Mac BitTorrent Client: Transmission

This post and software is obsolete. Images and broken external links have been removed.

Fedora 8 was released recently and I wanted to download a copy. With a DVD size of over 3GB bittorrent was the way to go. I’d used Azureus in the past, but hadn’t re-installed it after upgrading to Leopard. I decided to change up and go with something new. Azureus was moving heavily toward video and had the interface to prove it. I wanted a simple client that would just download files. I went with the popular Transmission open source bittorrent client. The Mac version is a universal binary. The latest version was released May 11, 2007 and is at version 0.92. Using it couldn’t have been easier.After downloading the DMG I just copied to my applications directory and fired it up. I was asked if I wanted to allow incoming connections through the OS X firewall. (I use Leopard and have the firewall set to “Set Access for Specific Services and Applications”.) Initiating the torrent download was as easy as downloading the torrent file and double-clicking it to initiate the download via Transmission.Port assignments were automatic. At least they were with my Apple Airport Extreme. The screenshot below shows the port configuration screen.The main Transmission screen is shown below. The first download listed is the Fedora download. It’s completed downloading but it still being used to seed. I’ve set the seed ratio to 2.0 so it will stop seeding when it reaches that limit. The current ratio is 0.46 as I’ve set a cap on my upload bandwidth of 256KB/s, about a third of what’s available. the second download shown is still downloading and uploading.Another feature I like is that the dock icon for transmission shows the current upload and download speeds. The icon is shown to the right. Transmission also automatically integrates with Growl and sends notifications when downloads complete, among other events. Transmission can watch a directory for torrent files and automatically begin to download them when new torrents are added. You can cap the bandwidth used and the number of torrents being downloaded or seeded at any one time.While I’ve only done a couple of downloads but I’ve found Transmission to be a light, fast and easy to configure bittorrent client for the Mac.

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