Continuously running Raspberry Pi torrent client

Previously we have configured basic NAS storage on Raspberry Pi. Having such power and doing nothing with storage is a waste. To prove its usefulness Next logical step is to implement a torrent client on this machine. The benefit is obvious. You have a NAS server that is always available and a torrent client that downloads/seeds files without the need power-hungry PC.


You can find many torrent clients that can be used in Raspberry Pi, but it seems that lots of people prefer Deluge, which has plenty of features and requires small memory to run. Deluge is great in its flexibility – the ability to run on desktop, through the web interface, and through ThinClient. The other popular packet is Transmission, which is also lightweight and has great WebUI. Transmission can handle magnet links from the web interface. And it seems it is easier to configure. So we are going to stick with Transmission.

Before we start, it’s a good habit to update Raspbian with following commands:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

Setting up Transmission on Raspberry Pi

Before we begin configuring the torrent client, we need to create two directories in our drive. One directory will be for downloads in progress [inprogress] and another for completed [complete]. Both directories we are going to include in the torrents folder as follows:

sudo mkdir -p /mnt/16GBdrive/torrents/inprogress
sudo mkdir -p /mnt/16GBdrive/torrents/complete

First of all we download and setup transmission package:

sudo apt-get install transmission-daemon

Then we make sure transmission daemon is stopped with the command:

sudo /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon stop

Then we can start messing with its settings. As always, it is a good idea to make a backup of the settings file with simple copy command so we can always revert to default:

sudo cp /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json.bak

Open settings.json file with nano editor:

sudo nano /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json

Here yo need to change few settings:

"rpc-authentication-required": false,
"incomplete-dir-enabled": false,
"incomplete-dir": "/mnt/16GBdrive/torrents/inprogress",
"download-dir": "/mnt/16GBdrive/torrents/complete",

Save the file with CTRL+O and exit with CTRL+X.

Since we have changed the download directories, we need to set up proper permissions. For this, we need to edit:

sudo nano /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon

And change user to pi (you can use different nondefault user for better security):


Further, we need to change some permissions as follows:

sudo usermod -a -G debian-transmission pi
sudo chgrp debian-transmission /mnt/16GBdrive/torrents/inprogress
sudo chgrp debian-transmission /mnt/16GBdrive/torrents/complete
sudo chmod 777 /mnt/16GBdrive/torrents/inprogress
sudo chmod 777 /mnt/16GBdrive/torrents/complete

Then you need to reload transmission service in order to save changes:

sudo service transmission-daemon reload

Then we can start transmission service:

sudo service transmission-daemon start

After this, you should be able to access the torrent client via a web interface by entering the address:

https://your_pi_ip:9091 e.g.

By clicking on folder icon you can add your torrent to download queue.

If you are getting permission error on download, you should automount your NTFS drive with 777 permission (only this trick seemed to work for me)

Go to your fstab file

sudo nano /etc/fstab

and edit your drive mount line as follows:

/dev/sda1 /mnt/16GBdrive auto nofail,uid=pi,gid=pi,umask=002,noatime 0 0

Restart raspberry pi and start transmission-daemon again – your downloads should save now.

Last thing to take care is to load transmission-service on boot with the command:

sudo update-rc.d transmission-daemon defaults

One Comment:

  1. I am facing problem when downloading larger than 130MB files. I get error “Error: Unable to save resume file: Permission denied”.
    Maybe someone knows how to solve this. Smaller size files are downloaded OK.
    I will try to find a solution, otherwise will give a try to other torrent clients. Any Ideas?

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