How to Change the Default Torrent Program on Linux

Sometimes you installed a new torrent client on your desktop Linux, But you don’t know how to set it as the default. Look no further! The following is everything you need to know about changing the default torrent program on Linux, including ubuntu, Fedora, Arch linux, etc.

Set the Default Program for Torrent Files

To set the default program to open torrent files, all you need to do is download a torrent file and then open up your file manager, navigate to the directory that contains the downloaded torrent file. Right click the torrent file and select properties in the context menu. Then select Open With tab, from there you can set the default program to open torrent files.

set default torrent client

Set the Default Program to Open Magnet URLs

If you followed the above steps, then when you double click a torrent file in your file manager, your desired torrent client will fire up. But when you click a magnet link in your Firefox or Google Chrome browser, your old torrent client will open up. We will use gvfs-mime command line utility to alter the default program for magnet links.

To set transmission as the default program for magnet links:

gvfs-mime --set x-scheme-handler/magnet transmission-gtk.desktop

To set deluge as the default program for magnet links:

gvfs-mime --set x-scheme-handler/magnet deluge.desktop

Overriding System Default in Firefox

In Firefox browser, you can set the default program to open magnet links. This setting will override the system setting for magnet links.

In Firefox Select Edit > Preferences > Applications, find the content type of magnet in the applications panel and select use other, then select the torrent program in /usr/bin/ directory.

firefox magnet links

If you can’t find the magnet content type, then head over to your favourite torrent website in Firefox and click a magnet link on the website. Firefox will ask you to choose a torrent client to open the magnet URL. After you choose a torrent client, you should see the magnet content type in applications panel. From now on you can always change the default program to open magnet URLs.

Bonus Tip: Tranfer Unfinished Torrents

Here is a little trick you can use to transfer unfinished torrents from one torrent client to another, or from one OS to another OS on the same computer.

Right click your unfinished torrent and select copy magnet link. Now your magnet link is in the clipboard, you can open it up in another torrent client. For instance, in Transmission, select File > Open URL to open the magnet link.

open url

Set the right download path and transmission will automatically verify downloaded data and continue to download remaining data.

If you have a dual boot setup, you can copy all your magnet links to a file that can be access from both operating sytems or send these magnet links to your email address. Then reboot your computer into another operating system. From there you can open your magnet links from your file or email, set the right download path and continue your torrenting.

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2 Responses to “How to Change the Default Torrent Program on Linux

  • In Ubuntu 18.04 I used the following:

    gio mime application/x-bittorrent qbittorrent.desktop
    gio mime x-scheme-handler/magnet qbittorrent.desktop

  • Thanks Bill

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