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How to Download Torrents on Linux

Torrent is a kind of downloading technique that makes the file available all over the internet very fast. In fact, it’s one of the best ways to download files for faster speed (in certain circumstances).  For Linux users, downloading torrent might seem a bit tricky, but it’s doable and easy.

What is a TORRENT file?

Let’s understand the torrent system. Torrent is a method of peer-to-peer file sharing. Here, every person can become a “leech” (downloader) and “seed” (the source of the file). A torrent file is a file that contains all the metadata of other certain files. To understand this, let’s take a look at the Ubuntu downloads.

Here, you’ll download a file of only 50KB. Obviously, this is not the Ubuntu ISO file. However, the short file contains the information that a torrent client will use to connect to a server, look for the “seed(s)” hosting the required file, send the data request to the specific “seed(s)” and ultimately, download the data. After you’ve completed the downloading, you’ll act as a “seed” and others will be able to receive the file from you.

TORRENT clients

For downloading files with torrent, you need a torrent client. There are several good torrent clients for Linux. The basics the of working method are same to all the software. Just choose your favorite one.

  • Deluge – A nice, clean & cross-platform torrent client available on Linux, Windows and Mac OS.
  • qBitTorrent – My most favorite torrent client. It’s the BitTorrent developed using Qt, thus the name qBitTorrent.
  • FrostWire – A really powerful torrent client packed with tons of features. It comes with a built-in media player and in-app file searching ability.
  • Transmission – It’s a default torrent client that comes up with most of the major Linux distros. It’s simple and useful.
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However, for the tutorial, I’ll be using qBitTorrent. Worry not, as the same procedure will work on any other torrent clients.

How to download TORRENT

At first, install your favorite torrent client. I’m using qBitTorrent.

  • Download a torrent file. I’ll be using Ubuntu 17.10.1 ISO torrent.

  • Start qBitTorrent.

  • Click on “Add Torrent” icon from the top bar.

  • Browse for the downloaded torrent file.

  • You’ll see several options. Click “OK”.

The torrent is added to your list. To start downloading, select the torrent and click “Resume”.

How to manage “magnet” links

There are other types of torrent files available known as “magnet” links. It’s a link that holds the core information of a torrent file. The torrent client uses the link’s information to download the torrent file and then, the original file.

If you have a magnet link to download, copy the link address.

  • Start qBitTorrent.
  • Click on “Add Torrent Link”.

  • Paste the link into the box and press “OK”. Don’t modify the link at all, or your torrent won’t work.

Torrent legality and ethics

Although torrent offers faster file spreading all over the world, it’s not the recommended system. Not all the files you download via torrent are legal and ethical. Torrent is an easier system for open-source projects to spread their products, but there are lots of pirate software floating in the torrent world. Moreover, downloading torrent from untrusted sources can inject nasty malware into your system.

That’s why try not to download any torrent file unless it’s from an authorized source and the file itself is free to distribute.

For Linux enthusiasts, thinking of Arch Linux is quite brave. Although it’s a higher-class Linux, it’s quite difficult by nature. However, thanks to the Linux community, there’s an awesome & user-friendly Linux distro named Antergos. Antergos is based on Arch Linux and targets to bring Arch even closer to everyone. Learn how to install Antergos.


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