P2P Handbook

Inspired By . This handbook is an introduction to the primitives of peer-to-peer systems

Status: Living Document

This is a work in progress & It is incomplete.

What is P2P

P2P is a specific form of relational dynamic, based on the assumed equipotency of its participants, organized through the free cooperation of equals in view of the performance of a common task, for the creation of a common good, with forms of decision making and autonomy that are widely distributed throughout the network.
Peer-to-peer (P2P) computing or networking is a distributed application architecture that partitions tasks or workloads between peers. Peers are equally privileged, equipotent participants in the network. They are said to form a peer-to-peer network of nodes
Peers make a portion of their resources, such as processing power, disk storage or network bandwidth, directly available to other network participants, without the need for central coordination by servers or stable hosts
Peers are both suppliers and consumers of resources, in contrast to the traditional client–server model in which the consumption and supply of resources is divided


The P2p concept was popularized by file sharing systems such as the music-sharing application Napster (originally released in 1999).