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Tribler icon and logo
Tribler 6.4.3
Tribler 6.4.3
Developer(s) The Tribler Team at Delft University of Technology and VU University Amsterdam
Stable release 6.4.3 (January 21, 2015; 8 months ago (2015-01-21)) [±]
Development status Active
Written in Python, C++
Operating system Microsoft Windows, OS X, Linux, Android
Platform ARM, IA-32, MIPS, PowerPC, x86-64
Size 49.3 MiB
Available in English
Type BitTorrent client
License GNU LGPL v2.1+[1]
Alexa rank positive decrease 297,950 (December 2014)[2]

Tribler is an open source decentralized BitTorrent client with a feature project allowing anonymous peer-to-peer under certain circumstances[clarification needed]. Tribler is based on the BitTorrent protocol and uses an overlay network for content searching, which makes the program operate independent of external websites and renders it immune to limiting external action, for example, government restraint.[3][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 also features a built-in video streamer known as SwarmPlayer.


The name Tribler stems from the word tribe, referring to the usage of social networks in this P2P client. The first version of Tribler was a small enhancement on ABC (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[8]) Tribler gained a new feature, allowing some anonymity with the introduction of a custom built-in onion routing network.[9] This feature is only for file transfers between Triblers users, not to any clearnet torrent nor to any clearnet BitTorrent client.[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 includes the ability to mark specific users as online friends. Such friends can be used to increase the download speed of files by using their upload capacity.[13] Due to these features, Tribler differs from other popular BitTorrent clients such as Vuze and μTorrent.


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][self-published source?]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ tribler/LICENSE.txt at devel · Tribler/tribler, GitHub, retrieved 2014-12-18 
  2. ^ " Site Overview". Alexa Internet. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  3. ^ Waugh, Rob (9 February 2012). "New file-sharing technology is IMMUNE to government attacks". Daily Mail. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Bittorrent Overlay Swarm". 
  5. ^ whatIsTribler/2
  6. ^ Milestone Tribler V5.0 |
  7. ^ Download Tribler
  8. ^ "Release Tribler V6.3.1 · Tribler/tribler · GitHub". GitHub. 
  9. ^ "Researchers Make Bittorrent Anonymous and Impossible to Shut Down". Torrentfreak. 18 December 2014. Retrieved 19 December 2014. 
  10. ^ "Tribler - Anonymity".
  11. ^ "Our custom onion network is enhanced to allow everyone to function as a relay."
  12. ^ Decentralized Recommendation
  13. ^ Cooperative Download
  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). Wiley InterScience, Department of Computer Science: Delft University of Technology; Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands. doi:10.1002/cpe.1189. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015. 
  15. ^ "Europe funds internet TV standard". BBC News. February 25, 2008. Retrieved May 26, 2010. 
  16. ^ "Tribler Makes BitTorrent Impossible to Shut Down". TorrentFreak. 2012-02-08. 
  17. ^ Yawning Angel (20 Dec 2014). "N reasons why the spooks love Tribler (Number N' will surprise you)". tor-dev mailing list. Retrieved 15 Jun 2015. 
  18. ^ synctext (22 Dec 2014). "Addressing the various security improvements #1066". Github. Retrieved 15 Jun 2015. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]