As we know the release of Linux Mint 12 Lisa arrived last week. The onslaught of downloading began at once and the Mint team had to shut off services on other areas of the community in order to accommodate all the downloads. The downloading of version 12 has not stopped but one of Mint’s sponsors, eUKhost, provided the project with another server. The Linux Mint Blog covers it here. In addition to being a sponsor eUKhost also hosts some of the projects servers as you might have guessed. This was an extremely generous move on their part and they should be commended.
So what does all this have to do with transmission you may ask? Well as part of the community that is getting free software we can take a bit of the heat off the servers and help seed the torrent files. You can do this in two ways. First method is to download your new copy of the ISO of your choice using Transmission. Simply click on the torrent link and if you have not changed the default program for handling torrents Transmission will be offered as the method to save the file. Once the torrent is downloaded, takes only seconds, click start. You will have a screen similar to this:
In this example I have two torrents that have completed the download and I am seeding for others. The default selections will set all the options but it is very simple to step through the options either per torrent by right clicking the properties or via the preferences menu which is a global setting. My personal choice is to limit upload to 100kb per torrent and I usually seed until I hit a ratio of 2.00. Often I come back to the torrent and increase the ratio and re-start the seed. By sharing a bit of your bandwidth, especially when the release is new, you can help the projects and others to get the download faster. Before seeding it is a good idea to verify your local data. Right clicking on the torrent and choose verify local data. There is no sense in seeding a bad ISO.
The second method is exactly the same after you create the torrent file. By clicking Add, a normal dialog box appears and simply browse to the location of the ISO file. Follow the usual save routine and a torrent of the ISO is created. Once again it is a good idea to check the file before seeding. Md5Sums are usually provided at most download locations and if using a download tool can be added in at the start of the download for automatic checking.
Another cool option is you can pause the torrents and re-start them at any time. This applies for both uploads and downloads. So there is no need to leave the computer on full-time unless it is something you already do. I my case I use a laptop and I have some concern about it getting too hot. So I pause at the times I shutdown. Don’t worry about the warnings for connected users. The beauty of torrent is they are probably connected to several at once anyway.
So now you have a method to obtain the latest release for almost all distros and at the same time participate in the community by sharing back some bandwidth and the seed. If you are behind a modern router, you should be able to do this seamlessly and be relatively safe. If security is a concern Google the options for using a proxy or placing more limits on time and logging in the router.
The image above is hosted by Image Shack and my html skills are not good enough yet to allow a link to the full size image and their website. Check them out as they have many options for hosting images and video.
Lastly I should mention that Transmission is hardly the only torrent client out there. They all work in a similar fashion but the options may differ. Transmission is simply the default client for Linux Mint. If you like a project and want to help this is a great way to do it.
Update: The ratio I used above is the default ratio for downloads to uploads. When I can I up this ratio and start the torrent again. I am up to a 11.7 ratio now but before you go hog wild, check with your provider on upload limitations. This is entirely legal but some providers place caps on your upload speeds and bytes. You don’t want to push the limits just to be kind to a project or nothing will go out. So check your plan first then help when you can.