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Old 01-30-2011, 10:15 AM   #1
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Magnet Link: what is it and why doesn't it work?

Kernel:, O.S.: GNU/Linux (Slackware 12.0).

In some sites I find a link named "Magnet Link". If I click it, the browser says:
Firefox doesn't know how to open this address because the protocol (magnet) isn't associated with any program.
These sites are p2p (peer to peer) download ones. Perhaps Magnet Link has some advantage over normal torrents and it's a pity I can't profit by it. Any hint will be welcome.
Old 01-30-2011, 11:34 AM   #2
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"Traditionally, .torrent files are downloaded from torrent sites. A torrent client then calculates a torrent hash (a kind of fingerprint) based on the files it relates to, and seeks the addresses of peers from a tracker (or the DHT network) before connecting to those peers and downloading the desired content.

Sites can save on bandwidth by calculating torrent hashes themselves and allowing them to be downloaded instead of .torrent files. Given the torrent hash – passed as a parameter within a Magnet link – clients immediately seek the addresses of peers and connect to them to download first the torrent file, and then the desired content."
Old 01-30-2011, 12:53 PM   #3
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Magnet links are used by the browser to pass details of the torrent directly to the torrent program you're using. I know that Azureus (Vuze) implements them, but you will have to set your browser to associate magnet links with the program you use, assuming it can handle magnet links.

In Firefox about:config you can create the following entries :
(right click on an empty space and click New followed by the required type) type = string value = /path/to/torrent/program
network.protocol-handler.external.magnet type = boolean value = true
network.protocol-handler.warn-external.magnet type = boolean value = false

Or you can try using the Preferences > Content >File Types > Manage facility in Firefox, but that doesn't let you add new extensions.

Last edited by smoker; 01-30-2011 at 12:55 PM.


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