Top 10 torrent clients for linux

Two years ago I wrote an article about the best 5 torrent clients for linux. In the open-source world, two years means a lot of time. So, here it is an updated and enlarged list :

GUI torrent clients:

1)  Deluge

Deluge is a full-featured BitTorrent client written in python, for Linux, OS X, Unix and Windows. It uses  libtorrent in it’s backend and features multiple user-interfaces including: GTK+, web and console. It has been designed using the client server model with a daemon process that handles all the bittorrent activity. The Deluge daemon is able to run on headless machines with the user-interfaces being able to connect remotely from any platform.

[Homepage] [Download]

  • Written in: Python & C++
  • Library: libtorrent (Rasterbar version)
  • Last release: 1.3.0  2010/09/13
  • Interface: GUI (GTK),  Web, CLI, Daemon
  • Encryption: Yes
  • Mainline DHT: Yes
  • Magnet link: Yes
  • Peer Exchange: Yes
  • UPnP: Yes
  • NAT: Yes
  • Local Peer Discovery: Yes
  • IPv6 support: Yes
  • Super Seeding: No
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • Search engine: Yes
  • RSS: Yes (via plugin)
  • Remote control: Yes
  • Prioritization: Yes
  • Proxy: Yes

2) KTorrent

KTorrent is a BitTorrent client written in C++ for KDE using the Qt user interface toolkit. It can be considered the most powerful BitTorrent client for KDE. It is the alternative of  Deluge for KDE.

[Homepage] [Download]

  • Written in: C++
  • Library: libktorrent
  • Last release: 4.0.3 2010/08/30
  • Interface: GUI(Qt),Web,CLI (poor)
  • Encryption: Yes
  • Mainline DHT: Yes
  • Magnet link: Yes
  • Peer Exchange: Yes
  • UPnP: Yes
  • NAT: Yes
  • Local Peer Discovery: Poor
  • IPv6 support: Yes
  • Super Seeding: No
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • Search engine: Yes
  • RSS: Yes
  • Remote control: Yes
  • Prioritization: Yes
  • Proxy: Yes

3) Transmission

Transmission is designed to for easy, powerful use. It  Just Work and it only takes a few clicks to configure advanced features like watch directories, bad peer blocklists, and the web interface. Transmission has the lowest memory footprint of any major BitTorrent client.

Transmission is also available as a daemon , which is ideal for server installations without X, nas, etc. It can be controlled by web or terminal client.

[Homepage] [Download]

  • Written in: C++
  • Library:
  • Last release: 2.04 2010/08/06
  • Interface: GUI (GTK,Qt,Mac),CLI,Web
  • Encryption: Yes
  • Mainline DHT: Yes
  • Magnet link: Yes
  • Peer Exchange: Yes
  • UPnP: Yes
  • NAT: Yes
  • Local Peer Discovery: Yes
  • IPv6 support: Yes
  • Super Seeding: No
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • Search engine: No
  • RSS: No
  • Remote control: Yes
  • Prioritization: Yes
  • Proxy: Yes

4) Vuze (formerly Azureus)

From Vuze homepage: “the most powerful bittorrent app on earth” . The true it’s that Vuze (formerly Azureus) can be declared as the most future rich torrent client for Linux. You can search, browse, download, share torrents and playback HD files.  All this with a cost: being a Java based app, it is a system resource hogger.

[Homepage] [Download]

  • Written in: Java
  • Based on: —
  • Last release: 4.5  2010/08/05
  • Interface: GUI(Java), CLI(poor), web
  • Encryption: Yes
  • Mainline DHT: Yes
  • Magnet link: Yes
  • Peer Exchange: Yes
  • UPnP: Yes
  • NAT: Yes
  • Local Peer Discovery: No
  • IPv6 support: Yes
  • Super Seeding: Yes
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • Search engine: Yes (best)
  • RSS: Yes
  • Remote control: Yes (via plugin)
  • Prioritization: Yes
  • Proxy: Yes

5) QBitTorrent

The qBittorrent project aims to provide a Free Software alternative to µtorrent.

UPDATE: My favorite client now. I warmly recommend it.

[Homepage] [Download]

  • Written in: C++
  • Based on: libtorrent (Rasterbar)
  • Last release: 2.4.0 2010/08/24
  • Interface: GUI(Qt), CLI(poor), Web
  • Encryption: Yes
  • Mainline DHT: Yes
  • Magnet link: Yes
  • Peer Exchange: Yes
  • UPnP: Yes
  • NAT: Yes
  • Local Peer Discovery: Yes
  • IPv6 support: Yes
  • Super Seeding: Yes
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • Search engine: Yes
  • RSS: Yes
  • Remote control: Yes
  • Prioritization: Yes
  • Proxy: No

6) BitStormLite

BitStormLite is a BitTorrent Client based on c++/gtk+2.0. It is an alternative to the classical bittorrent client for GNOME.  The difference is that it permits to make selective downloads .  Eric has a very nice article about why should someone use this client.

[Homepage] [Download]

  • Written in: C++
  • Library:
  • Last release: 0.2q 2010/01/17
  • Interface: GUI(GTK)
  • Encryption: No
  • Mainline DHT: No
  • Magnet link: No
  • Peer Exchange: No
  • UPnP: No
  • NAT: No
  • Local Peer Discovery: No
  • IPv6 support: No
  • Super Seeding: No
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • Search engine: Of course not
  • RSS: No
  • Remote control: No
  • Prioritization: No
  • Proxy: No

Console (ncurse) torrent clients:

7) rtorrent

rTorrent is a text-based ncurses BitTorrent client libTorrent library written in C++ for *nix, with a focus on high performance and good code. The library differentiates itself from other implementations by transfering directly from file pages to the network stack. On high-bandwidth connections it is able to seed at 3 times the speed of the official client.

It comes with every feature most of the clients have but, unlike those, it has very low resource requirements. It’s probably the best torrent client for Linux.       [Homepage] [Download]
For an excellent article about how to use rtorrent read kmandla’s post.
UPDATE:  If you are not comfortable with the command line, you could use some of the GUI clients created for rtorrent (check ntoreent) or a web based frontend (check this list for reference).
  • Written in: C++
  • Library: libtorrent(Rakshasa)
  • Last release: 0.8 2009/11/30
  • Interface: CLI
  • Encryption: Yes
  • Mainline DHT: Yes
  • Magnet link: Yes
  • Peer Exchange: Yes
  • UPnP: No
  • NAT: No
  • Local Peer Discovery: No
  • IPv6 support: No
  • Super Seeding: Yes
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • Search engine: No
  • RSS: Yes (third party)
  • Remote control: Yes
  • Prioritization: Yes
  • Proxy: No

8 ) ctorrent

CTorrent is a BitTorrent client implemented in C++ to be lightweight and quick.      [Homepage] [Download]
  • Written in: C++
  • Library: —
  • Last release: 3.3.2  2008/06/15
  • Interface: CLI
  • Encryption: Yes
  • Mainline DHT: ?
  • Magnet link:Yes
  • Peer Exchange: ?
  • UPnP:No
  • NAT: No
  • Local Peer Discovery:No
  • IPv6 support:No
  • Super Seeding: No
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • RSS:No
  • Remote control: ?
  • Prioritization: ?
  • Proxy: No

9) aria2

aria2 is a lightweight multi-protocol & multi-source, cross platform download utility operated in command-line. It supports HTTP/HTTPS, FTP, BitTorrent and Metalink.   aria2 has two distinctive features: (1) aria2 can download a file from several URIs(HTTP(S)/FTP/BitTorrent) and (2) If you give aria2 a list of URIs, aria2 downloads them concurrently. You don’t have to wait for the current download queue to finish one file at a time anymore. aria2 tries to utilize your maximum download bandwidth and downloads files quickly.

[Homepage] [Download]

  • Written in: C++
  • library:
  • Last release: 1.10.2 2010/08/31
  • Interface: CLI, Web
  • Encryption: Yes
  • Mainline DHT: Yes
  • Magnet link: Yes
  • Peer Exchange: Yes
  • UPnP: No
  • NAT: No
  • Local Peer Discovery: Yes
  • IPv6 support: Yes (poor)
  • Super Seeding: No
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • RSS: No
  • Remote control:Yes
  • Prioritization: No
  • Proxy: No

Web-based torrent client:

10) torrentflux

TorrentFlux is a web-based system for managing bit torrent file transfers. It is an open source package (GPL) and developed for Linux, Unix & BSD platforms on the ubiquitous LAMP stack.

[Homepage] [Download]

  • Written in: C++
  • Library: BitTornado
  • Last release: 2.4 2008/06/18
  • Interface: Web
  • Encryption: Yes
  • Mainline DHT: No
  • Magnet link: No
  • Peer Exchange: No
  • UPnP: Yes
  • NAT: No
  • Local Peer Discovery: No
  • IPv6 support: No
  • Super Seeding: Yes
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • Search engine: Yes
  • RSS: Yes
  • Remote control: Yes
  • Prioritization: Yes
  • Proxy: No
And a little bonus:

11) OneSwarm

OneSwarm is a new peer-to-peer tool that provides users with explicit control over their privacy by letting them determine how data is shared. Instead of sharing data indiscriminately, data shared with OneSwarm can be made public, it can be shared with friends, shared with some friends but not others, and so forth. We call this friend-to-friend (F2F) data sharing.

[Homepage] [Download]

  • Written in: Java
  • Library: Azureus
  • Last release: 10.4 2010/08/17
  • Interface: GUI(Java),Web
  • Encryption:Yes
  • Mainline DHT:Yes
  • Magnet link:Yes
  • Peer Exchange: Yes
  • UPnP: Yes
  • NAT: Yes
  • Local Peer Discovery: No
  • IPv6 support: Yes
  • Super Seeding: Yes
  • Selective downloads: Yes
  • Search engine: No
  • RSS: No
  • Remote control: No
  • Prioritization: Yes
  • Proxy: No

I’m using rtorrent and sometimes, Transmission. What client do you use? Feel free to comment…

40 thoughts on “Top 10 torrent clients for linux

  1. I like deluge better than transmission because in my tests, it downloads quite a bit faster. For me, the best option are speed of download & encryption. The BEST that I’ve seen for those two features is utorrent running in wine. I know, it is NOT a linux bitorrent client, but when I’ve run it, it downloads faster than deluge, often quite a bit faster. So that is what I use. I’m about function, where there’s a linux client that can match utorrent, I’ll drop it. But for now, it’s utorrent for me.

    1. Speaking of speed, did you try rtorrent? From my experience, it’s the fastest out there. If you are not comfortable with command line, you could use some of the GUI clients created for it (for example ntorrent-http://code.google.com/p/ntorrent/). Give it a try😉

  2. On my VPS running Ubuntu 10.04 (lucid), ive tried out most of the above.

    Transmission – was working fine before, very good. Now it keeps crashing, sigh.

    Rtorrent – very good when combined with rutorrent; but crashes once in a while as well.

    Qbittorrent – What im currently using. Pretty good overall; just that it’s lacking a few features i need (and even transmission has)

    Utorrent on wine – Watch folder doesn’t work. Was forced to delete it😦

    Ktorrent & vuze – haven’t tried em yet as im scared of their bulky footprint on my small ram – 512mb.

    I’ll probably try out Deluge next.

    All in all, all the ones i’ve tried have been good, I’ve just been really unlucky >.<

  3. I’m a dual booter, booting Win7 and Linux Mint. I also have a Debian server and just recently installed the transmission-daemon on it. Using Transmission Remote GUI from both Win and Linux is a breeze. Google Chrome also has a very handy add on called Remote Transmission.
    I’ve been very happy with it so far, and this is coming from a uTorrent user…

  4. I have Ubuntu and Kubuntu installed both, and switch between them when I feel like it.
    I like KTorrent, but it is not for Ubuntu. Transmission is so basic IMHO.

      1. Simply because I don’t use Torrent very often, an too lazy to install new client…. 8-))))))))
        Then, torrent usually runs in mode “start and forget”. I don’t care which icon to click to run it. It will be in some far desktop soon after.
        The simplicity only matters when I start analysing the torrent traffic. But that rarely occurs.

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  7. the list is impressive. i have a dual boot configuration with windows and linux. there is no denying the fact that utorrent is the best torrent client on the windows machine. but i’ve noticed that there is a lot of wasted data when using utorrent. for example if i download a 700 mb file in utorrent, i ended up downloading about 1.5gb of data. it is a pain in the …, wastage of time,money and bandwidth. i don’t know if anybody out there has experienced the same. transmission is no hassles, easy torrent client,but after trying many out there, i finally ended up using deluge on linux for quite some time now. it gives you total control on every aspect. the wasted data has also reduced drastically…about 80-90%. for torrents i’d say go for deluge, you wont be disappointed.

  8. I’m a huge fan of libtorrent (rasterbar), which is why I’m using qBittorrent and probably switching to Deluge. I’m looking for a CLI rasterbar client but unfortunately, there’s none:/

  9. Well, i used a Vuze due an easy GUI interface even that consume a memory too much. Right now, Vuze is my favorite torrent software

    That’s all from me.

  10. Well, i am using a Vuze due an easy GUI interface but it consume a memory too much for around 120 MB for 32-bit. Right now, Vuze is my favorite torrent software.

    That’s all from me.

  11. Great work! Very concise and summarized list, just what i was looking for. Thanks for doing all the research and sharing the knowledge with us! thanks! keep it up!

  12. Great Work! thanks for doing the research and sharing it with us!
    just what I was looking for, a concise summary of features and popular clients. Thanks again!

  13. I use cTorrent because I like its minimalism and it really fits in with both the Unix Philosophy and the goals of LXDE(My DE of choice). That said, anyone know how to open magnet links in cTorrent?

  14. IMO you should mention transmission is also available as transmission-daemon , which is a perfect for server installations without X or remote boxes , nas or even routers with an attached HD. The target audience is so different than transmission for linux desktop installations that it could even be listed separately . On ubuntu it’s installed using “apt-get install transmission-daemon” and configured with the
    “/etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json” file. (don’t edit the file while the daemon is running)

    It is mainly accessed through web and is very compact.

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