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Convert::Bencode - Functions for converting to/from bencoded strings


  use Convert::Bencode qw(bencode bdecode);

  my $string = "d4:ainti12345e3:key5:value4:type4:teste";
  my $hashref = bdecode($string);

  foreach my $key (keys(%{$hashref})) {
      print "Key: $key, Value: ${$hashref}{$key}\n";

  my $encoded_string = bencode($hashref);
  print $encoded_string."\n";


This module provides two functions, bencode and bdecode, which encode and decode bencoded strings respectivly.


bencode() expects to be passed a single value, which is either a scalar, a arrary ref, or a hash ref, and it returns a scalar containing the bencoded representation of the data structure it was passed. If the value passed was a scalar, it returns either a bencoded string, or a bencoded integer (floating points are not implemented, and would be returned as a string rather than a integer). If the value was a array ref, it returns a bencoded list, with all the values of that array also bencoded recursivly. If the value was a hash ref, it returns a bencoded dictionary (which for all intents and purposes can be thought of as a synonym for hash) containing the recursivly bencoded key and value pairs of the hash.


bdecode() expects to be passed a single scalar containing the bencoded string to be decoded. Its return value will be either a hash ref, a array ref, or a scalar, depending on whether the outer most element of the bencoded string was a dictionary, list, or a string/integer respectivly.


The description of bencode is part of the bittorrent protocol specification which can be found at


No error detection of bencoded data. Damaged input will most likely cause very bad things to happen, up to and including causeing the bdecode function to recurse infintly.


Created by R. Kyle Murphy <>, aka Orclev.

Copyright 2003 R. Kyle Murphy. All rights reserved. Convert::Bencode is free software; you may redistribute it and/or modify it under the same terms as Perl itself.