Monday, October 8, 2007

Using Transmission Bittorrent client on console

Update: A change in package since this post was published, read the update here
Here is an another light-weight bittorrent client Transmission which really works well. One of the highlight of this program is that its easy to use even for those who are new to Bittorrent P2P system and the bittorrent old hands would like Transmission because it stays out of their way and integrates nicely with your environment. I primarily work on command line console and like to run my bittorrent downloads in a screen session in the background and this bittorrent clients fits the bill for me.

You can learn more about this program from its features page.
Transmission runs natively on over five operating systems. Seamless configuration of your network, intelligent banning of peers who send corrupted data, and built in Peer Exchange are some of the features which enable Transmission to download your files as quickly as possible. All this is done in the background, without the user having to worry about complicated settings.

So, lets get started with transmission shall we, We will download the latest GNU/Linux Debian (Stable) CD ISO from the Internet. I already downloaded the torrent file of the first CD in my current directory. And installed transmission-cli package which provides the transmission-cli program on Debian Sid. This is a command-line only version of transmission, if you are interesting GUI version use the GTK version which is also available on Debian Sid or from the project page.

Here we launch the transmission with screen, the -p tells transmission to listen on port 25000. You can stop the program by pressing Ctrl+C .

screen -a -S 'Bittorrent' /usr/bin/transmission-cli -p 25000 debian-40r1-i386-CD-1.iso.torrent

Happy Torrenting !!!!

To learn about screen read the One minute Screen tutorial .


  1. Not a good idea, as the torrent might bring your webserver to its knees

    1. who said anything about a webserver?

    2. yeah if you dont limit it or have a rubbish web server.

  2. CAn I download torrent ( using CLI client ) data using magnet Link ?
    if yes thn how?

    Also I want my C program to know through when seeding for torrent started.

    1. yes, you can use a magnet link. Just use it instead of the .torrent file when calling the command.

    2. I'm running transmission as a daemon, and use the option to automaticly download new torrents when their .torrent files are added to a folder. What's the proper approach in this case to use magnet links?

    3. I have never tried running headless transmission with bittorrent magnet links.

      Perhaps information on these pages can be used to adapt and build a solution.

      Keep me posted.

    4. So it's called headless usage :) Good to know.

      The only solutions I found are from this thread in the transmission forums, requesting this as a base feature.

      One is a script that requires RTP to be enabled (which it isn't in my case), and the other requires an addon of some sort called Automatic, made to download torrents from RSS feeds (apparently a feature Āµtorrent has).

      Personally, I'll look into the second alternative before attempting to securely enable RTP.

    5. Sorry; I meant RPC, not RPT.

  3. Try setting up your bittorrent client as default application for magnet links in your mimeinfo.cache file.

    Some applications such as transmission lets you call a script when the downloading has finished. That should give you a clue :)


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