Transmission as default bittorrent client

A. Walton awalton at
Fri Feb 8 04:10:22 UTC 2008

On Feb 7, 2008 7:46 PM, Remco <remco47 at> wrote:
> I noticed I didn't actually send this to the list... here it is.
> Remco
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Remco <remco47 at>
> Date: Feb 6, 2008 3:33 AM
> Subject: Re: Transmission as default bittorrent client
> To: Bryan Quigley <gquigs at>
> On Feb 6, 2008 2:44 AM, Bryan Quigley <gquigs at> wrote:
> > My initial reaction was similar.  However, in transmissions favor
> > Memory usage (quick test)
> > Deluge at 23 Mb
> > Transmission at 7 Mb
> >
> > The interface also seems more transitional from the previous integrated
> > client.  I think one of the big factors is that deluge has a wizard to get
> > you setup while transmission just works.
> It's true that Deluge has a wizard (which you can skip if you really
> want). However, two of these settings are very important: Maximum
> Upload Speed and Maximum Connections. If you don't set a maximum
> upload speed, your download speed will plummet, and you'll have
> trouble reaching websites. And many cheap routers crash when they have
> to deal with the amount of connections bittorrent-traffic usually
> consists of. Not setting these right will make an app Just Not Work
> (tm).
> If there is consensus on which misfeatures really kill the chance of
> Deluge becoming the default app, I could direct the Deluge-devs to
> these concerns. Due to Deluge's modular architecture, anything can be
> moved from default to plugin.
> So far, I've seen:
> * High memory usage.
> * High file size.
> * Obscure features that should be a plugin.
> * Wizard-based configuration over sane-default.
> I've run Transmission, and one thing I like is that it chooses a
> random port, and opens it with NAT traversal. No configuration
> required. The rest of the application is too limited for my taste.
> With Deluge I can easily extend the features by selecting a few
> plugins. I think file size could be reduced by actually not including
> the plugins by default.
> I think, if the Deluge-devs would want to resolve these concerns,
> Deluge would be a far better choice.
> * It's more popular.
> * It has features people need that Transmission misses.
> * It's easily extendable.
> * It looks like ĀµTorrent & Azureus.
> * It runs on Mac & Windows (helps acceptance by slow migration).
> Remco
> --
> Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list
> Ubuntu-devel-discuss at
> Modify settings or unsubscribe at:

To be honest, I don't see the need to include a Bittorrent client by
default at all; it's always going to be this kind of war: "My client's
better and I'll tell you why". I think if Ubuntu's going to include
one at all (and waste the CD space on it for those users who don't
know what a torrent is, never used it before, and maybe never will),
it should be one that's small, wasting as little space as possible,
and extremely simple to use. Gnome-BT fit that bill, but is completely
unmaintained. The next rung up the ladder is Transmission (and even
the developer of Gnome-BT acknowledges this: ).

Even if you disagree with the client, don't like it, don't use it, it
doesn't matter: as soon as you install Ubuntu, you're going to choose
your favorite client anyway. But you're not the average case here.
BitTorrent is widely accepted amongst some circles, especially us, the
Free Software world, as it's a great way to distribute new versions of
our software. It's not as widely accepted outside of our world: your
mother would probably look at you cross-eyed if you told her to
"download the latest version of Ubuntu with BitTorrent." In the latter
case, Transmission wins that hands down.

Continuing this discussion ad nauseum may make you feel better, but I
don't think it's likely to change much. The situation is, Ubuntu is
for Human Beings, not just geeks and torrenters. The Deluge packages
are in the archives, anyone who's upset about Transmission can easily
go grab a different client, and Synaptic/apt-cache brings up a whole
list of them to choose from. Everyone's got an opinion on this one,
which is why it's probably best to stick with the absolute bare
minimum (or none at all, I'm hugely in favor of saving the CD space
for other, more important things, and letting someone double click a
"Torrent" file and have a nice dialog pop up saying "You currently do
not have a handler registered for file type "Torrent", would you like
to install a program that manages these files?"). But then again it's
probably just easier to ship Transmission, especially when that
average human model's not going to have a clue which torrent client to
pick out of the lineup, and in the likely case they'd actually want to
use it, they just want to download something and get it over with.

-A. Walton

More information about the Ubuntu-devel-discuss mailing list