Install and configure Transmission on your RaspBMC

In a previous post I wrote a tutorial on how to install RaspBMC as a media center on your Raspberry Pi.

In this post we will see how to install and configure this same media center to make it a Transmission Client. Transmission is an open source cross-platform BitTorrent client.

Disclaimer : warning, make sure to download torrents that are legal in your country

Total Price: less than $79



Here the goal is to install transmission on RaspBMC. To be able to store a reasonable amount of data, we need an external HDD, the SD card of the Raspberry is really too small.

To be sure the HDD is well powered, we need to add a powered USB Hub.

Needed Hardware.

An External HDD.

jpeg-6Toshiba HDD 1TO

Price: $69 (Amazon)

Mine is a 1 To

An Powered USB Hub.


Connectland usb3 hub

Price: $20 (Amazon)

The hub have to be powered to allow HDD to get enough power. This hub is compliant USB2 as the USB port on the Raspberry.

Plugin all to RaspBMC.

Before plugin the HDD on RaspBMC, just format it on your computer. I used FAT32 filesystem in order to be able to use my HDD on both MacOs and Windows.

Shut down RaspBMC, plug the Hub and the HDD and everything should work after powering on again the Raspberry.

Check the HDD on RaspBMC and configure it

First of all ssh your RaspBMC from your computer — RaspBMC IP address is available under Settings -> System Info -> Network.

$ ssh pi@raspbmc_ip_address
pi@raspbmc_ip_address password:

input the password you choose previously

Once connected you can use df command to see if your HDD is well mounted

$ df
Filesystem     1K-blocks     Used Available Use% Mounted on
/dev/mmcblk0p2   3794816   901524   2700524  26% /
/dev/mmcblk0p1     70561     6875     63686  10% /boot
/dev/sdb1      976524128 20187072 956337056   3% /media/HDD

Here is mounted on /media/HDD : perfect but I encountered an issue, after a while of inactivity my HDD is automatically unmounted So I did a hack in order to keep it mounted.

The idea is to add a CRON job to write on a the disk each 5 minutes:

$ crontab -e

Add these 2 lines at the end

*/4     *       *       *       *       rm /media/HDD/keepMeUp.txt
*/5     *       *       *       *       touch /media/HDD/keepMeUp.txt

Now keepMeUp.txt is deleted each 4 minutes and written again each 5 minutes… AND the HDD stay mounted!! – Ok is not really smart but it works.


Install Transmission.

Now it’s time to install transmission. Remember, RaspBMC is a debian based  distribution, so  just use apt-get

  1. Install transmission
    $ sudo apt-get install transmission-daemon
  2. Set it to run at startup
    $ sudo update-rc.d transmission-daemon defaults
  3. Stop the deamon
    $ sudo /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon stop
  4. Configure
    $ sudo vi /etc/transmission-daemon/settings.json

    In this file you can set up all the behavior of the deamon. I changed the following lines

        "download-dir": "/media/HDD/downloads",
        "incomplete-dir": "/media/HDD/downloads/incoming",
        "rpc-bind-address": "",
        "rpc-enabled": true,
        "rpc-password": "myPasswd",
        "rpc-port": 9091,
        "rpc-url": "/transmission/",
        "rpc-username": "myUserName",

    You can put the new password between double quotes and program is smart enough to change it an hash after restarting the deamon

  5. Restart the deamon
    $ sudo /etc/init.d/transmission-daemon start

Now you can access to your Transmission Client from everywhere in a browser using



  1. Hi.
    Is there a way to use transmission on raspberry pi who has raspbmc installed, and download torrents to a network share instead of usb attached drive?

    Best regards,


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