Cross-OS Torrenting
January 17, 2010 1:04 AM   Subscribe

How can I set up torrent software on a Xubuntu/XP dual boot so that the same torrents are in the pipeline on both operating systems?

e.g. If I start a torrent in Xubuntu, and then switch to Windows to use Photoshop for a few hours, the Windows torrent program will pick up where the Linux one left off. I use an external NTFS drive for media storage. I switch back and forth regularly, so this should be an automatic thing.
posted by scose to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This is very easy. It depends upon the torrent program you use, but you should be using the same torrent program in Xubuntu and in XP: µTorrent. (This requires using Wine to run the Windows-only µTorrent in Xubuntu, but it's actually trivially easy to do so, and the quality of µTorrent makes it worth it, so I recommend that.) In any case, do this:

(1) Make a folder on your external NTFS drive called '_files' or some such.
(2) Save all .torrent files to this folder. Set up each torrent program to use this folder as its default .torrents folder.
(3) Have each torrent client save downloads to the NTFS drive.

It's probably simpler than torrenting to the main hard drive, actually.
posted by koeselitz at 1:23 AM on January 17, 2010

(By the way: I've used a number of Ubuntu and Xubuntu torrent clients, and while qBitTorrent is okay, Vuze [aka Azureus] and most others can be bad to awful. That's why I so highly recommended µTorrent - it's unfortunate that it's Windows-only, but it's so easy to install on an Xubuntu system that it's worth it. I did this the other day, and it was shockingly simple - all you have to do is install Wine using the package manager, download the µTorrent installer, and run it - it installs correctly on its own, and an icon for it appears in your Wine menu. As simple as in Windows!)
posted by koeselitz at 1:26 AM on January 17, 2010

I should have mentioned:

You might be worried - 'I've got downloads started but not finished, and I want to restart into another operating system; how do I do that?' µTorrent is savvy enough to remember the downloads you've got on restart, but even those programs that don't work fine as long as you've specified the same file and download folders for each. At worst, you might sometimes have to go back into your files folder and drag them onto the torrent window to reload them. However, again, I never have to do that with µTorrent.
posted by koeselitz at 1:29 AM on January 17, 2010

a) make sure you have the application re-check the data on startup so it's not assuming it's where the it picked up the last time [Win32/Linux] version started
b) have it watch a folder for torrents but make sure not to have it delete the torrent. this will result in a giant folder of torrents over time, but make sure that you've got both of them synced
posted by CharlesV42 at 6:08 AM on January 17, 2010

You might want to take a look at this forum post. It discusses how to move torrents from one machine to another, more importantly it discusses how to edit resume.dat. This might be a lot faster than repopulating your torrents manually.
posted by disclaimer at 7:01 AM on January 17, 2010

If you end up using uTorrent through wine in ubuntu, here's a script I wrote up that lets you auto-launch torrents from your browser. It's saved me a lot of time/headaches.
posted by chrisamiller at 8:17 AM on January 17, 2010

If you have the space you might find it more beneficial to format a partition for the torrents in fat32. I'm not sure how wine handles writing to ntfs, but using ntfs-3g (?) just adds another layer of annoying complexity.

Although keep in mind that it can become a bit of a hassle to expand the partition if you run out of space. I don't know what your usage habits are of course, so YMMV.
posted by handle_unknown at 1:00 PM on January 17, 2010

Tackling this from a completely different direction, instead of rebooting into XP to run Photoshop, you could run a VM. Start the Windows VM when you need to run Photoshop, and your Xubuntu stays running in the background. I maximize my Win7 VM on it's own workspace, and can switch seamlessly back and forth. Your torrents will continue, uninterrupted.
posted by dalesd at 4:21 PM on January 17, 2010

Come to think of it, dalesd, Photoshop runs pretty great natively in Xubuntu through Wine.
posted by koeselitz at 5:23 PM on January 17, 2010

« Older How am I being deprived being brought up by...   |   From Hollywood to Bollywood Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.