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Published on May 2nd, 2016 📆 | 3919 Views ⚑


Secure Communication For Everyone: RetroShare
RetroShare is a decentralized, private and secure commmunication and sharing platform. RetroShare provides filesharing, chat, messages, forums and channels. RetroShare is an Open Source, free software project developed under the GNU General Public License. Retroshare is designed as a “Secure Social Network”. It allows you to communicate and share with your friends. Retroshare provides Instant Messaging and Filesharing with decentralized Forums and Channels.

RetroShare is the next generation of peer to peer file sharing networks. Unlike classic peer to peer softwares, RetroShare only connects to trusted friends and not just anyone, this is called a “friend-to-friend (F2F)”network. The problem with existing filesharing networks is that you have no control over who you share information with. I don’t want to share with the whole wide world, but I would love to share stuff with my friends. But this is not easy to do, safely and securely, over the Internet.

One big feature of Retroshare is privacy:

  • Your stuff is only shared with your trusted friends.
  • No data is stored in the Cloud, and all communications are encrypted.
  • You don’t have to trust a Corporation (e.g MicroSoft Skype, Facebook or Google) with your information.


RetroShare is basically a platform that establishes encrypted connections between authenticated friends. This connection is used for various communication services and filesharing. It is independent of any corporate system or central servers, all data is only sent to friends and in some cases relayed by them to their friends, making RetroShare a decentralized Social Sharing Network designed For the People. Encrypted communication, ensures that all shared information is only known to you and your friends.

RetroShare enables you to create a secure network with your friends. This is achieved by only connecting to peers that have been explicitly approved (added as friends) by you. Furthermore all communication between peers is encrypted using standard OpenSSL techniques. RetroShare is a private network as long as you only connect to people you know. Your security primarily depends on the reliability of the people you connect to. Connect to trustworthy people and you will be safe. Allow anyone to connect – who knows what will happen.




Communication services in RetroShare:

  • Private chat with friends
  • Private or public chat lobbies, that allow chatting with friends and friends of friends
  • Messages to friends
  • Forums
  • Voice over IP


RetroShare is partly anonymous. There are anonymous forums and channels where no one can tell who posted something and you can download files from people your are not connected to anonymously, usinganonymous tunnels. However the people you are connected to, know who you are and know your IP address. They can also see which files you are sharing, unless you mark them as not browsable. No one else on the network can see this information.  The friends of your peers also know of your existence, and can attempt to connect to you through the Auto-Discovery system, but they can’t connect to you unless you add them as friends.


Secure Communication For Everyone: RetroShare documentation

Secure Communication For Everyone: RetroShare FAQ


Secure Communication For Everyone
RetroShare Compilation

  1. Install package dependencies:
    sudo apt-get install libglib2.0-dev libupnp-dev qt4-dev-tools \
       libqt4-dev libssl-dev libxss-dev libgnome-keyring-dev libbz2-dev \
       libqt4-opengl-dev libqtmultimediakit1 qtmobility-dev libsqlcipher-dev \
       libspeex-dev libspeexdsp-dev libxslt1-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev \
       libopencv-dev tcl8.5 libmicrohttpd-dev
  2. Checkout the source code
    mkdir ~/retroshare
    cd ~/retroshare 
    git clone trunk
  3. Compile
    cd trunk
    qmake CONFIG+=debug
  4. Install
    sudo make install

    The executables produced will be:


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Using retroshare-nogui & webUI

The webUI needs to be enabled as a parameter option in retroshare-nogui:

./retroshare-nogui --webinterface 9090 --docroot /usr/share/RetroShare06/webui/

The webUI is only accessible on localhost:9090. It is advised to keep it that way so that your RS cannot be controlled using an untrusted connection.

To access your web UI from a distance, just open a SSH tunnel on it:

distant_machine:~/ >  ssh rs_host -L 9090:localhost:9090 -N

“rs_host” is the machine running retroshare-nogui. Then on the distant machine, access your webUI on


That also works with a retroshare GUI of course.


Compile and run tests

  qmake CONFIG+=tests


Secure Communication For Everyone: RetroShare Wiki


Source && Download

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