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-FrostWire Team


edited February 2015 in Open Discussion
Hi there FrostWire Hacker.



FrostWire is a file sharing client and media management tool that was made
using lots of cool open source projects. It was born from the legendary
LimeWire Gnutella client, but it's evolved a hell of a lot since then.

FrostWire no longer supports Gnutella, it's a BitTorrent client, an Internet
Radio client and Media Player.

Unlike most BitTorrent clients out there, FrostWire focuses on searching files
and tries hard to make it as easy and convenient as possible to users.

Old FrostWire users were used to the Gnutella experience (searching for
single files), so FrostWire makes use of BitTorrent a little differently to
make it simple for them.

FrostWire will connect to all the major BitTorrent indexes of the internet
and pre-fetch torrents (via the Azureus DHT or via HTTP if it can't find it
on the DHT), it will then index locally all the available metadata that's
indexed by the torrent file, as the user searches, the local index gets better
and better to yield richer and instant results.

This makes FrostWire a very powerful client that will help you find the rarest
of files on the bittorrent network, sometimes it will find files that even the
best BitTorrent indexes won't yield in the search results.

The main software architecture (how things are organized) depends on the late
LimeWire 4, the BitTorrent power comes from the Azureus project (aka Vuze),
media playback comes from the mplayer project, the good looks and skinning
system comes from the Substance skinning project (which we've had to maintain
on our repo to make it fit FrostWire needs), http interaction comes from the
Apache Commons project, the search is built using the awesome H2 database and
Lucene indexes, JSON parsing comes from google-gson, and so on and so on.


Introductions aside, here's how you build this.

1. Make sure your CLASSPATH, JAVA_HOME and your PATH variables are set

Example of CLASSPATH, JAVA_HOME and PATH on a Ubuntu system's .bashrc file



Must build problems are usually solved by having those environment variables
set correctly. If you are a Windows or Mac user the process is fairly similar.

2. Try having the latest JDK available (OpenJDK or Sun's JDK should do it -
As of this document it can be built using Java 1.7)

3. ant

4. Mercurial to clone, check out the project to your machine.

We recommend using Eclipse as your development environment.

hg clone

-=Get the latest updates from the main repository by issuing:=-
hg pull -u

This will pull the latest changes and automatically merge them with your local
copy of the repository.


cd frostwire.desktop
ant clean



"My environment variables are fine, my requirements are met, there's an error during the build."

It's very hard that it happens but we might have pushed out a broken build.

If you do have any issues building, please yell on the comments of the
offending commit log at so we can address the issue right away.

If the build is not broken, hit us up at the developer forum


core/ Search, mp3 parsing, Json Engine, mplayer integration.

gui/ Everything the user sees on screen is here. Like Java Swing?
this is probably a great place to learn more about it.
If you're going to be adding new UI elements make sure you put them
inside com.frostwire.gui.* (Most of the stuff on com.limewire.gui are
legacy code from LimeWire)

Good starting points to see how it all works are the *
files. Being the McDaddy

components/ This is the new school of thought in the process. Everytime
we create new functionality we try to make it self containable
and we put the code inside a component folder.
Two good examples are the azureus core, and the core code for the
Library which is kept under "alexandria" (in honor to the Library
of Alexandria)

components/resources This is where most graphical assets are stored.

lib/jars This is where we keep pre-compiled jars from projects we don't

lib/jars-src This is where we keep the sources of those third party projects.
We do this because we hope one day we'll be accepted into
debian or ubuntu, and it's a requirement that your packages
can be compiled without any binary dependency.
This also helps us help those projects, sometimes we fix bugs
that affect us and we send patches back to those projects.
Also on eclipse it's awesome to be able to browse the source
of those dependencies and to step-by-step debug to see what
the hell those developers were thinking.

lib/messagebundles Where we keep the translation files.

lib/icons Where we keep the FrostWire launcher icons for the different
operating systems.

splashes/ Where we keep all the splash screens for each major version of
FrostWire. There are tools there to build the splash.jar and
to build a collage of pictures with all the splashes for a release.


If you're using Eclipse, we suggest you use the "eclipse.formatter.xml" on your
project. We try to stick as much as we remember to the Google Java code style
except for a few things we don't like because we all work on eclipse and we do
have monitors with over 1200 pixels of width.


5 Object Oriented Programming Principles learned during the last 15 years

Basically, Keep it simple and try not to repeat yourself at all.


Main Website


Git Repository at

-FrostWire Team
Last updated - July 17th 2012 12:08:50 EST


This discussion has been closed.