Archive for the ‘Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3)’ Category

Identifying Workloads for the Cloud

Superb Information. Very useful !


Seeding Torrents with Amazon S3 and s3cmd on Ubuntu

Again a nice post by  . Hope its useful for some of you out there…

Amazon Web Services is such a huge, complex service with so many products and features that sometimes very simple but powerful features fall through the cracks when you’re reading the extensive documentation.

One of these features, which has been around for a very long time, is the ability to use AWS to seed (serve) downloadable files using the BitTorrent™ protocol. You don’t need to run EC2 instances and set up software. In fact, you don’t need to do anything except upload your files to S3 and make them publicly available.

Any file available for normal HTTP download in S3 is also available for download through a torrent. All you need to do is append the string ?torrent to the end of the URL and Amazon S3 takes care of the rest.


Let’s walk through uploading a file to S3 and accessing it with a torrent client using Ubuntu as our local system. This approach uses s3cmd to upload the file to S3, but any other S3 software can get the job done, too.

  1. Install the useful s3cmd tool and set up a configuration file for it. This is a one time step:
    sudo apt-get install s3cmd s3cmd --configure 

    The configure phase will prompt for your AWS access key id and AWS secret access key. These are stored in $HOME/.s3cmd which you should protect. You can press [Enter] for the encryption password and GPG program. I prefer “Yes” for using the HTTPS protocol, especially if I am using s3cmd from outside of EC2.

  2. Create an S3 bucket and upload the file with public access:
    bucket=YOURBUCKETNAME filename=FILETOUPLOAD basename=$(basename $filename) s3cmd mb s3://$bucket s3cmd put --acl-public $filename s3://$bucket/$basename 
  3. Display the URLs which can be used to access the file through normal web download and through a torrent:
    cat <<EOM web: http://$$basename torrent: http://$$basename?torrent EOM 


  1. The above process makes your file publicly available to anybody in the world. Don’t use this for anything you wish to keep private.
  2. You will pay standard S3 network charges for all downloads from S3 including the initial torrent seeding. You do not pay for network transfers between torrent peers once folks are serving the file chunks to each other.
  3. You cannot throttle the rate or frequency of downloads from S3. You can turn off access to prevent further downloads, but monitoring accesses and usage is not entirely real time.
  4. If your file is not popular enough for other torrent peers to be actively serving it, then every person who downloads it will transfer the entire content from S3’s torrent servers.
  5.  If people know what they are doing, they can easily remove “?torrent” and download the entire file direct from S3, perhaps resulting in a higher cost to you. So as a work-around just download the ?torrent URL, save the torrent file, and upload it back to S3 as a .torrent file. Share the torrent file itself, not the ?torrent URL. Since nobody will know the URL of the original file, they can only download it via the torrent.You don’t even need to share the .torrent file using S3.SOURCE

Installation and Setup of S3fs on Amazon Web Services

May 18, 2012 1 comment

FUSE-based file system backed by Amazon S3.

S3fs is a FUSE filesystem that allows you to mount an Amazon S3 bucket as a local filesystem. It doesn’t store anything on the Amazon EC2, but user can access the data on S3 from EC2 instance, as if a network drive attached to it.

S3fs-fuse project is written in python backed by Amazons Simple Storage service. Amazon offers an open API to build applications on top of this service, which several companies have done, using a variety of interfaces (web, rsync, fuse, etc).


These steps are specific to an Ubuntu Server.

  1. Launch an Ubuntu Server on AWS EC2. (Recommended AMI – ami-4205e72b, username : ubuntu )
  2. Login to the Server using Winscp / Putty
  3. Type below command   to update the existing libraries on the server.

sudo apt-get update


4.Type command to upgrade the libraries. If any msg is prompted, say ‘y’ or ‘OK’ as applicable.
sudo apt-get upgrade

Once upgrade is complete, install the necessary libraries for fuse with following command

sudo aptitude install build-essential libcurl4-openssl-dev libxml2-dev libfuse-dev comerr-dev libfuse2 libidn11-dev libkadm55 libkrb5-dev libldap2-dev libselinux1-dev libsepol1-dev pkg-config fuse-utils sshfs

 If any msg is prompted, say ‘y’ or ‘OK’ as applicable.


 5. Once all the packages are installed, download the s3fs source (Revision 177 as of this writing) from the Google Code project:

6.Untar and install the s3fs binary: (Run each command individually)

tar xzvf s3fs-r177-source.tar.gz
cd ./s3fs
sudo make
sudo make install

7.  In order to use the allow_other option (see below) you will need to modify the fuse configuration:

sudo vi /etc/fuse.conf

 And uncomment the following line in the conf file: ( To uncomment a line, remove the  ‘#’ symbol )

 Save the file using command:  ‘Esc + : wq  ’

8. Now you can mount an S3 bucket. Create directory using command :

sudo mkdir -p /mnt/s3

Mount the bucket to the created directory

sudo s3fs bucketname -o accessKeyId=XXX -o secretAccessKey=YYY -o use_cache=/tmp -o allow_other /mnt/s3

Replace the XXX above with your real Amazon Access Key and YYY with your real Secret Key.

Command also includes instruction to cache the bucket’s files locally (in /tmp) and to Allow other users to be able to manipulate files in the mount.

Now any files written to /mnt/s3 will be replicated to your Amazon S3 bucket.

 WinScp – Verify mount directory

Check the wiki documentation for more options available to s3fs, including how to save your Access Key and Secret Key in /etc/passwd-s3fs.