Skip to main content

Transmission Command-line Bit-torrent Programs

I was after a method of downloading and seeding bit-torrents exclusively from the command-line.

I tried aria2 but found it unreliable. I don't know if it was because I was doing something wrong but none of the torrent files I downloaded were not corrupted in some way.

And anyway I wanted something to run in the background.

I tried transmission-cli. Better results but again this was not something that just ran in the background.

So I installed a pair of related programs: transmission-daemon and transmission-remote.

The Daemon part of this program is exactly that, a daemon that runs, as all daemons do, in the background.

And the Remote part is a command-line program to control it.

The remote part is included in the transmission-cli package.


$ sudo apt-get install transmission-daemon transmission-cli

Will install them both on Debian or Debian derivatives. Although why you're running a derivative when you could run Debian I don't know.

The default installation of transmission-daemon is configured for the user it runs to be set to transmission and the password is also set to transmission.

And by default it is only possible to access the daemon and the management web page from the local machine (localhost).

This led to a tedious situation, any command entered to make transmission-remote do anything with the daemon meant this was the command-line:

$ transmission-remote localhost --auth transmission:transmission <command>

I don't want to have to type that in every time.

So I set up an alias in .bash_aliases:

alias trem='transmission-remote localhost --auth transmission:transmission'

Now I can just type:

$ trem <command>

For example, to add a torrent:

$ trem --add <torrent>

To list all the current torrents and their status:

$ trem --list

To remove and delete a torrent:

$ trem -tN --remove-and-delete

(where N is the number in the list returned by the --list command).

To start a torrent:

$ trem -tN --start

And to stop one:

trem -tN --stop

There are loads of other commands but these are the ones I use the most, and mostly --add and --list.

Note also that transmission will handle the magnet links found on the Pirate Bay download site.