June 13, 2008

3 BitTorrent Clients for Linux - Review

KTorrent 2.2.6
KTorrent is definitely the most full-featured BitTorrent client for KDE. It is complete by all means and highly configurable, offering, among many others: search capabilities (with the results opened in a new tab and the possibility to add custom search sites), the possibility to create torrent files, pause/resume torrent downloading, system tray integration, detailed information about the torrents it downloads, a queue manager, various useful plugins. KTorrent has come to be probably the most complete BitTorrent client out there, being also fast and having an option to use low CPU resources.

KTorrent downloading a torrent file - notice the interface which allows to see as many information as possible in a single window

Like most of the KDE applications, you can configure the shortcuts and control KTorrent through the system tray popup menu.

Preferences window in KTorrent

The Plugins tab

Currently the stable release for KDE 3.5.x is at version 2.2.7, while work is in progress at KTorrent 3.1 (release candidate 3.1rc1 is out). The official website offers a FAQ and a forum, so getting help won't be hard in case you really need it.

KTorrent opens searches in a new tab - you can customise and add new search sites if you like

KTorrent About window

Official KTorrent Website

Deluge 0.5.9.1
Deluge is a BitTorrent client made in GTK, coming with many features, being in my opinion KTorrent's counterpart in GNOME. It is expandable through many plugins, like search for torrents (but unfortunately it opens the results in a browser window instead of in the application itself), or the Create Torrent plugin.

Deluge usual instance

Deluge preferences

The interface is a little inconsistent, meaning some widgets change their size depending on the text inside them. When this changes, it can get a little annoying. It also has system tray integration, can display detailed information about the torrents, it has options to limit bandwidth for upload/download speeds, if you really, really need it. Deluge is probably the best BitTorrent client for GNOME.

The About window

Official Deluge Website

Transmission 1.06
Transmission is a light client written in GTK. It doesn't feature as many options as KTorrent or Deluge, but it's lighter and has a simple interface. Some of the highlights: ability to pause/resume downloads, system tray integration, bandwidth limiting settings, detailed information about the torrents it downloads. A small, yet enough powerful client for GNOME.

Main window - Transmission

Detailed information about the torrents

Transmission features only basic configuration options

The About dialogue

Official Transmission Website

Conclusion
All the three clients do what they are supposed to do: download torrents. If I am to recommend a single one, I'd go for KTorrent, but Deluge is a very good and powerful client as well. Actually, this just might be a matter of taste. If you like more GNOME applications, go with Deluge, if you are a KDE fan, than KTorrent is definitely for you. If you are looking for something lighter and with a somewhat cleaner interface, then Transmission might be just the right choice.

Note: Full reviews for KTorrent and Deluge can be found here and here.

Updated: Jun 14, 2008 (Created: Jun 13, 2008)

9 comments:

Gotham said...

Azureus is a very good client missing here. It's writen in Java so it runs on Linux too and integrates very well with the desktop. All features found in KTorrent are present in Azureus with a lot of more useful features, includign plug-ins for auto-speed regulation, statistics, and many more.

Dan Craciun said...

I was thinking to include it but the version in Debian Lenny is currently broken. Eventually I'll make a review for it alone in the near future. I know it's not Azureus which I missed only, but there are way too many clients out there (including CLI) to review all of them.

Dave said...

well, the best (not only) BT client out there is FatRat (by far), imo.

Dan Craciun said...

Can you provide a link please? I can't find it in the repositories nor on Google.

Dan Craciun said...

Never mind, I found it here. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll have a look at it.

Anonymous said...

Transmission is up to version 1.22.

Johannes said...

just wanted to mention a nice commandline client: rtorrent.
Really good if you need a to controll your torrents over the net just start it in a screen session and ssh into the box from the outside.

jinzo said...

You know, Transmission is allready at 1.22 - so you testeds a raither old version. That's by itself a fact that T is devolping quickly :)

Anonymous said...

Azureus is now known as "VUZE". This client is probably the best torrent/multimedia portal I've ever used. With tons of channels of streaming video, instant access search for torrents via multiple (and customizable) torrent sites, as well as the Azureus underpinnings, when I look at other torrent managers, they seem archaic and limited.

The latest versions (3.xx) are much easier on cpu and ram than older iterations of this client.

Also when watching peers, I see more Azureus clients than ANY OTHER by a huge margin.

So it surprises me that the clients you choose to review here are a tiny minority compared to Az/Vuze.