Getting Started

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What is aMule

aMule is a p2p, or peer-to-peer, client for the eD2k network, commonly known as eDonkey network or eD2k network (eDonkey2000). This guide does not require you to be familiar with these networks (but it does help), however it does require that you have aMule installed on your computer. If you haven't installed aMule yet, please refer to the proper installation guide for your system. Links to these guides can be found on the main page.

--Xaignar 01:12, 10 Jul 2004 (CEST)

Running aMule for the first time

First, launch aMule. This can be done by executing the command amule in a console window or by whatever method might be provided by your distro and/or windows manager in terms of icons, etc.

Once started, if you are using the CVS build, aMule will display a notification telling you that you are running it for the first time. Read this to learn what you are getting yourself into ;)

Configuring aMule

Before you begin file sharing, you will need to properly configure aMule. This includes connection speeds and limits, directories to be used, proxies, port settings and other settings. You can access aMule preferences by clicking on the Preferences icon at the top of the aMule window.

Connection Speed

You should know that the eDonkey clients enforce upload. This means that in order to download, you'll have to share files yourself (don't worry if you don't have anything to share). This is enforced in two ways:

  • Your download speed depends on how fast you upload. If your upload speed is set to anything below 10kb/s then your maximum download speed will be 3 or 4 times your uploadspeed (read this to know more about it), so if you limit your upload speed to 5kb/s, you'll only be able to download with 20kb/s.
  • Partially downloaded files are shared as well. You automatically start sharing a file after you've received at least one chunk (a chunk is a 9.28Mb piece of a file).

Note: If you ever enter the aMule forum or IRC channel to complain about this or demand that we change the ratio, I will hunt you down and eat your spleen. -- Xaignar

When you first open the Preferences dialog, the page shown will be "General", which contains some general settings, like the nickname other people will see when they download from or upload to you. To proceed, click on the tab named "Connection":

The only settings relevant to this guide are the settings under "Bandwidth Limits" marked "Upload" and "Download". You don't need to enter a max download speed, but it is recommended that you set the upload speed to around 80% of your actual speed, since it can cause slower downloads otherwise.

Once you have entered the proper values, you can explore the rest of the settings. To save the changes, simply click the "OK" button.

Connecting to a Server

You should now be looking at the servers dialog:

The empty list normally contains the servers you know about, but since this is the first time you're running aMule, you don't have any. To remedy this situation, simply click in the text-field containing the text and press enter. A dialog will pop up and close again once the download has completed.

You should now have a full list of servers, if not search google for server.met and place the file in the folder .aMule on your home dir. The list should look like this:

Next you need to connect to a server. Normally it's a good idea to select one with as many users as possible, but for now, lets just click the large "Connect" button near the top-left of the window. This will connect you to a random server. Please wait while aMule contacts servers and tries to establish an connection. Once this happens, proceed on to the next section.

High and Low ID

Because p2p networks work by clients directly connecting to each other, being behind a firewalls, or routers that do not/cannot pass traffic on specific ports, can really cause problems. If you don't know whenever or not you are behind a firewall, simply look at the icon in the bottom-right of the window. If it is green, then you have High ID and can proceed, but if it is yellow, then you need to take a look at the page on Firewalls and/or common problems, since having a Low ID greatly reduces p2p experiences.

Basic Usage

This will cover some basic usage of aMule.

Searching and Downloading

OK, this is what p2p'ing is about: Downloading files. For the sake of this guide, I'll presume that you are really keen on downloading the latest Knoppix CD (who isn't?). To download this, first ensure that you are connected to a server and then click on the "Searches" button.

This will bring up the search dialog:

Since we only care about CD images, we click on "Extended Options" and select the option "CD-Images" from the "Type" dropdown menu. Also select the "Local Search" setting, since we don't really need to search anything other than the currently connected server. Then we enter Knoppix in the top "Name" field and hit enter or the "Search" button. You should now have a listful of results:

Lets sort the list by sources, by clicking twice on the field marked "Sources", this makes it easier to find popular files. The second one looks interesting, so we double-click on it (or click on it and then on the "Download" button). This will queue the file for download.

Results can be displayed in a number of colors, which signify the following:

  • Blue represents the number of sources, the more sources the darker the blue.
  • Red represents files that you are currently downloading.
  • Green is for files you have downloaded or shared before, in other words files you already have.

The Download Queue

Click on the "Transfers" button to bring forth a list of files you have queued for download:

If you're lucky, the progress bar will turn a nice dark shade of blue, which means that a lot of people have that file (read this to know more about it). Beware of files that have parts marked in red, since it means that no-one has that part of the file and you most likely wont be able to complete the download.

If you double-click on any of the files, you can see the sources you have found for that file.

Of Rows and Columns

These are the columns of the Download Queue:

The name of the file.
The size of the file. The eDonkey2000 network supports files up to 4GB in size (read more about this).
Shows the amount downloaded.
This column displays how much of the file you have actually completed. Please note that this can differ from the Transferred column because of corruptions or gains made by the compression *Mule clients use (read more about this difference).
This bar displays the current progress of the file, the colours signifying the following (alternative resource):
  • Blue: How many sources provide this part, the darker the colour, the more sources provide it.
  • Red: There are no known sources that provide this part.
  • Black: You have already downloaded this part.
  • Yellow: You are currently downloading this part.
The green bar on top of the larger bar gives an indication of the actual progress.
There are 3 fields in this column, though mostly only 2 are shown (alternative resource):
<Asked Sources>[/<All Sources>] [+ <A4AF Sources> ] [(<Transferring sources>)]
'Asked Sources' are those that have been asked for the file.
'All Sources' are all sources of that file, asked and unasked.
'A4AF (Asked For Another File) Sources' are sources that provide that file, but have been asked for anther one.
'Transferring sources' are sources which are uploading that file to you at this very moment.
The priority of the file. Files are set to auto-priority by default, which means that aMule will manage it by itself. Priorities affect how aMule allocates sources that are known to provide multiple files and thus means that high-priority files get more sources. Read more about this.
The current status of the file. Waiting means that you are waiting for sources to start uploading to you.
Time Remaining 
An guess at how fast the file will be completed. Only shows something when you are currently receiving the file.
Last Seen Complete 
This shows the last time you've seen the entire file provided by the sources you've asked.
Last Reception 
This shows the last time you were downloading parts of this file.

The Upload Queue

The upload queue can be found just beneath the download queue, and shows who are downloading files from you (you might want to read this). In case you are wondering, no, you cannot stop uploads. If you click on the blue icon next to the "Uploads" label, you can see who are queued for downloading from you, rather than the people who are actually downloading from you right now.

Icons and What They Signify

These are the icons that can be found on the Transfers page.

Where Are The Files?

Once aMule starts downloading a file, it will create a number of files to keep track of that specific download. These files can be found in the subdir .aMule/Temp in your homedir (~/.aMule/Temp), but should not be touched in most cases.

If you have incompleted downloads from eMule, you can simply place the temp files in the ~/.aMule/Temp directory if you wish for aMule to continue downloading them.

However, once a file has been completed, it will be moved away from ~/.aMule/Temp and to ~/.aMule/Incoming, where all completed files are placed by default. You can change both of these paths in the preferences should you wish to do so.

Also, please note that the .aMule directory is a hidden directory, so you might have to enable showing of hidden files in your file-mananger, should you use one such.

Sharing Files

First off, note the eDonkey2000 network is not meant to share small files such as audioclips, but instead is optimized for distribution of larger files. Also note that it your own responsibility to ensure that you do not violate any local laws regarding material shared.

You can share files in two ways in aMule:

The first method is to place the files in the "Incomming" folder (~/.aMule/Incomming on Unix like systems). After this has been done, you must either restart aMule or press the "Reload" button on the SharedFiles page. (TODO: IMG)

The second method is to explicitly add shared directories in which aMule will look for files to share. This is done by clicking on the "Preferences" button and selecting the "Directories" page. (TODO IMG) From there, you can browse to the directory you wish to share via the directory-tree. Double-clicking on the folder icon will share the given folder and right-clicking on the folder icon will share the folder recursively.


Hopefully this brief introduction has given you an idea of how aMule works. If you feel that something is missing from this guide, please let us know or add it yourself.