I read about apt-torrent several months ago and it seemd quite interesting but complicated. Apt-torrent is a system to use the existing update infrastructure of debian and supplement it with the torrent technology.
The advantage of doing this, is to lighten the burden of the downloads from the official debian server and let the users take a part of it.
I will not describe how the new systems works, because this is explained well on the official page. I’m just reporting that I’m using this system a few days and there are no problems with it.
Some things you have to be aware while installing the apt-torrent system
- the package is not available through the official repositories, take the sources.list entry from the apt-torrent site
- Downloading may be slower than with http oder ftp because of the small private server and the relativly small user base of apt-torrent
- when you are downloading a package through apt-torrent, don’t be fooled by the “hanging” of the percentages in apt or aptitude. The file will be downloaded and you can get information through the log file ( /var/log/apt-torrent/apt-torrent.log )
So while the use of torrent is not official and the normal way, it’s easy to test and a good idea and should be supported to help the debian project.
apt-torrent is not bound to any specific apt frontend like apt-get, aptitude, synaptic, adept, … . They all use apt-torrent in a way that is transparent for the user.