Despite the fact that Elementary OS says on it’s website that it has “apps you need, without ones you don’t” the operating system doesn’t have a torrent client. This is very strange, though understandable because most average users probably aren’t torrenting that often. Still, it’s a standard tool that a lot of people rely on. Luckily, there’s an excellent Torrent client for Elementary OS called Torrential. Elementary OS users can install Torrential from the app center or manually compile it from the source code. It matches the rest of the Elementary OS desktop, theme and minimalist approach, and is an excellent choice if you use Elementary OS.
Install From App Center
The app store is the easiest, and best way to install Torrential. There is a price tag, but users aren’t required to pay for it. Torrential is open source and free for anyone to use, forever. That said, if you’re not interested in compiling the source code from scratch, and installing it, the app center is the best way to get it. To install this app from the Elementary OS app center, follow these steps.
Step 1: Click on the “Applications” menu in the top left of the screen, and search for “app center”. Alternatively, click on the app center icon in the dock, if you’ve added it there, to launch it. To find the app, click on the search box in the top right-hand corner of the screen, and search “Torrential”. The very first result will be Torrential. Click on it.
Step 2: If you wish to pay for the software, leave the price box at a dollar (or set your own price). Don’t want to pay, set it to $0 and install it free of charge.
Step 3: After setting a price, an install button will appear on the page. Click it, enter your password, and Torrential will install to the system.
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Building From Source Code
Installing the Torrential torrent client via the App Center is a good choice, as it offers a way to get updates directly from the developer, and even donate a little money. However, if you want the absolute latest version of the code as soon as possible, or, if you use another derivative of Ubuntu that isn’t Elementary, building is a better option.
To build the software on Elementary OS, and other Ubuntu-like operating systems, you’ll first need to install all the individual libraries, and individual tools that the program needs to build correctly. If these aren’t installed, the build will very likely fail, or flat out refuse to work right.
Open up a terminal and enter this command to get the dependencies:
sudo apt install cmake libgtk-3-dev libgranite-dev valac libarchive-dev libunity-dev libcurl4-openssl-dev automake libtool git
With the software dependencies satisfied, building can begin. Start off by using the Git tool to grab the latest version of the source code from Github.
git clone https://github.com/davidmhewitt/torrential
Using the CD command, enter the Torrential download directory.
The next step is to create a new build directory inside of the Torrential folder. This folder will hold the output of the building process, and is very important.
After making the new build folder, use the CD command to enter it.
Compiling the software is a multi-step process and it starts by setting the cmake prefix. This will tell the building tools exactly what to do, where the files should install and etc.
cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr ..
Lastly, build and install the Torrential app to your system:
make sudo make install
Doing sudo make install will ensure that Torrential is found inside of your application menu like any other program. To launch it, look under the “Internet” section.
Making An Auto-update Script
If you’ve built and installed Torrential by hand, rather than via the App Center, it’s going to be much harder to get updates. A simple script can fix this. Each time there is an update, run the script and it will grab the new source code, re-build and install the newest version.
The first part of the script is the most important, as it lets the interpreter know exactly what kind of script it is, and what it should do with the commands.
After adding the shebang, add a command that deletes the old source code directory. This will ensure that only the absolute latest code is being built and not old stuff.
rm -rf ~/torrential
Next, add all the build commands from last time in the script:
git clone https://github.com/davidmhewitt/torrential cd torrential mkdir build cd build cmake -DCMAKE_INSTALL_PREFIX=/usr .. make sudo make install
Save the script using Ctrl + O on the keyboard. Use the combination Ctrl + X to exit nano. Once outside of the nano text editor, use the chmod command to update the permissions of the script. Don’t forget to do this. If you don’t, the script likely won’t run.
sudo chmod +x torrential-update
Run the update tool in terminal with:
If you’re worried about piracy, check out our recommendations for the best VPNs for torrents.