Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Transmission BitTorrent Client - Lightweight Alternative to Deluge

Transmission is a lightweight BitTorrent client built in GTK, with a clean and simple interface. Although most people prefer more popular clients like Vuze, Deluge or KTorrent, Transmission incorporates all the major features one needs for downloading torrents and can prove a very good alternative to those, especially if you don't need all those whistles and bells.

Running in Ubuntu 9.04

Transmission comes with an intuitive interface which doesn't stay in the way of the user. It's been stripped of all the bloated other clients may have, but still it features:
- various useful information about the currently downloading torrent (global activity, peers, trackers, files)
- speed limiting options for downloading and uploading
- creation of your own torrents
- web interface
- pause/resume downloading

Transmission will also allow to sort torrents by share ratio, progress, name, downloaded time etc. and it provides a minimal mode (accessible through Ctrl+M), which will display less information about torrents.

Showing torrent info

Although it has no integrated searching capabilities, it has an option to automatically add torrents from a specified directory, so the downloads can be started automatically when saving a torrent file with your browser to that specified folder.

Another nice feature are desktop notifications, and also the possibility to connect to trackers via a proxy.

Overall, Transmission is a really good recommendation if you don't need a bigger, more bloated client. It integrates very well with GNOME and is far more lighter than Deluge or Vuze. It will do its job very well without giving you any hassle.


FelipeC said...

People prefer other more popular clients? Transmission is the most popular, it's even the only one installed by default in some distros like Fedora.

FergatROn said...

I swear by Transmission BitTorrent. I used to use the bulky stuff, like KTorrent and Azurus (whatever it's called) - but I started to realize that I ONLY want an app that downloads/uploads the files I'm torrenting. I don't need all those other bells and whistles. KTorrent used to bog down my system and Azurus (Java app, so over time, it'll bog down the system too).

I'm running Fedora and I'm a strong advocate of lightweight torrent apps. Go Transmission!

Per said...

Same in ubuntu, transmission is the default. Never heard of deluge...

Anonymous said...

Transmission is awesome, but I prefer uTorrent under wine. It makes Transmission look like its running backwards.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing lighter and better than rtorrent. Plus rtorrent is CLI so you can leave it a screen session and access it from anywhere through ssh.


Chris Moore said...

Transmission does a good job at what it was designed for, but it has an important feature left out that is becoming essential maintaining a users privacy. I can't recommend transmission until it supports blocklists. AFAIK the lightest torrent client available that has blocklist support at this time is Deluge.


Anonymous said...

While Transmission is an excellent client, some people prefer the flexibility of Deluge. It's fairly easy to set up Deluge in a headless configuration where you run your torrents from a light weight server and manage them via a http interface, cli interface or via the GTK client app on another PC - perfect for 24/7 torrent serving. While I believe Transmission can be configured in a similar manner, I have found that Deluge has a perfect combination of advanced features without being particularly heavy. As for the client formally known as Azureus... well, that has become the epitome of bloatware - but to each his/her own I guess.

Mark said...

> There is nothing lighter and better than rtorrent. Plus rtorrent is CLI so you can leave it a screen session and access it from anywhere through ssh.

transmission-daemon uses less memory than rtorrent. Plus you can connect to it from a remote machine with a web client or curses client.

> I can't recommend transmission until it supports blocklists.

transmission supports blocklists and automatically updated blocklists.

Grant Wagner said...

Transmission also has a very handy CLI interface. One of the features I really like about Transmission is that it can also be run as a daemon with remote control, making something like screen unnecessary.

Anonymous said...

The latest versions of Transmission (1.7x) support mainline DHT, have bandwidth limiting and a scheduler to control it, which means there is nothing lacking in Transmission today that would make uTorrent on wine a better alternative unless you want to use uTCP for transport. There is no public specification for uTCP available yet and therefore must be considered as propietary technology until it is made available by Bittorrent Inc.

Anonymous said...

Some of you may be interested in a new Transmission Qt client which looks and feels like the GTK+ client, but can run either standalone, or to control a remote session of the command line transmission-daemon.

I've been running this client, presently called qtr and included in svn and in source tarball, for a few months now and I really like it. I usually run it in remote mode to control a transmission-daemon instance on the same host, but that daemon could be running anywhere. A big plus for me is that I can restart X on Ubuntu or Fedora without messing with the daemon, thus without messing with my running torrents. Resource use is negligible.

The qtr client does not interfere with the webui to the same instance of the daemon, and can be told to use the same settings.json configuration file as the GTK+ client. Presently qtr is an easy but separate build; instructions are in README in the /qt directory of the svn checkout for the project ( svn:// )

[I'm Lacrocivious Acrophosist at, and I hang out in the freenode #transmission channel, but I'm not a dev, just a user. I'm also not participating in any of the venues you've chosen that would allow me to post non-anonymously.]

Anonymous said...

Granted, Transmission is good for just about anything torrent-based, although I prefer Deluge since it can handle UDP torrents where transmission isn't able to.

Anonymous said...

"Granted, Transmission is good for just about anything torrent-based,..."

Agreed. On the other hand Deluge is a great client if your needs go beyond those of a casual user like, say, using one of the few UDP trackers out there, The Pirate Bay? :-)

BTW, the protocol name is uTP (I always mix up all those acronyms, meh). An unfortunate choice of name as there are at least two network protocols invented (ar at least publicized) first also called uTP and also derived from UDP. I suppose BT Inc. can argue the actual name is µTP...

Anonymous said...

For the sake of completeness. The uTP protocol is finally open and in the public domain. The first draft of the protocol is located at:

Anonymous said...

Hmmm... I just noticed the link to the first draft of the uTP didn't paste correctly (came up as first result in a google search I just made so I better fix it).

(same Vorbote as the one above, different openid provider).