I'm interested in a single command that would download the contents of a torrent (and perhaps participate as a seed following the download, until I stop it).

Usually, there is a torrent-client daemon which should be started separately beforehand, and a client to control (like transmission-remote).

But I'm looking for the simplicity of wget or curl: give one command, get the result after a while.

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    Something like aria2 e.g. aria2c http://somesite/somefile.torrent ? – don_crissti May 5 '15 at 12:10
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    You could use deluge-torrent.org. That command line beast has an amazing CLI UI, GUI and even a web-UI for you to control. – shivams May 6 '15 at 9:21
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    btdownloadcurses – ivanivan Oct 29 '17 at 15:04

Check out transmission-cli. The usage is as simple as running transmission-cli <torrent-file>, but you can obviously tune it to your needs with several options.

Just a side comment:

Actually you could use many other options, apart from transmission-cli and there will probably appear many other suggestions here (like deluge by Benjamin B. in the comments). I've read somewhere that any well-behaved program should be written so that it can be controlled via command line and the GUI is only an addition to that -- an interface to make the program easier or more convenient to use.

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  • I agree with your side comment. It's just a matter of finding a decent BitTorrent client and launching it's CLI (it should have one). Personally I use Deluge, but I see now point adding it as an answer. @Erathiel, you can include it if you wish. – Benjamin B. May 5 '15 at 13:44
  • @BenjaminB. I've included your suggestion, though my guess is we'd end up with a very long list if we wanted to list every torrent client that can be controlled via command line :) – Erathiel May 5 '15 at 15:18
  • Interesting comment on how programs should be command line controllable. That matches fairly closely the classical unix philosophies of doing one thing simply and well per program, though seems to be becoming less popular these days for better or worse. – Vality May 5 '15 at 16:48
  • Does transmission-cli keep seeding indefinitely, by default? And is it possible to supply some seeding ratio - after which it exits? – maxschlepzig Jul 13 '18 at 15:16


aria2c <torrentfile or magnet link>
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You can also try rtorrent and may be ctorrent which man page starts with:

ctorrent - Download bittorrent files from command line

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I gave a try to lftp:

lftp -c "torrent $1"

where $1 is the .torrent file.


lftp -e "torrent $1"

lftp -c must exit when the command is done (lftp -e leaves you in its command pronpt).

It also does seeding. (I don't know yet how seeding interacts with -c.)

Seeding after the command finished

This is actually done by lftp -c:

first, I started it. And the command finished after a while:

Name: lib.ru_2007-03-05.7z
dn:1.7G up:0 complete, ratio:0.000000
Seeding in background...
[15137] Moving to background to complete transfers...

Checking that it is still active (seeding) in the background:

$ ps x | fgrep lftp
 15137 ?        Ss     0:37 lftp -c torrent lib.ru_2007-03-05.7z.4fb7e98d43804eca.torrent
 67517 pts/3    S+     0:00 grep -F --color=auto lftp
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I just wrote tget - wget for torrents.

$ tget "magnet-link"

$ tget /path/to/ubuntu.torrent

To install, do npm install -g t-get or yarn global add t-get

More details - http://github.com/jeffjose/tget

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  • Ended up using this because I didn't have root access. An overly straightforward & simplified tool but does the job fine. – iSWORD 2 days ago

I know this post is old but I just stumbled on this today. I wrote something like this sometime back for kickasstorrents


Try this and let me know if

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My recommendation without installing anything (if you have node)

npx -p webtorrent-cli webtorrent download "magent:..."

It's will temporary download the webtorrent-cli pakcage, then execute the webtorretn commmand to download your torrent.

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