• Ian J. Taylor
  • Andrew B. Harrison
Part of the Computer Communications and Networks book series (CCN)


Gnutella dened and popularised modern P2P technology through its truly decentralized design and implementation. It arrived right around the time when centrally organized solutions were being targeted and provided a mech- anism that oered a much more tolerant structure, where no single entity could be isolated to bring down the entire network. The Gnutella network consists of thousands of information providers, which are not indexed in a central place. Therefore, to shut down such a network is not trivial since a vast number of peers (i.e., many hundreds) would have to be eliminated.

This chapter provides an overview of the original 0.4 version of the Gnutella network. It combines a conceptual overview and a user-friendly rewrite of the Gnutella protocol specication [168]. A historical perspective is provided, along with usage scenarios, which include joining and searching the Gnutella network. This is followed by a detailed account of its protocol specication that provides the fundamental information required for a competent programmer to build a Gnutella network from scratch.


Minimum Speed Protocol Description Search Request Incoming Connection Query Request 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian J. Taylor
    • 1
  • Andrew B. Harrison
  1. 1.School of Computer ScienceCardiff UniversityUK

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