FAQ aMule

From AMule Project FAQ
Revision as of 23:08, 1 March 2009 by Sturedman (Talk | contribs)

(diff) ← Older revision | Latest revision (diff) | Newer revision → (diff)
Jump to: navigation, search

English | Deutsch | Español | Français | Italiano | Português | Nederlands | Russian


What is aMule?

aMule is a multi-platform client for the ED2K file sharing network and based on the windows client eMule. aMule started in August 2003, as a fork of xMule, which is a fork of lMule.

aMule currently supports Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Windows, MacOS X and X-Box on both 32 and 64 bit computers.

aMule is intended to be as user friendly and feature rich as eMule and to remain faithful to the look and feel of eMule so users familiar with either aMule or eMule will be able switch between the two easily.

Since aMule is based upon the eMule codebase, new features in eMule tend to find their way into aMule soon after their inclusion into eMule so users of aMule can expect to ride the cutting-edge of ED2k clients.

The best part is that it's developed by a great team whom are probably even more user friendly than aMule itself. Join us in #amule on irc.freenode.net or visit the aMule forums if you have any suggestions, questions, problems, bugs, patches or anything else that you might think of.

If you are interested in joining the development team, please contact us via the aMule forums or in the IRC channel.

How do I view a client's credits?

You can see any client's credits (the credits you owe the client) by right clicking on the client's nickname and selecting Show Details. There is no specific value shown so you can either view the total amount of data that client has sent you or the Credits Modifier (which is called DL/UL Modifier). In the same dialog window, if that client is in your upload queue, you'll be able to view the client's rate and score on you.

What do those colors in the progress bar mean?

In the downloading transfers list:

  • Red chunks have no sources on the current session.
  • Blue chunks have at least one source availble; the darker the blue, the more sources are available.
  • Yellow chunks are being downloaded at this very moment.
  • Black chunks have already been downloaded and verified.
  • Green progress bars have been completely downloaded and successfully verified (and so will be in your 'incoming folder').

In the expanded transfers list (can be viewed by double-clicking a transfer):

  • Black chunks are those a client has and you don't.
  • White chunks are those that client doesn't have.
  • Green chunks are those both you and that client have.
  • Yellow chunks are those that client is currently uploading to you.

In the uploading transfers list:

  • Black chunks are those that client has completed and verified.
  • Grey chunks are those that client doesn't have.

Not all clients support telling other clients what parts they have already completed when uploading, so some clients might have no bar at all.

In the shared-files window:

  • Red chunks are those that have been found in any source apart from you.
  • Blue chunks—the darker the blue, the more spread that chunk is.

On the search windows:

  • Black files have only one client.
  • Blue files have two or more clients have; the darker the blue, the more clients have have it.
  • Red files are already in the downloading queue.
  • Green files are those which you are already sharing (i.e., you have completely downloaded it).

What are all these icons?

See section "Icons and what they signify" in the Getting Started guide.

What do those numbers in brackets in the sources column of the searches window mean?

Those are the clients who are known to have the complete file. Even if the number in brackets is 0, it doesn't mean that no one has the complete file, it juts means that no client has marked the shared file as "completed" (lots of clients don't do so). It's a way to have an idea of how many people have the complete file but not the definitive way.

What do all those numbers in the sources column in the transfers window mean?

The sources format is XX/YY + ZZ (WW) where

  • XX stands for the number of sources available (the number of sources found that you can download from)
  • YY stands for the number of sources found (the total number of sources found)
  • ZZ stands for the number of "Asked for another file" sources
  • WW stands for the number of sources from whom you are currently downloading some chunk of that file.

What do all those numbers in the priority column in the extended transfers window mean?

That's the queue position you have on that client for that specific file. Not all clients provide such information, so in some cases, nothing is displayed.

The number in brackets is the amount of positions you have "moved" through that client's upload queue. Negative numbers stand for positions you have won in the queue since you were added while positive numbers mean positions you've lost since you were added. Notice that when that number is negative, it is displayed blue, while when it's positive, it's displayed red.

Why are there two transfer rates in the uploading transfer list?

When you are uploading some file to some client, the uploading transfer list will show the transfer rate (speed in KBps) in which you are uploading to that client. If, at the same time, that client is uploading to you some file (or files), then the transfer rate's format will change to XX/YY where XX stands for the speed at which you are uploading to that client and YY will stand for the speed at which that client is uploading to you. If you search in the downloading transfers list you'll find that client.

This is useful if you are trying to get a rare file, since you can see which file that client is uploading to you and, if it's the rare file, you can set him a friend slot so that you upload to that client faster and gain more credits on that client (and consequently, download faster from the client).

What is A4AF?

A4AF stands for Asked For Another File. It is a way to optimize the resources on a specific download.

When you try to download a file, aMule gets a list of clients who are sharing that file. Some of these clients might also share some other file which you are also trying to download and, so, you might have that client in two separate download queues.

A4AF tries to avoid this situations. Why? Because you can't download two chunks at the same time from the same client. So, by setting A4AF in a specific download, you are telling aMule to search for any client in that file's download queue who is also in some other file's download queue and remove it from that other download queue. This way, you'll get more sources on that file.

You can also set a specific download to apply A4AF in the opposite way, that is, to give sources to the other downloads. This should be done on downloads which are not to be downloaded with too much hurry or which should be downloaded after some other similar file has been downloaded (in a series of files, for example). This also can be seen as a way of establishing preferences in downloads.

When the request swapping is done, the Queue Rank will be maintained.

NOTE: A source with a QR lower than 50 in the download with the higher priority will never be swapped. This is done this way to ensure it starts downloading from it.

If a file has XX+ZZ sources, the ZZ sources might include some which have no needed parts. aMule will exclude those if you tell it to swap to the file.

What do the "QR: xxxx" numbers mean that I see when I look at my sources?

QR stands for "Queue Rank" and it is your current position in this source's queue.

Obviously, a lower value is better. If the source is an eMule client and there is no QR number, it's likely that it's queue is full and cannot accept more clients.

What is the difference between Transfered and Completed in the Transfers window?

Transfered shows the amount of data you have received concerning that file. This data is downloaded in a compressed format. Once the data gets to your machine, aMule processes it and decompresses it. The total useful data that can be taken from that received data (that is, the parts of that data which are actually real parts of the file you are trying to download and not headers or such stuff) is the amount that can be viewed in the Completed column.

What is the difference between pausing and stopping a transfer?

When a transfer is paused, all connections related to the paused transfer are broken with the other clients so that no data is transfered, but sources aren't dropped, so that when the transfer is resumed, aMule will try to connect to those sources.

Instead, when a transfer is stopped, all sources are dropped so, when it's resumed, aMule will start searching for clients who are sharing that file.

What are all those files aMule creates the first time it is run?

Most them are the same as eMule's.

Detailed information about each and a list of all of aMule's files can be found here.

Can I use eMule's files and settings and vice-versa?

Most of them yes. The only ones you can't share between aMule and eMule are the program configuration (that is, preferences.ini in eMule and ~/.aMule/amule.conf in aMule). All the ED2K network related files can be successfully shared between the two applications with no more effort than copying the files in ~/.aMule to the eMule's directory and vice-versa. But have in mind that some files in ~/.aMule are aMule specific, such as amulesig.dat or aMule.tmpl, so it's better to only move those files that are in both the aMule and the eMule directory.

Moving half downloaded files is easy: just move them from your eMule temp directory (by default C:\Program files\eMule\Temp) into ~/.aMule/Temp or whatever your temp directory is in your aMule configuration.

What is all that stuff in amulesig.dat and onlinesig.dat?

I guess you already read what amulesig.dat and onlinesig.dat are for above.

So, this files contain the current signature (the current aMule status, if enabled, of course).

Detailed information about each of these files can be found in the amulesig.dat article and the onlinesig.dat article.

I just installed aMule for the first time. How do I set it up?

Setting up aMule properly is just a matter of tastes and depends on many factors. If you just wish a quick startup configuration, then continue reading.

Open aMule and click on the Preferences button. Set a nickname and the language in which you wish to have aMule. Then switch to the Connection tab and input your Line Capacities. Then input the Bandwidth Limits according to the maximum amount of bandwidth you want aMule to use. Then switch to the Directories tab and set a directory for both the temporary files (where files will be stored until they are completely downloaded) and the completed files. Finally, select the directories which you want to share. It is not recommended to share too much files. Read below "What are the best settings I can set to have a nice download rate". To select recursively all directories inside a certain directory read Is there any way to recursively select a whole directory and its contents?.

Will aMule handle my xMule and lMule files? What should I do?

aMule automatically handles both lMule and xMule's configuration files, but in different ways:

lMule has been discontinued for several years now, so aMule understands that you are replacing lMule with aMule, so it renames ~/.lMule folder to ~/.aMule. If you used ~/.lMule/Temp and ~/.lMule/Incoming as your temporary and downloading directories respectively, you should change the paths in Preferences to ~/.aMule/Temp and ~/.aMule/Incoming respectively.

If a ~/.xMule directory is found, it will be kept unchanged and aMule will just copy the configuration files found in it. That means that the files you were downloading will remain in the ~/.xMule directory if they were downloading there, but since aMule has handled xMule's configuration files, it will still use it. You can either live with that, or move directories ~/.xMule/Temp and ~/.xMule/Incoming into ~/.aMule and change directories in Preferences.

How do I start my aMule experience?

Just click on the Connect button. You should have some servers listed on the Servers window, though. If you have no servers listed, then click on the little button below the Connect button in the Servers window before clicking the Connect button. After some time, aMule will be connected to some server (you'll know because in the lower right corner the "Not connected" message will disappear). When connected, switch to the Search window and search for the file you want and once you find the file you want, double-click on it.

For general aMule usage, join aMule #amule in irc.freenode.net or ask in forums at http://forum.amule.org

What are the best settings I can set to have a nice download rate?

If you understood "Is there any limit on the ED2K network?" then you might have seen that, if your provider allows you, the best is to have the upload limit set to a minimum of 10 KBps. Also, if you understood "What is all that credits, rate and score stuff about?", you might also understand that the more you upload, the more you download, so take the upload limit up as much as you can. A good tip (thanks to kaouete) when you are trying to download some rare or "never completing" file, is, whenever you see someone uploading to you some chunk of that file, give that client a friend slot so that, if it tries to download something from you, it gets preference and you gain credits on that client.

Is there a way to open a text file and load all the ed2k links from the file?

Yes, there is. Just place all the ed2k links you want to download in a text file, each ed2k link in a separate line. Name that file ED2KLinks then place it in ~/.aMule and aMule will automatically detect it, add all those ed2k links to download and remove the file.

You might want to read this to know more about this file.

Can I manage aMule remotely through telnet in the same way I do with eDonkey?

Yes you can, but not exactly in the same way as you do with eDonkey. Just start a normal telnet (or ssh) session with the host computer (the one running aMule) and, once in, use amulecmd to take control over aMule. To start new downloads just use the ed2k command. Remember aMuleCMD must be configured.

Another aMule utility that might be of your interest is CAS (which's command is cas) which will show basic aMule statistics.

Also, aMule WebServer might be what you are looking for if you can and don't mind using a web browser on the client computer. Have in mind that aMule WebBrowser must also be configured.

Is there any way to start aMule with no graphical interface?

Yes. Since aMule 2.0.0-rc6, you can use aMule Daemon, which can be executed on the command line by typing amuled. To control it, use either aMuleWeb, aMuleCMD or any other such application for remotely controlling aMule.

Anyway, up to aMule 2.0.0-rc6, aMule was a monolithic application. This means that core and GUI were whole inseparable block.

So, for those using an old aMule version or who refuse to use aMuled (aMule Daemon), there are still two walkarounds to run aMule on command line but they're not direct ways:

Through Xvfb:
You should run Xvfb and then run aMule in it. Afterwards you can take control over aMule using aMuleCMD and ed2k in the same way as you would if you were accessing aMule remotely over telnet (see above).

Short example:

  1. Run Xvfb: Xvfb :1 -screen 0 640x480x16 &
  2. Set display to use for amule: export DISPLAY=:1
  3. Then run aMule: amule &

Note: After running export DISPLAY=:1, all graphical applications launched from that shell will be opened in Xvfb's display. To avoid this, you can run aMule with the following command, so that only aMule runs there: DISPLAY=:1 amule &

INFO: See the Screen page to know more about the Screen command

Through VNC:

It's also possible to use vncserver instead of Xvfb to achieve something similar. Just install vncserver and execute vncserver :0 -geometry 1024x768 followed by export DISPLAY=:0. This will create a hidden X server, accessible only remotely using a VNC client. Once the X server is running, you will need a window manager to manage aMule window (well, it's not really needed, but it's useful if you want to be able to close aMule without simply killing it), I recommend FluxBox due to its low CPU and memory requirements. Just start it with fluxbox & and then run aMule with amule &. Now you can connect to the VNC server and see the aMule window.

Keep in mind that if aMule shows any dialog that requires user input (like the one showed the first time aMule is executed), it will get stuck there until someone connects to the VNC server and clicks ok in the dialog. Usually, this should only need to be done once (and this connection may be used to update the serverlist and set the preferences), from then on aMule will start without user interaction, showing only some informational messages at startup.

If you need help on this issue, search aMule's forums or join #amule IRC channel at irc.freenode.net and ask.

Can I run two aMule instances at the same time?

Yes you can, although it is not recommended. aMule will only check if the concurrent user is running some aMule instance, so you can run as many aMule instances as user accounts you have access to. To do this, just run xhost + and then su as another user and run aMule from that shell.

Be aware that aMule can't check if a user is running aMule on another X display. So, if your account is already running some aMule instance in some other X display, do not run another aMule instance on another X display or you might end up with lost configuration settings and corrupt chunks.

How can I get those nice aMule statistics some people post on the IRC channels?

You can either copy and paste CAS's (C aMule Statistics) output (to execute CAS, run cas) or, if you use xChat as your IRC client and have the Perl module installed, you could use XAS (xChat aMule Statistics).

What is slot allocation?

Each upload is a slot, so, if you are uploading to five clients at the same time, you have five upload slots established. So, the amount of slot allocation is the bandwidth which each slot will be given.

As an example, if your upload limit is 20KBps, you can set slot allocation to 2KBps which means 10 clients will be able to download from you at the same time, each of them at a maximum transfer rate of 2KBps.

See section "Why is aMule ignoring the bandwidth I set per slot?" in aMule common problem's FAQ.

What is a friend slot?

A friend slot is just a slot which is assigned to a client in the friends list. Only one friend can have a slot at the same time. Whenever that friend (who has the friend slot enabled) tries to download a file from you, it will be given highest priority in the uploads queue, since it has that slot always assigned. While that friend isn't downloading, that assigned slot will be given to the client with the highest priority in the upload queue, as expected.

What is the real point on setting up Line Capacities in Preferences? Shouldn't aMule only care for the Bandwidth Limits?

aMule really only cares for the Bandwidth Limits. Line Capacities are only set for the Statics display. Let's see: Imagine you have a 100KBps connection, imagine you want to set the Limit at 40KBps because you have a web server which needs a minimum of 60KBps to serve all the petitions. Now imagine you download rare indonesian free songs. You most surely never download at more than 3KBps ever. So, you could set Line Capacities at 5KBps so that the graph at Statics has some meaning, since if you set it up as a 100KBps connection, the graph will show an horizontal line with no meaning at all.

aMule is crashing quite often here. Can I set it to restart every time it crashes?

No, you can't. But you can have scripts to do so. Some of these scripts even work if aMule hangs but doesn't crash.

The following scripts might suit your needs:

Can I have aMule get data from the standard input to pass it to GDB or Valgrind?

Yes, you can. Up to aMule 2.0.0-rc3 this wasn't allowed, but as of version 2.0.0-rc4 you can with the parameter -i or --enable-stdin.

Anyway, people with aMule versions previous to 2.0.0-rc4 can use phoenix's aMule stdin patch.

How can I switch to aMule from eMule without losing my credits?

If you already read about the meaning of aMule's files, you might already know what you have to do:
Get cryptkey.dat, clients.met, preferences.dat, preferencesKad.dat, key_index.dat, load_index.dat and src_index.dat files from eMule's config directory (usually, under Windows, something like C:\Program files\eMule\config) and copy them into ~/.aMule. Now start aMule so it reads those files. You're done!

You might still want to take a look at the migrate from eMule to aMule article, though.

Does aMule support Universal Plug and Play (UPnP)?

Yes, aMule versions since 2.2.1 support UPnP. UPnP is currently not supported on Windows.

What's the story behind the rabbit?

Ah, yeah, this all began... ehm... well... I mean... follow the white rabbit ;-)

Which one is the recomended distro / Operating System for running aMule?

The absolutely recomended distro is YSWPS. It's still not a mature distro, but it's worth the effort to look for it.

When will next aMule release happen?

Whatever next release, the answer is always the same, it is standard: Soon (suggestion: follow the link).