Monday, 11 January 2010

rTorrent is OUT, Transmission is IN

Ok, I guess I started celebrating WAY too soon after my previous post. While the whole setup did look extremely satisfying it had a couple of drawbacks.

For example, I really got used to uTorrent's .!ut file extension. This way my media center didn't pick up files that weren't finished yet. Unfortunately I didn't find a nice way to do the same in rTorrent, but it wasn't crucial, so I let it go. Then the interface was sometimes failing to connect to rTorrent, and I was forced to refresh the page time after time until I got it up. The configuration file was rewritten as soon as you did an update of the application, so I was forced to keep local copies of my configured version, and so on.

But these were all small issues, and I could live with them, because I didn't know better. Until the app started hanging. Badly. As in it would just stop responding to anything. I could see it in screen, but couldn't do anything. The web interface just became useless at this point, with no chance of connecting to the RPC interface. And when the router started hanging because of it in the in the middle of my work day - I just killed the process (it didn't want to die either btw -.- ) and left it as it was.

Later, after a bit of searching, I saw that I wasn't the only one with these problems, and a number of people have moved on to Transmission. Not everyone, though, because for others it was just too complicated and advanced. Nonetheless it was praised as a powerful client, and at the same time very resource "safe". With a low memory imprint (rTorrent took hundreds of MB ram! Thank god for the swap drive :D ), and very few dependencies (rTorrent pulled up about 5 more packages, Transmission just required 2) it seemed like an awesome solution, so I decided to give it a try.

After installing it, and failing to understand what to do out of the box, I went to their website for some docs. With a nicely structured wiki, it took me only a couple of minutes to get a settings file (stored in the user's home dir btw, YAY!), start the service and connect to the in-build web interface! Furthermore, there's a .NET remote app that I could install locally, and control almost all functions from a nice and familiar interface.

Half an hour later, I have a new torrent app running, with everything I want. Unfinished file names, nice remote control options, authentication and IP bindings, and a warm fuzzy feeling of accomplishment inside :)