Tag Archives: Transmission

Tweak Opera to Befriend Transmission

I use Opera as my main browser and I use Transmission as my torrent client.  The problem begins that Opera is its own torrent client.  Nothing wrong with that except that I want Opera to pass torrents over to Transmission instead.

There are really two operations that you need to consider in dealing with torrents today.  The first is to inform Opera what you want done with .torrent files; the other is to inform Opera what you want it to do when it encounters a so-called Magnet Link.

With the torrent file you are probably already familiar.  It’s a tiny file containing just enough identifying information for your torrent client to participate in the torrent for which you seek.  Is that too esoteric?  Well, that’s because it is.  It’s about as interesting as the number you pull out of that thing at the DMV and wait.  Sure it’s important because it’s necessary, but you’re just going to throw it away.

The Magnet Link obsoletes the torrent file.  A Magnet Link passes the needed number, the hash (which is all the torrent file really carries) directly to the torrent client.  (Here is good article on magnet links with links to a potentially useful script.)

Since we can’t guarantee that all sites will use one or the other we want to address both of them.

Getting Opera to pass .torrent files to your torrent client is a simple matter of changing that particular file association in Opera itself.  This way when you click on a torrent file link you are done.  I have mine set up to ask me what to do.  I like it that way.  You should be able to set it up to open them directly with the information which follows if you are so inclined.

Torrent File Modification

There are three things to note in making this alteration.  You want to make this in the Downloads section  of the Preferences dialog.  You want to ensure that the “Hide file types opened with Opera” check box is unchecked.  And finally if you sort by extension (by clicking File extension(s)) you can just roll down to T to select torrent.  Click the Edit button (duh!).  Pick the option you prefer for this file extension.

(If there is no torrent entry, and there ought to be, you can add one using the MIME type and File extension you see in the image above.)

Magnet Links are working (see Update below).  The other bit, the Magnet Link, I haven’t sorted out as yet.  Transmission supports Magnet Links as of version 1.9 or so (and I’m using a supported version).  Here is how I have my Opera preferences arranged:

Magnet Link Modification
Magnet Link Modification

For this I went into Programs (also in the Preferences dialog) and clicked the “Add…” button.  The Protocol is magnet, of this I am certain.  I also believe that my shortcut to Transmission is called out correctly.  (If you are using a different client, modify accordingly.)  And yet I get this error when I attempt to use a Magnet Link: You should no longer get this error if you follow the Update directions below.

Magnet Link Error
Magnet Link Error

Bummer. No bummer here.

I tried using %s, %u, and no modifier.  Without a modifier the link does nothing.  With either %s or %u I get the above error message.  I’ll update this post as I am able to figure this out.  In the meantime prefer torrent links.

Clearly these instructions are for Ubuntu (well, that may not be clear to everyone), but there ought to be enough information here for you to sort it out for Mac or Windows.

Happy torrenting.

(Firefox users will find this link useful.)


As of the release of Opera 11.10 magnet links are working.  You will want add /usr/bin/transmission into the Open with other application box and put %s into the Parameter box.


Slipped Clutch; Blew Transmission

Haha!  Oh, how I love breaking things.  It’s a how-to for fixing them.

I didn’t like the fact that I had a drive without a name (officially it was named “disk” and when it was mounted it appeared as “160 GB Disk” or some such).  I wanted to give it a name.

I opened GParted, unmounted the drive, and renamed it:

  1. System —> Administration —> Partition Editor
  2. You will be asked to enter your password
  3. Select the drive from the drop-down at the right of the button bar within the GParted
  4. Be sure you have selected the correct drive or you can really screw things up
  5. Right-click on the partition/drive in question (below the button bar) and choose Unmount
  6. Again, right-click on the partition/drive in question (below the button bar) and this time choose Label
  7. Name the drive whatever you want
  8. Close GParted

This worked wonders.  However, it breaks anything formerly linked to objects on that drive/partition.  This should come as no surprise.  It may come as a bit of a shock that you’ll have to open the hood to fix a couple of these.

I decided the easiest way to remount the drive was to merely reboot.  You may be able to choose the new drive by its new name from your Places menu, but it probably won’t hurt anything to go ahead and reboot as I did.

Now, I use Transmission for BitTorrents.  My BT download folder was located on that newly renamed drive.  When I subsequently opened Transmission it was a little lost, understandably.  So I told Transmission where the download folder was now located.

It basically ignored me.  I mean, in all the places one would care to look Transmission said it was going to use the new location, but when I opened the log file (Help —> Message Log) it was throwing errors which related to the old location (specifically to it not being found).

A little research told me that this information was kept in a file:

  • /home/[username]/.config/transmission/settings.json

I opened that file in a text editor (choose any you’d like) and changed all occurances of the former path to the new path.  Yours might look something like this:

  • OLD: “/media/disk/DownloadFolder”
  • NEW: “/media/TorrentDrive/DownloadFolder”

Sounds basic enough, yes?

Well, it will cause a new kind of havoc.  This is the correct solution, but before you do that (or like me after you’ve done that a few times) you will want to do one other thing:

  1. Copy your current torrent files by right-clicking on /home/[username]/.config/transmission/torrents
  2. Paste a copy of this folder some place safe—I chose my desktop
  3. Remove all torrents from Transmission by right-clicking each or all of them and choosing “Remove
  4. Close Transmission
  5. The Important Step: Now go back and perform the editing steps to change the path as mentioned above
  6. Open Transmission
  7. Some of your torrents may reload themselves, but toss all of the torrent files from the copy we made in step 2 into Transmission (drag and drop works nicely)—the duplicates will not be reloaded
  8. I manually told Transmission to Start and Verify Local Data, but it will likely do both all on its own

Hope you find this time-saving.