Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Overview: 5 BitTorrent Clients for Linux

Today I will continue the series of GUI applications reviews with 5 clients for the BitTorrent protocol. For those who want to read the previous articles in these series, here are the links:

14 Most Popular Text Editors for Linux
10 File Managers for Linux
12 Popular Audio Players for Linux - An Overview
8 Image Viewers for Ubuntu
5 Best Applications to Rip and Transcode DVDs in Linux

In this article I will leave command-line clients like rtorrent or ctorrent for some other time, focusing on KTorrent, Deluge, Transmission, Vuze and QBitTorrent.

In my opinion, Deluge is KTorrent's counterpart for the GNOME environment. Written in GTK+2, Deluge offers all the features which a BitTorrent client should have: possibility to download only certain files in torrents, the ability to create your own torrents, lots of torrent information, queue manager and much more. Probably the most powerful and popular client for GNOME, so if you haven't tried it yet, give it a go! I wrote a full review here.

Deluge 1.1.6

KTorrent is the most powerful BitTorrent client for both KDE3 and KDE4, offering advanced configuration options, plenty of features and a wealth of useful plugins, like the Search plugin which will allow you to search for torrents directly from within KTorrent. Here is the full review of the latest release, KTorrent 3.2.1.

KTorrent 3.2.1

Yet another GTK client for BitTorrent, Transmission offers a simple interface. I remember I tried Transmission almost an year ago, and it was a rather basic client, but this changed with the latest releases. It really is a good alternative to the more popular Deluge.

Transmission 1.51

Built using the Qt4 toolkit, QBitTorrent's goal is to be lightweight, with a simple interface and ease of use, but also to offer powerful features in the same time. Among all the usual features, QBitTorrent also comes with support for trackerless torrents, a download queue, web interface, or tray integration (with the possibility to start it minimised to tray). You can also search for torrents directly from within the application, and by default it offers five default sites with the possibility to install new ones.

qBitTorrent 1.3.1

Written in Java and formerly known as Azureus, Vuze is a powerful, cross-platform BitTorrent client which comes with a futuristic interface and plenty features. It uses tabs for all of its operations, including configuring it, and when it starts it will focus a dashboard, showing recent activity and updates. Vuze also comes with integrated search for torrents and a large number of cool plugins, and everything is integrated into a futuristic, eye-appealing interface. However I found it to be the slowest of all the five clients.



Anonymous said...

I've used most of them and Transmission(v1.51+) is the best by far. Deluge has too many weird bugs. Vuze (Azureus) is java-based meaning slow and resource hungry. And no I'm not being paid to endorse it.:)


Anonymous said...

gui smewy, do you really need a gui to download a torrent? RTorrent is king.

Debian Rocks! said...

And the winners are:

- With GUI: Ktorrent

- W/o GUI: rTorrent


Anonymous said...

Rtorrent, light, CLI which is handy for SSH, supremely optimized and low impact so you can always leave it running serving up distros and never notice that it's running other than how much bandwidth you allow it to use.

Freeman said...

Best on NAS device (no GUI): transmission-daemon, deluged, btg

Jason said...

uTorrent running with WINE also works quite well, and it is a tiny little program.

Francisco Costa said...

deluge for the winners!

Anonymous said...

I was running uT with wine until I came across Tixati. WAY better. They've got both native Linux/GTK and a Windows version, and the GUI is freakin' amazing, very intuitive.

Valczir said...

I think it's very important to note that both Deluge and Transmission use a daemon-client model. Also, Transmission is not exclusively GTK - in fact, I don't have the GTK interface installed on my gentoo box. I do, however, have a QT4 interface installed for it.

Anyway, with the daemon-client model, there is a background process (daemon) running at all times (assuming that you chose to start it - I believe that both clients also allow you to download torrents without connecting to a daemon), with zero output to the user. I find this extremely convenient, since I really don't want to be monitoring my torrents at all times, and it also helps a great deal with resource consumption.

Both of them also support a web interface, so I can go to http://computername:9091/transmission/web to mess with my torrents. Transmission's web UI is better looking and easier to set up, but doesn't offer as many options as deluge's web UI.

Of the two, it seems like Transmission has the better daemon, and Transmission also has a qt4 GUI, making it a fair bit better than Deluge in my opinion. But that's just my opinion.