I am trying to download and install Ubuntu. I was told that downloading a torrent was a good option, as it can deal with interrupted downloads very well.

  • Where should I go to download an Ubuntu torrent?
  • What programs should I use for this on Windows?
  • What is the bare minimum I need to know about BitTorrent for this use-case?

Canonical provides detailed instructions on how to use BitTorrent as well as how to obtain their official torrents for their ISO images here. Below is a brief summary on how to obtain a copy of those torrents to download.

Where should I go to download an Ubuntu torrent?

The torrent files needed for downloading an Ubuntu ISO are made available by Canonical as an alternative to downloading the entire ISO directly.

  1. From the Ubuntu homepage, select the Download tab.
  2. Next, scroll down to the bottom of the page and select the link:

    Take a look at a full list of our previous versions and alternative downloads

  3. On this page, you will see the links for the currently available Ubuntu torrents.

If you would prefer, you can select a local mirror that is geographically closer to your region to obtain the torrent.

Direct links to all ISO torrents:

These will open directly in your torrent client (uTorrent, Vuze, etc.)

Source: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/alternative-downloads

See also: Previous AU Q&A

What programs should I use to download torrent files on Windows?

  1. uTorrent
  2. Vuze
  3. BitTornado
  4. BitComet

What is the bare minimum I need to know about BitTorrent for this use-case?

After installing your preferred BitTorrent client, all one needs to do is download the torrent file from the one of the direct links mentioned above. Your browser should ask you what you want to do with the file. Instead of saving it, have your browser open the file with your newly installed torrent client.

See also: A Beginner's Guide to BitTorrent

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To download an official Ubuntu release via torrent visit http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop/alternative-downloads
The bare minimum you will need to know about bittorrent is that you will need an application which will start the download with a .torrent file. Then once the download has completed it will continue to share this file until the application exits.
utorrent has been the go-to application for a long time, however if you have the opera web browser installed already it will download a torrent natively.

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