What OS X Bit Torrent client is best for working with remotely?
May 31, 2010 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Help me decide on the best bit torrent client for use on a remote machine... (OS X Leopard).

I'm looking for the best way to remotely login to my home computer (a Mac Mini on the other side of the country) and from there, use a command line bittorrent client to download files. Once they're done downloading I would like to FTP into the machine to download them to where I am at the moment. Sounds a bit long winded, but as I travel around a lot, I tend to be using networks which lock down anything that remotely looks like torrent traffic.

For finding my Mac I'd go with DynDNS or something similar, and for running an FTP server, I'd probably go with FileZilla. What I'm looking for is advice on what sort of Bit Torrent client you'd recommend, and any obvious security issues that I might be missing. I used to do a similar thing in Gentoo Linux using SSH, screen and standard Bit Torrent client, but at the moment I am stuck with OSX as the remote OS.
posted by Biru to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If you aren't totally set on using SSH to control the BT client, you could try Transmission. Free, very clean interface and I've always found it to be very stable. It has a slick web interface for remote management which I'd have thought would be more intuitive than doing it through a command line.
posted by henryaj at 7:21 AM on May 31, 2010

Apparently it has a command line client as well. Who knew?
posted by henryaj at 7:25 AM on May 31, 2010

Transmission is awesome. It has a web client as well. You can add torrents via the web client. I use it at home. It works great.
posted by chunking express at 8:29 AM on May 31, 2010

Definitely Transmission. The web client lets you either specify a URL for the torrent or upload one directly. It's super slick.

You could, of course, just use VNC/screen sharing.
posted by pjaust at 8:36 AM on May 31, 2010

you can also set transmission to watch a folder for added .torrent files. It might be more secure for you to upload .torrent files via SFTP to your remote mac, if you're worried about that traffic being spotted.
posted by CharlesV42 at 8:40 AM on May 31, 2010

I second Transmission. The webGUI is pretty decent so give it a whirl if you want. I personally have Transmission constantly checking a particular folder for new torrent files. So I ssh to the machine and drop off whatever I want to start downloading.

Works like a charm. If you have DYDNS you can do it from outside your house too.
posted by Napierzaza at 8:46 AM on May 31, 2010

Deluge (and probably other clients) lets you designate an 'auto-add' folder where you just drop torrent files into to add them to the client, which is anxiously waiting for anything to appear in that folder. Coupled with SSH access, the remote torrent interface is pretty no-fuss. SFTP in to drop off torrents, SFTP in to pick up the completed downloads.

I have deluge daemonized and can connect to it by a remote deluge front-end, web UI, or even via tunnel and VNC, but I always end up just using SFTP and the auto-add folder. It does the job with as few steps as possible.
posted by cowbellemoo at 9:14 AM on May 31, 2010

Also consider rtorrent/wtorrent. I have heard of people purchasing space on remote servers for the purpose of torrenting, and this is the interface they use. It sounds like more work to setup but definitely less overhead and you can mess around with your own scripts too.

rtorrent is available on MacPorts but I usually grab the svn version. I've never bothered with wtorrent, but if you want a nice interface, then wtorrent is essential (rtorrent's interface is godawful if you have more than a hundred torrents).
posted by yaymukund at 9:16 AM on May 31, 2010

Response by poster: I hear a lot of support for Transmission. Does the remote Mac need to be logged in for the webUI to work? See, I'm used to the linux setup I had whereby after booting up, I knew that within about a minute, all the required services would be running, the DynDNS would have updated and I'd be ready to go. Can the same be said of Transmission on OSX?

Though I suppose, if I log in through SSH there's nothing stopping me from running the client from the terminal to launch it then switching to the webUI, is there?
posted by Biru at 10:04 AM on May 31, 2010

I doubt you'd have trouble running the webui in the background the same as you did with your linux setup. just "sh command.sh &" and throw it in an init script if you like.

Furthermore, if your now-home machine is Mac/Unix, you can use FUSE to mount a directory over ssh and set up the bt client to save files to it. Automatic copy-back, though I supposed seeding could be a drag.
posted by rhizome at 10:26 AM on May 31, 2010

Response by poster: Cheers, I'll give transmission a look. So the plan is:

Mac Mini at home is powered up and connected to router via ethernet cable.
Router has active connection to the internet.
DynDNS was run at boot time (this I'm not sure how to do) and has updated.
I use DynDNS address on remote computer to SSH into my home computer.
I either wget the torrent or just pass the url of the torrent to the client on the command line.
I then use the transmission web interface to track the progress of the download.
On completion of the download I use the web interface to stop the transfer.
Finally, I login to home computer (this time by FTP from remote computer) and download the completed file to remote computer.

Long way for a shortcut, but I'm on a restrictive network on the remote computer.
posted by Biru at 12:58 PM on May 31, 2010

Another option is to use a client with a web interface. I have TorrentFlux (PHP/MySQL with python-based torrent client processes) installed on a plug computer next to the router, and it works beautifully. I upload .torrent files via HTTP and pull down the completed files the same way. The plug is running Ubuntu but I don't see why this combination of technologies wouldn't work for Mac OS X as well.
posted by migurski at 1:21 PM on May 31, 2010

I'd say rtorrent under screen, accessed via ssh.

The transmission web client is lovely for a LAN, but it trasmits your username and password in the clear.
posted by pompomtom at 6:13 PM on May 31, 2010

« Older Why won't Acrobat/Distiller save my file?   |   Beach house rental, minus oil Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.