Meaning of uTorrent Flag

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Meaning of uTorrent Flag
The uTorrent program copies files from other computers over the Internet. (Ablestock.com/AbleStock.com/Getty Images)

The uTorrent program is a client for the BitTorrent file sharing system. BitTorrent enables private individuals to copy files from one another, removing the need for a central file server. The system relies on tracker files, which list the locations of sources for a file. Knowing these addresses, uTorrent can download files in segments. The flags shown in the uTorrent interface relate to the status of these sources.

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Peers

The uTorrent user interface shows all active torrents in the main panel and details of the transfers of each torrent in a lower panel. The information in the details panel is split between a number of tabs. The third tab, entitled Peers, shows details of the other members to which the client has connected to either download or upload sections of the file. A Peer is the owner of a partial copy of a file who is also downloading other segments, while making downloaded segments available to others. Although the tab is entitled "Peers," it also shows details of Seeds. A Seed is the owner of a complete copy of the file. The flags of uTorrent are found under this tab of the details panel.

Flags

The Flags column of the Peers tab shows a series of letters. Each letter describes an attribute of the file transfer for that Peer. All counterparts with whom the client is in contact for that torrent are listed in this tab and the Flags column shows the status for each.

Flag Meanings

?: your client unchoked the peer but the peer is not interested.

D: currently downloading from the peer (interested and not choked).

d: your client wants to download, but peer doesn't want to send (interested and choked).

E: peer is using Protocol Encryption (all traffic).

e: peer is using Protocol Encryption (handshake).

F: peer was involved in a hashfailed piece (not necessarily a bad peer, just involved).

H: peer was obtained through DHT.

h: peer connection established via UDP hole-punching.

I: peer established an incoming connection.

K: peer unchoked your client, but your client is not interested.

L: peer has been or discovered via Local Peer Discovery.

O: optimistic unchoke.

P: peer is communicating and transporting data over uTP.

S: peer is snubbed.

U: currently uploading to the peer (interested and not choked).

u: the peer wants your client to upload, but your client doesn't want to (interested and choked).

X: peer was included in peer lists obtained through Peer Exchange (PEX).

Terminology

Choked: Peer is busy serving others.

DHT: A Distributed Hash Table -- a special type of tracker.

Hashfail: A piece failed a checksum calculation -- corrupted segment.

Interested: Wants data.

Local Peer Discovery: uTorrent made an IP multicast to find other peers on the same network that are not listed in the tracker.

Peer Exchange: The peer passes its list of peers which may not all be included in the tracker accessed by the uTorrent client.

Snubbed: Connection timed out.

UDP hole punching: making a direct peer-to-peer connection over a UDP (User Datagram Protocol) despite the operation of Network Address Translation.

uTP: A lightweight version of the BitTorrent protocol.

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