This document is somewhat incomplete and work-in-progress. If you cannot find the answer to your questions in here, please consult the FAQ. However, this document is more recent and is the only one being updated (the FAQs are available in more languages though).
eDonkey2000 is peer-to-peer file-sharing software written by Jed McCaleb (jed at eDonkey2000 dot com) of MetaMachine.
Overnet is also peer-to-peer file-sharing software, also written by Jed McCaleb (jed at eDonkey2000 dot com) of MetaMachine.
Overnet is the new serverless successor of eDonkey2000. From a technological point of view, Overnet is much superior to eDonkey2000. However, at the time of writing (Januar 2003), it seems like there is still more content being offered on the eDonkey2000 network. This situation is likely to change in the future though.
Since version 0.5.0, you can use ed2k-gtk-gui also with the overnet command line client. Almost everything that is written about the edonkey command line client in the following text also applies to the overnet command line client.
Under GNU/Linux, the donkey is different to the well-known Windows version - it consists of two parts, the GUI (Graphical User Interface) and the core. The core is the part which is responsible for all the file-sharing work (upload, download, connecting to servers, publishing files), and the GUI shows us what the core is up to.
This separation of GUI and core has several advantages: one is that the GUI does not need to run on the same computer as the core. This way you can remote control a core running on your linux router in the basement with a GUI running on your main computer in the living room, or from work, or from a friend's house (see security considerations in the last section); another advantage is that when the GUI crashes *cough* which of course never happens *cough*, then the core will happily continue to download and upload, and you only have to restart the GUI.
Help with the documentation is always welcome, please send errors,
comments and suggestions to Tim-Philipp Müller (
t.i.m at orange dot net).
2002-Nov-09 merged Thomas Ritter's initial version of this document with the one in the source tree [Tim]
2003-Jan-31 updated the handbook to reflect changes in 0.5.0 and include some comments about overnet [Tim]
2003-Sep-04 updated the handbook for v0.6.x [Tim]
2004-Jan-16 updated the handbook for v0.6.2 [Tim]