Freenet Installation and Administration

Peter demonstrates how to take advantage of the World Wide Web alternative, Freenet.
Day-to-Day Administration

Properly set up, a Freenet node shouldn't need any ongoing administration. However, there are a few automatable tasks that need to be done. First of all, the log files need to be rotated. Secondly, you'll want to restart the Freenet software periodically. Currently the disk (and I believe memory) usage of Freenet tends to balloon unless you restart your node periodically. Both rotating the log files, which requires restarting the node anyway, and restarting the node can be easily done with the script restart_script (shown in Listing 1). For your average node, restarting once a week should be fine.

Listing 1. restart_script

Recommended JDKs

IBM's JDK is probably the easiest JDK to install. It's precompiled and works, plus it's one of the faster JDKs out there. On the downside it's proprietary and requires registration to download. Both tarball and Red Hat RPMs are available at:

Kaffe, the OpenSource JDK, is another, more difficult option. You will have to compile in gmp support, something most distributions don't do in their Kaffe packages. A Debian package for Kaffe with gmp support is available from Mr. Bad's site, above. Otherwise, compile from anonymous CVS or a source package to which you apply the patch found in the Freenet README. Make sure you enable gmp support with the --enable-gmp option when you run ./configure.


Peter Todd, who will be 16 by the time this article is published, has been using Linux for three years (exclusively for one and a half years). He attends Woburn Collegiate where he can be found in Ms. Plachta's grade 12 enriched computer science class and in the music hall. He can be contacted at and has a web site at