen (17 August 2021). "A privacy review of Tribler, the onion-routed BitTorrent app". Retrieved 6 November 2023.
  20. ^ Daniel Aleksandersen (2 July 2023). "Comments on A privacy review of Tribler, the onion-routed BitTorrent app". Retrieved 6 November 2023.

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