Welcome to GNUnet
What is GNUnet?
GNUnet is peer-to-peer framework focusing on security. The first and
primary application for GNUnet is anonymous file-sharing. GNUnet is
currently developed by a worldwide group of independent free software
developers. GNUnet is a part of the GNU project (http://www.gnu.org/).
This is a BETA release. While there are no known significant bugs, we
are still changing significant aspects of the system in any other
version. While we believe that the system is usable, quite a few
important features -- which would improve performance make the life of
users easier -- are still missing. Also, the documentation may not be
adequate for inexperienced users.
For a longer description of the GNUnet System see our webpages
http://www.gnu.org/software/gnunet/ and http://gnunet.org/.
For the impatient, here is the list of immediate dependencies for
- libextractor >= 0.5.23
- libmicrohttpd >= 0.4.2
- libgcrypt >= 1.2
- libgmp >= 4.0
- libcurl >= 7.15.4
- libltdl >= 2.2 (part of GNU libtool)
- mysql >= 5.0 (strongly recommended)
- sqlite >= 3.0 (alternative to MySQL)
Certain gnunet-setup plugins would also like to have:
- GTK >= 2.6.0
- Qt >= 4.0
Recommended autotools for compiling the SVN version are:
- autoconf >= 2.59
- automake >= 1.9.4
- libtool >= 2.2 (only in Debian experimental)
See also README.debian for a list of Debian packages.
How to install?
The fastest way is to use a binary package if it is available for your
system. For a more detailed description, read the installation
instructions on the webpage at http://gnunet.org/documentation.php3.
If you install from source, you need to install libextractor
first (download from http://gnunet.org/libextractor/). Then
you can start the actual GNUnet compilation process with:
$ ./configure --prefix=$HOME --with-extractor=$HOME
# make install
# gnunet-setup # (note: does not yet exist!)
# gnunet-arm -s
This will compile and install GNUnet to ~/bin/, ~/lib/ and ~/man/.
gnunet-setup will create the configuration; this step is
interactive. You can run gnunet-setup as root for a system-wide
installation or as a particular user to create a personal
installation. If you do not want to run gnunetd as root, gnunet-setup
can be used to add a user "gnunet". Data will then be stored in
/var/lib/gnunet and gnunetd will run as that user. Note that
additional, per-user configuration files (~/.gnunet/gnunet.conf) also
need to be created by each user by running gnunet-setup without the -d
option. Depending on your operating system the wizards of
gnunet-setup can also be used to create an init script that starts
gnunetd each time the system boots. For more general information
about the GNU build process read the INSTALL file.
GNUnet requires the GNU MP library (http://www.gnu.org/software/gmp/)
and libgcrypt. You can specify the path to libgcrypt by passing
"--with-gcrypt=PATH" to configure. You will also need either sqlite
(version 3 or higher) or MySQL (version 5.0 or higher).
If you are compiling the code from subversion, you have to run
". bootstrap" before ./configure. If you receive an error during the
running of ". bootstrap" that looks like "macro `AM_PATH_GTK' not
found in library", you may need to run aclocal by hand with the -I
option, pointing to your aclocal m4 macros, i.e.
$ aclocal -I /usr/local/share/aclocal
// FIXME: update this section once we have gnunet-setup!
GNUnet uses two types of configuration files, one for the daemon
(called gnunetd.conf) and one for each user (gnunet.conf). You can
create and edit these configuration files with the gnunet-setup tool.
You need to add the option "-d" to gnunet-setup in order to edit
gnunetd.conf (by default, gnunet-setup will edit gnunet.conf). The
defaults that are created the first time you run gnunet-setup are
usually ok, you may want to adjust the limitations (space consumption,
bandwidth, etc.) though. The configuration files are human-readable;
gnunetd's configuration is typically located at "/etc/gnunetd.conf".
The per-user configuration file should be at "~/.gnunet/gnunet.conf".
A default version of the per-user configuration will automatically
be created whenever you run any tool that needs that particular
You MUST create /etc/gnunet.conf explicitly before starting gnunetd,
and the recommended way to do this is to run gnunet-setup -d (plus
possibly options to specify which user interface you would perfer).
If you want to use a different configuration file, pass the name of
the configuration file as an argument with the option "-c" to any
GNUnet application. Sending a SIGHUP to the gnunetd process will
cause gnunetd to re-read the configuration file. Note that not all
options can be changed at runtime this way (e.g. to change any port
number, you must fully restart gnunetd).
First, you must obtain an initial list of GNUnet hosts. Knowing a
single peer is sufficient since after that GNUnet propagates
information about other peers. Note that the default "gnunet.conf"
contains URLs from where GNUnet downloads an initial hostlist
whenever it is started. If you want to create an alternative URL for
others to use, the file can be generated on any machine running
GNUnet by periodically executing
$ cat $GNUNETD_HOME/data/hosts/* > the_file
If the solution with the URL is not feasible for your situation, you
can also add hosts manually. The GNUnet webpage has a public
directory of hostkeys under http://gnunet.org/hosts/. You
can of course use any other source for these files. Copy the hostkeys
to "$GNUNETD_HOME/data/hosts/" (where $GNUNETD_HOME is the
directory specified in the /etc/gnunet.conf configuration file).
Now start the local node using "gnunet-arm -s". GNUnet should run 24/7 if
you want to maximize your anonymity. You may start it as a service
with "/etc/init.d/gnunet start". To publish files on GNUnet, use
the "gnunet-publish" command.
The GTK user interface is shipped separately from GNUnet. After
downloading and installing gnunet-gtk, you can invoke the GUI with:
For Qt/KDE users, there is also a QT user interface (also shipped
separately). If you install gnunet-qt, you can invoke the GUI with:
If you want to use the shell (part of this distribution), use
$ gnunet-search KEYWORD
This will display a list of results to the console. Then use
$ gnunet-download -o FILENAME GNUNET_URI
to retrieve a file. The GNUNET_URI is printed by gnunet-search
together with a description.
In order to share files, the easiest way is to create a directory
with the files (and directories) that you want to share and run
$ nohup gnunet-auto-share NAME-OF-THE-DIRECTORY &
For further documentation, see our webpage.
Contributions are welcome, please submit bugs to
https://gnunet.org/mantis/. Please make sure to run contrib/report.sh
and include the output with your bug reports. More about how to
report bugs can be found in the GNUnet FAQ on the webpage. Submit
patches via E-Mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
In order to run the unit tests with "make check", you need to
set an environment variable ("GNUNET_PREFIX") to the directory
where GNUnet is installed (usually, GNUnet will use OS specific
tricks in order to try to figure out the PREFIX, but since the
testcase binaries are not installed, that trick does not work
for them). Also, before running any testcases, you must
complete the installation first. Quick summary:
$ ./configure --prefix=$SOMEWHERE
$ make install
$ export GNUNET_PREFIX=$SOMEWHERE
$ make check
If any testcases fail to pass on your system, run "contrib/report.sh"
and report the output together with information about the failing
testcase to the Mantis bugtracking system at
Running http on port 80
In order to hide GNUnet's HTTP traffic perfectly, you might consider
running GNUnet's HTTP transport on port 80. However, you should not
run GNUnet as root. Instead, forward port 80 to say 8080 with this
command (as root, in your startup scripts):
# iptables -t nat -A PREROUTING -p tcp -m tcp --dport 80 -j REDIRECT --to-ports 8080
Then set in the HTTP section of gnunetd.conf the "ADVERTISED-PORT"
to "80" and "PORT" to 8080. You can do the same trick for the
TCP and UDP transports if you want to map them to a priviledged
port (from the point of view of the network).
Running the SMTP transport
// NOTE: SMTP is not currently available in this version of GNUnet
Running GNUnet over SMTP (e-mail) is a bit more involved. Note that
you do not need to run all transports (only running the NAT transport
is the only thing that will not work). If you really want to do
P2P over SMTP, read the instructions at http://gnunet.org/smtp.php3