There's a question on here about what torrent apps work well remotely, but I'm hoping to find out one that works well through a command line interface, preferably with no GUI.

What torrent apps would you recommend for running from the command line?

6 Answers 6


You should look at deluge. It is cross-platform, and is excellent as a headless app.

Deluge is a full-featured BitTorrent client for Linux, OS X, Unix and Windows. It uses libtorrent in it's backend and features multiple user-interfaces including: GTK+, web and console. It has been designed using the client server model with a daemon process that handles all the bittorrent activity. The Deluge daemon is able to run on headless machines with the user-interfaces being able to connect remotely from any platform.

Deluge features a rich plugin collection; in fact, most of Deluge's functionality is available in the form of plugins.

Deluge was created with the intention of being lightweight and unobtrusive. It is our belief that downloading shouldn't be the primary task on your computer and therefore shouldn't monopolize system resources.

Deluge is not designed for any one desktop environment and will work just fine in GNOME, KDE, XFCE and others. We do our best to adhere to the freedesktop standards.

I have the deluged daemon run as a service on boot, and also run a client on the same machine that hosts the web interface. I then use the web interface from all my systems.

  • I prefer rtorrent, but only because I'm very stingy with my memory and tend to get better performance out of it.
    – Rob
    Apr 10, 2012 at 22:10
  • If your application is fully non-interactive, deluged's interface is nicer. rtorrent is fully ncurses, i.e. interactive.
    – bukzor
    Jul 3, 2014 at 0:53
  • As much as I loved deluge when I started, it had some serious problems with the libtorrent library not working with socks5 proxies, and at the time there was no fix, which caused me to move on. Apparently they've fixed the problem, but I'm not sure if that's made it into the repositories yet, so you may still have to build from source.
    – Kirkland
    Jul 25, 2014 at 16:08

You should take a look at this wikipedia entry. I've used rtorrent and i liked it.

  • Is rTorrent available for Windows? (or are there any ports) Sep 4, 2009 at 18:50
  • no, i suggested as you tagged it linux, for windows you can use webUI of uTorrent
    – Tutul
    Sep 4, 2009 at 18:54

For Unix-based systems you can use rTorrent.


I use the original BitTorrent client, btlaunchmanycurses and btdownloadcurses work fine, specially combined with screen (to allow for unattended downloading).

There is a more detailed description (in French) on my blog.


I use rtorrent most of the time, running in a screen, but for the occasional one-off download I also like to use aria2, which I otherwise usually use for managed HTTP downloads.

aria2 also supports magnet: links, which I think I have heard that rtorrent is supposed to do in some version, but doesn't in the old Debian I use. Finally, in aria2's favor (in your case) is that it has less UI than rtorrent.


It appears that you have many options. According to this page and my knowledge, you can use any of these:

  • qbittorrent-nox
  • Deluge
  • aria2
  • Transmission (daemon)
  • rtorrent

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