I usually download my torrents at night, while I'm sleeping. But when doing so, Ubuntu loads the entire desktop interface, while I only need the torrent client. I would like to use an energy saving way of downloading torrents to make my power usage go down.

I know that transmission-cli can download torrents in a command line. Such a thing might be the solution, but with tranmission-cli, I have to include the torrent's URL to get it running, e.g. transmission-cli http://releases.ubuntu.com/11.10/ubuntu-11.10-desktop-i386.iso.torrent.

That's not what I want. If a command line interface (CLI) torrent client would be the best way to save power, I want it to import the active torrents from the GUI, including the parts that are already downloaded.

Is there any way to get this done?

I've got Transmission and Deluge already installed, so if it could be done with one of these torrent clients, it would be nice.


  • 1
    Does shutting down the X session actually save any measurable power? – Caesium Jan 27 '12 at 12:21
  • I don't know, any other suggestions are welcome. – Exeleration-G Jan 27 '12 at 13:00
  • 3
    I have done extensive measurements of power efficiency for PCs from the Pentium IV era to some of the older dual cores, and whether there's a graphical interface running makes virtually no difference. However, there are graphical applications that tend to create a constant load, like open web browsers displaying pages with Flash ads. Flash, especially under Linux, can really keep a CPU busy, thus "costing" 5 to 15 watts more. Other things (basically everything that powertop shows) make far more difference in the energy consumption, and by far the most can be saved with an efficient PSU. – jstarek Jan 27 '12 at 15:47
  • 1
    @Caesium: You should, if possible, not use cheap plug-in power meters to measure computers. For one thing, a PC consumes so little energy that systematic errors in how the simple devices do their measurements make up a comparatively large percentage of the displayed value, and more importantly, they generally are not capable of so-called true RMS measurements (which is basically a term for "capable of accurately integrating over the strange power consumption patterns of a computer's PSU"). Borrow a true RMS multimeter with a power measurement adapter instead, perhaps from a hackerspace nearby. – jstarek Jan 27 '12 at 15:52
  • 1
    The best way to use less power it to use a device that uses less power. I have an old eeePC 900 netbook running Lubuntu I keep around for things just like this. Slow as a work station, but it works just fine for downloading torrents and similar unattended tasks. Of course, I happened to have one sitting around. – Marc Jul 7 '13 at 21:17

This is possible with Deluge:

Firstly go to tty1 by pressing Ctrl+Alt+F1and run sudo killall Xorg

Run this: sudo apt get install deluge-console deluged

Use this command to connect with deluge

deluged&&deluge-console use resume * to resume all downloads and halt to pause them

Use the following commands to control the other parts of Deluge

  • add Add a torrent
  • config Show and set configuration values
  • connect Connect to a new deluge server.
  • debug Enable and disable debugging
  • del Remove a torrent
  • exit Exit from the client.
  • halt Shutdown the deluge server.
  • help displays help on other commands
  • info Show information about the torrents
  • pause Pause a torrent
  • quit Exit from the client.
  • resume Resume a torrent
  • rm Remove a torrent

source: http://forum.deluge-torrent.org/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=19115


what about transmission-daemon?

sudo apt-get install transmission-daemon
man transmission-daemon

transmission-daemon and transmission-gtk use the same format for config files, so you can tell transmission-daemon to use gtk's config dir with --config-dir flag. the default configuration path for the daemon is ~/.config/transmission-daemon but the default for gtk-client is ~/.config/transmission.

config file: settings.json

also, the transmission-gtk can also be controlled with the rpc clients. Just enable the web ui.

@Exeleration-G In the gtk-client's settings, select enable web client: Preferences > 'Web' tab, then you can control it with the webui or transmission-remote etc

Note: transmission-cli is deprecated.

Finally: transmission-daemon -f -g ~/.config/transmission/


There's this command line bittorrent utility called ctorrent. It allows some switches to be used with the command and you can specify the .torrent file or trackers URL.


ctorrent [options] *.torrent

(Available at the repository in the Section: universe/net)

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