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What would people recommend as a free (as in freedom) BitTorrent client on Linux? Wikipedia has a Comparison of BitTorrent clients. For the record, I'm currently using QBittorrent, which I'm quite satisfied with, as of recent versions, which are nicely featured and stable. I'm currently running 2.6.7 on Debian Squeeze. The version on lenny (1.1) was a bit dodgy, but the project was quite young then.

However, it does not hurt to learn what else is out there. I'm quite partial to Python software, if any Python BitTorrent clients exist. QBittorrent is written in C++. Many of the most popular BitTorrent clients are proprietary, judging by the Wikipedia page.

EDIT: Thanks for all the recommendations. If the recommenders would like to explain why they like their preferred clients, I'd be happy to hear it. I know very little about what makes a bittorrent client good and would be glad to be educated. Also it would be nice if something could be said about Linux distribution support and possibly other OS's like FreeBSD and OS X, though I only use Debian and am unlikely to change.

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    The reference bittorrent implementation is written in Python, by the way.
    – mattdm
    Mar 10, 2011 at 13:54
  • @mattdm: Yes, I used to use something called btdownloadcurses which is in the bittorrent package in Debian. I gave up using it since it seemed to error out rather frequently. I forget the error message, but it couldn't connect to the tracker or something. I never did figure out what the problem was. Qbittorrent for example does not have that problem. Mar 10, 2011 at 15:23
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    Welcome to Stack Exchange. “What's your favorite” (bittorrent client) questions are not welcome, because the answers tend not to be useful (everyone's criteria are different). On the other hand, if there's something specific you want in a bittorrent client, “What's a bittorrent client that has feature X” would be a fine question. Mar 10, 2011 at 19:53
  • @Gilles: I've been using SE for a while, but thanks for the welcome anyway.:-) I admit this was not the best posed question. I may have meant something like - what are the good features of bittorrent clients that I don't know about and should? Though this not much clearer. The vagueness of this question is reflected in the fact that I don't know which answer to select, though judging by upvotes Transmission, or possibly Vuze is popular. However, I've learnt some interesting things from these answers. Mar 12, 2011 at 20:07
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    @FaheemMitha I second what Gilles said. This kind of question is for a forum. Also, the collocation of words 'on Linux' is about as musical as a shoe stepping in very wet mud. Try 'in KDE', 'X-based', 'console-based' or 'in GNOME.' Or, better yet, just use 'apt-cache search' next time you deign to open a terminal window.
    – ixtmixilix
    Dec 29, 2011 at 15:07

8 Answers 8

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rTorrent is quite good as well. It's CLI based client. But has great features.

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For me it is Transmission, simple, light and fast. But if you want a more friendly UI, you can check Vuze.

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  • Thanks. The Wikipedia page must be out of date or something. It lists Vuze as proprietary (or partially proprietary), but it is in Debian main. Mar 10, 2011 at 13:58
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    If you're using debian main, try transmission-daemon and use transgui as the frontend. As I spend a great deal of time physically away from my home system I find it pretty useful to have the download agent accessible via commandline when I need it.
    – Shadur
    Mar 10, 2011 at 14:04
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    I'm surprised there anything simpler than Transmission. (disclaimer: I've never used anything else)
    – tshepang
    Mar 10, 2011 at 14:36
  • Transmission also has a great web client UI, including a mobile version.
    – jwaddell
    Mar 10, 2011 at 21:33
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I'd personally concur with @sahid's recommendation of transmission, but if your heart is absolutely set on a python application then Deluge is more than worth a try.

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  • I'm also using deluge. It has a nice UI with a good deal of features. The Blocklist plugin that comes by default is also convenient. Haven't been looking for anything else.
    – phunehehe
    Mar 10, 2011 at 14:46
  • I <3 deluge's web UI
    – n0pe
    Feb 3, 2012 at 1:52
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I've used ktorrent, and been quite happy with it.

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QBittorrent is the only one I know of which offers a built in tracker ...
ie. if you want to personally use bittorrent to share a file amongst a known group and not make it a public torrent. you can become the tracker... And of course, it is a normal bittorrent client also.. The buitlt-in tracker is simply a secondary feature.

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For the next generation of decentralized torrent software, check out tribler. Oh, and yes, it's Python :)

+1 for rTorrent and Transmission, too, depending on your use case.

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  • Would you care to elaborate on what decentralized torrent software is and how it is different from regular BitTorrent clients? I thought BitTorrent was decentralized by definition. I looked at the Tribler FAQ. They have tribler.org/trac/wiki/faq#WhatmakesTriblerdifferentfromothers but it didn't mean much to me. Mar 10, 2011 at 15:27
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    @Faheem: the significant difference is that you don't need trackers (though Tribler can make use of them) -- you can source content directly from other users. This means, amongst other things, that there is no need for sites like thepiratebay.org, which can be taken down, compromised, or have legal action brought against them, etc.
    – simon
    Mar 10, 2011 at 15:38
  • I see from Wikipedia on Trackerless Torrents, also en.wikipedia.org/wiki/…, that other clients have this feature too, presumably using Distributed Hash Tables. What makes Tribler different, if anything? Mar 13, 2011 at 8:11
  • Also, does this mean that clients with this distributed feature can function when clients without would not be able to, in cases where the tracker is missing or unusable? Thanks. Mar 13, 2011 at 8:20
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In my opinion μTorrent is the best client available. It has now made its way to Linux. For an installation guide, go to:

http://lessthanhightech.weebly.com/utorrent-on-linux-seedbox.html

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For spot usages I've found Deluge very good. If you plan to have a remote machine I'll suggest azureus (vuze) with the http remote interface. Very simple, intuitive, stable and gets the job done.

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  • What do you mean by spot usage? A BT client running on your local machine? Mar 26, 2011 at 13:06
  • @Faheem: I mean that if you just need to download a torrent once in a while you can use Deluge but if you plan to have a PC downloading and serving torrents for a long period something like azureus with bandwith plugins, remote http interface is a good choice.
    – Terenzio
    Apr 14, 2011 at 12:12
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    Any reasons to prefer azureus over transmission? I've found that transmission provides at least most of the features that people look for in azureus, at about 1/10 of the memory usage.
    – intuited
    Apr 23, 2011 at 12:12

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