Transmission Primer

Start the download of a magnet URL by running

transmission-cli MAGNET_URL

which will download your torrent into the download directory which you will find defined within the download-dir field inside the ~/.config/transmission/settings.json file. Unless specified otherwise, it will default to your ~/Downloads directory.


Start the Transmission daemon by running


which start the daemon in the background and opens up a web portal on port 9091.


With the Transmission daemon started, one can use transmission-remote to control the torrent client.

Some of the information for your daemon can observed through the output of

transmission-remote -si

which is short for

transmission-remote --session-info

and prints information regarding:

  • networking settings
    • listening ports
    • download/upload speed restrictions
  • storage settings
    • daemon configuration file
    • download directory

some of which is accessible through the Preferences modal in the web portal.

From now on, I’ll just print short and long versions of commands within the same block as follows:

short snippet
longer, more verbose, snippet which is often easier to interpret

Add Torrent

In order to download a torrent through the daemon run

transmission-remote -a TORRENT_URL
transmission-remote --add TORRENT_URL

Remote Torrent

Remove a torrent by id. Examine the Select Torrents section on how to find the id for a torrent (spoiler: list transmission-remote -l as documented in the List Torrents section)

transmission-remote -r TORRENT_ID
transmission-remote --remove TORRENT_ID

List Torrents

One may list Torrents by running

transmission-remote -l
transmission-remote --list
Note that torrents are listed with an ID column which provides the identifier to use in referencing a particular torrent in commands.

Select Torrents

While listing torrents you may have observed that the torrents are listed by ID. This ID can used to specify a torrent through the -t or --torrent argument.

Failing to select the torrents to operate on may in some cases default to -tall or --torrent all to list all torrents.

Specify multiple ids by separating them with commas as follows

-t 4,2,99

Start Torrent

Start a torrent by running

transmission-remote -t 3 -s
transmission-remote --torrent 3 --stop

Stop torrent

Stop a Torrent by running

transmission-remote -t 3 -S
transmission-remote --torrent 3 --stop

and yes, since -s is already reserved for --start, you observe how the short version may not always be very self-explanatory.

List the files for a given torrent

In order to list the files that comprise torrent 3, for example, one may run:

transmission-remote -t 3 -f
transmission-remote --torrent 3 --files

Show info for a given torrent

In order to observe the magnet link, the directory into which it is being downloaded, the relevant download metrics and a bit of history for a given torrent, one may run:

transmission-remote -t 3 -i
transmission-remote --torrent 3 --info

List info trackers for torrent

The info trackers are the resources connected to, generally over port 6969, that keep track of where a Torrent is to be downloaded from and which seeders and leechers are connected. Run the following command to find out which trackers are known for the torrent of interest:

transmission-remote -t 3 -it
transmission-remote --torrent 3 --info-trackers

Add a tracker for a given Torrent

In case you want to manually add a tracker for a torrent, run

transmission-remote -t 3 -td TRACKER
transmission-remote --torrent 3 --tracker-add TRACKER

and replace TRACKER with the URL of the tracker you’re wanting to add.

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