Disabling the P2P client in Opera

Other than as the need arises in the course of research, teaching, learning or other University business, the use of University facilities with any of the so-called peer-to-peer filesharing systems imposes an unreasonable burden, and in many cases would also be in breach of copyright.Regulation 8.1.R7 Guidelines [3]

In our environment Opera is currently listed as a “level-C” supported software for both Mac and Windows – ed-IT may be able to help with some queries. These products are not supported as such, but are recognized by ed-IT

With the introduction of the BitTorrent P2P client with Opera 9, we need to remove the P2P client in any of our installs. This is not too difficult;

How can I disable the BitTorrent client in Opera?

Starting with version 9, Opera has a built-in client for BitTorrent, to simplify downloading and sharing of Torrent files.

Some may prefer to use a different third-party BitTorrent client with Opera, while others are on networks where all P2P activity is banned. Fear not, you can still use Opera!

The BitTorrent client in Opera can easily be disabled, and system administrators can apply this policy to all users.

System-wide

For a system-wide policy, simply add the following two lines to the system fixed file:

[BitTorrent]
Enable=0

Write-protect the system fixed file. Opera’s BitTorrent client is now disabled, and can not be re-enabled by other means than editing the system fixed file.

A quick trip to the System Administrator’s Handbook gives us the details for the System fixed file.

System fixed file

The system fixed file allows the system administrator to define settings that cannot be overridden by the individual user, such as proxy settings. On Linux the path to this file is /etc/opera6rc.fixed. On Windows, it is called “opera6.ini” and is located in the system directory. The system directory varies between system versions, but normally the placement would be \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 on Windows XP, and \WINDOWS\SYSTEM on Windows 9x.

Note that the system fixed file overrides anything that is specified in the “opera6.ini” user file.

This means, for example, that if you set:

[User Prefs]
Home URL=http://www.opera.com/

in the system fixed file, then it is not possible to set another global home page in Opera. While these options remain visible to the user, they cannot be changed if specified in the system fixed file.

Not too hard at all, and it allows us to keep Opera in the environment without the risk of the P2P traffic and legal exposure.

[1] How can I disable the BitTorrent client in Opera? [Opera Support]
[2] System Administrator’s Handbook [Opera Support]
[3] 1.1 Peer-to-peer in Regulation 8.1.R7 Guidelines [Unimelb]

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