RetroShare: a confidential messaging platform

After two years of development the launch of the new version of RetroShare 0.6.6, a platform for confidential files and messages using the Friend to Friend encrypted network.

RetroShare is a multiplatform software (Windows, FreeBSD and many GNU / Linux distributions), the RetroShare source code is written in C ++ using the Qt Toolkit and is licensed under AGPLv3.

About RetroShare

With RetroShare it is possible to share folders or directories among friends. The file transfer is done using a multi-step swarm algorithm (inspired by the characteristic "Turtle Hopping" of the Turtle F2F project, but implemented differently).

In essence, data is only exchanged between friends, although the origin and destination of a given transfer may involve multiple side friends. An anonymous search function is another option that allows the location of files on this network.

Files are represented by their SHA-1 hash value and supported file links can be exported, copied and pasted on and off the RetroShare network allowing you to publish your virtual location.

In addition to direct messaging, the program provides tools to chat with multiple people, organize voice and video calls, send encrypted email to network users, organize file sharing with selected users or any network member (using BitTorrent-like technology), create intrusion-proof censorship of decentralized forums with support for offline message writing, training of channels for the delivery of content by subscription.

RetroShare core is based on an offline library, to which two elements are connected:

  • a command line executable that offers virtually no control
  • a graphical user interface written in Qt4 which is what most users use
  • Aside from functions common to other file sharing programs, such as a transfer view and search tab, RetroShare offers its users the ability to manage their own network by collecting optional information about close friends and displaying it graphically as a trust matrix or as a dynamic network.

What's new in RetroShare 0.6.6?

In this new version the license changed from GPLv2 to AGPLv3 for GUI and LGPLv3 for libretroshare and the interface was redesigned to work with messages, added new layout for channels and forums (board). For displaying posts, two modes are offered: stack and list:

In addition, the token system used to connect to other users has been reworked. Identifiers have become significantly shorter and now fit the size of a QR code, making it easier to transfer the identifier to other users. The identifier contains the hostname and profile name, SSL ID, profile hash snapshot, and connection IP address information.

Support for the third version of Tor's onion services protocol was also provided and added tools to automatically delete channels and forums 60 days after unsubscribing.

The notification system has been redesigned, the "Registration" tab is replaced by "Activity", which, in addition to summary data on new messages and connection attempts, contains information on connection requests, invitations and changes in the composition of the moderators.

Several improvements have been made to the interface, for example, a new tab for identifiers has been added, the readability of the home page has been increased, the ability to pin topics in the forum has been redesigned.

When generating certificate digital signatures, the SHA256 algorithm is used instead of SHA1. The old asynchronous token system has been replaced by a new API that works in lock mode.

Instead of the retroshare-nogui console server, the retroshare-service service is proposed, which can be used both on server systems without a monitor and on devices based on the Android platform.

Finally if you want to know more about it or download this software, you can do it from the following link


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  1. Responsible for the data: Miguel Ángel Gatón
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  1.   abdhesuk said

    When will the jump to mobile platforms?