I am having a question on GNU/Linux Debian 8.5 with transmission-daemon service.

I fail to see if there is a problem with how I set-up its log file. Because the log file does't grow (actually there's nothing).

First the manual:

-e --logfile  

Where to store transmission's log messages.


Show error messages


Show error and info messages


Show error, info, and debug messages

Now, I will tell you all changes I've made today step by step:

I edited the default config file, cat /etc/default/transmission-daemon:

# defaults for transmission-daemon
# sourced by /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon

# Change to 0 to disable daemon

# This directory stores some runtime information, like torrent files 
# and links to the config file, which itself can be found in 
# /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json

# Default options for daemon, see transmission-daemon(1) for more options
OPTIONS="--config-dir $CONFIG_DIR --logfile /raid5/transmission/transmission.log --log-debug"

# (optional) extra options to start-stop-daemon
#START_STOP_OPTIONS="--iosched idle --nicelevel 10"

Is it a permission problem?

ls -l /raid5/transmission/transmission.log
-rwxrwx--- 1 debian-transmission debian-transmission 0 Aug  2 16:06 /raid5/transmission/transmission.log

ls -ld /raid5/transmission/
drwxrwx--- 3 debian-transmission debian-transmission 4096 Aug  2 16:06 /raid5/transmission/

I added myself (vlastimil) to debian-transmission group, though I believe this allows me to access the data and has nothing to do with logging:

sudo usermod -a -G debian-transmission vlastimil

I changed the ownership of /raid5/transmission/, which, among other things, allows me to download new torrents:

chown -R debian-transmission:debian-transmission /raid5/transmission/

I granted all permissions, that could be needed:

chmod 770 /raid5/transmission/

While having stopped the service, I edited /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json to have umask = 2:

cat /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json | grep umask

"umask": 2,

And of course I restarted service:

service transmission-daemon restart

Downloading and uploading works fine now, just the log is empty :/ Any clues?

1 Answer 1


I had the same issue on Ubuntu 16.04.

I finally understood that the daemon is launched via systemd.

Edit this file:


And put these options there:

ExecStart=/usr/bin/transmission-daemon -f --log-debug --logfile /var/log/transmission.log

Afterwards, run:

systemctl daemon-reload
systemctl restart transmission-daemon

And it should be working fine now.

  • On my Ubuntu 16.04 this file is now located at /etc/systemd/system/multi-user.target.wants/transmission-daemon.service. Jun 20, 2018 at 11:11
  • 3
    /var/log is not accessible by debian-transmission for writing, so create a folder with suitable permissions for Transmission to be able to create the log file.
    – DustWolf
    Sep 13, 2018 at 10:10
  • 3
    One should not edit files in /lib odr /usr/lib. Systemd has a command for customizing unit files: systemctl edit --full transmission-daemon.service.
    – Bachsau
    Jul 22, 2020 at 19:35

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