Transmission (BitTorrent client)

For other uses, see Transmission (disambiguation).

A screenshot of Transmission 2.82 running under Ubuntu MATE
Original author(s) Eric Petit, Josh Elsasser, Bryan Varner
Developer(s) Mike Gelfand (Windows), Charles Kerr (aka Jordan Lee), Mitchell Livingston
Initial release 17 September 2005 (2005-09-17)
Stable release 2.92 (March 6, 2016 (2016-03-06)) [±][1]
Development status Active
Written in C, Objective-C
Operating system Unix-like (BSDs, Linux, macOS, Solaris), Windows,[2] daemon Windows service[3]
Type BitTorrent client
License GNU GPL, MIT License[4]

Transmission is a BitTorrent client which features a variety of user interfaces on top of a cross-platform back-end. Transmission is free software licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GNU GPL), with parts under the MIT License.[5]


Transmission allows users to quickly download files from multiple peers on the Internet and to upload their own files.[6] By adding torrent files via the user interface, users can create a queue of files to be downloaded and uploaded. Within the file selection menus, users can customise their downloads at the level of individual files. Transmission also seeds, that is, it will automatically share downloaded content.[7]

Transmission allows priorities to be assigned to torrents and files within torrents, to influence which files are downloaded first. It supports the Magnet URI scheme[8] and encrypted connections. It allows torrent file creation and peer exchange compatible with Vuze and μTorrent. It includes a built-in web server so that users can control Transmission remotely via the web.[9] It also supports automatic port mapping using UPnP/NAT-PMP, peer caching, blocklists for bad peers, bandwidth limits dependent on time-of-day, globally or per-torrent, and has partial support for IPv6.[10] It allows the use of multiple trackers simultaneously,[11] Local Peer Discovery,[12] Micro Transport Protocol (µTP),[13] and UDP tracker.[14] It does not support directly subscribing to RSS feeds containing torrent files for automatic download, but there are third-party add-ons that can supply the functionality.[9]:229

macOS specific features include Dock and Growl notifications, automatic updates using Sparkle and Universal Binary (up until version 2.22).


Transmission allows users to monitor a torrent's activity.

Transmission 1.60 and later removed support for Mac OS X v10.4. Currently, Transmission 1.54 is the last version that runs on Mac OS X 10.4. Although it is possible to compile later versions from source, either by downloading from the project's web site[15] or using a package manager like Fink or MacPorts, it is unsupported and any bugs specific to 10.4 will not be fixed. Starting with Transmission 2.30[16] an Apple Mac with an Intel CPU is needed; PowerPC-based systems are no longer supported natively.

The Transmission back-end (libTransmission) also serves as the basis of the Transmission daemon. The daemon supports a web front-end called Clutch. Older versions have been ported to form the basis of the update system for the video game Metal Gear Online on PS3,[17] as well as the backend for ImageShack's BitTorrent service.

Distribution and ports

A portable version is available on[18]


Transmission is a set of lightweight BitTorrent clients (in GUI, CLI and daemon form). All its incarnations feature a very simple, intuitive interface on top on an efficient, cross-platform back-end.

There are several transmission clients for different operating systems including Unix-like, macOS and BeOS/ZETA. Each operating system front-end is built using native widget toolkits.[5] For example, transmission-gtk uses the GTK+ interface, transmission-qt the Qt interface, and transmission-cli a Command-line interface. Transmission-remote-cli is an ncurses interface for the transmission-daemon. Python-transmissionrpc is a Python module implementing the JSON-RPC client protocol for Transmission

An unofficial port of Transmission using a command-line interface (CLI) on iOS was accomplished on March 3, 2008.[19] In November 2010, iTransmission, another unofficial port, was released for jailbroken iPhones sporting a GUI that is capable of downloading directly to the device over WiFi or 3G.[20] A Transmission remote was released for Android, with the name of Transdroid but does not currently support downloading directly to devices.

On Windows, Transmission-Qt can be built with MinGW,[21] the daemon and console tools can be built with Cygwin,[22] also there are two third-party GUIs: Transmission Remote Dot Net[23] and transmission-remote-gui,[24] as well as unofficial full builds of Transmission's Qt Client.,[25][26] There is also an unofficial full build of Transmission daemon which can be run as a Windows service.[27] This same unofficial full build of Transmission daemon running as a Windows service can be used for direct streaming of the downloading file(s).[28]

A port for all platforms enhanced with streaming of the downloading file(s) is located on GitHub.[29]

It is also ported to the Maemo OS of the Nokia N810 internet tablet and N900 smartphone as well as to the MeeGo/Harmattan OS of the Nokia N9 and N950 smartphones, on which it does download the torrents to the device.

Website breach

In March 2016, Palo Alto Networks reported that Transmission's official website was compromised and tainted .dmg files were uploaded to the site, using an Apple Developer signature to bypass the OSX gatekeeper feature.[30][31][32]

The tainted packages installed a ransomware application (a variant of Linux.Encoder.1, but recompiled for Mac, known as KeRanger) that encrypts the user's files and attempts to force users to pay 1 Bitcoin (worth roughly US $404 at the time of the attack) in order to get the decryption pack. The Transmission website advised Mac users to immediately upgrade to a new version that removes the malware-infected file. Apple revoked the developer certificate that was used to sign the tainted package, and added the package's signature to the XProtect anti-malware system.


Transmission is the default BitTorrent client of many Unix and Linux distributions,[33] including Joli OS, Solaris,[34] Ubuntu,[35] Mandriva,[36] Mint,[37] Fedora,[38] Puppy,[39] CrunchBang,[40] Zenwalk,[41] and the GNOME flavor of openSUSE.[42]

Fonera ships its routers with Transmission pre-installed.[43]

CNET editor Paul Huges praised Transmission for its "simplicity, lightweight, as well as being feature-packed" and the software is currently ranked third in P2P downloads for Mac on CNET.[44]

See also

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Transmission (BitTorrent).


  1. Changes – Transmission,, 2016-03-06, retrieved 2016-03-06
  2. Transmission-Qt for Windows | A Fast & Easy BitTorrent Client. Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  3. transmission-daemon-cygwin,, retrieved 2016-04-27
  4. COPYING in trunk – Transmission. Retrieved on 2013-12-09.
  5. 1 2 Transmission – About,, 2009, retrieved 4 July 2009
  6. Richard Petersen (2 July 2014). Beginning Fedora Desktop: Fedora 20 Edition. Apress. pp. 209–. ISBN 978-1-4842-0067-4.
  7. Richard Petersen (2011). Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6: Desktop and Administration. Surfing Turtle Press. pp. 246–. ISBN 978-1-936280-25-4.
  8. Magnet links, extension for peers to send metadata files,, retrieved 2012-08-24
  9. 1 2 Scott Granneman (18 October 2010). Mac OS X Snow Leopard for Power Users. Apress. pp. 237–. ISBN 978-1-4302-3031-1.
  10. IPv6 does not work against dual-stacked trackers,, retrieved 2012-08-24
  11. Adding lists of trackers to torrents,, retrieved 2012-08-24
  12. Local Peer Discovery protocol implementation,, retrieved 2012-08-24
  13. Add uTP support,, retrieved 2012-08-24
  14. UDP tracker protocol support,, 2011-02-12, retrieved 2012-08-24
  15. "Building".
  16. "Transmission ChangeLog".
  17. "Transmission-Qt Portable". - Portable software for USB, portable and cloud drives.
  19. iTransmission, a native BitTorrent client on iOS,, retrieved 2016-07-27
  20. Building TransmissionQt in Windows,, retrieved 2012-08-24
  21. Building,, retrieved 2012-08-24
  22. A µTorrent like Windows remote control for the Transmission client,, retrieved 2012-08-24
  23. Cross platform remote GUI for the Transmission daemon,, retrieved 2016-07-27
  24. Transmission 1.76 Windows,, retrieved 2012-08-24
  25. Transmission-Qt,, retrieved 2012-08-24
  26. transmission-daemon-cygwin,, retrieved 2014-01-27
  27. Streaming - The Simplified HOW TO,, retrieved 2016-04-27
  28. cfpp2p/transmission: Up to date Fork of the Transmission BitTorrent client,, retrieved 2016-04-27
  29. Clark/Nikdel/Powell. "New OS X Ransomware KeRanger Infected Transmission BitTorrent Client Installer". Palo Alto Networks Blog.
  30. Jim Finkle (7 March 2016). "Apple users targeted in first known Mac ransomware campaign". Reuters.
  31. "Apple Macs targeted by KeRanger ransomware for first time". the Guardian. Retrieved 8 March 2016.
  32. Mike McGrath (10 June 2010). Linux in easy steps, 5th edition. In Easy Steps. pp. 85–. GGKEY:EE005NUYU77.
  33. Solaris Transmission package description
  34. Pitt, Martin (2008-01-14), Ubuntu Changelog, retrieved 2008-05-15
  35. New default applications for GNOME
  36. Elyssa Release Notes
  37. Distribution/Download/BitTorrent
  38. Puppy Linux 4.2 Release Notes
  39. Release Notes - CrunchBang Linux 9.04.01
  40. Zenwalk Package List
  41. Make Transmission the default BitTorrent client in 11.2
  42. FON Starts Selling Fonera 2.0n Router with Transmission
  43. Transmission for Mac,, retrieved 2015-08-29
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