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Installing Freenet

If you are installing on Windows I recommend you follow these instructions.

Freenet Installation on Windows using Java 2 Platform Standard Edition 5.0

[1] Download and install Java 5

  1. Open http://java.sun.com/j2se/1.5.0/download.jsp
  2. Click on Download JRE link
  3. Choose I agree button
  4. Click on Continue button
  5. Click on Windows online installation link
  6. Click on Run button (you will need to do this twice in XP SP 2)
  7. Choose I Accept the terms of the Licence Agreement and click on Next button
  8. Choose Typical and click on Next button
  9. Click on Finish button

[2] Download Freenet Installer

Download and install Freenet from http://freenet.sourceforge.net/index.php?page=download
  1. Click on freenet-webinstall.exe
  2. Click on Save button and choose a folder to save the installation programme

[3] Freenet Setup

  • Run freenet-webinstall.exe (double click on it)
  • Click on Next button
  • Click on I Agree button
  • Click on Next button
  • Click on Install button
If you get a message box that reads:
I could not find a compatible Java Runtime Environment...
See this [5] Fix to use Java 5 or Java 6 Beta (Betas however are not recommended, see [6])
However this should not happen anymore on Java 5 but will with Java 6 Beta.
  • Click on Yes to download the Node Reference file
  • If you have a personal firewall, you may need to Unblock Java (javaw.exe)
Important : XP Service Pack 2
  • On XP SP2 you may see a prompt during installation that the built-in windows firewall is blocking javaw.exe. If so, choose to unblock it.
  • Click on Next button
  • Click on Finish button

[4] Initial Node Configuration

  • NodeConfig.exe should automatically run during the install. This helps you set up your config file (freenet.ini). After you have changed settings to your liking and OK'd it, it can look like the installer has hung but it hasn't (probably). Leave it a minute and it should finish.
  • Check that your data store size is reasonably large. Freenet works better with at least a few gigbytes (up to a point, bigger = better performance) and there have been issues in the past with the windows installer defaulting to tiny sizes. See "Datastore Size" in Newbie Start Guide Windows.
  • For most users it is strongly recommended to set the maximum output bandwidth to something reasonable for your connection, otherwise Freenet may use too much of it and interfere with web browsing etc. You can do this under the Advanced tab of NodeConfig.exe .

Welcome to the world of Freenet

Now go explore the Index

You should look at the additional steps you should take to make Freenet work well. This is essential if you are using a Firewall or NAT.

Executive summary :
  • If you have a router and / or firewall you should port forward / open up your listenPort
  • It is strongly recommended for most users to set the maximum output bandwidth to something reasonable (advanced tab in NodeConfig.exe)
  • If possible your datastore size should be at least 1 GB
  • Currently Freenet works better if left on most or all of the time. (Optimising better for only a few hours uptime at a go is a design goal for 0.7)

[5] Fix to use Java 5 and Java 6 Beta

  • If the installer has stopped with an error message about not being able to find a compatible Java environment then click on the OK button and then the Cancel button to cancel the installation
  • Start Notepad and copy the following text to paste into Notepad
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\JavaSoft\Java Runtime Environment\1.4]
"JavaHome"="C:\\Program Files\\Java\\jre1.5.0_03"

  • You may have to adjust the path to your Java directory as appropriate for your version of Java and the location you installed it
  • For Java 6 Beta, you should substitute 1.4 with 1.5
  • Save the file as fix.reg and then double-click on fix.reg
  • Click on the Yes button and then click on the OK button
  • Now go back to [3] [Freenet Setup]

[6] Don't use beta Javas

  • While Freenet will probably work fine with beta versions of Sun's Java such as Java 6 beta, it is not recommended you use beta versions of Java as they are more likely to contain significant bugs which could affect your anonmity.