~ Ncdc ~

Yoran Heling
projects@yorhel.nl
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Cute decorative scissors, cutting through your code.

Ncdc Q&A

About ncdc

What about other text-mode clients?

microdc2 - A rather nice client, yet not exactly there. It's limited to connecting to a single hub, hasn't been updated since 2006, and the readline interface is slightly awkward to use.

nanodc - Can't comment much on this, except maybe that rocket science is perhaps easier than getting nanodc to compile.

LDCC - Uses DCTC as backend and an interface based on TurboVision. All mentioned projects are dead: neither LDCC, DCTC nor TurboVision are seeing any recent development.

ShakesPeer - Appears to have a commandline interface as well. I haven't personally tried it, but have not heard many positive things about it. Has not seen any recent development, either.

Why did you start from scratch? Why not use the DC++ core?

There are several reasons why I chose not to use code from existing projects, but the two most important reasons are the following: 1) I am a control freak, and 2) personal preferences.

Control freak: I have no idea how to create an interface to a protocol if I don't know the overall design and all the tiny details of the actual protocol I'm working with. And what's a better way to get used to a protocol than by writing everything yourself? Then there's some other advantages to reimplementing everything: I get to choose the library dependencies and the memory/CPU efficiency trade-offs, and I am not limited by an existing implementation that needs quite a few modifications to achieve what I want. Most of the "special features not commonly found in other clients" mentioned on the homepage are a direct result of this.

Personal preferences: These are simple: I rather dislike C++ and working with other people's code. Working with other people's C++ code isn't exactly something I wish to spend my free time on.

Does ncdc support TLS 1.2?

Yes, but you need a recent version of GnuTLS. Nobody knows what counts as "recent", exactly, but I'm guessing any 3.0+ version will do.

What protocol features does ncdc support?

For ADC: BASE, RF, TIGR, BZIP, BLOM, ADCS, KEYP and SUDP.

For NMDC: NoGetINFO, NoHello, UserIP2, MiniSlots, XmlBZList, ADCGet, TTHL and TTHF.

ncdc also supports TLS-enabled connections for both hub connections and client-to-client connections on both ADC and NMDC protocols. Note that ncdc does not support some of the older NMDC protocol features, like $Get, $GetZBlock, $CHUNK, $Cancel or non-XML file lists. I am not aware of an other up-to-date client that still uses any of these features.

What are those flags / character indications in the connection list?

Since the manual page doesn't cover those yet, I'll document it here for now:

The header has St, where the S stands for Status and t for whether TLS encryption is used or not. The status flags can be either Connecting, Handshake, Idle, Downloading, Uploading or - for disconnected.

...And what about those in the user list?

The user list has three boolean flags: Operator, Passive, and whether the client has TLS enabled.

Troubleshooting

Luadch: "(error-40) Invalid named parameter in inf: I4"

This error occurs when connecting to (some?) luadch hubs. The problem here is that IP address autodetection is broken on these hubs, and you can work around it by manually setting active_ip to your (public) IP address: /set active_ip 1.3.3.7.

The Alt- keys don't work!

The ncdc manual refers to the "meta" key as Alt-something, but the actual key to use tends to differ depending on your setup. In almost every setup, you can press and release the 'Esc' key as a replacement for Alt-something. If you're on OS X, this stackoverflow answer may be helpful.

Ncdc crashes a lot!

Ncdc 1.19.1 has no known bugs that may cause a crash. If you're running an older version of ncdc, please upgrade. If your ncdc is up to date and you still have a crash, please report a bug.

Ncdc uses too much disk space!

First, look where this disk space goes to (hint: use ncdu). If it's the log files: you can safely delete or rotate them (see next question).

The db.sqlite3 file can also grow quite large in certain situations. If you modify or rename a lot of files in your share and ncdc re-hashes them, the old hash data associated with the files is not removed from the database, resulting in wasted disk space. The /gc command in ncdc can be used to clean up this unused data. Be warned, however, that this command needs roughly twice the size of the old db.sqlite3 file for temporary storage, so make sure you have enough space available. (Note that this behaviour is not specific to ncdc, most other DC clients do the same.)

Why doesn't ncdc rotate log files automatically?

Because you can easily do that yourself. You can either use logrotate or a simple script that runs from a cron. For an example of the latter option, this is the script I use, which is run as a monthly cron job.

Can ncdc...

Can ncdc run in the background / as a daemon?

As with most ncurses applications: no. At least, it does not have this functionality built-in. Ncdc is designed to be used in combination with a separate terminal multiplexer or detach utility to handle this. Have a look at GNU screen, tmux or dtach.

Does ncdc support UPnP?

Not natively. However, it is possible to use this script and manually keep a port open using a cron job. I have no experience with this myself, though. I just run ncdc directly on my router. :-)

Are there any programs available for analyzing the transfers.log file?

Nothing like that is included in the release yet, but there is a simple Perl script available: ncdc-transfer-stats, and a short Go program: ncdc-share-report.

Can ncdc use the hash data or configuration from an existing DC++ installation?

No, ncdc uses its own configuration and hash storage directory. However, on popular demand I could write a conversion utility to transfer the hash data from other clients to ncdc's format. (Contrary to my expectations, there hasn't been much interest in such a tool ever since I wrote this FAQ entry two years ago. So I guess this isn't really a FAQ).