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The Five Best Linux BitTorrent Clients

If you're new to Linux and looking for a great BitTorrent client, you're in luck. Linux has a fantastic variety of BitTorrent clients and we've picked out five of the best Linux BitTorrent clients you'll find today.

When many people talk about BitTorrent, they probably think of downloading movies and music — often with less than full and enthusiastic permission from the copyright owners of said entertainment. But there's a lot of legitimate torrenting to be done as well — especially on Linux. Most Linux distros distribute ISO images via BitTorrent — which is often faster for users as well as a lighter load on the projects that are distributing Linux.

What did I look at for BitTorrent clients? Basically, I was looking at ease of use, range of features, and the best tool for specific jobs. Some folks want to run BitTorrent as a desktop client, others want to run a Web-based client, others might want to just fire off a torrent from the command line. I also looked to make sure that each project is still under active development — sometimes a project is really good, but looks to be abandonware.

Having a good BitTorrent client is imperitive if you're a Linux user, especially if you're a distro-hopper like me. Which one is right depends on what you run and how you plan to use torrents. With that in mind, let's take a look at some of the best Linux BitTorrent clients available.

Transmission

One of the best cross-platform torrent clients you'll find is Transmission. It runs on Linux and Mac OS X, and has a native interface for Qt, GTK+, the command line, and Web interface.

But wait, there's more! Transmission also has a lot of third party tools that work with it, including Transdroid — a remote client for Android to control Transmission from your phone.

Most Linux distributions package Transmission, and it may even be installed by default. (I believe it is on openSUSE 11.4, for example.) If not, just search for "transmission" using your favorite package management tool or head over to the download page where you'll find native packages for everything from Ubuntu to Puppy Linux.

KTorrent

For KDE fans, there's Ktorrent, which is a full-featured torrent client that integrates deeply with the KDE platform.

Ktorrent has support for uTP, super-seeding, video streaming, and uses KDE's KParts for searching for torrents.

In short — if you're a KDE user, KTorrent should be at the top of your list to try. Like Transmission, most Linux distributions should package KTorrent — or you can download KTorrent source if you're looking for the very latest release.

µTorrent

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention µTorrent, which is an official torrent client from the BitTorrent folks.

The upsides? It's small, lightweight, and produced by the folks who started it all.

The downsides? It's not as well integrated with the Linux desktop, and it's not open source. So you're not going to be finding it packaged for most Linux distros. But it is a high-quality client, and it's worth looking at if open source isn't one of your main criteria. You can find downloads of µTorrent for 32-bit Linux on the µTorrent site.

rtorrent

If you're not into all that GUI stuff, then you may want to have a look at rtorrent, which is an ncurses client that uses the libtorrent library.

The focus for rtorrent is speed and simplicity. Unlike the GUI clients, you control everything via keybindings, and you don't need to be running X to make use of rtorrent. Now, other torrent clients may have a CLI version as well — but rtorrent is designed from the ground up for CLI use. This can be really useful if you need to script your torrenting, or if you want to use BitTorrent from your server instead of your desktop. (I find it may be much faster to grab an ISO on my server via BitTorrent, and then sftp it down than trying to do a straight HTTP or FTP download from overloaded servers.)

Most distros package rtorrent, though I don't see it in the openSUSE repos — but it is in Ubuntu. Check the rtorrent site for source code.

Miro

Miro is best-known for being a great video player for Linux. But there's more to Miro than may meet the eye!

Miro includes a built-in BitTorrent client so you can grab movies and music that's included in its content guide (when available as a torrent) right from Miro. That means not having to fiddle with a second application — and anything that's set up for BitTorrent RSS in Miro can just download automatically.

Miro probably isn't the best solution if you're going to be downloading a lot of ISO images, but it's great for fans of open media. If you haven't tried Miro yet, download Miro today and give it a shot.

Summary

Linux has plenty of BitTorrent clients to choose from. If you're a heavy torrent user, you might also want to check out the Firefox Torrent Finder Toolbar. Happy torrenting!

 

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  • res0r9lm Said:

    those aren't the 5 best. I really can't think of a worst linux client than utorrent

  • bitoolean Said:

    qBitTorrent is not even mentioned while the 3 most popular comparison reviews place it as a top choice (it is recommended among the best three with regard to features, user interface and weight).

  • brett Said:

    big ups, this client is sick; exactly what im looking for.

  • bitoolean Said:

    I like it best so far too and I'm using it now. It seems that trying to imitate the top Windows client on Linux was a very good idea :)

  • McLovin Said:

    I'm really not sure where you get your info, as the ONLY uTorrent client for linux, is a command line version, there IS NO GUI version of uTorrent for linux. Miro is really only good for podcasts, not general torrent downloading, there is no mention of qbittorent, (also "an official torrent client from the BitTorrent folks"), which is available in most distros repos, nor did you mention Deluge, or Vuze. To be perfectly honest, the only things that are even relevant or accurate, are Transmission, KTorrent, and rTorrent. I really have to be honest, I think you need to do a bit more research, and actually USE, or at least look at the application web sites, (it even says right on the uTorrent web site that there is no real version for linux), before you write an article on things.

  • Mike P Said:

    Sorry to say Mr. McLovin, but you are wrong................... Please read the link. http://ubuntuhandbook.org/index.php/2013/07/install-utorrent-on-linux-mint-15/ Mike in Germany

  • dave s Said:

    If you read the article properly, you will see that how you install the uTorrent SERVER, not CLIENT, to be able to control you have to use the web interface, that is not a proper torrenting CLIENT whichis what people are looking for. It's your own link, and you didn't even read the instrucctions to see that it install the command line server, as I stated in my last post, there is no uTorrent CLIENT for Linux. I do my research, I know what I am talking about, I was a main deveoper for LinuxMint, SolusOS, and was on the original team for Lubuntu, so I think I know a thing or two about Linux and what I'm talking about.

  • Wanderlustfl Said:

    Azureus/Vuze is even included with many distros, Linux Mint for example. Deluge is a very popular light client, - otherwise, the three most popular clients are in your list, Transmission, KTorrent, and rTorrent.... - I'd say you are pretty remiss for giving so much space to µTorrent while neglecting Vuze, and neglecting Bit Torrent, which does have a version for Linux too........ As for Miro, well others have said what I would have said .... I just can't understand why you overlooked Azureus/Vuze unless you have some kind of personal bias against it ?


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