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Deluge – An Awesome But Unappreciated Cross-Platform BitTorrent Client

Justin Pot 04-02-2010

Deluge_iconBy now, most MakeUseOf readers should know all about BitTorrent, the most popular peer-to-peer technology on the web. We’ve talked about the protocol more than once, and even released the Big Book of BitTorrent“”a great place to start if you find BitTorrent too confusing for your use.

There are thousands of BitTorrent clients on the market; that is, thousands of applications you can use to download files using BitTorrent technology. If you’re curious which BitTorrent program is the best, everyone has their own favorite – but today, we’re going to profile what I believe is an underappreciated piece of software: Deluge.

This is a program that, at first glance, doesn’t seem too different from others out there, but offers quite a bit for those looking to access their torrents across their home network. Best of all: it works on Windows, Mac OSX and Linux, so no one is left out of this post. Let’s check it out.

The Basics

which BitTorrent program is the best

Like I said: on its surface, Deluge appears to be just like any other BitTorrent client. And if that’s all you want to use it for, that’s all it is.

You’ll find all the features that made clients like Transmission and uTorrent Transmission vs uTorrent [Mac Only] Read More great. You can download torrents, select which files you want to download within that torrent, set certain files as top-priority and configure your overall bandwidth usage. There are even a variety of plugins you can install to add functionality like reading RSS feeds.

Add to all this the ability to encrypt your downloads, and the fact that it runs on all three major platforms, and you’ve already got a winning BitTorrent client. But all this just brings Deluge up-to-par with other BitTorrent clients on the market. What really gives Deluge an edge over its competition is its daemon/client model of doing things.


A daemon, for those who don’t know, is a program that runs in the background of your computer without a visible user interface. Such programs can usually be controlled by a graphical user interface, but do not require that interface in order to operate. The advantage here is that the program in question can be controlled by more than one client (a word used in this case to describe user-interfaces) as well as over the network. In the case of Deluge, there are three main interfaces: the standard graphical interface, a web-based interface you can access from your browser and a console-based interface that works by typing commands.

Why would you want an alternative interface? I’m glad you asked. Let’s explore the two alternatives interfaces Deluge offers and why you might want to use them.

Web Interface

deluge- free bittorrent client

It’s not hard to see the appeal here: it’s Deluge, in your browser. This interface can do practically everything Deluge’s primary interface can do, over the network, and works on any computer with a browser. This means you can check the status of the downloads happening on your desktop or media-center from the comfort of your laptop””without interrupting whoever may be using either of those computers.

To get this working outside of your home network, you’re going to need either a static IP address or to make use of a service such as DynDNS, which gives you a URL you can use to access your network anytime. Expect an article by me on using DynDNS in the weeks to come for more information.

Console Interface

which BitTorrent program is the best

If you like typing commands better than you like clicking things, you’re weird. Or at least, I’m sure that’s what our commenters will say.

Except now that I’ve said that, the commenters will be mad at me for implying using the console is weird.

For the record: I’m weird, and love the fact that Deluge comes with a console interface. Typing commands isn’t always the fastest way to accomplish things, but long-time console-users know the efficiency of the command line is not to be overlooked.

Deluge is no exception. Adding a torrent is as easy as typing “add” followed by the URL of the torrent, meaning I need only copy-and-paste the URL to start the download. If I want to pause my torrents, I need only type “pause.” If I want to see what’s happening with all my torrents, I need only type “info.”

You get there idea: play with this interface and I’ll be you’ll come to think of a few uses for it.

Best of all, a completely console-based interface means you can use SSH to access your torrents. This is a great way to securely check your downloads from work.

Thin Client

These interfaces are cool, but there’s something to be said about using the default interface to get your work done. Happily, you can set up that interface to control another computer’s instance of Deluge over the network: check out Deluge’s own instructions here.


Deluge is a feature-rich torrent client that runs on Linux, Windows and Mac–and it features a well-executed daemon-client model to boot. What’s not to love?

For me, not much. I’ve made Deluge my BitTorrent tracker of choice, and don’t expect to be looking back anytime soon. Download Deluge and try it out for yourself.

What about you? What do you think of Deluge? Do you have your own favorite BitTorrent tracker, and if so what features do you like? You’re always welcome to share your views in the comments below.

Related topics: BitTorrent, Download Management, Peer to Peer, Ubuntu.

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  1. FredCailloux
    April 5, 2016 at 9:50 pm

    I am new to Torrent stuff. I installed Deluge and now i'd like to share some of my files. Where can I get some basic instructions about how to do that ?
    thanks for this evaluation!

  2. iwanttolikeopensource
    March 11, 2015 at 3:53 pm

    no longer true.... utorrent pulled that from the install on 6/3/15... after it hit 6% of installs..... I've missed it. ( as in it didn't happen to me....)
    I don't know the reason but I tested it today and that's the result.

    • Justin Pot
      March 11, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Sure it's no longer true, but avoiding crap like that is a compelling reason to stick to open source. Communities won't try to take advantage of you the way companies will.

      If Deluge keeps being slow look into Transmission, but otherwise stick with what works for you.

  3. iwanttolikeopensource
    March 11, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    deluge is slower than utorrent at downloading 1 file 2-300kbs /1.2Mbs on windows.....
    only advert in utorrent I can see is upgrade to utorrent plus in bottom corner....
    deluge is open source utorrent is closed....
    utorrent is winning 2/3 for windoze users only 96% of the market....

    • Justin Pot
      March 11, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      Did you miss that uTorrent is installing Litecoin miners on people's machines in the installer? Also, I don't think there's any reason the same download should run at different speeds on these two torrent clients, that's really weird if true. I can't explain it.

  4. ??????Walkman??????
    February 21, 2015 at 11:28 pm

    I want to know if it stores the data file of added torrents in a state that it can be read by both the Windows client and the Linux client. In order for that to work, it would need to be told which drive letter in Windows is mounted to what path in Linux.?

    • Justin Pot
      February 22, 2015 at 6:14 pm

      I'm sorry but I don't know these things. Are you trying to dual-boot but keep your torrents going?

    • ??????Walkman??????
      February 22, 2015 at 8:03 pm

      Aww my symbols don't work. Anyway, yeah, I'm essentially dual booting, and torrents is the only major thing that I haven't sorted out for both.

    • Justin Pot
      February 23, 2015 at 3:42 am

      Yeah, that's really tricky, and I can't dig into it right now. People seem to be talking about it here though:

  5. mehh
    February 16, 2015 at 10:09 pm

    Ok people. i came from the future (2015) and deluge are great yet and without ads unlike utorrent.

    • Justin Pot
      February 17, 2015 at 12:10 am

      I am also now in the future, and Deluge is probably the best client out there now.

  6. Aouie
    April 5, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    Been using Deluge as the preferred client on Linux for a long while. Was using Utorrent on Windows on becoming unhappy with the bloating Vuze. But, since unlike Vuze and Utorrent, Deluge is open source, I will be switching to using Deluge on Windows too.

  7. sean
    March 4, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    also, MAKE SURE you are getting DELUGE version 1.2.0 or greater, 1.2.1 is all the hype right now.

  8. sean
    March 4, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Deluge may not be better, but it IS the most underrated bittorrent out there, im so glad i don't have to use transmission, it was incredibly unstable atleast on my platform.
    "Firstly, deluge is free software, utorrent is not. This makes it win hands-down as far as I’m concerned."
    Utorrent is free.

    • Justin Pot
      March 5, 2010 at 6:15 am

      uTorrent may be free as in beer, meaning you don't have to pay for it, but it is not "free software" in the sense of open source. Because Deluge is open source I can take the code behind it, alter it slightly, and re-name it "Justin's awesome torrent program" without breaking any laws (provided I make that project open as well). uTorrent is closed source, so I've no way to check how the program works or to improve on it should its developer stop working on it.

  9. Abhilash
    February 18, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    Isn't uTorrent now called Vuze? Everytime I try to install it from the linuxmint repos, I get Vuze. Vuze really sucks, reminds me of bloated Windows software.
    Deluge is fast, easy to understand and powerful. As powerful as you want it to be and no more.

    • Justin Pot
      February 19, 2010 at 5:55 am

      Just to fend off the inevitable uTorrent reaction of anger and rage: Vuze was formerly as Azureus, not uTorrent. Azureus has always been bloated, has always offered every option you can imagine. Vuze carries on that proud tradition. Mint must install Vuze for people requesting uTorrent, which in my opinion is a little weird.

      uTorrent, while proprietary, is remarkably lightweight and even includes a game of tetris in its about screen. Seriously: click "Help," then "About" and then press "t." Instant awesome.

      • Abhilash
        February 19, 2010 at 9:31 pm

        It is quite weird that a request utorrent in mint gives me vuze. So where do we get utorrent then?

        Will check it out.

      • Abhilash
        February 19, 2010 at 9:33 pm

        Oh wait utorrent is not available for Linux, and it doesn't work in WINE either.

        Deluge wins.

  10. Kermit
    February 18, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    Deluge is just a great open-source client. uTorrent(closed-source) just does not deserve the same level of trust especially since it has been bought out. Too many uTorrent fanboys in here.

  11. moopet
    February 7, 2010 at 2:10 am

    I'm curious as to why there are comments about utorrent being so much better, but with no reasons given.

    Firstly, deluge is free software, utorrent is not. This makes it win hands-down as far as I'm concerned.

    Next, the only obvious benefit I can see with utorrent is that you can skin it. Rather badly, in that you can change a few buttons. That can't be why people prefer it, so can someone enlighten me?

  12. alexandrius
    February 5, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    I use uTorrent on my Linux machine

  13. steven
    February 5, 2010 at 10:33 am

    it seems like everyone who has commented on this article already uses deluge.

    well i'm downloading it now for the first time!

  14. Davidpassmore
    February 5, 2010 at 8:24 am

    I am connfused....where do I download a version that I can use on mac?

  15. Vadim P.
    February 5, 2010 at 5:58 am

    Deluge is great, use it myself.

  16. Mithun John Jacob
    February 5, 2010 at 4:38 am

    But when it comes to Windows-based torrent clients no one will come near to uTorrent !

    Deluge good only for Linux !

  17. Abhilash
    February 5, 2010 at 1:36 am

    Deluge is the best. Cleaner and faster than most linux torrent clients that I have used.

    Transmission was too simple and Vuze is just too slow and complicated.

  18. Pubudu Kodikara
    February 4, 2010 at 10:30 pm

    Nice tool.... i use this in my linux system, works fine for me!

  19. Mark
    February 4, 2010 at 10:21 pm

    > What really gives Deluge an edge over its competition is its daemon/client model of doing things.

    You've never seen transmission-daemon and transmission-remote-curses? Go look at the front page of Transmission's been able to do this for a long time now.

    • Justin Pot
      February 5, 2010 at 8:29 am

      I just found out that Transmission had a client-server model; the version included in Ubuntu is so simple I never really dug into it. I'm sincerely sorry for this oversight; expect a correction shortly.

    • Kasuko
      March 6, 2010 at 10:11 am

      Yes but can you use the gtk client to control the daemon? No, I use transmission right now on my media pc and am in the process of switching right now for this reason.

  20. doorknob60
    February 4, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    Yeah, I love Deluge. Sometimes gives me problems on Windows (not a big deal for me), but it's great on Linux. I don't even use half the features it has to offer.

  21. Robert M
    February 4, 2010 at 7:30 pm

    When I used Ubuntu before, Deluge was my client and served as a great replacement for uTorrent. It's the best client you can get currently on Linux IMO. uTorrent still wins as the best client overall.

  22. Srinivas G
    February 4, 2010 at 7:05 pm

    Deluge is neither too complicated (with settings burried deep inside the preferences menu) nor too simple; It's the right blend, a well balanced client; It also has a built in IP Filter/Blocklist (which gets updated automatically), unlike utorrent; If utorrent is No.1, I'd say deluge is No.2 and probably the most underrated bitorrent client out there!

  23. Kaz
    February 4, 2010 at 5:55 pm

    I love deluge, I've been using it for ages on my linux and windows machine. It keeps getting better with each release.

  24. Zack
    February 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    uTorrrent puts deluge to shame.