I recently switched from Ubuntu to Arch Linux and am in the process of bringing my Arch system up to full functionality. A Linux torrent client, which is becoming a more popular method of downloading, is an essential tool in any Linux user’s system. Because decentralised download sources distribute resource use among users rather than putting all of the burdens on a server somewhere.
For example, when downloading new Linux.iso files to test, I prefer to do so via torrent rather than through my web browser.
In terms of functionality, all Linux torrent clients are essentially the same. They all download specified torrents to the directory you specify. There isn’t much variety here, and there isn’t much to discuss. The only real distinctions between them are minor differences in user interfaces, which we’ll look at here. Transmission, Deluge, qBittorrent, and Vuze are the torrent clients I’ll be comparing here.
Here are the system specs that were used as a reference:
4 Linux Torrent Clients
Transmission is installed by default on Ubuntu, but there is a GTK version for Arch available. Transmission has the most basic, bare-bones user interface of our chosen group of Linux torrent clients, and most torrent clients in general. You can open a torrent file or a magnet link, choose the destination folder, and that’s all there is to it. Transmission is worth a look if you enjoy a minimalistic, barebones approach.
Deluge, my personal favourite, comes next, which is a little less stripped-down than Transmission. The Deluge interface displays a bit more information by default, and the GTK theme appears to fit much better on my system than it did on Transmission. The main window displays torrents that are currently downloading or seeding, the left panel displays the various download states (queued, downloading, seeding, etc.), and the bottom panel displays additional statistical information (download speed, seeders, etc.). Deluge provides only what you require, nothing more and nothing less. It also runs on Python, so it could be modified by anyone who knows how to code in Python.
With a few exceptions, qBittorrent resembles Deluge in appearance. The functionality is nearly identical. It, like the previously mentioned torrent clients, can be themed with GTK and provides all of the same functionality as any other Linux torrent client. Which UI works best for you is really a matter of personal preference.
Vuze, formerly known as Azureus, is the final character. This was the first torrent client I learned to use on Windows, and I used it for years before discovering more lightweight alternatives. Vuze has some intriguing features, such as a built-in media server, but I find it a little too heavy and bloated for my liking. Anything in the Content Discovery section, for example, the Vuze StudioHD Network. Is anyone actually using it? I have never done so. But, as the saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” so don’t let my personal opinion deter you from giving it a shot. In my humble opinion, I prefer something more simple and minimalistic, with fewer unnecessary bells and whistles; and if you need a media server, Plex is a far better option.
I’d also like to review the uTorrent, FrostWire, and BitTorrent clients, but they don’t appear to be available on Arch Linux, despite the fact that I’m sure they are on other distros.
At the end of the day, as a Linux user, what really matters is what you like, not what anyone else tells you you should like. Try It And See™️, as one of the Arch Linux IRC chat’s popular sayings goes. The only way to find out what works best for you is to try it out for yourself and experiment. The beauty of Linux and open source software is the freedom to choose rather than being constrained by corporate behemoths.