PeerTube is a free and open-source, decentralized, federated video platform powered by ActivityPub and WebTorrent, that uses peer-to-peer technology to reduce load on individual servers when viewing videos.
|Initial release||11 October 2018|
3.1.0 / 24 March 2021
|Written in||TypeScript, HTML, CSS, SQL|
|Size||2.49 MB (tar.xz), 30.70 MB (zip)|
|Available in||28 languages|
Started in 2017 by a programmer known as Chocobozzz, development of PeerTube is now supported by the French non-profit Framasoft. The aim is to provide an alternative to centralized platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, and Dailymotion.
Each PeerTube instance provides a website to browse and watch videos, and is by default independent from others in terms of appearance, features and rules.
Several instances, with common rules (e.g. allowing for similar content, requiring registration) can form federations, where they follow one's videos, even though each video is stored only by the instance that published it. Federations are independent from each other and asymmetrical: one instance can follow another to display their videos without them having to do the same. Instances' administrators can each choose to mirror individual videos or whole friend instances, creating an incentive to build communities of shared bandwidth.
Videos are made available via HTTP to download, but playback favors a peer-to-peer playback using HLS and WebTorrent. Users connected to the platform act as relay points that send pieces of video to other users, lessening the bandwidth of each to the server and thus allowing smaller hardware to operate at a lower cost.
Origins and historyEdit
PeerTube was created by a web developer known as Chocobozzz as a peer-to-peer alternative to YouTube, utilizing the WebTorrent protocol to share videos. He was contacted in 2017 by Framasoft, which had a campaign called Contributopia, the goal of which is to create alternatives to centralized platforms. In order to support him and his work, notably on improving the design and usability, Framasoft hired the developer.
The first beta of PeerTube was released in March 2018 and the first stable version in October 2018. In June 2018, only a few months after the first beta, 113 instances are publicly available on the web that together host more than 10,000 videos.
In June 2018, as a result of its videos disappearing amid changes regarding the monetization of YouTube channels, the Blender Foundation began experimenting with hosting a PeerTube instance to distribute copies of the foundation's videos.
In May 2020, Framasoft published a roadmap of the software for the later half of the year and created a fundraising campaign requiring €60,000 for aiding the development. Five months later (on October 2020), Peertube announced that they reached their fundraising goal of €60,000 after a €10,000 donation from Debian. Throughout the later half of 2020, Peertube has added features such as global search, improved playlists, and more moderation tools.
In January 2021, Framasoft announced the release of Peertube v3.0 with the help of the successful fundraising campaign.  The release highlighted peer-to-peer live streaming as the major feature of the release.
PeerTube uses WebTorrent technology. Each server hosts a torrent tracker and each web browser viewing a video also shares it. This allows to share the load between the server itself and the clients as well as the bandwidth used through P2P technology.
The system works via a federation of instances run by independent entities. Each PeerTube server can host any number of videos by itself, and can additionally federate with other servers to let users watch their videos in the same user interface. This federation permits collectively hosting a large number of videos in a unified platform, without having to build an infrastructure comparable to that of the web giants. Each server is operated by and stays under the sole administration of a distinct entity.
PeerTube uses the ActivityPub protocol in order to allow decentralization and compatibility with other fediverse services, which can prevent vendor lock-in and makes it more resilient against censorship.
- "PeerTube v3.1 is out!". JoinPeerTube. Retrieved 26 March 2021.
- "Framasoft's Weblate PeerTube Project". weblate.framasoft.org.
- "Federated (ActivityPub) video streaming platform using P2P (BitTorrent) directly in the web browser with WebTorrent and Angular.: Chocobozzz/PeerTube". June 30, 2019 – via GitHub.
- Framasoft, Association (2018-10-15). "PeerTube 1.0: the free/libre and federated video platform". Framablog. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
- Noisette, Thierry (2018-07-23). "PeerTube : l'hébergement libre de vidéos est sur les rails". ZDNet France (in French). Retrieved 2019-06-25.
- Lion, Bastien (2018-07-09). "PeerTube, le « YouTube décentralisé », réussit son financement participatif". Le Monde (in French). Retrieved 2019-06-25.
- Verge, Pauline (2018-03-30). "PeerTube, une tentative d'alternative française et décentralisée à YouTube". Le Figaro (in French). Retrieved 2019-06-25.
- "PeerTube, une tentative d'alternative française et décentralisée à YouTube". FIGARO. March 30, 2018.
- Framasoft, Association (October 9, 2017). "Contributopia : dégoogliser ne suffit pas". Framablog.
- KissKissBankBank. "PeerTube, a free and federated video platform". KissKissBankBank. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
- "PeerTube : le « YouTube décentralisé » passe en bêta publique". www.nextinpact.com. March 27, 2018.
- "Après YouTube… PeerTube ? Déjà des centaines d'instances !". www.linformaticien.com.
- "PeerTube instances". instances.joinpeertube.org. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
- "PeerTube(LIVE)". peertube.live. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
- Foundation, Blender. "YouTube Blocks Blender Videos Worldwide". blender.org.
- "Our plans for PeerTube v3 : progressive fundraising, live streaming coming next fall".
- "PeerTube (@email@example.com)". Framapiaf (in French). Retrieved 2020-10-24.
- "Debian donation for Peertube development - Bits from the Debian Project". Debian Project. October 21, 2020. Retrieved 2020-10-31.
- "PeerTube v3: it's a live, a liiiiive!".
- "PeerTube: A 'Censorship' Resistent(sic) YouTube Alternative". TorrentFreak. 2018-06-23. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
- "Add peertube by aliceinwire · Pull Request #5065 · honestbleeps/Reddit-Enhancement-Suite". GitHub. Retrieved 2019-05-23.
- "Cyrille Bollu / plugin.video.peertube". GitLab. Retrieved 2019-05-23.