Bittorrent clients for Linux

There are many bittorrent clients available for Linux; here are my observations on those that I’ve tried.

When trying bittorrent clients, features I look for include:

  • Lightweight core with optional plugins to avoid needless bloat
  • Capable of running on old, slow hardware, and not tied to overweight dependencies
  • Able to block harmful clients like BitComet and BitLord
  • Capable of scheduled speed limits (e.g. unlimited in the middle of the night and limited during office hours)
  • Open source

Aria2: Command line client.

Bitstormlite: GTK. Development code that works well but is not yet polished for typical end users. Very lightweight and has great potential. No apparent way to ban peers. On my system using Xfce, does not minimize to system tray.

BitTornado: Somewhat clumsy GUI. No apparent way to ban peers. On my system using Xfce, does not minimize to system tray. No apparent way to easily resume partially downloaded torrents upon closing and reopening BitTornado.

BitTorrent (official client): Easy to use, attractive. No apparent way to view or ban peers. On my system using Xfce, does not minimize to system tray.

Ctorrent: Command line client.

Deluge: GTK. Cross platform: Linux, Mac, Windows. Lightweight and easy to use; a previous favorite of mine. Daemon can run without the GUI. Can use IP block lists but no apparent way to ban a particular peer. Speed limits available and are easily changed, but cannot be scheduled. On my system, hibernating while Deluge is running and then turning the box back on results in a Deluge GUI that is running but cannot see its own torrents. Manually exiting and relaunching Deluge works around this glitch. I do not know if the issue is with Deluge or with my system.

Ktorrent: KDE. Easy to use, attractive, full featured. Highly configurable scheduled speed limits. Can manually ban peers, and can automatically ban by IP although not by client. If I were a KDE user, this is what I would use. Its per-user cache can easily fill your backup medium; to avoid this, add ~/.kde/share/apps/ktorrent/tor* to your backup solution’s list of ignored directories.

Miro: QT. If all you need is a lightweight bittorrent client, this all-in-one “Internet TV” client would be overkill.

Opera: Cross platform: BSD, Linux, Mac, Windows (including as a Portable App). Bittorrent client integrated into the web browser. No bells or whistles, but dead simple to use.

Transmission: GTK, QT, web UI, daemon. Cross platform: BSD, Linux, Mac. Simple scheduled speed limit configuration. No apparent way to ban peers.

qBittorrent: QT, web UI. Cross platform: Linux, Windows (including as a Portable App). Attractive, easy to use, full-featured. It’s my preferred client on Linux and Windows.

Rtorrent: Curses client.

Vuze (formerly Azureus): Java. All-in-one “open entertainment platform”. Not entirely GPL, so if you want an all-in-one client, consider Miro. No apparent way to see or ban peers. Frequently criticized for requiring excessive system resources.

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About Warren Post

So far: Customer support guy, jungle guide, IT consultant, beach bum, entrepreneur, teacher, diplomat, over-enthusiastic cyclist. Tomorrow: who knows?
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2 Responses to Bittorrent clients for Linux

  1. Pingback: Using qBittorrent | A maze of twisty little passages

  2. Pingback: Using Transmission | A maze of twisty little passages

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